Definitely not your average city mall

Despite the massive retail slump plaguing shopping malls islandwide, developers OUE have decided to open a glossy new mall in the heart of the city on May 19. But we’re not complaining. There may not be a lack of malls in Singapore, but Downtown Gallery is one being kept in our sights because of the bevy of cool features it'll have. Hopefully, this gives the lacklustre retail scene here a much-needed boost.

Expect lots of cool new technological elements at this new CBD-area hangout. For instance, there will be a social kitchen located on the third floor, where you can go online or use an app to book one of many cooking stations—equipped with crockery, condiments and other kitchen equipment—found there. The idea is that you can bring your own raw ingredients and use the stations there to prepare your own “home cooked” meal. And that’s not all. There will also be a deli area with seating but no food vendors. Instead, lockers will line the space. Users can then use an app to order food from a central kitchen which will then deliver the dish to a specified locker at a chosen time.

Other techie stuff includes an electric car showroom on the ground level and a 350 sq m interactive projection screen visible to anyone walking down Shenton Way. Apparently, you can use gestures to do virtual things on the screen like pop balloons, set off fireworks, color trees, illuminate the landscape and more. Look out for a high-tech mall directory as well, called Wayfinder, which reflects weather conditions happening outside in real-time (for no other reason other than it being cool).

What we’re also excited about is the opening of Venue by Sebastian. It is helmed by Chef Sebastian Ng who left the now-defunct Restaurant Ember in 2014. We haven’t heard from him until now. Venue by Sebastian will be a more casual set-up compared to Restaurant Ember and is one of the first restaurants to open at Downtown Gallery. Another F&B establishment we’re looking forward to is Japan’s Omotesando Koffee, which will be making its first foray into Singapore. The interesting thing is that the cafe will be located within The Work Project, a massive co-working space (Singapore’s largest once it's in operation) opening on Jun 1, taking over the mall’s fourth level.

A range of fitness and wellness brands like Upside Motion, GuavaLabs, SuperDry Sport and Manduka are setting up shop at the mall too, plus there will also be a serviced residence operated by Oakwood Asia Pacific that is set to open sometime this year.