Changi Airport has come a long way. Over the decades, it has grown to be more than just an airport — it’s also a lifestyle haunt. Boasting state-of-the-art technology, local and international art installations, special events, plenty of dining options and shopping options and pockets of lush greenery throughout the terminals, it’s no surprise that Changi Airport is now a favourite destination among locals and tourists alike. In fact, it’s also a regular spot for students looking to study through the night in relative tranquility and comfort.
Now, like a literal crowning gem, the gleaming Jewel Changi Airport is ready to receive her first visitors when it officially opens on April 17. Comprising both marketplace and urban park, visitors can experience a multi-faceted journey that seamlessly integrates dining, retail, service, accommodation and entertainment services.
Weaving through the 10 floors and 280 shops will be quite an experience in itself, with attractions such as the majestic Rain Vortex, lush Shiseido Forest Valley, and a sprawling Canopy Park housed under a striking glass and steel dome. But just as exciting, are the many brands making their inaugural appearances in the complex.
Having spent the day at Jewel, we highlight many “firsts” that will be marking their presence at the wondrous world where nature meets state-of-the-art technology:
Layovers or middling transits are the bane of travellers. But for those landing in Singapore, that’s one thing less to fret.
Inspired by first-class travelling, YotelAIR takes your precious rest into the realm of luxury, whether it’s for four hours or overnight. The 130 smartly-designed cabins and thoughtful amenities are primed for the urban traveller, with exercise and shower facilities, and a signature Club Lounge, KOMYUNITI — a co-working space suitable for relaxing as well. It’s the perfect spot to look out upon the stunning Rain Vortex from your own exclusive vantage.
To mark the landmark launch of the inaugural YotelAIR in Singapore and in Asia, all Premium Queen Cabins are having a generous promotion — $180 a night and $80 for four hours. You’re welcome!
At #04-280. Visit: www.yotelair.com
2. Make Hero
We agree with its philosophy — “Everyone needs a hero”. When it comes to skincare in Singapore’s humid and sweltering weather, we need all the help we can get.
The world’s first Make Hero will land on our shores with their flagship at Jewel, and this collaboration between MAKE UP Inc Ltd — a Japanese perfume manufacturer and distributor, and HiROSOPHY — a popular medical-grade skincare from Japan as well, will bring top-class, next generation skincare and beauty items here.
Priding itself on having a unique perspective and groundbreaking innovation, Make Hero’s 100 per cent-made-in-Japan ethos is sure to earn itself a fanbase. After all, HiROSOPHY has won favour from celebrities such as Gong Li, Fan Bingbing, and Zhang Ziyi — and we all know how flawless those goddesses are!
Treating your skin both inside and out, you’ll find items such as CO2 masks, stem cell cream, pycnogenol lotion, along with natto supplements and placenta hair tonic to really activate the skin you’ve always wanted.
At #B1-281. Visit: www.makehero.com
3. Seed Heritage
Seed Heritage is known for its chic and unique childrenswear designs and products. But expect something awesome from this beloved Aussie brand when it opens in Jewel — it’s launching its very first women’s-only store. From tangerine pieces with polka dots to animal prints, denim and brightly coloured co-ords, not to mention shoes and accessories, the collections exude fun and vitality.
Spring’s lively mood comes out best in its flowy top with fluid bell sleeves, cut from semi-sheer cotton voile to relieve the heat. Or stay in the cool shade of chic with a black embroidered trim and ruffle-sleeve dress, with a dash of fun from its rattan sling or pom-pom espadrille in a black or natural hue.
Busy mothers can also pick out some of the playful outfits for their children at the same time! Let your girls shine with stars, tutus and even a little glam-rock glitter, while boys enjoy bold reds and ochre to champion their adventurous spirit. And if you have a newborn, make them un-bear-ably cute with cub prints all over!
At #B1-286 (Women’s) and #04-204/205 (Children’s). Visit: www.seedheritage.com
For quality pieces that are comfortable, feminine and elegant, look no further than Spanish retailer OYSHO. The well-known brand that is part of the Inditex Group – which owns brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and, Pull and Bear — has more than 670 stores in 57 different countries, but its Jewel Changi store will be its first foray into Singapore.
