The Central Hot
Designed to showcase Central's unique location along the Singapore River, its retail component features specialty Japanese restaurants with inviting water views, and trendy, independent fashion boutiques. The urban chic Central is home to over 150 exciting retail stores & F&B outlets spread over five levels with each level offering unique themes. Whether you are indulging in a spot of riverfront shopping or treating yourself to a riverside dining experience, you will always find something refreshing at Central. Central is your one-stop destination with an eclectic range of retailers like bYSI, Charles & Keith, GG
Featured Ratings Summary
Editor rating summary from: 2 user(s)
By the River
This place used to be one of the 'hang-out' spots for us when it just opened a few years ago as it was away from the hustle and bustle of the city and quiet enough to study yet have fun. Located right at Clarke Quay Mrt, the mall is very easily accessible by train of bus. The structure of the building is such that there is two sides of the mall, one where all the food restaurants are and another where the small little shops of random clothing are. For the newbies, navigating around the mall may be a bit of a challenge as the turns and corners may look very misleading at times. What looks like a dead end may actually have a pathway leading to another part of the building, so those with a dulled-direction sense, be warned.
This puzzling mall however, has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from the likes of Japanese cuisine to Korean and even western if one may prefer. Whats best about it is that most of these restaurants serve authentic Japanese and Korean food, hence the quality of the food is really commendable. After a filling meal at the mall, besides walking around in the mall looking at the shops, one can also stroll along the Singapore river which is just located at the foot of the entrance of the building. There is also a Korean supermarket for the Korean-enthusiasts especially interested in the Korean culture as the products sold there are all imported and quite fresh although the area is relatively small. Also, every single time I go to central I would not leave the mall without getting the famous petit croissants from the basement,m they are absolutely gorgeous!
No Sense of Commercial Direction
The Central Mall is not a mall I will enter every time I passed by Clarke Quay except to visit the Mr. Curry Restaurant or to cool myself in the air-conditioned space after a long walk around its vicinity.
There is much duplication of food restaurants in The Central Mall where you can find in other nearby happening malls. To name a few - Subway, TCC, Starbucks, Ya Kun Kaya Toast, The Manhattan Fish Market, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant.
If you are not into Hair and beauty services, you might love to take a peek at some interesting Indie styled clothes fashions with prices that appear to be quite steep. Otherwise, it’s more of window-shopping in the mall.
The Central Mall does not have a direction that appeals to consumer. It’s neither a place solely for food tasting, nor a shoppers’ haven. At least the nearest mall – Funan IT Mall caters explains why consumers have to visit them.
So why did I end up at The Central Mall? Because I was looking to cool myself down after savoring the famous Song Fa Bak Kut Teh across the road? Or I just had a stroll down Clarke Quay Riverside and ended up here.
Let’s face it. Most of us are here to transit at the bus stop just right outside the Mall and Clarke Quay Mrt Station is just beside.
On a positive note, due to less human traffic, it is lovely to spend a quiet day in Starbucks.
(Avoid Starbucks and burger king during weekends! Transiting passengers or passersby usually stop for a quick snack or hover there for hours in a big group.)
Price Range: You will probably spend more than $15 on a meal and a drink in the restaurants, $5 in fast food restaurants or at Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
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User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 12 user(s)
The thing about central that I don't like is that things here are super messy. To be fair, I've never really been to the upper floors so I don't really know what there is up there but the floors I've been to, that is the first and basement have been proven to be pretty messy to navigate.
The good thing about central is that there are a whole lot of food options available in the basement and you can get anything from Korean food to Sticky candies. One of my fav shops is the Japanese supermarket of sorts where you can get all kinds of snacks and candies from Japan.
Badly needs a revamp
As someone who frequents shopping malls, I must say The Central has got to be one of the most unfortunate malls in Singapore. Despite being directly linked to the Clarke Quay MRT Station, with a high traffic bus stop situated right in front of the shopping mall, the traffic within the mall is very low, even when I was there on a Friday night. The only shops that enjoy better traffic are the ones on the ground level facing the main road and the Korean/Japanese restaurants.
