It seems like half of Singapore is at Jewel Changi Airport, the mega mall with the Avatar-esque landscaping, which opened yesterday (April 17). Besides that breathtaking world’s tallest indoor waterfall cascading in an ethereal fashion from a shimmering occulus, the complex boasts over 280 shops, with 112 of them being F&B establishments. We’ve dropped by five times during the week-long preview. And boy, was it crowded like Chinatown on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

By comparison, the mall was relatively serene when we dropped by again on the official opening day yesterday — the majority of the crowd was parked outside the newly-opened Shake Shack and A&W downstairs. Perhaps ’cos the public previews had strict ticketed times for people to show up, whereas the hordes are free to come and go once Jewel is officially open. But we foresee yesterday’s uncharacteristic calm being a temporary blip and the crowds swelling this long Easter weekend.

One thing we observed on our several visits: it appears that folks are at Jewel mainly to makan: restaurants, even nondescript chain store brands with many outlets across the island, were packed with people resting their tired feet from wandering around the vast mall. Meanwhile, the retail shops (aside from Pokémon Centre) were relatively empty. Oh well, eating is the national pastime in Singapore after all.

Below is a list of 33 of Jewel’s more popular restaurants, with their approximate queue times during peak meal hours — tabulated during the preview week as well as on opening day yesterday. So you can choose where to fill your belly when you brave the crowd there.

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