The outlet here will house all six lines the brand has to offer, from sleepwear and lingerie to gymwear, beachwear, footwear and accessories. Expect soft floral pyjamas, silky robes and lacy bralets among other stylish numbers that will inject spice into your bedroom and vacay. Also worth noting are its fashionable sports bras and leggings. We wanted to get our hands on everything.
Best of all, all its collections incorporate garments made with sustainable materials, such as organic cotton made from non-GMO seeds that have been grown with organic fertilisers, or Tencel – a fibre produced in a closed-circuit system originating from wood grown in sustainably-managed forests, which guarantee reforestation. There are also pieces made from recycled polyester, which is produced using recycled plastic bottles, and recycled polyamide, which is obtained from waste such as old fishing nets, carpets and offcut fabrics. How cool is that?
At B1-225/227. Visit: https://www.facebook.com/OYSHO/
5. Shake Shack
From the moment fans caught a whiff of the rumour that the 15-year-old street burger brand is coming, they were salivating in joy. Proof of this chain’s popularity is not only in the snaking lines at their home base in New York, but also how people flock to an opening at any international outlet.
Singapore’s (and South-east Asia’s) first Shake Shack will no doubt see the same phenomena, but their delicious grass-fed, hormone-free Angus beef burgers should more than make up for the wait. Make it count by ordering the fast food brand’s signature ShackBurger (which encases a super savoury, crispy-on-the-outside beef patty in buttery soft buns), or Shack-cago Dog (it started as a hotdog stand after all), and polish that off with crispy crinkle fries and its famous shakes. Veggie Lovers will adore its Shroom Burger (pictured) which features a crisp portobello mushroom filled with three kinds of melted cheese. That cheese pull? Totes Insta-worthy.
Our favourite though, has got to be its Singapore-exclusive Pandan Shake. Vanilla frozen custard ice cream is blended with pandan and coconut and topped with gula melaka crumble to form a rich, heavenly beverage that is like ondeh ondeh, kaya toast and pandan chiffon cake in a cup. Worth every single calorie. Other Singapore-only flavours include the Jewela Melaka frozen custard ice cream with vanilla custard, coconut salted caramel, Lemuel chocolate chunks, shortbread and of course, gula melaka.
At #02-256. Visit www.facebook.com/shakeshacksg/
Related article: Eight Food Places At Jewel Changi You Have To Eat At
It’s baaack! No longer do we have to take a ferry or risk the causeway jam, because our nostalgic fast food chain is making its comeback at Jewel. It had better get those mugs frosted quick!
After being away for 15 years, the empire celebrates its 100th year anniversary with a return to Singapore, to the teary welcome of fans. It’s an all-round yes to their incomparable Coney Dogs and Root Beer Floats, because it’s the stuff childhood dreams are made of.
But hey, because Jewel Changi is a gateway to the world as well, A&W has also decided to curate some of its best-selling items from around the world. These include Cream Cheese Burger from Japan and Golden Aroma Chicken from Indonesia. With a renewed strategy, let’s hope this time, Singaporeans root for the chain and keep them around.
At #B2-209. Visit: www.facebook.com/awrestaurants.sg/
7. Yun Nans
We’d understand if you thought it was that haircare company. But no, we’re talking about Yun Hai Yao, which has 150 outlets in China and is the world’s largest Yunnan F&B chain. And now with Yun Nans, they are opening their first new restaurant after a decade, out of China and right here in Jewel Changi.
If you’re not familiar with highland cuisine from that region, we’re here to help. There’s the signature Steam Pot Chicken Soup — a bowl of tonic goodness made from a special breed of black feet chicken and, get this, not a single drop of water. The chicken is brewed in a hand-made Jianshui clay pot and pressure-steamed for three hours so the broth is derived purely from condensation. That’s some serious simmering! The result? A clear yet flavoursome soup that is rich with chicken essence. Only 108 pots are available daily, so you might want to get there early.
