Looking for somewhere new to nom at? Check out these exciting eateries at the newly-renovated Funan lifestyle mall
Funan DigitaLife Mall, also known as the legit Sim Lim Square to many, is no more. In its place is a rousing new integrated development, with over 500,000 square feet of retail, two additional office blocks, and an upcoming nine-storey co-living residence managed by lyf Funan Singapore. No doubt, it’s set to be a real stunner and a highlight amidst the labyrinth of City Hall.
New-to-market brands are always exciting and when it’s an eatery, even more so. From homemade Korean and Peranakan restaurants to local artisanal ice cream shops and vegetarian places that feature ethically-farmed foods, Funan has also become a curation of Singapore’s eclectic taste and is a testament to Singaporeans’ love for creative flavours and different cuisines. Plus, it’s one high-tech mall – for instance, you can pay with cryptocurrencies at the KopiTECH food court, we’re not kidding.
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We help you navigate the various storeys to target 16 delicious food options you must try at the refurbished Funan:
For authentic Peranakan food
Featuring heirloom recipes from two families, co-owners Christina Keilthy, Derrick Chew and Fredric Goh have married recipes with their grannies’ blessings and opened a 60-seater restaurant and bar.
Authenticity is upheld with the All-Star Egg Skin Popiah, faithfully recreated with fresh prawns, hand-cut vegetables, peanuts and crispy shallots in an egg skin crepe. And of course the Ayam Buah Keluak and Babi Assam are cornerstones you will find on the menu as well, boasting piquant and unmistakable flavours.
If you’re looking at some innovation, come for brunch during the weekends where you can find Buah Keluak Bolognese, Otak Otak Benedict and Banana Pengat Buttermilk Pancakes. Just note that there are only two seatings for dinner — one at 6pm and one at 8.30pm — so reserve your seats earlier!
At #04-07. For more information, go here.
For yuzu-flavoured ramen
Ramen lovers, it’s time to rejoice as yet another famous ramen chain from Japan has landed in Singapore. Afuri’s reputation rests on its refreshing ramen and tsukemen, achieved with the addition of Yuzu to the chicken broth and dipping sauce. The result? A citrusy note that offers a clean, savoury bowl.
Named after the mountain where the spring waters were first used to make the noodles, the brand’s loyalty to using natural ingredients (read: no MSG and other chemical additives) remains one of its core tenets to deliciousness. Also try the lava stone-grilled chashu — you can thank us later.
At #B1-29. For more information, go here.
For your ma la fix
With ma la xiang guo (szechuan pepper bowl) being the modern-day yong tau foo, Gong Yuan Ma La Tang is the perfect option for those with indecisive lunch partners. With its fifth outlet now open, you can now enjoy its “one-person hotpot” concept where you get to pick out your own bowl of ingredients, then have them cooked in one of its soups. It’s the perfect time to try its latest mushroom-flavoured broth, but we won’t blame you if you stick to its signature Ma La version.
At #B2-09. For more information, go here.
For heritage cuisine under one roof
With its flashy trishaw propped right at the door and a lion dance mural across a wall, you can’t miss the #throwback vibes at Hawkerman. Its third outlet — the others are at SingPost Centre and The Seletar Mall — continues to offer hearty local fare from the three hawker stalwarts –Tenderfresh for fried chicken, Warong Kim’s for Hokkien Mee, and Ah Boy for some Rainbow Popiah. It’s a little bit of the old and the new, but it’s all a delicious compilation of stories with 130 years of cookery heritage. Not sure what to order? Go for the Bao Ka Liao which gathers a bit of everything for the hungry.
At #B2-18. For more information, go here.
For fresh bubble tea with honey pearls
When we went on the second day of opening, it was sold out by 3pm. Serving you milky, frothy bubble tea from a yellow minivan, Milksha’s second outlet comes quickly after its first, but is already playing catch-up with local demand. The main reason could be its unique menu, including house signatures such as Fresh Handmade Taro Milk, Valrhona 100% Cocoa Milk and Azuki Matcha Milk. While others may get a little heavy-handed, Milksha’s creations always feel silky and well-crafted, doing justice to its mission to deliver “natural, handmade milk beverages”.
