Eatbox food hall at Rochor
If there’s anything close to a pasar malam or food festival that is happening this year, it’d be Eatbox’s permanent food hall that opens this Friday, 3 September 2021. As an attendee of past Eatbox, Artbox, and Chatuchak events, I was pleasantly surprised by the set-up at Tekka Place near Rochor MRT Station.
This free-admission event boasts the same vibes as night markets from pre-COVID-19 days but better—as it is now indoors with air conditioning.
Instead of the usual IG-worthy suspects such as cheese toasts, flaming beef cubes and more, the food we tried this time was also more substantial, and went beyond just appealing aesthetics.
If you’re looking for taste and theatrics, try the seaweed-wrapped rice sandwiches at Okinawa Onigiri. Priced from $3.90, these thick onigirazu are layered with crisp seaweed, egg, Japanese rice, your choice of protein such as smoked duck, fried Hiroshima oysters, and unagi, followed by a generous squeeze of torched mentaiko sauce.
The two-levelled food hall screams loft vibes with a mix of the night markets we loved so much before the pandemic hit. I can foresee it being filled up when it officially opens this weekend, so another grab-and-go item to make a beeline for is the mooping from Thachang Shaker Bar.
They offer an interesting trio of pork skewers: Original Mooping ($1.50), Mala Mooping ($2), and Tom Yum Mooping ($2). The flavours are embedded within the meat as they are marinated beforehand. They also serve convenient cups of noodles called Thachang Noodle Shaker (from $5.90) that are either tom yum or boat noodle-flavoured noodles with toppings.
Though a tad pricey, the Premium A5 Wagyu ($25.90) rice bowl is highly recommended. While the portion is also small, every Wagyu slice was juicy and tender. When paired with the bed of lightly seasoned garlic fried rice, the beef is left to shine with each spoonful being utterly moreish.
In true food festival style, there is also a wide range of snap-worthy desserts to choose from. This includes coconut shakes that can rival Mr Coconut, and shaved ice from Ice On You that hides house-made jellies and pearls. Get the Thai Milk Tea Shaver ($5.80) or Rainbow Shaver ($5.80), which are good to share between two to three people.
For more pretty sweet treats, Haengbok Cakeyo has their popular Fatfatcarons, Korean bento cakes, and BTS-themed Macaron Lollipops ($12.90), and Ethos has a range of bottled coffees such as Orange Cold Brew ($7) and Rose Latte ($7). Psst! Keep the bottles from Ethos and come back for a refill of any drink at the price of $3 the next time you’re here.
At the corner on the first level of Eatbox food hall, look out for stalls Sugarush and WAI, which are opened by students and alumni of Temasek Polytechnic. The former serves bakes with lesser sugar content, huge Cookie Monsterz ($3.80), and also a unique World-Class Brookie ($5.50) with a layer of cream cheese between a brownie base and cookie top.
WAI, on the other hand, has a menu of local desserts with an Orh Nee Fresh Milk with Taro Balls & Gula Melaka ($3.90) drink that’s a must-try. Made entirely from scratch, this milk-laden drink features aromatic yam paste and a smooth pumpkin paste to make a satisfying drink for any yam lover.
With up to 18 stalls in the Eatbox food hall, just one day spent there was not enough for us to taste everything. Thankfully this event will span across a period of three years, giving us ample time to head down to try rostis, banh mis, satays and more!
Address: 2 Serangoon Road, #01-55 to 59, Tekka Place, Annex Building, Singapore 218227
Opening hours: Daily 8am to 10:30pm