As with many of our other finds, my husband is always the first to get wind of interesting new places. Does a supermarket count as a place of interest? It certainly does for us!
Honestbee Habitat opened its doors on Oct 18, that’s today! We arrived at 8-ish. Honestly, it was not about being kiasu, for those who know what our schedule is like, we prefer stores that open really early and close really late. In addition, Habitat was just around where we lived so we wanted to just see what the hype was all about.
They have upcoming events on the 20-21 and 27-28 Oct as well and I bet there will be a huge crowd, but that’s a cue for me not to be there as I hate crowds LOL
First impressions: The exterior of the building Boon Leat Terrace was a little old and industrial, parking lot and entrance isn’t particularly welcoming.
However do leave all your reservations at the entrance. The entire Habitat compound was very tastefully furnished in a Scandinavian Modern style and I was surprised at every turn! In order to get in, make sure you download the HonestBee app and login and click on Habitat. Another fantastic job that HonestBee team did was to hire a lot of friendly staff which were basically there to help you with getting around and your questions. Afterall, completely automated and cashless supermarkets are something new to Singapore.
After entering and being really overwhelmed by the huge space and super high ceilings, we were escorted to the breakfast area called Lazy Loaf where we could finally sit down and take it all in. As we were too early, there was only one item on their menu: The Lazy Breakfast. At $10 for a set that includes an egg, two slices of toast, a tiny knob of butter and some kaya, it seems rather expensive. If you want a morning pick-me-up, the coffee is another $4. However you can get to pick your own toaster… We were like “Whaaat?”. Anyway what we had is in the photos below.
Don’t get me wrong, although it was a lot of money, the Habitat Loaf (the slice of bread) is amazing. The egg is also rather good. I know they took a lot of effort in the menu to tell you the difference between the bread, butter and egg and other mediocre breakfasts sets but nothing can hide the fact that it is still expensive for kopi kaya toast without the kopi. That said, I wanted to still buy a whole loaf home though but I can’t, because it wasn’t ready. Oh well.
After a less hungry stomach (the portions aren’t great and we shared a set!), we felt good enough to walk around and explore the place. There were the usual groceries which you can get, with a fair amount of Habitat Exclusive items. A ton of effort was put into the space design though and it was such a nice place to walk around and around and around.
At a cursory glance, all the vegetables and fruit looked pretty fresh. I really prefer being able to look at my groceries before buying, which is why I don’t order groceries online that much. Besides, grocery shopping for me is like going to a theme park! (I know, pretty pathetic right?)
I really like the floral section too, unfortunately I wished I had taken more photos of it rather than just these terrariums.
Habitat is not just a grocery store, it is also a restaurant as well. The eating areas are all scattered around the store and they serve all kinds of food too. From breakfast to chicken to juices and seafood and grills, every person can surely find something they will like.
In addition to cooked food, you have the option of eating what you bought. If you buy kebabs from the butcher, you can get it grilled at the Campfire. You can also grill seafood like lobsters, or in my case, I went for the freshly shucked raw oysters. At $1.90 each, they are a bargain!
After that delicious meal of fresh oysters, I had to wash my fishy fingers and guess what? The washroom area held a pleasant surprise!
The enclave is where you can try out some beauty samples like hand and face creams, scrubs and perfumes. Surrounded with such awesomeness, I nearly forgot to go to the bathroom!
I’m glad I didn’t though because they certainly didn’t forget to renovate the bathroom as well.
After leaving the bathroom smelling good, I finally did some proper shopping and had to checkout all the goodies I got. The checkout process is unique as it is automated. Imagine it is a self-checkout. Here’s a video of the process.
We were supposed to wait until we receive a notification that let us know that our order was ready for collection so they encouraged us to walk around some more. I had expected it to take longer and was eyeing on some chocolates to add to my order but the people behind the curtain sent the SMS in mere minutes.
Collection was yet another robotic, automated process.
Pretty awesome right? Finally we were done with our Habitat experience.
Do note that parking is also pretty expensive but it is free during the weekends.
Habitat now officially ranks high up there with all my other favourite supermarkets and I hope they keep up the good job at running the place. I would certainly return for the fresh oysters, and to try out the other food when they become available because we were too early this time, likely after all the celebrations and hype have died down.