Call it Singapore's version of an indoor London's Borough Market, PasarBella – A Farmers' Market, Singapore's first indoor multi-vendor gourmet market, opened to the public on 4 May at The Grandstand.
The 30,000 square-foot space is home to approximately 30 permanent vendors, and more than 15 weekend-only stalls. The marketplace is roughly divided into three areas – coming in from the entrance by Omakase Burger, you'll step into a grocer's and services section; a middle 'small bites' section; and a final section of restaurants with seats for dining.
Foot traffic was heavy and steady on 4 and 5 May, and the marketplace was packed with traders and buyers, even though not all stalls were opened. A bouncy castle took the place of some of the stalls.
Our tips for visiting: bring a big canvas bag for your buys and at least $50 per person to buy eats to make up a full meal (calculations for purchases not included).
In the grocers' section (video above), you can find permanent stalls and shops that include Bonheur Patisserie (stall 63), Dutch Colony Coffee Co. (pretty good cuppas; stalls 67 & 68), ice-cream makers Seventh Heaven (the 'Superman' ice-cream, though sold at $4.50 per scoop, made our day; stall 61), Pantry Magic's flagship store (all 1,400 square-feet of it, at stalls 72 to 76), and, a kids' hairdresser Poika & Tytar (stall 77).
Grocer shops Organic Grocer (stalls 52-56) and Tangy Tangerines (stall 48) are also stationed here, hawking their fresh fruit and vegetables imported from Thailand and Australia. Prices can be reasonable if you know what to look for; such as baby clothes from Organic Grocer and certain brands of organic shampoos.
At the 'small bites' section (second video) are SaladStop! Gardens (stall 36), Nibbles by Rabbit Carrot Gun (whose pies are expensive – $9.50 each – but packed to the shell-top with meat; stall 38), Five & Spice Kitchen (two soy-sauced chicken wings for $5 – smelled good, but we passed; stall 33) and Bitesize Monster (waffles-on-a-stick that, sadly, weren't made on the order; stall 35).
At the end of the walk is Huber's Deli (stalls 20 & 21) serving hot dogs such as Curry Wursts, and big-pan paella made at Le Patio (stall 27). Make a sharp left and you'll find counters of seafood packed with fresh bait (for us humans) like lobsters, Alaskan crabs, king prawns and other massive and small fishes and clams. Oceans of Seafood (stalls 2-11 and 26) will steam their catch for you to be had in their dining area – we could not get enough of the plump and fresh oysters, and be prepared to fight with the Alaskan crabs; alternatively, have your fish raw at the Japanese dining area.
PasarBella – A Farmers' Market | Address: 200 Turf Club Road, Bukit Timah | Tel: 68870077 | Opening hours: Daily 9.30am-7pm, some stalls until 10pm