10 ‘firsts’ you can find at Wheelock Place

August 3, 2018

Everyone starts their story somewhere; and for some, their springboard to success began at Wheelock Place.

Read on to find out what “firsts” you can find at the stylish shopping mall — from brands’ first forays in Singapore to new-to-market, limited-edition products.

1) Singapore’s first spiral escalator

Wheelock Place’s curved escalator is an engineering marvel. PHOTO: VIDEO SCREENGRAB


Designed by the late renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, Wheelock Place offers visitors the first and only spiral escalator in Singapore. This mechanical wonder gives shoppers a unique view of what the various shops have to offer.

This is manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric, and according to the Japanese company’s website, the curve-motion escalator has been its sole speciality since 1985 (as of March 19, 2014).

It is also an engineering marvel — Mitsubishi Electric’s engineers invented a “Center Shift Method” in which the centre of the circle around which the escalator rotates shifts in response to the degree of gradient, for smooth rotational movement in sync with its vertical movement.

2) Singapore’s first craft beer bottle shop straight from breweries

Easily find almost 100 labels of craft beers, local meads and ciders at The Great Beer Experiment. PHOTO: THE GREAT BEER EXPERIMENT


Where better to dive into the world of beers than at The Great Beer Experiment’s first standalone retail store (#02-01A)?

Believed to be Singapore’s first craft beer bottle shop to bring in the brew direct from the breweries, you’ll easily find almost 100 labels of craft beers, local meads and ciders including popular brands like Mikkeller, TO-ØL, Lindemans (fruit beers) and Crabbie’s (alcoholic ginger beers).

Borne from the desire to make craft beers accessible and affordable for everyone, the Great Beer Experiment has been attracting a good mix of men and women of all legal drinking ages. Its beer and meads workshops — think stouts, gluten-free beers, lambic-style beers (beers fermented with wild yeast) — are often fully subscribed in no time. The Mikkeller & TO-ØL from Denmark, known for its highly experimental brews such as beers fermented with wine yeast, is said to have a cult following.

3) A first and only Japanese dining and cafe

The Niku Atsu Hotate and Unagi Kamameshi. PHOTO: SUN WITH MOON JAPANESE DINING AND CAFE


Foodies were overjoyed when SUN with MOON Japanese Dining and Café

(#03-15/16/17) opened its doors at Wheelock Place in 2005. The restaurant – its one and only in Singapore – offers a wide variety of authentic traditional Japanese fare alongside an array of modern Japanese dishes, in a casual and relaxed setting.
Enjoy its signature dish, Kamameshi — seasoned steamed rice with various ingredients in an iron pot served with teapot soup — which continues to be a hit with diners. If you prefer something lighter, opt for the café menu that offers diners interesting beverages such as yuzu honey tea and lemon ginger fruit high ball (made with freshly squeezed fruit juice).

4) A lifestyle store’s world-first table service concept

Enjoy iconic British fare such as fish and chips. PHOTO: M&S CAFE


Marks & Spencer, fondly known as M&S, started as a lifestyle store known for its British apparel and delicious goodies.

The major multinational retailer opened its world’s first table service M&S Café (#01-K2) right here in Singapore, in September 2016, to the delight of many of its loyal customers and fans.

The 60-seater café at Wheelock Place serves iconic British fare such as fish and chips, jacket potatoes and afternoon tea. Another milestone: Marks & Spencer (#01-01) also opened its first in-store bakery at Wheelock Place in 2012.

5) Singapore’s first artisanal sourdough bakery

Claim to fame: Cedele was the first bakery in Singapore to use artisanal methods of baking. PHOTO: CEDELE


For bread lovers, Cedele By The Bakery Depot (#03-13A/14) is a household name. It was the first bakery in Singapore to use artisanal methods of baking, in particular, making bread with sourdough yeast.

In fact, Cedele says its breads still use the same yeast starter as it did when it opened its doors 21 years ago, to ensure that every loaf retains a consistent flavour.

It also prides itself on being one of the first in Singapore to offer meal types and food solutions to customers with various dietary considerations, such as gluten-free, fat-free, egg-free, way before these dietary considerations became popular.

