Hougang 1 is nestled in the heart of the residential suburb of Hougang New Town and easily accessible via the major expressways. Located near Buangkok and Hougang MRT station, Hougang 1 offers a comprehensive network of amenities in the bustling Hougang neighbourhood with its retail podium that is occupied by anchor tenant, FairPrice Xtra.
When my grandmother lived in the vicinity, we would always accompany her to buy her groceries at the NTUC in this mall. However, other than that, there would be no other attraction that my sister and I would find. While we were bored shopping in the supermarket and wandered outside, we were met with other boring stores which made us decide that the supermarket seemed to be the most interesting place in the mall.
Despite it's limited space, how it cannot compare to other gargantuan and large malls like NEX and Ang Mo Kio Hub that space out over hundreds of feet, it has all the essentials - Fairprice, whereby people can shop for their groceries, the food court, whereby people can have their meals at and even a stationery shop that allow students like myself to conveniently shop for pens, etc etc.
However, it also has shops that are somewhat redundant and less frequented by the people living in the neighbourhood. There are fashion boutiques that sell pricey dresses which people living around the vicinity would not patronize since it is not as essential in our daily lives.
I am so glad that I am lucky enough to live right at the block of flats behind Hougang 1.
A typical neighbourhood mall, I used to visit it for groceries and maybe the odd times I had to get some food from KFC or McDs. The best thing that ever happened to the mall was the time when NTUC opened an NTUC Xtra outlet here. It was big, and it was well stocked and it opened as early as 7am. I had plenty of good memories shopping there.
Having lived in Hougang for practically my entire life, I have visited these malls for more than a decade. When the former Hougang Point closed for renovation, I was rather stunned. Despite it's rather tacky interior, it was a fully functional mall which worked well. Now that it has reopened, I feel that a lot of work (and money!) has went into the project, and I have to say that it has paid off well.
It looks extremely chic and modern. Gone are the aged posters that dot the walls, instead the management has replaced them with glass panels and a fresh coat of paint. It looks much fresher, and there are more shops available here as well. Some of the stores from the old days still remain, while some new branches have opened.
However, after the mall opened,the mall failed to meet my expectations. Other than the two restaurants I mentioned, the rest of the mall was pretty mediocre, rather similar to Heartland Mall (read my review about that place), but with LESSER things! They only have Hang Ten as a clothing store for guys. Most of the shops inside are food-related, with a few other stores for gifts and stuff like that.
The only thing left mentioning would be the NTUC at Hougang 1. Big. If the mall is near you, grocery shopping will be a snap for you as this NTUC outlet is pretty wide and sells a lot more things than the usual (quite sure it is Fairprice Xtra or something!). That's all I can say.
In summary, there's NOTHING to do here other than fulfilling your basic needs. One word: Meh.
There's alot more food choices compared to Hougang Point (Its previous name before renovations). Like Delifrance and Wang Cafe, they are newly introduced to this place. With Delifrance, people will have an additional choice for high-tea and breakfast.
I'm also thankful that Gong Cha is here! However it can get really crowded during lunch time as there's office crowds and students from the neighbouring schools.
There's a Fairprice Xtra here too, where they have a good range of organic vegetables, apparels and also electronic items.
All in all, the toilets are clean (till now), the Fairprice Xtra is awesome and the food outlets are not bad. Can drop by for lunch/ dinner if you are staying nearby.