The Star Vista
Located just beside Buona Vista MRT station, The Star Vista is a different mall than those usually visited. It is more of a cultural and civic place rather than a shopping mall. Being open space and non-airconditioned, the hub is also about 5 levels high. Uniquely, the highest level is an auditorium that seats 5000 people. There are over a hundred retail shops and many offer items that are simply one of its kind in Singapore.
I was surprised to learn that there’s no air conditioning, yet it makes sense when you look at the size of the place. I love how they hold public Zumba lessons in the large open space on the ground floor, and how practical it is to get to, literally a stone's throw from Buona Vista Station. The amount of choices for food is immense, but shops wise there isn’t the largest amount of choice.
Whenever I’ve visited the Star I’ve always left happy, whether it’s because of the peri-peri chicken I just devoured or if it was watching hundreds of people dancing to Zumba. A beautifully designed space with many food orientated reasons to visit.
If you are looking for a place for retail therapy, this is definitely one place you may want to reconsider. The Star Vista has plenty of places for food; there is practically a dining place at every turn. The wide variety of food choices will leave those who are indecisive in a dilemma. You can easily find food, ranging from a few dollars to tens of dollars or more.
After meals, if you are looking for a cost-free place to chill and chit-chat, especially those long conversations. The Star Vista is the place. There are plenty of seats around amphitheater, located at the basement near the water feature. The latter provides a cool ambience to its surroundings.
This is not just another other amphitheater. Every Monday from 7.30 P.M to 8.30 P.M., there will be trainers conducting free cardio workout sessions. This is a joint initiative with Health Promotion Board (HPB), available till the end of the year. If you are looking for a workout to release some endorphins after a long day at work or school, feel free to join! There used to be mass Yoga and Zumba sessions conducted as well. Join in the fun and not to worry, all of the sessions are free of charge. You can check out their website for the latest events. http://www.thestarvista.com/en/happenings/events/
One can never decide over what to eat for lunch or dinner when at The Star Vista. Korean, Japanese, Peranakan, Western and Seafood. These are some of the variety you get to choose from.
However, you don't get your typical fast outlet or cafe at The Star Vista. You can't find any McDonalds or Coffee Bean Cafe like in the shopping malls. Nevertheless, it is still a convenient place where you can settle your meals.
Upon entering, I could feel a nice cooling breeze and the high volume space makes the mall feel very welcoming. Personally, I found navigating around the mall very pleasant as most of the shopfronts are visible from the escalators. The mall's layout invites you to explore it more, and as I did so I chanced upon their outdoor theater. Though there was no events held there that day, the view from the platform was quite a sight.
Retail outlets are close to none, so if you're intending to do some shopping, do not go to The Star Vista and expect a whole lot. Instead, the place is filled with a wide variety of F&B outlets. So if food is what you want, this is the place worth exploring.
Getting to Star Vista is convenient, with a sheltered walkway leading from Buona Vista station. Upon entrance, the mall's size took me aback, and hygiene standards are high.
However, after entering, I felt there was nothing much to offer. I wouldn't travel to eat here, unless for lunch during work hours or school hours. Perhaps this is what the mall mainly caters to, with crowds usually from nearby junior colleges and universities, as well as mainly the working crowd.
I ate at a japanese restaurant, itacho sushi if I recall, and food was so-so. I prefer outlets such as Ichiban Boshi instead. Staff were also not helpful... was dissatisfied with service ):
The only highlight of this mall is the food, which is generally not bad. Definitely a wide variety to keep you coming back. But! Take note of the prices, because they are pretty high. The mall is quite 'attas'.
Other than the food, there is nothing in Star Vista that will attract. I advise you to go there only if you work, live or study near the area.
One of the biggest problems I have with Star Vista is how bad the construction of the place is. I was supposed to dine at Morganfield’s one day, and when I went to the second floor I saw that it was just across me. One problem though, there was no way to get straight across. We either had to walk one big round, or use the escalators to go down the first floor and use another escalator which lead us directly to Morganfield’s.
I do like how spacious and sleek the place is, but I do not like how inconvenient it is to get about there. Do note that there are mainly only eateries in Star Vista, so I would recommend it as a place to grab a bite but not to shop.
Even though as a mall there is no air-conditioning, there is still air-conditioning inside the shops itself. It would be too stuffy otherwise because the stores are all enclosed spaces. I think more fans can be installed in the mall if anything. The concept of such an eco-mall can and should be further explored in Singapore since it also opens more room for new environmentally friendly ideas.
Majority of the shops were all food shops, like restaurants, supermarkets, snack stalls etc. As for the retail shops, there were nothing much. Don't know where to have for dinner? Just hop over here and try each restaurant every week, they have cafes, fast food, and even food from different cultures.
A pity that there are practically nothing to shop for there. It is just eateries, restaurants and cafes. It was a great place to go for dinner because I was really spoilt for choice there. The place is also not very crowded which makes it nice to hang out. There are also quite a number of bars to try out there.
I did not have a chance to view any exhibition or whatsoever upstairs but I feel that the concept of Star Vista is an interesting one because it merges arts together with dining. A pleasant experience in a unique mall.