The Beef Stew in Copper Pot is another must-try for spicy lovers, featuring beef tendon, brisket and tripe in a piquant soup base Hearty and tangy with a strong satisfying kick. But our favourite is the unassuming Stir-fried Wild Porcini Mushrooms with Dried Chilli. According to the owner, the elusive mushrooms are hard to find and are sourced early in the morning by farmers in Yunnan. This dish features fresh Porcini mushrooms (instead of the usual dried ones) flash fried with dried chillies and garlic to produce a slight crunch, and boy is it addictive.
To celebrate the brand’s first international branch, the chef has created items such as the Yunnan Rice Noodles in Prawn Broth with Black Truffle — a play on our local prawn noodles. There’s also the grilled sea bass with lemongrass, boasting smoky yet tender flesh with flavours reminiscent of Thai cuisine. Using complex cooking techniques and showcasing rich flavours, we’re guessing it’ll be a hit with local gourmands.
Tonito will be Singapore’s first all-Latin American restaurant, bringing authentic recipes from places such as Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, Columbia, and Argentina to life. A Peruvian theme takes the helm so you can expect your classic ceviche dishes along with Argentinian choripanes and Peruvian Pan con Chicharrones. This exotic menu is set to tantalise those weary of the usual fare, and also rewards those who’ve been seeking Latin American food locally for a purist experience.
The food may be more adventurous, but the atmosphere is not. Tonito will have a relaxed and family-friendly setting, while providing the perfect spot to kick back and have an iconic Pisco Sour, against the lush displays of its surroundings.
At #02-248. Visit: www.ola.kitchen/tonito
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It goes with laksa, and it’s almost a must for nasi lemak. The humble otah finally takes the spotlight at O’tah — a 12-seater kiosk by Lee Wee & Brothers.
Stepping up everyone’s favourite barbecued fish paste, four new offerings have been introduced to upgrade the snack to a main star. There’s the Pink Salmon Otah, Scallop Otah, Cream Cheese & Corn Otah, and lastly, Green Petai & Anchovy Otah. From seafood savoury to spicy punch, you’ll likely find a flavour profile that will transform that nasi lemak here.
Other than the handmade otahs, you’ll find new forms such as Ben’s Burger or the O’tah Fries which approaches the recipe with a new eye. For the latter, we recommend dipping it with their refreshing lime and herb mayonnaise for maximum indulgence.
At #B2-241. Visit: www.facebook.com/otahsingapore
10. Burger & Lobster
Famed London-born Burger & Lobster is another eatery new to Singapore. Taking prime vantage at Jewel’s topmost floor, Canopy Park, foodies can now enjoy their core menu of prime burger, fresh Atlantic lobster and original lobster roll within a verdant and contemporary setting. Sweet crustaceans and hearty beef done just right — who can say no to that?
Imagine an urban space of rich reds, bold marble and handmade crackle-glazed tiles, and no matter where you’re seated, you’ll have a view to its remarkable fresh lobster tanks. If you’re not feeling too guilty after chomping down on its hearty surf or turf, we suggest you indulge in its drink program, designed to please any type of traveller.
At #05-203. Visit: www.facebook.com/BurgerandLobsterSG/
Related article: 8 Food Trends For 2019 You Should Know About
11. Kam’s Roast
While this Michelin-starred Hong Kong brand already has its first outlet in Orchard, their second will be their inaugural one in an airport setting. More importantly, giving nod to the temporal nature of the crowd, the Jewel outlet will, for the first time, be selling Travel Gift Packs of their famed cured sausages and roast duck!
While you can only enjoy their Suckling Pig and Iberico Char Siu within the restaurant, you can now bring a taste of Kam’s Roast back home with the souvenir sets packed and approved for flight journeys. Convenience is always key for time-strapped travellers, ain’t that right? Take your pick of lean pork, goose liver or mixed, and while you’re at it, throw in a few of their Bao Buns to snack on.
At #02-210. Visit: http://www.kamsroast.com.sg
12. Icenoie Hokkaido
Have a sweet tooth? Now, you can indulge in your dessert cravings at any time of the day, as Icenoie Hokkaido’s fourth outlet in Singapore will be its first-ever 24-hours store in Singapore. Previously known as Naganuma Ice Co before a rebranding exercise, the brand is Hokkaido’s top seller of soft serve and gelato, selling some 3,500 soft serve and gelato daily there.
