Update June 2020: Habitat by HonestBee has closed.
The future of eating and shopping is here! Habitat by Honestbee opened its doors late last year, bringing its online grocery delivery service to a gorgeous brick and mortar space in Pasir Panjang. The spacious warehouse combines retail and F&B elements into one cashless concept, and has stirred up quite a storm among food aficionados and techies alike.
Here are a couple things you should know before heading down to Habitat by Honestbee:
- You’ll need to download the HonestBee mobile app to enter and pay for everything, so make sure you have that set up before you go. You can download it outside the entrance, where wifi is available.
- Some dishes take longer to prepare than others (more on that). You may want to make your order some 10 to 20 minutes before you reach so it’s ready to go when you step into Habitat during peak hours!
Similar to megastores by IKEA, Courts, and Giant, Habitat by Honestbee comprises different sections, each dedicated to a category of carefully curated groceries or household items.
What’s unique about Habitat, though, is that its blending of retail and food collection points is not as chaotic as it sounds. Drab, metal shelves have been replaced by eye-catching setups (there are beauty products that are even displayed in the bathroom) displaying high quality goods while customers meander from shelf to stall. I did feel the grocery selection is a bit smaller than expected, but I’m sure HonestBee is working to expand sometime in the future to accommodate more choices.
For the uninitiated, you can choose to Scan & Go – select the items you wish to purchase, and pick them up when you’re ready!
The collection point, which is completely automated by robotics, is somewhat of a cheap thrill. And highly convenient if you have ever had to juggle between having your meal with a trolley piled high with groceries parked rather ostentatiously next to you. Food drones next, anyone?
Speaking of food, there is no shortage of it at HonestBee. And thanks to their ordering system, which operates entirely on the HonestBee mobile app, there is no need to jostle with the crowd to place your order. Simply tap and order from the comfort of your table and wait for the notification to pick up your food.
Weekends are considerably more crowded, but there are plenty of seating areas available.
Customers of Moss: Straits Cuisine can dine in an exclusive area furnished with classy marble patterned tables and lush, navy blue seats.
Asian and Western food and drinks are available at 18 – yes, 18 brands scattered across Habitat’s premises. Exclusive on HonestBee are: Hinoki, Char, Oyster and Seafood Bar, Bento, Lucky Peach, Lazy Loaf, and Campfire. You can also pick your own cut of meat from the butcher if you’re ordering from Campfire!
Taste wise, most of the food and drinks we tried at Habitat is decent, and there are great options to grab a quick bite if you’re in the area to shop for groceries. They are definitely priced higher than the average food court, though, and I would probably save time and energy for when I’m really craving something enough to make the long trip down.
That said, though, there were a couple of dishes that stood out in terms of flavour and quality. The Poofy Pancakes ($14) by Poofy by Riz Labo are one of the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted. Each bite felt like I was biting into a soft, gentle cloud, with the vanilla chantilly cream and maple syrup adding a touch of sweetness. Plus points for the plump, fresh berries too! Highly recommended for an indulgent breakfast or dessert.
Another win for me are the Signature Fish and Chips ($12.90 – $22.90) by Captain Snapper, which ranges from Dory to Atlantic Cod and Barramundi. Each box of fish and chips is generously portioned with three thick slabs of fish fillet and chips, making it suitable for sharing between two diners. So that’s practically $6.45 – $11.45 per serving per pax! Win for our wallets.
While the batter and chips are a tad oiler than I would have liked, the fish itself is delightfully fluffy and fresh. The tartar sauce tastes freshly made, and better than most other places I’ve had fish and chips at.
While far flung from most of us, Habitat by HonestBee is worth a visit if you are curious about their cashless shopping concepts and automated pick up areas. Be prepared to travel a fair bit, although shuttle buses are available at Labrador Park MRT.
Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace 01-01
Nearest MRT: Pasir Panjang
Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 10pm
Friday, Saturday, and eve of Public Holidays: 10am – 12am