At #02-K07. For more information, go here.
For farm-to-table dining
A sister restaurant to Open Farm Community, Noka (which means “farmhouse” in Japanese), is keeping true to the farm-to-table concept. After making your way up to the rooftop oasis (we recommend the stairs for some spectacular views), you’ll encounter a tidy garden filled with butterfly pea flowers, microgreens, mexican tarragon, scallions, dragon-fruits and even oyster mushrooms.
The urban farm is managed by urban farming social enterprise Edible Garden City, and is then plucked fresh for Head Chef Seki Takuma to transform into exciting dishes. Go big with the Snow Aged Niigata Wagyu, chargrilled to perfection with fresh greens and herbs such as Okinawan Spinach. Or pick the Kaisen Don which puts together bluefin tuna, sweet shrimp, and Hokkaido scallop and uni (urchin). The convivial atmosphere marries service with quality splendidly, and is polished rooftop dining at its best.
At #07-38/39. For more information, go here.
For specialty coffee
Better known as Papa Palheta, which first started as a coffee roastery, this local coffee institution has launched its rebrand with an open-plan outlet at Funan. The “multi-sensory experience” includes a hands-on brew bar for customers to browse its flashy coffee equipment, an artisanal toast bar, and a frozen selection of vintage and quality roasted beans.
Other than its trusty coffee, you can also sample specialty beverages such as the Fig Jam Ginger Beer or Blue Earl Swirl. Or try the cascara drinks, made from the dried coffee cherries. We also spotted some local desserts worth adding to your order, including Nonya Kuehs and Coffee Gula Melaka Ondeh Ondeh.
At #02-19. For more information, go here.
For cutting-edge vegetarian food
Already an established vegetarian eatery, Saute presents even more innovative fusion items with its new civic district outlet — Flavours by Saute. The highlight has to be its rambunctious Truffle Orh Luak, a surprisingly complementary pairing robust with taste and texture. But equally tasty is the Kale Quinoa Pine Nut Salad — just hearing it makes us feel leaner already. And don’t fret about nutritionless mock meat here. Everything is handmade from scratch with mushrooms and guarantees a meal catered for your well-being.
At #B1-30. For more information, go here.
For reinvented local food
With a restaurant and two grocers, Sinpopo continues to keep the Katong heritage alive with its latest coffee concept store. The outlook may be modern with chic black seats and geometric copper lighting fixtures, but the menu stays local to the core with cake flavours such as Pulut Hitam, Dar Dar Mille Crepe and the fluffy looking Cat Mountain King (durian). Besides tempting you with their glossy sweets, new items include localised Banh Mi and even everyone’s favourite “Nanyang” coffee bean roasted with butter, but prepared like an Italian espresso. It’s a heady and unforgettable combination you have to try.
At #01-K02. For more information, go here.
For fresh seafood & rice bowls
“Finally, a bank that speaks your currency” – The Oyster Bank doles out the right kind of value in every aspect. An incredible combination of lavish, hip interior, delicious food and wallet-friendly value, the folks at this joint will easily make waves at the new mall. The Japanese oysters are clean and creamy, and fans can look forward to Happy Shucking Hour from 5-8pm on weekdays and 3-6pm on weekends. The Spicy Salmon Don, rich with a heady flavour, is only slightly overshadowed by the scrumptious Aburi Salmon Crispy Sushi.
What’s crispy sushi you ask? Well — only one way to find out. Half restaurant and half bar, the winning formula of booze, ocean fare and Japanese preparation will have you smiling all the way to, well, the bank.
At #02-32. For more information, go here.
For cheese tea & fluffy bakes
Need a tea-time snack or want to grab something easy and yummy for brekkie? Check out this acclaimed bakery-cafe, best known for its pairing of fruit-based cheese teas and soft European-style bakes. It’s a delicious combination which you need to try to believe, and you’re in luck because the China-based cafe is rolling out two new items on their menu. For one, there’s the Magic Mango Mystique (pictured above), a soft and springy baked treat topped with a generous serving of fresh mango.
