Day Out with Q & A(pprentice)

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It’s a Public Holiday today!

That means the rest of the brood sleeps through the morning until one of them wakes up in time to ask the standard question: “What’s for lunch?” – and that’s usually from my Apprentice 🙂

Since she wasn’t with me when I first ventured into Namoo, she quickly requested for an excursion to Publika. So off we went to our usual creative docking-spot, but this time, we entered via West Gate:

Welcome home my children… I embrace you with everything awesome within…

By the time we arrived at Publika, it was close to 2:30pm and to our surprise, Namoo was PACKED to the brim! Oh hang on, it’s a public holiday… how could that have slipped my mind? Anyways, we managed to secure the LAST table outside the cafe just next to the kids’ playground.

Enjoyed the strong cool a/c from the cafe.
Felt like Spring rather than sweltering Summer 🙂
Namoo thought of customer comfort: hooks underneath tables to hang your handbag.
Namoo, Saranghae!

Our waitress quickly stopped by our table for our orders despite the hectic pace the team was running at. Apprentice ordered Bulgogi Salad, Q had Spicy Ramen and I went with Bulgogi Taco. Looking at the crowd, I was a tad worried our food would take quite some time to arrive (coz my tummy was already growling).


Outside looking in…
Parents get to keep an eye on their kids enjoying their spot under the sun…
Man, I don’t even want to know how much the rent is for this location!


I noticed that 80% of Namoo’s clientele on this particular day were women who were enjoying their “Gurlfriend” time, chatting away the trials and tribulations of work/ family/ relationships/ latest purchases made overseas…  After 5 minutes of observing the terrace and the interior ambiance, our waitress walked up with the first dish. And within minutes after that, the rest of our orders trickled in. Thank God!

Bulgogi with Rice Cake Salad for Apprentice – the generous dressing/ gravy really
made this Delish!
Q’s Spicy Ramen – the color itself is a Hint!
My Bulgogi Taco! YUUHMMEEYY!


Needless to say we were focused on wolfing down our food and by the time I licked my fork clean, Q asked if we wanted dessert. Er, no more space available. Gotta walk off the fuel, dude.

So as we meandered to the East Wing in Publika, Q announced his intention of making his famous Spaghetti Bolognaise for dinner. YAY! And we walked alllll the waaaay back to the opposite end of the mall to shop at Ben’s Independent Grocer (a.k.a B.I.G).

I must admit, I am partial to this supermarket for its inspiring visual merchandising. In fact, I shouldn’t even use the word “supermarket” for B.I.G because I Just Can’t…


Greens section
The fish section…
Japanese/ Korean food section



Love how they incorporate vintage window/ door pieces into the store’s interior look
Refreshing use of retro-designed wooden blinds to designate section
I need canned tomatoes… where are they?
Java joint Inside B.I.G
Cafe section (wonderful colonial feel) – Be prepared to queue for a table during weekends
Even the Florist has a cute corner in B.I.G… check out the details of the counter… So Simple.

Publika itself is my personal tractor beam, but B.I.G is such a treasure trove for the designer in me.

It is such a visual feast and the power of such “soft touch” inspires Many to become the next Jamie Olivers and Nigella Lawsons, or Kylie Kwongs…

That is why I can’t use the word “supermarket” to define Ben’s Independent Grocer. It is a Sensorial Experience.

“Ayam” means Chicken in Malay – but wordplay on the reusable bag is read as “I Am Not A Plastic Bag” – a tribute to Anya Hindmarch perhaps? 🙂




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