Every mall in Singapore that I’ve been to has a food court that is, in reality, just an indoor hawker. The same basic varieties of food are served in the same basic way. It’s a very convenient way to eat, especially if you’re not willing to spring for an expensive meal in a sit down restaurant. These food courts (and hawkers) in Singapore often have much better prices than what you’d find in a mall food court in the US, making them a very affordable place to eat.
I’d somehow assumed that Tampines 1 was an exception to the rule that every mall has a food court. I’d just never seen it. It’s tucked away in a corner on the top floor, by the pet shop. We happened to see it when we went to the pet shop to browse for travel carriers for our cats.
The food court isn’t bad at all. The air conditioning there is ice cold and it offers glassed walls all the way around, which offer an excellent view of the area around Tampines 1. The iced kacang seemed to be pretty popular, and there was a stall called Kuala Lumpur Roasted I want to try out. I’m sure it’s just the standard chicken rice / roast pork rice / etc. stall, but maybe they have their own twist to the recipe that’s worth experiencing.
The most disappointing thing about the food court is that it’s not designed well. With Tampines 1 being such a new mall, you’d think they’d have put more effort into making the food court look appealing. The food court at Suntec resembles a library. The food court at Vivocity looks like a quaint, village shopping district. The food court at Ion is decked out in gold chrome and white statues of animals. This food court is rather bland. I suppose their reasoning might have been that there are already food courts in the two other malls in the area which also have a bland design, so they didn’t need to put much thought into the one they built for Tampines 1.
Restaurants in the US often have a theme to enhance their appeal, but before coming to Singapore I couldn’t have cared less what a food court in a mall looked like, as long as the food was decent. I’ve become accustomed to, and spoiled by, the level of detail Singaporeans put into designing their malls.