Golden mile complex is a rustic old shopping mall built in the 70s, it sits near the Kallang basin along Nicoll highway by Southern Singapore known for its sloping exterior Terence facade. Let’s take a walk through the mall interior today.
Classic Brutalist architecture
Notably, on some history, Golden Mile Complex itself opened on 1973 and owned by Singapura Developments. The property recently sold en-bloc for S$700M. Thereafter it would be sensitively restored as a conserved building given it was gazetted by the Singapore Government in 2021.
Furthermore, the mall has a unique design with exposed thick concrete beams visible on the exterior and interior. This is widely known as Brutalist architecture. Notably, golden mile complex is gazetted as a national monument for its unique architecture and design with a sloping Terrance in it upper residential block. However, all tenants have to move out by year end to make way for the refurbishment.
Having said that, Golden mile complex is not a new mall. Still, the mall does have a classic mall vibe, it does look and smell like one too. Even entry to toilets has an old-style auntie sitting at the entrance collecting a 20-cent entry fee. Notably, an entry fee unchanged for over 10 years at least in these times of inflation.
Popping by Golden Mile Tower
Interestingly, it is one of the remaining old buzzing malls built in the 70s which is still surviving today. Moreover, adjacent Golden mile complex is the Golden mile tower. It is the mall’s sister building and complement Golden mile complex. It is like going back in time. Notably, the local cinema the Projector cinema also calls this place their home.
Also, the Projector is a local arts cinema operator which runs two screens here, showcasing films in support of films arts. Their establishment sits at the top floor of the Tower block, above a cinema which runs Bollywood movies. There is a pretty funky restaurant bar up here together with the box office.
Golden Mile Tower mall is smaller than Golden Mile complex and home to some small eateries and several KTV and massage parlors, typical for these malls. Also, it is also home to the Thien Kee Steamboat restaurant we visited several years back. The architecture is built in an area of space excess with layouts and staircases not commonly found in modern buildings today.
A Thai food hub
In addition, the interior of Golden mile complex comprises of shops spanning two floors in a central atrium. It is does get pretty crowded even on Fridays and weekend evening. Also, the mall is home to several affordable eateries serving permutations of Thai cuisine. Also, my walkthrough yielded about 5 to 6 such establishment ranging from small shops, pubs to large, air-conditioned food courts. A recommendation be Flying Pig, great for quick dinners. You can read up more of Flying Ping in a separate food review here.
Also, the mall is tad a Mookata and Thai food galore location. The mall interior does feels like a scene in a typical shopping mall in Bangkok. This is from the mass of dining tables and chairs spilling out of eateries onto the common mall walkway.
Furthermore, the ground floor is awash with stores hawking fresh produce like Thai goods, snacks, fruits, vegetables, as well as preserved good in top of sundry mama shops selling toys, telco products and body care products. You can find classic bar soaps here which typical sell under $2 each. It is not something even Daiso can beat.
Moreover, you can see store windows in the upper floors lined with ads, visible from the ground floor atrium, some advertising Muay Thai, telco packages, KTV clubs and Thai massages pallor. Also, you can also find some peculiar snack alike Thai branded condiments, and chips snacks. Examples includes selections of deep fired insects and dried goods. Though this is not a common sight today with supply limitations during the pandemic.
Thai supermarket and produce
Additionally, Thai supermarket is an anchor tenant here. It stocks a variety of Thai produce not found in our typical heartland supermarkets.
This is in addition to the array of smaller independent mom and pop shops selling dried foods and snacks scattered about the ground floors of the mall. Interesting finds here in the supermarket includes packets of snacks made of insects, including fried worm chips, as well as Thai milk tea served by the bottle.
Also, I found this supermarket has a similar vibe and synonymous to the Scarlet supermarket and Yue Hua Chinese products mall we previously visited, but more tuned to a Thai audience and goods offers. This is down complete with a yellow hue of fluorescent overhead lighting which adds to the oldies vibe and feel in the supermarket. However, the supermarket is packed full like Mustafa supermarket, not quite the prim and proper of what you the supermarket.
All in all, that wraps up our exploration of Golden mile complex. No telling how this place will be when the area is said to be vacated, and when the current tenants have to move out before by May or June next year 2023. Whatever goes up following the refurbishment, we would definitely be looking forward to a rejunivated Golden Mile Complex.