Perhaps the lack of good main tenants is one main reason why it has failed to pull in the crowds. However, I reckon that the layout is one of the core reasons for poor traffic, as the layout is very confusing and there are many hidden corners and pathways, which in turn results in concealed shops. Getting around in the mall is not intuitive at all even with a directory map. As such, one may notice that there are much fewer occupants in the upper and more concealed levels. That is if you even manage to find your way through it all.
Being located such a location, it is a waste that it is not as vibrant as it could. Perhaps a revamp of the mall as a whole and re-strategizing its direction as a mall could bring about some positive changes to this place.
Even Alice in Wonderland would get lost.
I am not sure what will happen to this place in the future. there have been so many openings and closing here since this ridiculously named central place was opened. What is it central to? Nothing. It is nowhere, unless of course you consider Clarke Key the centre of the universe.
I cannot for the life of me understand why you would build a shopping mall like this. It is like a Malaysian shopping centre with tiny warrens of narrow corridors between shoe box shops, mots of which are empty and becoming emptier.
Maybe the main concourse from the river through the centre of the complex will survive but don't wander into the alleys to the left and right. It is such a warren, you might never get out.
Having said that, the food in the food court downstairs in the basement is varied and generally quite good. They try hard. They have to.
Tranquil little mall
Nicely furnished and designed with several mainstream restaurants like Subway, Billy Bombers and dessert shoppes like Marble Slab Creamery (the only reason why I would visit The Central).
There isn't much crowd even during the weekends which is usually a good thing but when it comes to the The Central, it doesn't really amount to much.
Despite the wide array of shops it has to offer, it's still a pretty boring place in my opinion.
Used more as a temporary stop than an actual 'Shop shop and walk walk' place.
It is however, home to the bustling Helipad rooftop dance club located at the top of the building.
So unless you're heading to the club or just happened to pass by, I would not recommend intentionally dropping by unless you really enjoy being bored.
a pit stop before heading to the nearby pubs and clubs
Located along Boat Quay, The Central is the mall situated on top of Clark Quay station.
Although it has quite a number of apparel and accessories shops, there appears to be few patrons visiting them. The main food section located at the basement of the mall sees more customers during mealtimes. Located near to numerous pubs and clubs, it is most crowded on Fridays and the weekends, and during specific periods when there is a festival going on within the mall or along Boat Quay. I probably do not visit The Central on purpose, unless there is a festival going on, like a night bazzar, the lantern festival, or for some Song Fa Bak Kut Teh located just across The Central. But when I do, I would not fail to get some candy from Sticky that is located at the basement of the mall.
The area along Boat Quay will be crowded on most night, filled with people sitting along the stoned stairs chatting and enjoying the night breeze. At times, there are also people sitting the G-max Reverse Bungee. The Central would probably be just a passing mall, to spend some time at before heading to the main destination.
Quiet and boring mall but carries yummy food!
The Central is a low-profile mall that is very quiet even on weekends. I went there on a weekend and was surprised that the crowd was small. Of course, it is to my benefit that I do not have to withstand rowdy noises and squeezy crowds. The shops there are mostly shops that import apparels from Korea (that's what the shopowner told me) and as such, the prices are not that attractive. About $39 for a dress? Design and quality are not that fantastic either. Skip.
Charles & Keith has quite a spacious store and if you in need of shoe shopping, rest assured that you can enjoy your shoe shopping time there. The sales assistants will attend to you meticulously! Food wise, I would recommend getting handmade candies from this shop called Stickys which is located at the basement. They have cutely packaged candies and you can even look at the whole candy-making process. There are also loads of food choices at The Central. Billy Bombers and Ma Maison are some that I have been to and would recommend to you. Added bonus: less crowd means you don't have to wait for seats and your food. You can take a stroll beside the Singapore River after your meal as well.
Average mall with a great scenery
The Central @ Clarke Quay is the place I head straight for some seriously good Japanese ramen. My favourite branches of ramen which are namely Santouka and Marutama are all located there and are both famous for their flavourful piping hot bowl of ramen goodness. Santouka serves Hokkaido style ramen with thick pork soup while Marutama offers a light Kyushu style ramen with chicken soup.
