Asian KitchensBusiness SenseVol. 16

PASARBELLA: the gourmet marketplace

By September 21, 2016No Comments

“I’m in the mood for sushi. Oh wait, maybe I’d like a burger…Salad it is! Hmm but one is too far; one is quite near but traffic is a mess..the other is too warm. I don’t know! Guess I’ll just grab my usual downstairs…”Have you ever had such monologues? Well, it happens to us and maybe the people at PasarBella heard and launched its one-stop Food & Beverage shopping destination. Star ting its first space at The Grandstand Bukit Timah, it officially launched in Januar y 2016 the new PasarBella@SuntecCity that houses 14 gourmet concept stalls and 1 retail stall in 7,000 sqft. A namederived from Singapore’s local term for ‘market’ and the Italian term ‘beautiful’, PasarBella endeavours to stand out as a warm, community-based and open-concept market. Providing an avenue for niche food purveyors, wine and beer merchants and craft retailers, visitors get to savour unique foods that may usually be harder to reach all under one roof with the comfort expected in restaurants or a commercial mall.

As you walk in and around, the youthful and carefree vibe of PasarBella @ SuntecCity’s designs draws you in and is perhaps a reflection of its ethos – creativity is boundless. Its canvas is inspired from the Lower East Side New York City where graffiti walls and street ar t illustrations are deemed an expression of an identity alongside a busy landscape of a street lined with vibrant stalls.If it is a place for food and artisanal products lovers to visit, what does PasarBella bring for entrepreneurs? It offers options like:


Pop-Up Trader:3 month contracts are available so that it is affordable for small businesses to step into the market.
Weekender:an avenue for aspiring entrepreneurs to test the market.
Event Space:event planners can consider PasarBella an option to host events.
Photoshoot Location:vibrant colours and freeflowing art can be a canvas for photographers.

We spoke to three (3) traders at PasarBella@SuntecCity regarding how this space has ser ved their concepts and how they work around the flow of the gourmet food hall. The traders are Choo Choo Chicken (CCC), Porsena Deli (PD), and Rollie Olie (RO).

• What are the factors that motivated you to run a business in PasarBella (PB)?

CCC:The theme of the place is suitable.
PD:PasarBella@SuntecCity’s location is an exciting and fresh concept that I wanted to be a par t of. Also, the management team behind the concept is a fun and ambitious lot, so the decision was an easy one.
RO:PasarBella’s vibrant brand image is what excites us. We share the same young and savvy customer base, as well as the same idea that food not only has to taste good, but must also have an artistic aesthetic. In that sense, our brands are a perfect match.

• What is the idea behind the food you created?

CCC:We specialise in Korean Fried Chicken, creating and inventing new flavors to suit local fried chicken lovers.
PD:I wanted to create a concept that was accessible and creative, something that people would find easy to understand while still being fresh and interesting.
RO:We created Rollie Olie with the intention of bringing the Japanese dining experience to different levels: modern, playful, and affordable. On top of that, we strive to maintain the same exceptional dining experience expected of fine Japanese cuisine.

• Please elaborate your stall’s set up – do you cook on-site / heat up / assemble only?

CCC:We cook on site.
PD:Everything is made here in our tiny space, from the mayonnaise to our signature pastrami. It is really like a full running kitchen and we are proud of that.
RO:Freshness and quality of food is our priority. This is why we choose to prepare all of our food on site every day.

• Did you find this set up to limit your menu offerings or do you think it allows for a more focused operation?

CCC:We do not think that it limits our menu. We are still learning to work within this new space and are adjusting accordingly from time to time.
PD:That would really depend on your concept. I believe that as long as there is a space constraint, everyone will be limited to a certain extent. We do intend to keep growing and to establish a larger space where we can offer a larger range of products and more exciting experiences for our customer.
RO:As there are 13 stalls here, what each offers impact one another. With other traders selling similar items, it was more strategic to offer a careful selection of our full menu. Although we sacrificed some of our favourite items, we are still working hard to maximise our menu under this restriction so that we can provide more options and value for our customers.

• What have you learnt about workflow and processes in limited space? Do you prepare elsewhere and bring over /use multi-purpose equipment to be more efficient?

CCC:As there is limited storage space, we need to arrange for the delivery of food ingredients and stock them more frequently.
PD:We prefer the old school approach. The food is much tastier and real that way. Less processed food = better food.
RO:We planned and designed different stations within our kitchen. We invested in multi-purpose equipment that maximise the space so we have more space for food preparation and actively order supplies and ingredients as storage capacity is limited.

With its location being at the Suntec vicinity teeming with office workers, PasarBella@SuntecCity also hosts FRESH FOOD TO-GO vendors such as Pimp My Saladthat offers wholesome salads , Pita & Olives, that uses freshly baked pita bread and native Mediterranean ingredients such as olives, tahini and chickpeas to create Kebabs, Falafels and more. Cajun on Wheelsserves Louisiana style seafood cuisine with buckets of fresh crabs, mussels, clams and prawns from a gourmet food truck. Meanwhile, fans of grilled meats can go for Mad Dogs Grill who will cook specially imported proteins of your choice ala minute and Wolf Burgers promises freshly grilled quality meats and buns.