Funan (previously called “Funan Centre” and “Funan DigitaLife Mall”) has a special place in my heart, because this was a mall I would have secretly gone down during my school days.
It was partly for computer games (remember those floppy disks and files of photocopied game covers – okay, I am revealing my age), and the food centre that was located at Level 7 in which I would always go for the Qiji Popiah (then called Hock Heng Food Stall), Carona Chicken Wings and Beef Noodles.
That was history. How many of you remember that anyway?
Funan has undergone a 3-year refurbishment and has reopened in 2019 with highlights including Dyson’s first standalone store in Singapore, Wild Rice theatre and studio, TFX fitness centre, and Golden Village multiplex.
As for the food, the headliners include famed Japanese ramen Afuri, Open Farm Community’s Noka, Little Caesar, Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodles, and designer store GRAFUNKT’s first bistro.
More than 60% of the tenants are home-grown brand, and you expect the first Sinpopo Coffee concept, COLLIN’S, HAWKERMAN, Liao Fan Hawker Chan, Steak & Sushi, The Dark Gallery, and The Travelling C.O.W.
Here’s more on the restaurants, cafes, and kiosks at the new Funan:
Afuri Ramen #B1-29
One of Japan’s most famous ramen chains Afuri Ramen 阿夫利 is coming to Singapore, set to open at the basement of the revamped Funan Centre.
Afuri is known for its light fresh chicken broth with a splash of citrusy yuzu, and I would consider it one of the 10 must-try ramen in Tokyo.
Even while I am typically a fan of the rich, creamy tonkotsu based broth, I found Afuri’s soup light and refreshing, with the yuzu adding the delicate-tangy-bitterness to the fresh chicken broth.
The two other ramen restaurants at Funan are Kara-men Ajisen and Tsuta. Afuri Ramen (Funan)
“Noka” which translates to “farmhouse” (农屋) in Japanese, operates the first rooftop urban farm & Japanese restaurant in the Central Business District and in Singapore.
It offers Japanese cuisine made with premium rice from the ‘Rice Capital of Japan’ Niigata, with the sushi rice used ranked A for 28 consecutive years.
This is the sister restaurant to Open Farm Community, with urban farm operated by Edible Garden City.
Godmama – Peranakan Restaurant Singapore #04-07
Godmama is a modern Peranakan restaurant delivering both authentic Nyonya cuisine and innovative Peranakan food creations.
It offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus in a contemporary setting with indoor and al fresco dining options. Here it’s easy to remember the warmth of sharing a meal of heirloom recipes with family.
Recognized as the only restaurant in Funan offering an extensive Peranakan food menu with a curated tipple menu.
A highly recommended dish for those looking for traditional Peranakan flavours is the Babi Assam, a slow-braised pork belly in a mildly spicy and tangy tamarind sauce.
You’ll catch this only during weekends though. If you do visit on a weekend, get the Otak Otak Benedict instead. It is a patty topped with poached eggs on a slice of sourdough bread.
Paradise Dynasty #B1-01
Paradise Dynasty is also known to introduce the world’s eight-colour fusion Xiao Long Bao, which features 7 unique flavours and, of course, the original Xiao Long Bao.
Your palate will embark on a journey through 7 creative tastes, including ginseng (green), foie gras (brown), black truffle (black), crab roe (orange), cheese (yellow), garlic (grey) and Szechuan (orange).
Everyone has different favourites, but my vote would go the black truffle for that added aroma as you savour the juice ‘exploding’ in your mouth.
Good news if you’re not a fan of artificial, as the skin colouring is made by natural ingredients like carrot, spinach and red sorghum.
Tiong Bahru Bakery #04-22
Tiong Bahru Bakery located at the 4th floor, is also part of a 4,000 square feet multi-concept space, shared with Browhaus and Strip.
This 90-seater is the second Tiong Bahru Bakery in Singapore that also serves hot food.
Milksha 迷客夏 is Taiwan’s leading bubble tea that is voted No. 1 by Taiwan university students.
The milk-focused beverage is known to use 100% natural fresh milk (no creamer) as well as other natural ingredients such as sugar from sugar cane for their products. No preservatives, chemical ingredients or artificial colourings.
Its pearls are also quite unique, featuring honey pearls freshly cooked, frozen, then air-flown to Singapore. Customers can look forward to the Fresh Milk Series, Fresh Milk Tea Latte Series, Premium Tea Series and Special Concoctions. Milksha 迷客夏
Yanmi Yogurt #02-03
Yanmi Yogurt uses purple rice specially imported from Mojiang – located south of Yunnan Province and known for producing purple rice rich in protein, calcium and other trace elements.
The grains are larger and longer than usual, coloured purple-black, and tastes sweet with an agreeable stickiness.
The rice is prepared through ten industrial steps, from soaking, boiling, filtering to steaming for hours to create the perfect chewy texture.
Fresh yogurt made with Australian milk is then included, with options of including fresh fruits (look out for not common ones such as dragon fruit and jujube) and other nutritious ingredients such as oats, hawthorn, avocado and taro.
Butterknife Folk #02-02
This humble gelato café with its first store at River Valley Road handcrafts their gelato and sorbets in small batches, and you will get diverse flavours and edgy creations.
Some gelato flavours are created just once, and you may never get it again (perhaps only after a long time later). Butterknife Folk (Funan)
Wong Kee Noodles
Wong Kee is known for its Wanton Mee, which seems to be a cross between the Cantonese and local Singapore style, served with plump dumplings and thick stalks of kailan.
The 3 coloured noodles at Wong Kee are specially created, imported from a factory at JB, with flavours of Spinach and Tomato. The orange-red tomato noodles have a refreshing sweet aftertaste, somewhat like Italian pasta.
Liao Fan Hawker Chan #01-03
“The cheapest Michelin meal in the world” Liao Fan’s Hawker Chan is opening up its first outlet in a Singapore mall,
The humble hawker stall at Chinatown literally received stardom when it was awarded one Michelin star in the Singapore Michelin Guide.
Signature items include Soya Sauce Chicken Rice, Soya Sauce Chicken Noodle, Soya Sauce Chicken Hor Fun Roasted Pork Rice, Char Siew Rice, and Pork Ribs Rice.
Prices remains affordable, with most items $5.00 and below, making it a suitable place for the family for a casual meal out.
WOLF Burgers #01-05
The star of WOLF Burgers is said to be the patty – produced in house with a secret recipe, to ensure a juicy, succulent burger always.
They are known for “The WOLF Burger”, their version of a standard Cheeseburger. Best paired with some Korean-American inspired Kimchi Cheese Fries topped with kimchi, sour cream, cheese and chives.
PPP Coffee by Papa Palheta #02-19
We have not heard from specialty coffee roaster Papa Palheta in a while. The group who is also behind the famous hipster coffee place Chye Seng Huat Hardware has launched Singapore’s first employee-store PPP Coffee. That means a portion of the profits will go to the staff.
A highlight of the space is an experiential brew bar for customers to have a go at brewing and interacting with coffee apparatus
The selection also incorporates some local cakes infused with coffee.
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