Another New Mall, 313 @ Somerset

While my wife and I were walking down Orchard Road over the weekend we noticed that there was another new mall open.  It amazes me how often a new mall opens in Singapore.  I lived in Columbus, Georgia for a while and still have family there.  We also used to go there to visit family when I was really young.  From as early as I can remember up to today, there have only been 3 malls there.  There was Columbus Square Mall.  After that Peachtree Mall opened and after a while Columbus Square Mall shut down due to lack of business.  A few years ago a new strip mall opened up.  I can’t think of the name of it because I’ve only been there three times since then.  It’s a horrible mall anyway.  The store fronts are all outdoors.  You can’t walk around and enjoy yourself and window shop because you’re either in the heat, cold or rain.  That’s beside the point, but I’m pretty sure that design disaster is why Peachtree Mall is still open for business, instead of closing down like Columbus Square did.

Singapore on the other hand opens new malls constantly.  In the year and a half that I’ve been here, four malls have opened: Tampines 1, Orchard Central, Orchard Ion and now 313 @ Somerset.  Those are just the ones I know of.  There have probably been more.  Three of these new malls were designed beautifully.  They’re fun to go to just for the sights and sounds.  They’re interesting to explore.  That’s good, because it entices people to come into the mall and then maybe see something they want to purchase.

313 @ Somerset isn’t one of those malls.  It’s design is boring.  Bland even.  It’s an up and down mall with ugly carpeting and no imagination.  It’s not without merits though.  It sits on top of the Somerset MRT station, so it’s guaranteed to receive high traffic, at least on the ground floor.  The restaurants there look great too.  I saw a burger place I’m interested in trying out.  There’s also Trattoria on the ground floor, which I’ll review tomorrow.

The food court on the top floor is huge, spacious-feeling and packed with food choices.  It’s not as stunning as Ion’s food court, but it’s more appealing, since it feels more cozy, relaxed, and not as crowded.  From now on we’ll be going there, rather than to Ion’s food court.  Eating in Ion is a headache.

We did get to see something really surprising while we were in the food court.  We were walking past their Christmas tree when I smelled something familiar.  It was the sweet scent of evergreen.  I stopped and walked up to the tree and then looked into the branches.  They actually have a real evergreen tree up there!  I leaned in close and took a deep breath.  It reminded me of the woods in Georgia and of Christmases from when I was young.  It was nostalgic I guess.  I was the last thing I expected to find in the food court of 313 @ Somerset.