25 wonderful things to eat, buy, and see at Artbox 2018

Here's what we found worthwhile after spending five hours wandering around the pop-up creative market on opening day

Artbox Singapore 2018: What’s worth queuing for
Artbox Singapore 2018: What’s worth queuing for
26 May 2018

Artbox Singapore 2018: What’s worth queuing for

Singapore’s largest creative pop-up market, Artbox, is back for the second time, and this year it’s almost thrice the size of the previous edition. Spread over the Bayfront Event Space, and catering to an estimated 700,000 visitors (as opposed to 600,000 last year), Artbox has set up more than 400 booths of art, food, fashion, and beauty products from regional vendors and partners.

Since last year’s inaugural event received backlash for congestion and general chaos, we can understand if you are feeling a little wary about attending this time around, but amidst the OOTD backdrop-worthy shipping containers and fairy lights, we’ve sussed out a few booths to prioritise while touring the space, which was a lot roomier than we expected. Food-wise, the offerings aren’t exactly mind-blowing since you can find similar hipster-ish items (such as Sofnade’s Meatball Bucket) in the Geylang Serai Bazaar, but hey, it’s not like we’d complain about having jumbo-sized Thai Iced Teas, $14 LED drinks, and an abundance of mango sticky rice readily available beneath the heat of the sun.

A few things you need to know before going: firstly, while there are dozens of drink stalls around, with the exception of the aforementioned Thai Iced Tea, which you can get at $3 for 700 milliliters, the majority of the drinks can run up to $6 or more. Bring your own water if you’re planning to stay for more than an hour, because you WILL get dehydrated, and one sugary $6 drink will not be enough to quench your thirst.

Secondly, since Artbox has partnered with DBS, every booth has a flag saying that you can pay with PayLah!. But not every booth was prepared with a QR code, and some were cash only, so make sure you have enough money on you. There’s also an option to pay with tokens, but that’s another queue in itself, so we recommend making a trip to the ATM before commencing your shopping spree.

Plus, the vendor line-up will differ for each weekend, meaning it’s not guaranteed that anything you see here or on Instagram will be around once you actually head down to Bayfront. Which is all the more reason to drag your friends, family, or significant other for multiple trips over the two weekends that Artbox is open.

Keep reading to see the most charming things what we spotted in the maze of people, produce, and products.

Artbox Singapore 2018 will be held on  25 –27 May 2018 and 01 –03 June 2018 (Friday to Sunday) at Bayfront Event Space (beside Marina Bay Sands) between 3:00pm –11:00pm.

The most extra drink ever
The most extra drink ever
26 May 2018

The most extra drink ever

You can’t tell in a still photo, but the cup actually contains blinking LED lights, which made us feel as if we were drinking a magic potion. Alternatively, you can get fried chicken or other savoury goodies on top of your drink instead of ice cream.

Tea inspired by cats
Tea inspired by cats
26 May 2018

Tea inspired by cats

What kind of cuteness --- every gourmet tea blend in Kittea’s booth was inspired by a different kind of cat.  For instance, the Earl Grey tea with blue cornflowers was inspired by the British Shorthair, while The Calico tea contains strawberry bits and hints of vanilla. Regardless of how much you like tea or cats, the creative concept (and the adorable tins) make these hard to resist.

Butterbeer
Butterbeer
26 May 2018

Butterbeer

Boo:Eh’s take on the famed Harry Potter beverage is a lot less sweet than the one we tried in Universal Studios. To some, that might make it less shiok, but those with a low tolerance for sweets will find Boo:Eh’s version easier to swallow.

 

Modernised chai tow kway
Modernised chai tow kway
26 May 2018

Modernised chai tow kway

Modernised, atas, hipster – whatever label you want to stick on it, it’s clear that Carrot Cubes’ carrot cake, which comes in flavours like Thai Chili and Bacon, ain’t your grandma’s chai tow kway. That being said, while we initially found $7 a little steep for the bacon flavour, we enjoyed how the saltiness of the bacon complemented the soft, starchy texture of the carrot cake itself.

Grass jelly milk
Grass jelly milk
26 May 2018

Grass jelly milk

We spotted these grass jelly milk drinks at the Tiew Mai Thai Boat Noodles booth, so you can try this if you’ve already overdosed on Thai iced tea.

