I am sure by now, everyone has heard about the new kid on the block - NEX Shopping Mall - yet another giant mall that has opened its doors in the heartlands. This time it is at a much anticipated location in Serangoon Central.
Residents from nearby neighbourhoods in Potong Pasir, Serangoon Central, Serangoon Gardens, Braddell, Yio Chu Kang and Hougang, finally have a shopping mall to call their own? Well, judging from the number of visitors since its soft opening a week ago, I think the entire Singapore was there. Horrendous crowd, every single day. I suspect many are just window shopping and checking out the place and not exactly buying yet.
I was there for the first time last week, had a meeting and short discussion there with an acquaintance. Among the numerous cafes and restaurants and foodcourt stalls, we decided to try the Freshness Burger fast food outlet at a hidden corner in the basement, which seemed to be empty that afternoon about 3pm, compared to the horrible crowds and queues elsewhere.
The opening of Freshness Burger in NEX marks its first opening of the brand's first store in South East Asia. Freshness Burger is a fast food restaurant from Japan which has 189 locations in Japan as well as 20 in South Korea. At first glance, it reminds one of MosBurger but perhaps with more variety in their menu. Founded in 1992, Freshness Burger sells hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and coffee drinks. There are a few vegetarian items on the menu too. Shown here is its Classic Double Double Burger which is a must-try.I do not take beef, so I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken Burger instead. It was indeed fresh and well prepared with chopped onions and lettuce and wonderful teriyaki sauce. At least it did not have the frozen chicken taste which I found and disliked in MosBurger's Teriyaki Chicken Burger.
The decor and atmosphere of this fast food chain is dim and cosy, with flowers and serviettes on each table, very unlike the clinical feel of the usual brightly lit fast food chains. The wooden chairs and tables and warm lighting and little vases of flowers added nice touches to the dining experience.
The burger bun was soft, with a tinge of yellow hue and tastes slightly sweet. It went well with the Teriyaki Chicken Burger. Other burgers available are: Bacon Omelette Burger, Salsa Burger, Menchi Burger, Negimisu Burger, and Teriyaki Burger. There were Hot Dog, Cheese Dog, and Chilli Beans Dog as well. There were a couple of options which were not available yet. I am waiting to try their Vegetable Tofu Burger when it is available.
Besides burgers, they also serve a whole range of drinks from coffee to fruit juices to soft drinks to smoothies. There is a very interesting Matcha Latte as well. This is my Iced Organic Coffee, complete with milk and syrup.
This is an unique dessert from Freshness Burger, and they called it the Raisin Doughnut. It is very different from our usual circle doughnuts. It does not taste very sweet at all, was crispy and hard on the outside but soft inside. The raisins were a lovely complement to the otherwise plain doughnut.
This is the Pop Over, another bun which came with sweet cream to apply on it. It was soft and quite delectable if you do not like overly sweet bread. This is signature of Japanese bread and bakery.
This is the logo of NEX Shopping Mall. Have you noticed that the 'X' in NEX is designed such that it looks like 3 vertical "X"s on top of each another, so much so that it looks like a "8" in the middle? Well, my guess is that the logo definitely took into serious consideration of Fengshui. The number "8" in chinese is "to prosper", and a very auspicious number, particularly for business. "X" by itself looks more negative than "8". The logo "NEX" is also cleverly done in blue, green and red, which in the cycle of 5 elements, water (blue) gives rise to wood (green) which in turn supports fire (red). All very auspicious indeed.
May the shops in NEX Shopping Mall enjoy good business. As for me, I would not be going back to the place so soon, perhaps for the next 2-3 months, till the excitement has settled and when it is not that crowded. Remember the big hooha when Vivocity was just opened?
Freshness Burger is located at 23 Serangoon Central, #B2-48/49, NEX Shopping Mall, Singapore 556083.