Consider yourself a true blue 90s kid if you’ve heard of the PoMo, previously the go-to hangout spot among Orchard Road-goers. If you haven’t, it was the offbeat mall near The Cathay that broke students used to go to for some KFC. The mall is now back as a rebranded GR.iD with an eye-catching vibrant and geometric exterior.
We swung by for a visit and here’s what you can expect at the refreshed hub near Dhoby Ghaut MRT.
Image credit: GR.iD
While PoMo was previously monochromatic, GR.iD is all sorts of vibrant with neon lights and a bright orange facade. As a colleague describes, it resembles “cyberpunk in its infancy”. Blade Runner anyone?
GR.iD was initially slated to open in 2020, but due to the pandemic, the mall had its soft launch in October 2021, and only opened officially in February 2022.
Not your run off the mill complex, the refreshed mall has plenty of artworks scattered around, including a giant mural and neon lights installation – the latter of which will only be around during the opening weeks. In case you haven’t had your fill at Singapore’s recently opened graffiti art studio, there’s also a large graffiti wall with colourful markers provided for doodling.
With your gang gang, chill at the Social Staircase where free movies will be screened once restrictions allow it. For now, the area is a lifesaver if your phone runs out of juice as there are eight power points available for everyone to use.
The real kicker for the 90s kids has to be the Zouk Jiak Kim-inspired bathroom, inconspicuously located in the basement of the mall. If you made a pilgrimage to the nightclub every Wednesday night back in the day, you may recognise the resemblance between the old Zouk’s washroom and the central handwashing station here.
While the iconic PoMo KFC is no longer around, you can enjoy a variety of nosh in its stead today, starting with affordable western food right at the entrance.
Consider Chops! Grill & Sides an “Astons” on the rise. Originating from humble coffee shop roots, they’ve opened their first dine-in restaurant at GR.iD where you can sink your teeth into mains like ChopBurgers (from $5.90) and Ha Cheong Chicken ($8.90).
Visit Ice Bar for the mahjong-inspired neon decor and stay for the ice cream. You’ll find unique hand crafted flavour here such as their outlet-exclusive Wang Zai ice cream – made with the milky canned drink from our childhood days. There are around 20 flavours available on rotation here, with prices starting at $4.50 for a single scoop and $5.80 for waffles.
Spend $15 to get five free tokens for their arcade claw machines (U.P. $1/token, one token per try), available while stocks last.
Catch Pikachu plushies and other toys
Image credit: GR.iD, @kamikaze.asiantapasbar
If ORTO is a little too out of reach, Kamikaze Asian Tapas Bar has opened a second outlet in GR.iD with alfresco rooftop dining and fairy lights, no less. Perfect for night owls, this watering hole is open daily till 2AM.
Don’t leave without a sweet finish – the IG-famous Smile Dessert joins in on the buzz with a ball pit and purple-themed interior. Satiate that sugar craving with desserts like Black Swan Souffle ($15.90), Multi-Layer Sweet Potato Cake ($6.90) and Mango Ice With Rice Ball ($6.90).
Cake, pancake and mango ice at Smile Dessert.
Image credit: Eatbook
Other food and drinks you can look forward to include healthy coconut-infused tonics from Super Coco, boat noodles from Thai Street and Korean corn dogs from Chunz.
Once your tummy is filled, work off the food coma with some escape room action at Loading. It’s not your usual puzzle-solving affair as each three-hour session entails a theatrical murder mystery where players have to cosplay a character in a story.
Think the classic orientation game of Murderer, but everyone’s acting out a script. There’ll be spooky plot twists along the way – consider yourself warned! Prices begin from $68/person, and come inclusive of a game host.
Dress up in traditional Chinese garb
MADDspace may be best known for their dance classes for kids but their Open Classes ($18) welcome dancers of all ages. Squeeze a little bit of a workout after work with jazz funk, girl’s style and street jazz classes. Their neon-lit backdrops are also great for getting some highly-aesthetic videos for the ‘gram.
Find snacks, scents and apparel from local stores at Fleawhere by Invade. Currently, the space is only partially open for business with a handful of knicknacks available but come March 2022, thrift-seekers can expect to dive into a flea market. Booths are already open for reservations from $60 – make a booking on Fleawhere’s website.
Within the many nooks and crannies of the mall, also find social enterprise Green Drumming’s mini retail store and performance space, as well as free art exhibitions at Airplane Mode.
If you’re looking for somewhere new to explore this weekend, pop by GR.ID, located just a five-minute-walk away from both Dhoby Ghaut and Bencoolen MRT. In the vicinity, you can also find the recently-popular Korean bar Pocha In A Forest and board game cafes like Mind Cafe for more entertainment.
Address: 1 Selegie Road, Singapore 188306
Opening hours: 8AM-10PM, Daily
Getting there: From Dhoby Ghaut MRT, walk towards SMU and turn left into Selegie Road to get to GR.iD.
For more new malls in Singapore:
Photography by Li Haiyang.
Cover image adapted from: GR.iD
Originally published on 15th October 2021. Last updated on 16th February 2022.
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