Starting the year with a bumper post on something new! Bugis Junction's revamped food basement re-opened Dec 1, a month ago. Well, OK, so it's not THAT new but at least they should have ironed out teething problems by now. I heard some stalls were not quite ready then. Anyway, let's take a quick tour...
The old food court is gone. In its place, an island cluster of food stalls selling takeaway food and a row of restaurants hugging the far wall. Some are familiar names like Jollibean and Polar Puffs and Cakes. QQ Rice and Westlake have also set up here. But there are some new faces.
I'm not sure if there are other branches of this in other malls but this is the first I've seen of Korean street food.
Come to think of it, our pasar malam (night market) food is somewhat along the same lines - lots of deepfried stuff, on skewers.
Otah Inc., next to the Korean street food offers something really bizarre. Otah paste that they'll slather on to toast or thin crust dough (looks like prata?). Several flavours of otah available - traditional nonya, laksa, tom yum, curry, black pepper and a really pale-looking non-spicy.
Oooh I like these guys, or at least the concept. I've dreamt of starting a stall like this myself - selling nothing but fries! Fries with all kinds of dips, toppings and seasoning. Cute name Yella Fellas.
Nearly a dozen dips to choose from! I didn't get to try any fries or the dips but I'm definitely coming back some day for these. Wonder if the chili crab fries are good too. They even have fries with ice cream (and who among us hasn't tried dunking McDonald's fries in a sundae? yum!)
These Chinese style desserts are probably a more healthy choice than most confections. Double-boiled hashima in hawaiian papaya, gingko nut and beancurd, green bean soup etc.
If you must have your brain freeze fix, here's the place to go. Fruity slushies with QQ jelly beads, fruit pieces and even coconut milk.
OK, the donut craze should have died down by now (hasn't it?) so I'm not sure of the wisdom of going into dough pastries just shaped differently from donuts. Still, I'm sure some folks would go for this. It just looks too creamy for my liking.
More sweet stuff - Chewy Junior branching out here. And Beard Papa Sweets featuring Mochi Creamery, which I've seen in Japan but not tried. The mochi ice cream looks as pretty as macarons.
Singaporeans can't seem to get enough of Taiwanese snacks. Get your crispy chicken, oyster meesua and sweet potato fritters here.
The row of restaurants along the wall - again, familiar chains like KFC, Yoshinoya, Pastamania dominate. The only shop I did not recognise was this Red Pot joint, presumably selling hotpot or Szechuan/spicy dishes. It looked a little foreboding, so I didn't go find out what exactly they offer.
Billy Bombers has moved down from the second floor to the basement. But the business does not seem to have followed it. Maybe the "Hip Diner USA" branding has caused some confusion.
Other shops include The Soup Spoon and Sakae Teppanyaki. The Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao is still renovating though. You can check out the full list of basement eateries here. Well, I like the (very few) new faces but think it's still a long way before we really see a food basement here the likes of the depachika in Japan.