If you’re looking for luxury and high street brands, you won’t be out of place on Orchard Road. However this lively shopping belt offers much more than just mainstream commercial enterprises – local designers and independent owners also have their place in this lifestyle commerce hub. Here is a handy list of nine places to look out for while you do your festive shopping:

 

K+

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

K+ Donna Wilson

Curated space, K+, was initially a gallery space that then expanded into a retail and workshop space on the first and third levels of Scotts Square. Through frequently-changing showcases of lesser-known, independent labels – both local and international – K+ hopes to “bring (a shopping) experience that is less mindless consumption, more mindful appreciation.” Until mid-January 2016, K+ Polkaros, a Tokyo-based lifestyle brand, will be in place. Their selection includes cute, brightly coloured textiles, ceramics, accessories and paper products.

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

K+ Sokkuan

• 01-K1, Scotts Square, 03-14/15, 6 Scotts Road, kplus.sg

Café&Meal Muji

Muji, a Japanese lifestyle brand popular for its wide range of snacks, stationery and household items, opened its first café in Singapore in September 2015. The brand’s signature minimalist-chic look is replicated in this 122 square metre premises, attached to a pre-existing Muji shop outlet. The café serves foods that preserve the natural flavours of seasonal ingredients through Japanese preparation, so expect red rice, Sakura chicken with pasta salad and lemon, matcha Caesar salad and baked bak kut (pork rib) with honey glaze. The menu items are based on the brand’s deli recipes from Japan, with an emphasis on desserts; save some space for soft serve and baked roasted tea pudding.

• 04-36 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, muji.com/sg

Laurent’s Café

Having made his name at the residential enclave of Robertson Quay, chocolatier Laurent Bernard’s fourth outpost takes his confectionary and drinks into the heart of the city – the basement of Robinsons, to be exact. The chocolatier adds all-day brunch (until 6pm) at this outlet, with items like Farmer’s Breakfast (organic eggs, sausages, bacon, roast potatoes, sautéed forest mushrooms and toasted bread). Its bright, light, casual décor makes dining underground (and away from the crowds) a breeze. In addition, chef Bernard and his team take care to use products that are palm oil free so dining here adds a tick to your environmental efforts.

• B1-02C, Robinsons at The Heeren, 260 Orchard Road, tel: 6536 8635, laurentbernard.com.sg

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

K+ MONDO

Hashida Garo

Next to Hashida Sushi, the fine dining Japanese restaurant at Mandarin Gallery, is Hashida Garo – an equally intimate restaurant serving desserts and tea. Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida takes food and art to a new dimension with this 20-seat tatami garo (‘gallery’) space in which the chado (Japanese tea ceremony) is performed. Expect both traditional and modern wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery often served with tea) like mochi (rice cake) with red bean filling, chocolate yokan (jellied dessert), foie gras macaroons, and plenty of attention to detail. A tip: don’t discard the papers that hold the chopsticks together – you might be in for a revelation.

• 04-16 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, tel: 6235 2283, hashida.com.sg

Arteastiq

The original Arteastiq at Mandarin Gallery is still a favourite spot for how well it remains tucked away. Located behind a furniture store on the fourth floor, this part-tea parlour, part-art studio has a serene atmosphere with a touch of adventurousness, thanks to its use of bright colours, funky furniture and the modern, cheekily-named menu items. Kick back with a Viva Duck (finger-food-sized burritos of smoked duck breast with spring onions, garlic chives, red chilli and sour plum sauce) and one of 30 types of teas and tea drinks while indulging in a painting session. Whether your drink of choice is French rose tea or Admiral Cheng (ginger spice tea with durian gelato), it’s ok…you are encouraged to set your imagination free here.

• 04-14/15 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, tel: 6235 8705, arteastiq.com

PACT

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

Floral Obsession at PACT

A store that highlights Singaporean designers and businesses, PACT is a 7,500 square metre space that holds retail, beauty and restaurant services. The self-labeled “multi-category emporium” is home to Kilo – a casual restaurant and bar serving modern small plates; pact+Lim – a salon with a minimalist Japanese aesthetic; products from Code Deco – a Singapore-born artisanal perfumery; sifr – a men’s clothing brand; and Killari – a bespoke jewellery brand. This second floor corner store in Orchard Central is a one-stop shop for a true “made in Singapore” experience. 

• 02-14 to 02-23, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, tel: 6884 7560, visitpact.com

T Voila Café

Go straight to the basement of Orchard Central for organic teas and artisan pastries. This underground brewing spot serves Numi Organics fair trade tea in glass teapots and carved wooden mugs, alongside salads, sandwiches, cakes and waffles. If you like the teas and cutlery, you can also purchase them in store. Though to get the same brew at home, you’ll have to brew with mineral water. What we like best about this muted-coloured cafe is that they’re not against serving more unusual blends like the Carrot Curry and Broccolini Cilantro teas that pique your curiosity. That, plus the location is quiet enough for you to contemplate whether savoury teas are really your thing and whether you dare to try!

  • B1-15 to B1-19, Orchard Central,181 Orchard Road, tel: 6966 6626, tvoila Facebook

SUPERSPACE

If you’re looking to get a makeover, this is the place. SUPERSPACE is a striking three-in-one store comprising of men and women’s clothing spaces and a hair salon. Inside it is anything but boring with stock including the minimalist, eclectic and wild, from New York to Singapore. Over-the-top headgear from DVCOU2RE (Mexico), activism-inspired upcycled pieces from Andrea Crews (Paris), anime-inspired collection of Runurunu (Tokyo) and edgy women’s wear from Feist Heist (Singapore) are just the tip of this psychedelic iceberg.

  • 02-18, Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, tel: 6702 6522.

Embrace Jewellery Boutique

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

Embrace Jewellery Boutique

Hollywood and royalty-endorsed bling can be found at the heart of Orchard. Embrace Jewellery specialises in distinct, stylish accessories that are mostly handcrafted sterling silver with gold or rose gold accents with natural gemstones. Curated from designers all over the world, the collections include Bali-inspired Joy Jewellery (Holland), seen on Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, and one of the latest additions, Velatti (Spain), a preferred choice of Princess Charlene of Monaco. The best part is that these collections are far more affordable than you think.

HIDDEN GEMS ON ORCHARD ROAD

Velatti Rutilated Quartz Necklace

• 01-15, Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, tel: 6702 6325, embracejewellery.com

By Celine Asril   |    Images courtesy of respective outlets

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