In The Region


Two shopping malls to open in Sihanoukville
Two shopping malls are slated to open in the city of Sihanoukville by the end 2019. The Furi Times Square Mall, a development by Singapore and Cambodia-based property developer Furi Corporation, spanning across 12,000 sqm will sufficiently meet the steady flow of 9,000 local and international tourists daily. The Prince Huan Yu shopping center being developed by the Chinese-run Prince Real Estate Group will house a 50,000 sqm space with department stores, retail shops, supermarkets and other services such as food, entertainment and recreation.


Indonesian poultry company to implement blockchain technology for halal products
Sierad Produce, an Indonesian poultry company is aiming to be the first in Indonesia to implement blockchain technology. As President Director Tommy Wattimena explained, digital technologies allow consumers from different parts of the world to be kept informed on how halal standards are being implemented, from the farm to the processing plant. Digitization of the halal chicken ecosystem in Indonesia, he said, will also offer export opportunities to Muslim countries.


A new hospitality and retail experience at The Starhill by 2021
Starhill Gallery, currently undergoing a major revamp will re-open in 2021 under the new brand “The Starhill”. Located along Bukit Bintang’s famed shopping belt, the mall will introduce a new concept, combining hospitality and retail experience. Featuring four floors of experiential retail space and three floors of the 162 hotel rooms under the Marriott brand, the new extension will integrate the lower retail space in one vertical seven-floor development – the first of its kind in Asia. Combining JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, more than 1,100 rooms will be connected to The Starhill.


Ikea-integrated Toppen Shopping Centre opens in Johor
Toppen Shopping Centre in Tebrau city, Johor Bahru opened its doors in November. Marking the third Ikea-anchored development in Southeast Asia, the mall is integrated with the Ikea home-furnishings megastore, adding 1.25 million sqf of space across four floors and 300 stores. Other anchors include a flagship cinema complex built by TGV, Ben’s Independent Grocer and Harvey Norman as well as 30 al fresco food and beverage outlets. The shopping centre is located within walking distance of Aeon shopping centre and is well-connected to the city.


AirAsia ventures into retail food business
AirAsia opened its first restaurant, Santan and T&CO at the Mid Valley Megamall. It is the airline’s first foray into the retail food business. Diners can tuck into Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak, Nyonya Curry Laksa and its signature Malaysian Rice Dish with Chili Condiment. Sound familiar? That’s because you can find all these items on Air Asia’s in-inflight menu. Also, on short order is a smart menu recommending popular dishes based on time, past ordering patterns and demographic tastes. Customers can order directly or via online through the website or mobile app. Plans to franchise the brand globally are underway with five outlets slated to open this year and 100 outlets in the next five years.


Panda Express partners with Jollibee Foods to launch first outlet
Partnering with Jollibee Foods, Panda Express opened its first Philippine outlet in SM Megamall on December 12. Panda Express which operates at 2,200 locations in the U.S. is the largest Asian segment restaurant chain. It is reported to have sold more than 90 million pounds of its most popular chicken dish and aims to popularize American Chinese cuisine through authentic Chinese recipes, as the world’s largest American Chinese concept.


New inflight menu takes off on Cebu Pacific
Cebu Pacific has launched a new selection of inflight meals. The menu includes a Singaporean dish (Hainanese Chicken Rice), Filipino cuisine, and a vegetarian option. Other meals include Roasted Chicken Sandwich, Lechon Paksiw (roasted suckling pig), Pinoy Spaghetti, Beef Salpicao, Chicken Yakisoba and Crab Salad Sandwich. The meals come with information on nutrition for health-conscious travelers.


Australian-Mexican restaurant ready for five-country Asian expansio
Australian Mexican restaurant chain, Mad Mex has opened its first Singapore outlet at the Marina Bay financial district, as part of its bigger expansion plans into Asia. The chain runs 70 restaurants in Australia and New Zealand. In partnership with 4Fingers, Mad Mex will gather local market knowledge through its growing brands in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Founder Clovis Young believes that Southeast Asia is in the midst of a food revolution towards healthy eating, and is confident that Mad Mex’s healthy, quality offerings will resonate with local customers.


Nanjing-based bubble tea chain launches three outlets
The Whale Tea, a Nanjing-based bubble tea chain launched its first three takeaway kiosks at Lot One Mall in Choa Chu Kang, City Square Mall and Chinatown’s China Square Central, with the fourth to open at Rivervale Mall by the end of the year. The bubble teas are popular because of their unusual blends such as the Brown Sugar Avocado and Volcanic Sapphire Whale drinks. Looking to the future, the chain is setting its sights on a restaurant space to accommodate in-dining.


Go Noodle House at Somerset
Malaysia’s Go Noodle House at Somerset is the second overseas outlet after Melbourne. Serving its best-selling pork meatball and mi xian noodles, the franchise has created a Singapore menu featuring fresh sliced mackerel noodles, premium ribeye Australian beef sliced noodles, and frog noodles. Go Noodle currently sells 18,000 bowls daily since opening in Kuala Lumpur in 2014. The company is planning to open five more outlets in Singapore and another five in New Zealand, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.


Freak-out at Supergreek!
If you’re a fan of Greek food, check out Supergreek at Raffles City! Following traditional Greek cuisine, the menu features a wide selection of healthy dishes, including street food Souvlaki and homemade authentic Greek yoghurt. Offering lean meat, seafood and heart-healthy olive oil, Supergreek’s cuisine aims to promote the healthy, nutritious qualities of its servings.


Dusit Foods brings South African healthy food to the region
Thai hospitality company, Dusit Foods has entered into a venture with South Africa’s Real Foods Group to bring its popular healthy, fast-casual restaurant concept, Kauai to Southeast Asia. Operating under its Thai brand name, Real Foods, the first outlet has opened in Bangkok, serving smoothies, salads, wraps and warm bowls. Capturing the original concept, 30 percent of the store design and menu has been adapted to suit local taste-buds. Catering to takeaway and in-dining, the menu carries over 100 superfood ingredients, including free-range eggs, collagen, whey protein, spirulina, kale, broccoli and spinach, used to make a range of nutritious and delicious dishes and drinks with a focus on natural produce. Dusit Real Foods has another three stores lined up through its long-standing relationship with Virgin Active health clubs. The brand is also looking to expand outside of Thailand, leveraging its strong network of hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific, the UAE, Qatar and Oman, in its quest to introduce Real Foods to new markets worldwide.


3 new shopping malls for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Plans for 3 new mega malls have been announced by Vincom Retail. Vincom Mega Mall Ocean Park, located at one of the largest real estate projects in Hanoi, will span across 56,000 sqm and serve 1.5 million customers annually. Targeted at millennials, Vincom Mega Mall Smart City, also in Hanoi will feature future technology trends covering 68,000 sqm and has a catchment of 1.8 million potential customers. Vincom Mega Mall Grand Park will open in District 9 of Ho Chi Minh City, occupying 48,000 sqm of commercial space, inclusive of five floors and one basement level. According to real estate company CBRE, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City could potentially emerge as one of the top three retail markets in Asia-Pacific.