Lucky Plaza Shopping CenterThe Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road belongs to one of the very first few shopping centers that were completed in the early 1980s. Even with recent face-lifts, Lucky Plaza is very much still a plain-looking mall but luckily it is blessed with a strategic frontage teeming with shops and pedestrians.
Lucky Plaza is easily accessible from the Orchard MRT Station (NS22) via an air-conditioned underpass link with a 7-minute walk. It is also directly connected to the swankier Takashimaya shopping center via an underground walkway.
You may have been forewarned by friends to avoid Lucky Plaza at all cost because it is a tourists trap. Unfortunately, this is true as there are some black sheep in Lucky Plaza that target unsuspecting tourists with unscrupulous sales practices.
But to avoid Lucky Plaza totally will be a massive knee-jerk reaction and you will miss some hidden gems and trustworthy shops that are definitely worth a visit.
Lucky Plaza is also home to many remittance houses and micro-businesses catering to the Filipino diasporas in Singapore, hence it’s sometimes called “Little Philippines”. By the way, if you are coming to Singapore for a short shopping trip soon, do check out these budget hotels near Orchard Road. They are definitely cheaper than the luxury hotels along Orchard Road.
What to Avoid in Lucky Plaza
To play it safe, try to avoid buying any electronics gadgets like digital cameras, DSLRs, game consoles, handheld devices, laptops and accessories from the electronics shops here.
Some of the greedy salesmen in these electronics stores engage in elaborate scam tactics targeting non-informed and first time visitors to Singapore. They use a myriad of bait-and-switch, tax-refund, false warranty, top-up schemes that serves only one purpose – to confuse and pressure shoppers into parting with their cash.
A recommended place to buy genuine and fixed-price electronics products will be the reputable Best Denki electrical appliances department store on Level 5 of Takashimaya Shopping Center.
What to Buy in Lucky Plaza
Well informed locals like to shop for cheap and genuine perfumes in many of little shops in Lucky Plaza. These shops sell “testers” from major brands like Estee Lauder, Issey Miyake, Elizabeth Arden, Bvlgari, Davidoff, etc.
At 40% discount compared to retail bottles, these tester bottles are flying off the shelves even they though come in plain packaging with “Not for Sale” labels.
Besides cheap perfumes, there are also a large number of shops selling knickknacks and souvenirs. Only if you are really short of time, then Lucky Plaza is a convenient but pricey place to pick-up some Singapore-flavor souvenirs. Remember to bargain if you buying more than 3 pieces to get the best price.
Many fashion stores from Level 3 onwards sell cheap clothes and shoes catering mainly to the Filipino maids who come to shop in hordes during their off day. Visitors should take advantage of the cheap wares here to pick-up a few bargains to bring back home.
Authentic Filipino Food and Cheap Asian Delights
Lucky Plaza is also a gem that stands out from the swankier restaurants and chic cafes in Orchard Road malls. Locals can be seen making a bee-line to some of its small nondescript cafes that serve cheap and home-cooked-style food during lunch hour.
The Ayam Penyet Ria Café on Level 1 and 4 serves a mean Javanese dish of “Smashed Fried Chicken” that some even swear that its better than KFC. The mix of the spicy and sweet Sambal Belachan chilli paste with the crispy but non-greasy chicken meat is a must-try here. A set meal with rice here costs less than USD$8.
For authentic Filipino cuisine, the cafes helmed by Philippines immigrants on Level 3 and 4 would be your best choice, nowhere else does it better than them. You can sample TilapSiLog (a dish of crispy fried Tilapia fish with signature fried rice) and Chicharon Bulaklak (traditional Filipino dish of fried pork intestine) over at Jologs Bistro, Level 3.
Hidden at far-end of Lucky Plaza, next to the escalator on Level 2, is Rabbit Brand Seafood Delicacies Cafe. They serve Chinese delicacies like “Buddha Jumped over the Wall” and baby abalone set meals at less than USD$8. Portions are reasonable and tea is served free flow.
As a visitor to Lucky Plaza, you can’t go hungry with the large variety of food to suit any palate. At anytime, you can also fallback on everyone’s favorite, the McDonald’s at basement. On the same basement, there is a food court serving cheap local delights like chicken rice and noodles at less than USD$5 per dish.
Majority of the 500 over independent stores in Lucky Plaza shopping center are open from 10am – 10pm, Mon – Sun.
Address: 304 Orchard Road Singapore 238863
Contact Number: +65 6235 3294
Mall Website: www.luckyplaza.com.sg
Nearest MRT Station: Orchard MRT Station (NS22)