Foodies make a beeline for popular eateries as Jewel Changi Airport opens

Foodies make a beeline for popular eateries as Jewel Changi Airport opens

Several eateries saw long queues at Jewel Changi Airport, which officially opened its doors on Wednesday (Apr 17) to all visitors. More than 300 passengers made use of early check-in facilities at the lifestyle complex, Changi Airport Group said. Elizabeth Neo and Gwyneth Teo with the story.

SINGAPORE: By 11am on Wednesday (Apr 17), the official opening day of Jewel Changi Airport, the queue outside Shake Shack had grown so long that it snaked around an atrium, split into four barricaded sections. 

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Signs were parked along the queue informing the more than 200 customers they could only purchase up to five burgers and flat-top dogs per order at the American burger chain's first outlet in Southeast Asia. ​​​​​​​

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The queue for fast food outlet Shake Shack during Jewel Changi Airport's official opening on Apr 17, 2019. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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A sign informing customers of the order limit at Shake Shack during Jewel Changi Airport's official opening. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

First in line were customers Justin Zheng and Hiroki, who wanted to be known only by his first name. They told CNA they had been queuing since 4.30am that morning.

READ: From garden cart to Garden City - Shake Shack goes full circle with Singapore debut

READ: Hungry for more - A&W to open second Singapore outlet in June, eyes "important" halal market

"We're kiasu Singaporeans," said Mr Zheng. "First day, first opening, first Shake Shack - kiasu Singaporeans." 

Unlike Shake Shack, which opened for the first time at 10am on Wednesday, A&W had been open even during Jewel's preview period. It was reported that customers queued an average of three hours for their food. 

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The queue at A&W at Jewel Changi Airport on its official opening day, on Apr 17, 2019. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

At around 11am on Wednesday, there were more than 50 people queuing at the fast food restaurant - A&W's first in Singapore in more than a decade. 

One customer, who declined to be named, said she had been waiting since 7.45am as she thought A&W was going to be open 24 hours. 

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Shoppers at the Pokemon Centre at Jewel Changi Airport on Apr 17, 2019. (Photo: Jeremy Long)
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Shoppers at the Pokemon Centre during Jewel Changi Airport's opening day. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

"I feel that they should have told patrons that they were going to open at 10am, then we would have come at the right time," she said. 

She told CNA that she visited Jewel during the preview period, but did not manage to buy from A&W due to the long queues.

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A sign at Pokemon Centre Singapore informing customers of the purchase limit on select items. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

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Assorted Pokemon merchandise were seen on a shopper's basket. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

People were not just queuing for the food. One visitor, 26-year-old freelance photographer Neo Wei Xiong, told CNA he had been in the line for the Pokemon Center since about 11pm Tuesday night. 

"It's the first time the Pokemon Center will be in Singapore and I want to see the item exclusive to Singapore," he said, adding that he had not managed to get tickets to the Jewel preview. 

The Pokemon fan said he had spent most of Tuesday night waiting outside Jewel, as shoppers were only allowed in the mall at 6am. 

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Visitors to Jewel Changi Airport take photos during its official opening day on Apr 17, 2019. (Photo: Cindy Co)
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Indonesians Cynthia Winna Widya Putri (right) and Yenita Shanty Veronika Sianturi were among those who came down to Jewel Changi Airport for its official opening. (Photo: Cindy Co)

Earlier that morning, most of the visitors were crowded around the HSBC Rain Vortex, the world's tallest indoor waterfall. 

Two of them, Ms Cynthia Winna Widya Putri and Ms Yenita Shanty Veronika Sianturi, had just flown in from Indonesia. 

"We wanted to see Jewel because it's the (first day of it opening) and we are so excited," said Ms Putri.

Source: CNA/ga(hs)

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