Non-descript and certainly not glamorous compared to the likes of Ion and VivoCity, Far East Plaza is my go-to secret mall. Just around the corner from the iconic Orchard Road, lies six floors filled with some 800 fashion-forward, purse-friendly shops! Yes, there are a number of shops touting knock-off ‘designer’ labels and an equal number you may run screaming from; but in a city that can feel like one big shopping mall, this is the place to check out to avoid the ‘same-same’ type of stuff at all the big name shopping plazas. With so many shops though, it’s impossible to cover them all in one go so I will just point out a couple that stand out – to this Sassy Mama:
One-stop shop for a top-to-toe? Get waxed, plucked, mani-pedicured and even have your makeup and hair done. Talk about comprehensive — this place really does it all! The hair studio is on the 3rd floor (#03-87), whilst all other beautification takes place one floor above (#04-105). Needing some TLC? It pays to book in advance (especially for the nail or brow bar!) because they get BUSY!
Received an invitation to a costume party? You’d better head down to this small but well stocked shop (well, actually two on the same floor – #03-08/09)! Jam-packed with all sorts of knick-knacks to help you transform into a gladiator, wizard or whatever your heart desires. The staff here are really helpful and friendly, and the prices are not inflated like so many other costume shops in the city.
3. Lynn’s Label
Located at #03-83, this shop stocks a sizable collection of very smart ‘label-cut’ outfits. The cynic in me normally avoids these type of shops but the quality is very good and Lynn (who is almost always on hand) is very helpful. They also carry some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever tried on! Definitely worth a visit but don’t be surprised if end up spending a good few hours trying on clothes!
4. Manne QUEEN
Newly renovated, the clothes at this very popular boutique at #03-105 cater to those wanting something special for date night. Unlike some of the other shops, the quality of the clothing here is of a high standard which keeps their wide fan base of customers (like me!) coming back again and again. They have recently started offering an on-site handbag service, to overhaul your tired designer bags.
5. Meng Yee Alteration
While there are quite a few alteration and tailoring shops located throughout Far East Plaza, in terms of price and workmanship, the best has to be at #04-104. Very efficient, the team here really do get it spot on (unlike some other more fancy looking outlets who will remain unnamed!); plus it’s always reasonably priced too! If you need something in a hurry, give the ‘uncle’ the heads-up and a big smile and normally they’re pretty accommodating – within reason of course!
Beauty junkies converge at #04-124 to pick up all sorts of beauty products: from mani-pedi paraphernalia (i.e. nail polish, crystals, foot files), to hair curlers, falsies and eyelash glue and more! If, like me, you are a novice at the whole fake lash business, ask the girls for advice and they may offer to either give you a tutorial or assist with the application if required.
7. Sara & Pat
#01-99, where their tagline reads “Interesting Clothes for Beautiful People”, is home to all sorts of funky tank tops and dresses, as well as bits and pieces that protect your modesty when you are baring a little bit more skin. One of their best sellers includes every stylist’s secret weapon: stick-on bras! Yes, really.
One of the most efficient cobblers I have ever come across, the shop is run by two brothers who also repair leather items and cut keys. Their workmanship is top-notch and the service, friendly and knowledgeable. Located at #03-05, they also have another outlet at Tampines 1 Mall (#B1-26).
Hair bands, belts, bags, hairpieces, purses, oversized sunglasses and other wonderful knick knacks you never knew you needed can be found here on both the first (#01-100-101) and third (#03-116/132) floors. In the past, I have picked-up the most gorgeous wide-brimmed sunhats from there that you would never believe cost less than $20! LOVE a bargain! Great for finding that ‘finishing touch’ for costumes!
Yep, you wouldn’t have thought it, but there is great food to choose from at Far East Plaza: freshly cut fruit, bubble tea, sushi, burgers, Taiwanese, local and Indonesian! You really will be spoilt for choice – but without the hefty price tag! Check out Fatboy’s The Burger Bar (#01-16A/B) for sinfully delicious burgers or newly-opened Saveur (#01-07b) for mouth-watering French fare…
Well, I really could go on-and-on because there are so many finds at this mall with the modest façade — I have barely scratched the surface here. But before you wander over, here are five Sassy Mama tips:
- Head there no earlier than noon. Many shops stay open late, hence have tardy opening hours.
- Make a ‘day’ of it by incorporating some massage, nail or hair time!
- Make a wish-list of what you are looking for: with so many shops, it is very easy to get distracted!
- Take your time – consider getting someone else to do the school pick-up!
- Bring along your teenage daughter — there is LOTS here for her too!
One FINAL Sassy Mama tip: this is THE place to head to if you need evening formal wear or long gowns!