Icenoie is known for its use of raw milk instead of fresh milk. Freshly-squeezed raw milk from the Maoi ranch near Naganuma town in Hokkaido is collected daily and transported to the Icenoie factory to process within the same day. The raw milk is then pasteurised at a low heat of 68 degree celsius to retain its original flavour and nutrients.
Expect four soft serve and seven gelato flavours at its Jewel Changi store, as well as desserts such as creme brulee and soft serve parfait. Fans shouldn’t get bored either — the store says it plans to change flavours every two weeks. Bonus: Icenoie is having a promotion where you get to enjoy one-for-one on all available soft serve flavours (limited to the first 50 customers per day and while stocks last) until May 5. Can you say yum?
At #B2-243. Visit https://www.icenoiehokkaido.com/
13. Sultans of Shave
Men can have it too! Our airport and Jewel Changi sees its first full-service men’s barber, specialising in haircuts and treatments for the urban male. This homegrown brand has made a name of itself as a quintessential barbering destination, and a testimony to that is this fourth outlet decorated with Ottoman aspirations.
Walk through the archways to sexy domed rooms, then sink into the plush seats and enjoy expert grooming from London-master-trained hair technicians that will grant you sharp looks and a soothed soul.
To slot in some extra pampering, experience its first-ever male targeted scalp treatment using Physia OE, an all-natural essential oil-based brand from Italy. It addresses common ailments such as hair loss, sensitivity and dandruff issues, especially when combined with acupoint massage, so lean back, relax and enjoy the respite.
At #04-240. Visit: www.sultansofshave.com
14. Foot Locker
Its Jewel Changi outlet might be Foot Locker’s fourth one in Singapore, but this is its largest store yet. It’s the brand’s first two-storey outlet, but more importantly, it houses its first dedicated women’s area on the second floor. The cosy space houses a pretty lounge area complete with sofas, plants and warm lighting, and the highlight there is a “selfie mirror”, where you can snap a photo of yourself with an interactive touch screen. Foot Locker tells us that it wanted to create an enjoyable space to enhance the experience and encourage its customers to spend more time there, because shopping, after all, is no longer simply transactional.
There are of course plenty of stylish sportswear and footwear to be found at the American retailer, from brands such as Nike, adidas, Puma, Fila and Champion. The store there also stocks the widest selection of Nike Air Max Plus (TN’s) available in the market.
At #02-254/255. Visit www.footlocker.sg
15. d’Good Cafe
Local cafe d’Good’s third outlet houses its first-ever Coffee Museum, which owner Mike Chin claims is the most comprehensive museum on the history of coffee in Singapore. There are antique artefacts such as a vintage Nescafe coffee can from the 1930s, an antique coffee bean roaster barrel, a Mr Coffee automatic coffee brewing system from the 70s, and a life-sized recreation of an old-school kopitiam complete with a coffee uncle. Mike says he sourced for them online and through word-of-mouth, and the process took years.
Explanatory boards can be found on the wall explaining the origin of coffee in Singapore, how the quintessential kopitiam came to be, as well as what the first/second/third wave of coffee is. The museum is open to public for free, and there are booth seats there for diners as well, so head there if you want to know more about your cup of joe.
Besides the museum, the cafe space is also very picturesque, resembling the interior of a black-and-white colonial house. Unique creations have been crafted specially for the Jewel Changi outlet, such as the Hainanese Chicken Roulade and Risotto Balls, a reimagined dish of the beloved chicken rice. It features poached chicken thighs in rolls paired with crispy and juicy risotto balls and topped with foie gras (instead of chicken liver). Other mod-sin dishes include the Laksa Seafood Pasta and the lobster and Bak Kut Noodle Soup, which all make an interesting dining experience.
At #01-227. Visit https://www.facebook.com/dgoodcafe/
Our Harper’s BAZAAR contributor, Rachel, was at Jewel Changi’s Preview and you can watch all the highlights from her visit below: