If you don't know, now you know

The first thing to know about Paya Lebar’s newest development is that it’s not just a shopping mall. Paya Lebar Quarter—now soft-opened and gearing up for its grand opening on Oct 24—is a massive, sprawling space comprising several mixed-use buildings, an alfresco plaza, a Dempsey-like parkside area, plus a sheltered skybridge to link them all together.

Within you’ll find new brands and the usual retail and F&B favourites alike. Pop-up experience zones dotted around PLQ also liven up the place and make for great photo ops. Businesses will appreciate the flexible shared work spaces too, as well as the proximity to Paya Lebar MRT, which is connected via an underground link at the Circle Line side. Here are the highlights.
 

New-to-Singapore concepts


Nothing forms a queue and generate buzz more than a famous brand coming to Singapore for the first time. And at PLQ, there’s Mom’s Touch and Fong Sheng Hao. The former is a Korean fried chicken and burger chain (their New Orleans-style fried chicken is juicy and meaty) while the latter is a Taiwan import offering charcoal-grilled toast and a quintessential Taiwanese breakfast experience complete with milk tea and coffee.

There’s also Japanese rice sandwich kiosk Hayai, formerly at Changi Village Road and now at the basement of PLQ, and soon-to-open Wursthans Switzerland, a modern all-day diner specialising in authentic Swiss sausages.
 

New homegrown brands


We love Morphine. Not the drug, but the independent, local micro-roasting coffee kiosk found at the outdoor plaza of PLQ. You might have seen them at pop-ups before, and the brand’s first permanent spot boasts an on-site roaster so you get plenty of free smells. This ain’t your usual espresso-based coffee dealer by the way, but one that does local kopi and teh using modern third wave techniques. They’ve even got cold brew, also made using local beans and leaves.

Nearby Morphine is Lucky Bird, a kiosk dishing out Singaporean chicken rice with a modern twist. Not much is known about it yet, but it sure sounds like where we’ll be headed for lunch if we’re in the area.
 

Events at PLQ plaza


As mentioned, Morphine and Lucky Bird, among other kiosks and shops, are located at the sheltered outdoor plaza area. This space will also be the site of many events and festivals throughout the year. We can’t wait to see how they’ll make use of it this Christmas, seeing as the kiosks are decked with programmable LED displays and ready to go. Its location right outside Paya Lebar MRT on the Green Line side doesn’t hurt either.
 

Parkside bars and restaurants


Those looking for a buzzing vibe set amidst lush greenery should head straight for the parkside. It’s connected via the skybridge link, ensuring there’s always a sheltered way to get back to the mall or subway. Come after the October grand opening so that more bars and restaurants are open, but if you can’t wait, izakaya concept Hibiki Sake Bar & Dine is already up and running. It’s great for sake lovers (they even got their own label) and those looking for eats to go along with their drinks. We can see this up-and-coming area truly coming alive at night for the after-work drinking crowd.
 

Cinema and the usual good stuff


Having a cinema always helps, and at PLQ, you’ll find a massive 12-hall one operated by Shaw Theatres. The mall is also packed with fan favourites like Wine Connection, The Providore, Toast Box, Starbucks, Haidilao, and of course, bubble tea stores (we counted three). A FairPrice Finest, food court and free wifi development-wide (so you can Instagram at the various photo spots to your heart’s content) rounds things off nicely.


Paya Lebar Quarter is at 10 Paya Lebar Rd.