In Singapore, the biggest food outlet is located in Newton. This outlet is referred to as the Newton Food Center, which came into the limelight after it was promoted by the country’s tourism agency as a tourist attraction for showcasing Singaporean dishes. Newton Food Center began operations in 1971 before undergoing a temporary shutdown to facilitate renovations in 2005. After a significant makeover, the Newton Food Center recommenced operations at the beginning of July 2006. Newton Food Centre is located right next to Juniper Hill freehold condo by Allgreen properties.
Newton Food Centre at Bukit Timah Road
When the Newton Food Center was undergoing a face-lift, it was briefly transferred to an open area next to the Bukit Timah Road. Some of the businesspeople operating in the Newton Food Center incurred significant losses because the number of clients visiting the new site went down compared to the previous location. Additionally, the unavailability of parking space forced customers to leave their cars along the roadside, a practice that is outlawed in Singapore. This aspect prompted the country’s law enforcement agents to erect barriers to limit unauthorized roadside parking.
Renovation Done at Newton Food Centre
The revamped food center adopted the design components of the neighboring colonial buildings. The new food center has a color pattern of white, black and brown. Furthermore, the ceilings of the stalls are seven meters tall to allow better cross-ventilation. For customers opting to eat in the open, the new center sought to protect them by covering the tables with large umbrellas. However, the revamped center has a smaller sitting space for customers compared to the previous one. In times of scorching sunlight, the facility erected blinds to provide enough shade. The stalls are organized in a horseshoe shape. Security has been enhanced with the installation of CCTV cameras, in addition to the inclusion of spaces where buskers can deliver performances for the entertainment of guests or the opening of flea markets.
Newton Food Centre Tourism Landmark Singapore
Over 50 different species of flowers were planted in the main entrance, next to the seats, and at the center of the hawker section to provide an outdoor feel to the Newton Food Center. Some of these flower species include frangipani, wedelia creepers among others.
Although the Newton Food Center is endorsed by Singapore’s tourism agency, local residents disapprove the quality of the food and the pricing strategy adopted by stall owners. In fact, it is unpopular for non-stop hyping and patron pestering by manic stall owners. In 2009, six US travelers paid 491 US dollars for seafood in one of the stalls at the center. This incident of blatant swindling prompted the National Environment Agency to ban the owner for three months, whereas the attendant was expelled for five years.