Eating in Libraries

August 4, 2007 Blog 16 comments
While visiting Suntec City about two months ago, I stumbled upon this wood-panelled “library” which appear to hail from Victorian times. Furnished with dark wooden panelling, swinging “chandeliers”, railings and volumes of scholarly “tomes”, it seemed to be the perfect place for a quiet read.

Except that it was as noisy as a hawker centre (heck it is one!) and the only thing intellectual is the science that went into laksa gravy. Here are some photos of my culinary discovery in an experiential food court themed like a library.

This group of people doesn’t look like they are going to settle down with a quiet book in their hands. Notice the boxes of IT equipment being carried – newly gotten gains from the PC Show.


These chandeliers look pretty much like the real thing, complete with candle-shaped bulbs.
Coffee, tea or the complete works of William Shakespeare?
I like the authentic looking wooden railings above this fishball noodle shop. They add a certain class and style to your dining experience. Unfortunately, I don’t think the hungry crowd really cares two hoots about romance.

The brainchild behind the experience of dining with books? Food Republic, one of the leading food court operators in Singapore. Now, if only they can really offer both mind and body nourishment at the same place….

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


  1. Food Republic is doing a fairly decent job with their thematic food courts. This one’s a tad over-done in my opinion, but I guess that’s part of the novelty, ya?

    One other unique thing I noticed: The people cleaning up after you aren’t old folks but young girls in black cheongsams.

  2. I actually love those “wallpapers.” Always on a look out for cafes/ restaurants with books. There is the Book cafe at River Valley Road where you can have lunch, tea, dinner with the company of magazines, comis and books.

    The other place is the Kenny Rogers at Suntec. Believe they revamped the place and added a big bookshelf, filled with books (including Harry Potter series)!

  3. I was there during the last PC show too. Took some photos of the food court but never got down to blogging about it. (Which is just as well since I can never write so eloquently.)

  4. priscilla,

    You do seem to be a lover of books just like I was in younger days. I still enjoy spending hours in a book shop like Borders or Kinokuniya, browsing through books and thinking of which ones to acquire to line my bookcase. When I was young, I was so obsessive about books then I didn’t allow anybody else to touch them. However, nowadays, my books are carelessly strewn around the house and most of them are borrowed rather than bought.

  5. victor,

    Hey, I think you do write pretty well too, which is why you already have a book under your belt! You do have a dry, witty and sometimes self deprecating sense of humour in your writing.

    It looks like half of Singapore probably visited the PC show.

  6. I have became a fan of that food court after deciding to eat there on Thursday. Totally wicked decorations there..and it looks soooo real from far.

    As Priscilla has mentioned, I do visit the book cafe at river valley. A nice place to just sit and chill without anyone bothering you… 🙂

  7. Our bro there need no more action. His child is the best evidence. He’s getting old and his heart might not take it too well. Hahahahahaha!

  8. ET: I tot so too man..when I first read it in my google reader, I tot our favourite librarian Ivan Chew is gonna flip..then after further reading..orh..its about a food court..keke..

  9. jason,

    Hehe…. yeah thanks for the recommendation on the Book Cafe. I visited it before like a few years back when I still lived at my parent’s place at River Valley. The place is just down the road from the clubs at Mohamed Sultan Road (which used to be very happening but is now deader than a Dodo’s nest!).

    Haha…. sorry about the teaseworthy headline.

  10. I love this concept for a library.

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  12. OMG! now kids may think it’s alright to eat in Libraries!!!

    actually i felt very uncomfortable with images of books all around. in fact the place just looked more cramp.

    anyway, that location have always been crowded. with added novelty, probably price with be more nobly as well. And that’s so noteworthy LOLz

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