Food Republic reinvents food court dining at Orchard Road

Food Republic reinvents food court dining at Orchard Road

The new Food Republic 313@Somerset breaks away from the old formula with new flavors and an ultra-modern interior
Segways @ Food Republic
The new drink delivery system powered by customized Segways is perfect for parents, families and the elderly who can't leave their tables

Google reinvented web search, Apple reinvented MP3 players and cell phones, and now the Food Republic chain has reinvented food court culture

Not that long ago, food courts in Singapore were lackluster cookie-cutter affairs, with the same brand name stalls and food types all across town and in most heartland malls. When Food Republic opened the first location at Wisma Atrium, it brought together the best-of-the-best hawkers that previously operated independently, creating a proper foodie destination. People flocked to it, simply because everything was good and there was so much to choose from.

Now, with their newly launched food court at 313@Somerset, Food Republic has once again innovated where others are simply regurgitating. Gone are the fittings and decor from the 1960s -- the 313@Somerset food court is bright, cheery and ultra-modern. So modern in fact that the company has introduced a new drinks delivery system, with two Segways zipping all around with an assortment of cold beverages for patrons who find it hard to leave their tables. But the signature pushcarts from the Wisma Atrium and VivoCity locations are still making their rounds, serving drinks and a limited variety of dim sum.

Food Republic, SingaporePiao Xiang Mala Xiang GuoSo what else is new? It's the biggest Food Republic food court (and we suspect the biggest in town) in Orchard Road, seating 1,100. Of the 26 stalls (all of which are carefully vetted and invited by Food Republic tasters and management), 11 are newly inducted to the food court scene.

Worthy of special mention is Piao Xiang Mala Xiang Guo, which serves up a stir-fried dish using a Mala sauce that's made from over 20 different herbs and spices and simmered overnight for maximum flavor. You pick the items you'd like -- meats, seafood, beancurd, mushrooms and vegetables -- and the chefs will whip them into one spicy dish that's quite the head-turner (several passers-by inquired where they could find that dish). We're also told that the recipe's been tweaked to tone down the tongue-numbing effect that's usually associated with any Mala dish.

getting there

Food Republic -- 313@Somerset
Level 5, 313@Somerset
313 Orchard Road, Singapore

A technology reporter and wannabe entrepreneur in a previous life, Larry is now City Editor for CNNGo Singapore, where he sacrifices his nights, caffeine intake and waistline to the demands of the job.
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