Fried S’mores Bombz and Grilled Cheese-Bboki at 3 Broke Girls
Fried S’mores Bombz and Grilled Cheese-Bboki at 3 Broke Girls
26 May 2018

Fried S’mores Bombz and Grilled Cheese-Bboki at 3 Broke Girls

While neither of these sugary desserts are for the faint of heart, we couldn’t resist chomping into the former: a deep-fried marshmallow drizzled with condensed milk. (Also, who would have thought to sprinkle Fruity Pebbles onto tteokbokki?)

Frozen coconuts at Coco Glace
Frozen coconuts at Coco Glace
26 May 2018

Frozen coconuts at Coco Glace

These coconut desserts might be frozen, but they were a hot item among the overheated masses at Friday’s opening day.

Ghin Kao’s watermelon fried rice
Ghin Kao’s watermelon fried rice
26 May 2018

Ghin Kao’s watermelon fried rice

This refreshing twist to pineapple fried rice is just what we need when it’s over 30 degrees outside.

Mentaiko quail eggs
Mentaiko quail eggs
26 May 2018

Mentaiko quail eggs

At Easy Eggs, you’ll find grilled quail egg balls coated in a generous helping of mentaiko (fish roe sauce). 

Affordable bags
Affordable bags
26 May 2018

Affordable bags

Amidst the $25-$35 totes and canvas bags, we found these relatively affordable, yet serviceably cute, items.

Adorable handmade ceramics
Adorable handmade ceramics
26 May 2018

Adorable handmade ceramics

Not a single person passed by Clayranee’s booth without emitting a squeal. These charming handmade ceramics, which use Japanese clay, would brighten up even the dullest of dinner tables.

Adopt a plant
Adopt a plant
26 May 2018

Adopt a plant

We spotted a cluster of trendy air plants and squee-worthy mini bonsai trees at Crafted Identity, which will only be around for the first weekend.

Mini dried flower bouquets
Mini dried flower bouquets
26 May 2018

Mini dried flower bouquets

At just $6, the mini bouquets at the Blanc Studios booth are a portable, affordable, and attractive token of affection.  

1-for-1 spectacles
1-for-1 spectacles
26 May 2018

1-for-1 spectacles

Buy a pair of specs at the Visual Mass booth this weekend, and you can redeem another pair at their permanent store in Orchard Gateway.

Calling all meme queens
Calling all meme queens
26 May 2018

Calling all meme queens

Yanny versus Laurel, corgi butts – this both is our Instagram Explore page come to life.

Dining areas
Dining areas
26 May 2018

Dining areas

While last year’s event had only one dining area, this year’s features five dining zones and a chill-out area equipped with free standing hammocks. You can also relax on a wooden pallet or play in one of the 20 shipping areas located around the area.

Bounce around in the foam pit (for $5)
Bounce around in the foam pit (for $5)
26 May 2018

Bounce around in the foam pit (for $5)

We have good news for hygiene fanatics: not only is this room air-conditioned (less sweat, hooray), but everyone who enters the pool is required to apply hand sanitiser.

Kombi Rocks photo booth
Kombi Rocks photo booth
26 May 2018

Kombi Rocks photo booth

Not into shipping containers? Step inside this cozy, retro photo station instead.

OOTD-worthy quote walls
OOTD-worthy quote walls
26 May 2018

OOTD-worthy quote walls

These will save you the effort of coming up with a caption for Instagram.

More OOTD backdrops
More OOTD backdrops
26 May 2018

More OOTD backdrops

That rosy-coloured shipping container might be the closest thing we’ll get to LA’s famous pink wall in Singapore.

Play old-school arcade games
Play old-school arcade games
26 May 2018

Play old-school arcade games

Feeling overwhelmed by the crowds? Escape into a motoring game from yesteryear.

Paint your own wares
Paint your own wares
26 May 2018

Paint your own wares

The Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle booth contains both ready-made and DIY wares – should you choose latter, you can either pick up your completed item during next weekend’s Artbox, or you get it at their physical store in near NTU.

Personalised stamps at Craftfeteria
Personalised stamps at Craftfeteria
26 May 2018

Personalised stamps at Craftfeteria

Because nothing says “relationship goals” like stamping you and your beloved’s likeness on your wedding or party invites.

Succulents flown in from Korea
Succulents flown in from Korea
26 May 2018

Succulents flown in from Korea

We know that Korea is famed for their beautiful people, but who knew that the stereotype applied to their succulents?

Bags, bags, and more bags
Bags, bags, and more bags
26 May 2018

Bags, bags, and more bags

These $30 canvas beach bags at Thanom bags not only come in an array of trendy designs, but you can select a free tassel of your choice upon making your purchase.

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