Since all of Singapore and more have been thronging Ion Orchard, I, too, made a bee-line there a week ago. Fact is I like shopping malls, especially up-market ones because of their reasonably decent toilet facilities, for a start.
No, I’m not like Neil Humphries’ mum who passes more water than an elephant. I’m more like Lady Macbeth; need to wash my hands ever so often, and so find that malls with ubiquitous washrooms a plus point.
I parked my car at Shaw Centre, as I’ve passed the traffic snarls around Ion almost daily for several days and so know even without media reports that it would be a driver’s nightmare to try and park in there.
The underground link from Shaw Centre via Wheelock Place was a piece of cake. When i was leaving Ion, I found that I had exited just a few steps away from the linkway to Wisma Atria. And later, I found that Tangs was also linked to Ion.
My, such intercnnectedness has brought Singapore several large strides closer to Hongkong where one can move seamlessly thru several shopping malls and major complexes; quite unlike most of Singapore.
It’s a wonderful development and comes almost two decades after such interconnectedness landed here with the Suntec/Marina Square/Ritz Carlton maze. And to a certain extent when Vivocity and the Harbour Front was refurbished to have interconnectedness too.
Anyway, if nothing else, Ion provides another great place to exercise one’s limbs, for those who want to take walks but like the comfort of aircon, decent rest pits and other comforts.
For me, Ion means just that, a good place for a leisurely stroll to while away an afternoon, or two or three — because as a food destination there isn’t anything that screams “eat me”. As for the food court, somewhat pretentiously named Food Opera, the fodder is expensive for what’s dished up. That’s one thing I agree absolutely with the Sunday Times’ verdict published on Aug 16.
I grabbed the nearest bowl of noodles, which turned out to be fish ball noodles. It cost $5. The seven fishballs were of decent size but considering that FBs are sold at 70 cents each at the yong tau foo stall nearby, the handful of noodles cost $1.50!
When I think of the bowls of similar fishball noodles I used to buy in my childhood for 20 cents from an itinerant hawker called Yeow Kee, I could have wept. But i didn’t: the chair I was sitting on and the table I was eating from cost a sight more than my old furniture at home — even when they were brand new.
This info came courtesy of a managerial looking man, showing off Opera to a group of youngish people, MSM journalists or Internet bloggers — I won’t know. (I was merely eavesdropping and couldn’t pose questions!)
Really it’s hard to get excited about a foodcourt in the best of times and while the info that the chairs cost more than $200 each and the tables more than $400 each suggest Opera isn’t your neighbourhood hawker centre, the numbers don’t make it to be Dempsey Road either!
While the foodcourt was just an accidental pit stop, my visit to the supermarket on Ion’s 4th level wasn’t. After reading so much about the ThreeSixty supermarket, I made a beeline for it after I finished the ex-noodles. What I found and what this blogger found appeared to be two different places.
Perhaps I had in mind something like the City Supers from Hongkong and so was sorely disappointed. There was little that tempted me to buy and I certainly wasn’t going to shell out several red notes for honey, vinegar and such like.
What I did find after spending ages browsing was a bag of steel-cut oats, read about this food but never clapped eyes on it, so gleefully grabbed it as a momento of my visit — and at just $6 it didn’t burn too large a hole in my Kipling wallet.