A Singapore institution, Mustafas is open round the clock, offering 75,000sq ft of bargains, not to mention a hotel, café and supermarket. It’s a treasure trove of discount shopping, carrying everything from skincare and electronics to sports wear and luggage. Sumptuous sari fabrics can be found in basement 1, and beauty products and appliances at ground level.
It helps to be anorexic though. Floors and floors and buildings and buildings all seemingly higgledepiggly and chaotic but actually well organised with a variety of goods that makes Harrods look like an up market seven eleven. I mean, come on, where else can you buy and elephant on one floor and have a massage on the next floor whilst balancing dumbbells and gym equipment with your latest handphone as you ponder how you will carry out the microwave you need to buy next?
The best time to go is three in the morning. It is not only 24/7, but 24/7/365. The advantage with going so early in the morning is that while tour groups from India take the store over in the wee small hours, ad whilst the air con does work, you are less likely to have to go from aisle A to aisle B via aisle zZ as the crows are sightly less thick.
And believe it or not, it is one of the places in Singapore where you can get genuinely friendly and honest service.
Whether you go there to shop (highly recommended) or simply to be amazed, it is worth going.
I thought it was interesting that they used cable ties to tie up your lose plastic bags should you be tempted to slip something inside as the shop can get very crowded and it would be hard for them to catch such people. It is a good way to keep security in check!
However, I did not like the experience being inside so much. First of all, the walkways were so terribly narrow that it was very uncomfortable to squeeze through and I did not really feel like reaching most of the shelves because they were so hard to get to!
Secondly, the items offered, although diverse, did not seem of great quality of design. The clothing they had there were similar to those I could get at neighbourhood cheap clothing shops without having to squeeze the same way. The items on the shelves were also in a great mess, although I think this is hard to control considering the number of people entering the shop at once!
Perhaps they should regulate the number of visitors as well as the whole shopping experience was an unpleasant one simply due to how cramped the place was!
At almost every point of the day, Mustafa is packed with people flooding the allies searching for products. The prices of items are generally cheaper for everything although the quality of the product may be compromised. For basic necessities, it may not matter too much but for more quality buys, the difference in quality would appear more severe. Although they carry some more costly products like branded watches, it is usually few seasons before and the appearance of the entire products can be quite suspicious at times.
The expanding business nonetheless lacks no supporters. I would personally sacrifice the few dollars discount off my item to avoid the crowd, as the whole area can get quite stuffy. However, it can be convenient when I am looking for a variety of random stuff as it is the one place that I can purchase everything in all at once. A point to note when shopping at Mustafa would be to make sure you check the date of expiry of the products before purchasing.
We bought a 1 litre carton of stripped coconut water from a reputable european brand for a shockingly low three bucks, which you would be hard-pressed to find in the most popular supermarkets in Singapore. The dairy products were also extensive and they were selling yoghurt brands which I've never came across before in my life. Common ingredients for Indian dishes could also be found everywhere, such as paneer ( cottage cheese) and tons of chapatti. They also have an in-store bakery selling large slices of pizza for little over a dollar, as well as the usual bakery cakes albeit for a fraction of the usual price.
I could go on and on about the wonders of Mustafa but I guess you would have to visit for yourself to find out more. Oh, and don't get lost!
But of course the location wise it is intuitive to pay the place a visit after your supper at Swee Choon dim sum. The 24/7 operating hours satisfy your craving to shop even at the wee hours. And I must mention this mini bakery that produces fresh lamb meat pizza, its a really huge slice and goes for only 70 cents! Thumbs up for food!
Nevertheless, the massive variety of goods they carry keeps me going back there whenever I’m in the area. They sell EVERYTHING – clothing, food, furniture, electronics, even gold and currency! They’re like a NTUC Fairprice, Harvey Norman and Takashimaya all-in-1. Mustafa may be located at Little India but I’ve seen them selling Chinese Cheongsams as well!
If there is anything about the place that amazes me more than their endless catalogue of products, it must be how well their staff actually know the place. I once asked a supermarket staff where the marmite was and he could tell me the exact aisle and shelf number off his head. Mind blowing!
Everyone should visit Mustafa at least once in his or her lifetime. I still find it baffling how the boss manages to keep tabs on his business in this chaotic retail jungle.
Mustafa ranges from everything to everything. I remember purchasing a calculator at 3am in the morning as I had exams the next day. The only problem for those who prefer to take public transport is that the MRT and buses end at midnight. However, there will always be countless of taxi around the area.
Most of their fruits and vegetables are fresh and the prices are cheaper than the local supermarket at times. Plus, how many countries can say that they have a mall that never sleeps?
Mustafa has very cheap merchandise, and sells everything from clothes to food and electronics. I remember getting lost in the sheer maze of items there, and everything seemed to blend together in a huge clumpy mess. Compounded with the fact that the store is forever crowded, this makes the shopping experience chaotic indeed!
My suggestion to shoppers is: do not bother coming before midnight. You will be in for a crowded mess of a store. Other than that, I love exploring the huge store with its huge base of items.
Mustafa Centre can also irritate the shiz out of you if you do not know what to expect.
I only visit this place after 12am but it is best to go after 1am when the craziness in the area has died down. I will only visit Mustafa in the day to change money because it has pretty competitive rates but never to shop because of its crowd.
Be prepared to walk slowly, get all kinds of scents thrown in your face from different directions, buy a whole lot of things you do not need and spend many many sleepless nights in this iconic shopping centre. I love Mustafa as i know the place very well and i know what i am looking for when i visit it. I come here for specific things like a luggage, a silly lame watch or to buy my bamboo shoots in chili oil from the supermarket.
I love Mustafa for allowing Singaporeans to escape into a world of India, a world of cheap things and for being an interesting experience that is uniquely Singapore.
My first impression of the place was it was too messy. It seemed to sell everything and anything. I walked around and I could not say I was impressed by the layout of the centre. It was like they were trying to squeeze more space out to display more products. Truth be told, I could not think properly in such environment so it would be difficult to get me to buy something from here. I saw mainly foreigners buying a lot of things.
It is not a fancy shopping mall but it is sure practical place to shop. Most things here are cheaper than the departmental stores you can find and they have everything. Every time I am not sure where to get certain cream, spice, electronic stuff, I think of trying here first. However do not expect the sales staff to be of much help.
Mustafa Center has recently renovated the wet food section and I would recommend that its worth a visit.
Mustafa Center is quite known for souvenir items, chocolates and perfumes at very low prices. The area is so huge yet is full of a wide selection of goods from the most common to the rarest of its kind. This place is popular to tourists for souvenir items and is equally popular to locals to replenish household stocks for everyday consumption.
This is a good place to shop in terms of value but the shopping experience isn't at all nice compared to other malls in Singapore. Mustafa Center is busiest on weekends. There is always heavy human traffic from Saturday to almost early Monday morning. Most probably shopping won't be enjoyable at Mustafa Center during this time.