Besides the ramen however, the rest of the food selection does not really appeal to me. They do have the usual causual dining options such as Waraku Japanese dining and Seoul Yummy which serves affordable Korean cuisine. Shopping at The Central is nothing fantastic but offers a decent quality and quantity of Korean and Japanese fashion. New shops such a Ebenezer stocks fashionable Korean style clothes inspired by Korean celebrities.
My favourite part of the mall would be it's location right beside Clarke Quay Riverside. This offers many restaurants a fantastic view of the quayside and during the night makes a beautiful scene for a romantic dinner for couples. After eating my fill, I like to stroll down the river or grab an ice cream from Japanese Ice Cream shop Azabu Sabo and sit at the quayside watching people scream on the G-MAX Reverse Bungee as they shoot up in the air (which proves to be rather entertaining).
I think The Central is quite boring. I only like it because it has Subway, Burger King, Freshness Burger, and Ya Kun Kaya Toast. That’s all. It has Waraku and some other restaurants (mostly Japanese) too but they’re really expensive and I can’t be bothered to try them out.
There is a store that sells cute stickers and notebooks and other stationeries. It’s the only shop I enter because that’s the only place I can afford to buy anything at. The shops are mostly expensive brands and patronized by office workers and tai-tais. The Central is not a place for teenagers and young adults to shop at because there is nothing for us to buy.
The other nice thing about The Central is that it’s located next to the Singapore River. I like sitting there with my friend and chatting over a drink. We always wave to tourists on the boat ride too! It’s pretty nice sitting there as there’s a good view of the line of shops and bars as well as the busy roads and GMAX.
Other than all the food stores I mentioned above, there’s also a bakery just outside the mall. It serves yummy pizza bread!
The Central is not a mall for me because the shops and eateries are all so expensive and it doesn’t have any entertainment!
lukewarm at best
There was potential for this mall (at this location), but I find it sorely lacking. There is really nothing much to see or buy, and probably serves as the mandatory mall for the Clarke Quay area. Layout is confusing, maybe because I’m unfamiliar with the place, or because it plainly seeks to confuse shoppers.
I believe the best part of this mall is the stretch of shops facing the main street. There, we can find Starbucks and Freshness Burger (I can’t remember the rest, sorry). Perhaps the only reason I would find myself at The Central, Freshness Burger provides a great alternative to the fast food scene we’re so used to now. This is also their only outlet near town, so the location alone warrants a visit.
I guess the main attraction of this place is Helipad, followed by the various establishments in Clarke Quay area. Outside The Central, you can sit along the stretch of Singapore River. It is quite beautiful at night. You may also get to chance upon the occasional sightings of the GMax Reverse Bungy in action, which to me is a must-try someday.
All in all, The Central is the sort of mall that people can live without.
not my type of mall
We live in between great world city and central but we never ever find ourselves going here, and for good reason! Central lacks a proper supermarket, electronics store, cinema as well as affordable dining options. Both of these malls seem to cater to the office / working crowd but for some reason there isn't such a welcoming vibe here, perhaps it has to do with the architecture of the building and narrow corridors... who knows.
The restaurants on the mid level are quite good but the queues are always such a turn off. There are some cheaper eateries in the basement but they aren't very appealing. It is also close to IMPOSSIBLE to get a taxi from the "taxi stand" at the basement so please don't ever try, just go up and get one from the main road. I think the redeeming factors of this mall are the small japanese supermarkets in the basement and the japanese restaurants on the second and third levels. They also have a extremely long escalator which my mom refused to take because it was sooo long which I thought was nice.
Its also good to note that Song Fa Ba kuh teh is just across the street, and basically its the only reason why we come here. And of course central is in a fantastic location, close to the pubs, has a mrt, seafood eateries and along the Singapore river. Everywhere around central is great and perhaps thats why we expected so much more. The last time we came here to pass the time before going to eat, and well, it was disappointing.