As early as 2001, it had started incorporating gluten-free superfoods into its dishes, including quinoa, millet, chia seed, blackberry rice. In recent years, Cedele has also enhanced its cooked food and beverage menu offerings, making use of superfoods such as beetroot, pumpkin and turmeric spices in its dishes.

6) Singapore’s first Golki Therapy specialist

Golki Therapy is a proprietary bone massage technique that helps women achieve their desired face sizes and body shapes. PHOTO: YAKSON HOUSE

Revitalise your appearance with an all-natural and non-invasive solution that promises to improve both the shape of your face and your body.

Founded in 1979 in South Korea, Yakson House opened its first store in Singapore at Wheelock Place (#05-12A) in 2016 and is Singapore’s only beauty centre offering treatments using Golki Therapy – a proprietary bone massage technique which helps women achieve their desired face sizes and body shapes.

How it works: The therapy involves unique bone massage techniques to realign the bone structure to its original, symmetrical shape, which lead to an increase in core blood circulation to the skin and muscles, improving supply of nutrients and discharge of waste.

A treatment session takes between 60 and 150 minutes. Yakson House says you can expect to see visible results in just five weeks, with more significant results shown between three and six months.

7) Calvin Klein Performance’s first standalone store

CKP’s latest range of summer activewear features coolcore technology that is woven into every fibre for maximum comfort. PHOTO: CALVIN KLEIN PERFORMANCE

Known for its bold, progressive, modern and sensual designs, global lifestyle brand Calvin Klein Performance (CKP) (#B2-06) opened its first standalone store at Wheelock Place.

The spacious store offers male and female fashionistas plenty of chic choices ranging from active to casual wear.

Of special mention is CKP’s latest range of summer activewear, which features coolcore technology that is woven into every fibre, ensuring the wearer remains comfortable even during a high-intensity sport. Thoughtful design additions such as mesh back panels to wick away heat, as well as contoured cuts and overlocking stitches to ensure the best fit at all times, also make the brand a great sportswear choice.

9) Be the first to buy the latest Melissa shoes

The Mini Melissa Ultragirl Bambi series. PHOTO: MELISSA

Give a girl the right shoes, and watch how she conquers the world.

Pop by regularly to Melissa’s (#B2-03) Wheelock Place outlet, where you will always find the most current collection, in accordance to the brand’s international releases.

Founded in Brazil, the soon-to-be six-year-old store is Melissa’s first boutique in Singapore, and a prized test-bed for new offerings. The brand has brought in many “firsts” here, including the Mini Melissa Ultragirl Bambi series, the Melissa Patchuli wedges, in addition to “Ms Wu” – a Melissa + Jason Wu collection.

8) Italian footwear brand’s first unique tie-up with Singapore’s top influencer

Superga collaborated with top Singapore influencer Drea Chong. PHOTO: SUPERGA

For a trendy yet reliable pair of trainers, look no further than Superga (#B2-04).

Well-loved among shoe lovers, Italian footwear brand Superga opened its flagship store at Wheelock Place in 2014.

This year, Superga upped the ante on its long-time partnership with Singapore’s top fashion and lifestyle influencer Drea Chong. Drawing inspiration from her globetrotting experiences, Drea Chong’s designs aim to provide ease and versatility, so you can wear them anywhere you go.

The shoes, which were launched on June 29 this year, were an instant hit here, with the collection selling out in just two days.

Other high-profile collaborations include the highly-sought after Superga X The Blonde Salad, the largest international influencer. In March this year, Superga’s collaboration with streetstyle aggregator Highsnobiety also made waves.

The store says it will continue to bring the latest international collaborations to Singapore.

10) First Crumpler store in Singapore

Crumpler opened its first Singapore store in Wheelock Place in 2003. PHOTO: CRUMPLER

When it comes to high quality, durable and functional carryalls, we know we can rely on Crumpler (#02-06). With more than 40 years of experience, Crumpler’s team of Melbourne based product designers and experienced pattern makers are driven by a common goal – to find solutions to everyday carrying problems through functional product design.

The much loved Australian brand has withstood the test of time. Crumpler continues to be a top pick for savvy Singaporean shoppers who value quality and functional designs since the brand opened its doors – its first store in Singapore – at Wheelock Place in 2003. Since then, Singaporeans have lapped up many of its first designs such as the Very Busy Man laptop messenger bag, the Wonder Weenie messenger bag and the Bee’s Knees.