The second item is the Supreme Cheese Mixed Berries, a new drink that marries fresh berries with the cafe’s signature jasmine tea, topped off with a luscious milk cheese foam. Nayuki is opening a third outlet at Takashimaya Shopping Centre on July 12.
At #01-01. For more information, go here.
For Korean food with a home-cooked feel
Boasting savoury and smoky flavours, from mouthwatering beef to scrumptious bowls of rich kimchi broth, Ajumma’s Korean dishes is the place to go for dishes from your local ajumeoni (aunty). The dishes at Ajumma’s are also pretty affordable. You can get a bowl of Chicken Bulgogi at just $9.50. Tossed in a hot wok, the bowl comes with chicken slices, rice and four ban chan (side dishes).
The classic Kimchi Fried Rice with Shrimp & Egg ($13.90) is also one to look out for, served with shrimps, Kimchi, herbs, toasted Korean seaweed and yes, fried egg with a runny yolk! If you are looking for a Korean restaurant that is reminiscent of those home-cooked meals you wish you can have featured in Korean dramas, this is the place to go.
At #B1-31. For more information, go here.
For fresh and unique gelato
Got a sweet tooth? Butter Knife Folk is great for times when you have a desperate need to satisfy your sugar cravings after dinner, or even if you just want to sit down and relax after hours of shopping. A home-grown artisanal gelateria, Butterknife Folk serves gelato, made from all-natural and fresh ingredients in Singapore.
Featuring a wide range of flavours, the ice cream house offers reliable choices such as Malted Vanilla Milk and Pistachio, but its uniqueness lies in its rather unconventional favours such as Grape Yakult and Miso Sexy and even more ambiguous ones such as Dirt, meh and Zing! All single scoops are priced at $5 per cone, with toppings and $8 for a double. Sounds like a great place to hit if you are up for trying something new.
At #02-02. For more information, go here.
For mouth-watering Western cuisine
Collin’s Gastro Dining is no ordinary Western deli. Although it does serve up the usual burgers, fries and more, the dishes from the restaurant chain’s newest concept in Funan come with a whole lot of precision, and it elevates the simplest dish with the use of quality, premium ingredients.
Its NZ King Salmon & Beans ($24) is served with sautéed vegetables and white beans, featuring its main star, the New Zealand King Salmon. The fish is said to be raised in the waters of Te Waikoropupu Springs near Takaka, said to have one of the cleanest waters in the world. Similarly, its Argentine Angus Sirloin Steak ($22) features Riplatense Beef made from Aberdeen Angus, Argentina’s dominant breed. Farmed ethically, the beef has no added hormones that is typical in American cattle, bringing you a healthier interpretation of the classic American steak meal.
Located at #01-15, For more information, go here.
For hearty American-style pizzas
With recipes from the United States — all the way from Detroit — Little Caesers, whose first outlet is at Collyer Quay, is your trusty pizza place if you are looking for cheesy, saucy and hearty American pizza. Having made its name as the third largest pizza chain in the world, Little Caesars prides itself on its use of quality ingredients, including dough that is made fresh daily and sauces that are fresh and made with vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.
They’re also known for hot ready-made pizzas that are served within 30 seconds upon payment! A 12-inch Large Pepperoni Pizza ($7.99) is a steal, whether if you are planning to have it for yourself or share it with a friend. For a healthier option, its 12-inch Veggie Pizza is priced at $13.49, and single serve combo meals are for just $6.
At #01-18. For more information, go here.
For Western-Japanese fusion food
Steak and Sushi? What could possibly go wrong? Located at Basement 1, Steak & Sushi is a contemporary steakhouse from casual western chain Hot Tomato that will combine both Western and Japanese-style cuisines in one dish. Its menu stars premium cuts of steak served along a curated selection of sushi and sashimi bowls.
One of its signatures is the Steak & Chirashi Don, comprising grass-fed Australian sirloin that is paired with a combination of diced sashimi that sits on a bed of Japanese rice and served with mango coleslaw on the side. There are also classic T-bone steaks and a Bara Chirashi Don. Sounds interesting? Be one of the first to try out the complementary tastes of these unlikely partners.
Located at B1-24. For more information, go here.
Text: Morgan Awyong, Lauren Ong and Elizabeth Liew