Kallang with more bite

Kallang with more bite

 

Kallang Leisure Park is now a dining haven after a $70-m makeover

 

By Rebecca Lynne Tan

 

Once a quiet mall, Kallang Leisure Park (below) has had a swanky $70-million facelift and become a dining haven.

 

The place, which unveiled its new look in November last year, is slowly drawing in the crowds, especially on weekends and when there are concerts at the nearby Singapore Indoor Stadium.

 

But there is potential for far more traffic.

 

A spokesman for Jack Investment, which owns and manages the building, says the revamp was timely as the building is about 15 years old. It also wanted to spruce up for increased traffic that will come when the new Circle Line station in front of the mall opens by 2010.

 

Other developments that will bring traffic include the Sports Hub, to be ready in 2011.

 

Currently, the four-storey mall houses Filmgarde – a six-screen cineplex run by Jack Investment – a bowling alley, an ice rink and a karaoke outlet.

 

But those looking for food will find an interesting mix of eateries including a Koufu food court and several one-of-a-kind restaurants such as Rosti, which specialises in the Swiss potato pancake dish, and Donut & Donuts, a Korean doughnut store.

 

There is also a branch of Korean supermarket chain Sol Mart, which caters to students from the Singapore Korean School located just off nearby Guillemard Road.

 

Also in the mall is Korean yogurt bar Yoguru, the Korean term for yogurt, which sells a special pomegranate and red dragonfruit- flavoured frozen yogurt.

 

Owner Sam Lee, 32, says: ‘It’s hard to find good retail space these days. I see this as a long-term investment. With the opening of the Circle Line and the Sports Hub, traffic flow would definitely increase.’

 

Restaurant owners say the mall can be a little quiet on weekdays, but many ride on their reputations and loyal customer bases.

 

Mr Maxtein Oh, 42, group general manager of Thai Village Holdings which manages the Thai Village chain of restaurants, says: ‘A lot of our customers come to our restaurant because they know our brand. We opened here the day after our Oasis outlet closed.’

 

The Akashi Japanese Restaurant chain opened Akashabu in late March, offering shabu shabu, or a Japanese-style hot pot.

 

Mr Mervyn Goh, 36, who owns the chain with his two brothers, says: ‘We chose Kallang because the concept suited the crowd there.’

 

And the crowds go there because of the convenience. The building has ample parking in the surrounding open-air carparks and there are more than 250 lots in the basement.

 

Sales operations manager David Chin, 48, who was there for lunch on a weekday, says: ‘I work around here and it’s easy to find parking.’

 

David Tan, 37, a doctor, adds: ‘It’s convenient and the food standard at Kallang Leisure Park is quite good. You can get good value for money.’

 

The mall, which has a Cold Storage outlet, also attracts residents who live in nearby Tanjong Rhu, a condominium haven that is just a five- to 10-minute walk away.

 

Ms Kylie Bond, 36, an Australian mother of four who lives down the road from the mall, says: ‘I love that there’s parking on just one level, and how it leads straight to the supermarket. ‘

 

Housewife Nariko Kong, 34, says she used to go to the mall even before the renovations, mostly to dine. She now goes there more often for foot reflexology, food and grocery shopping.

 

She says: ‘It’s so much better. It’s cosy and clean, and there’s so much more variety now.’

 

Source: Straits Times

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