Looking for some edible Singaporean Christmas presents for the lucky gourmands in your life? Step forward these seven delicious heritage heroes from the Lion City, each of which offers lip-smackingly unique gifts for the folks back home (or just for yourself; no judgement). Dig in…
Founded in 1879, Eu Yan Sang is a herby household institution that sells an imagination-stirring array of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) products and more than 1,000 types of Chinese herbs. Eu Yan Sang’s health-boosting empire also includes an array of clinics and shops scattered across Singapore, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Malaysia. Never sampled snow fungus or bird’s nest desserts before? Change that here. These edible curiosities are sold in portable dry form (just add water), making them light and ideal gifts.
Address Jewel Changi Airport #B2-219 and numerous stores in the transit and public areas of Changi Airport, and across Singapore.
Opening hours 10am–10pm, daily (Jewel store).
Bee Cheng Hiang has won a loyal global following for its toothsome bak kwa (barbecued meat slices), which are a non-negotiable snack during Chinese New Year. If you’ve got an artistic streak, decorate and customise your Bee Cheng Hiang boxes with stamps of Singaporean motifs. Pick up a box of vacuum-packed bak kwa alongside other smash-hit treats such as pork floss, which Bee Cheng Hiang has cleverly reimagined as crunchy biscuits. Visit the brand’s flagship store on Serangoon Road and try your hand at grilling your own bak kwa, before enjoying a contemporary bak kwa-inspired menu, accompanied by a stellar wine list.
Address 1359 Serangoon Road (Bee Cheng Hiang Grillery; flagship store); 189 New Bridge
Road (Chinatown) and numerous stores in the transit area and public area of Changi Airport, and across Singapore.
Opening hours 9.30am–10.30pm, daily (Bee Cheng Hiang Grillery).
Singapore has a world-class knack for cakes and pastries, so be sure to swing by Thye Moh Chan before you head home. Take some classic snacks back with you: tau sar piah (mung bean pastry), mooncakes (sweet pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival) and gula melaka pineapple pastries (cakes stuffed with pineapple puree and palm sugar) are all popular choices. Thye Moh Chan sticks to traditional recipes and techniques, so you’ll be bringing back an authentic taste of the city.
Address Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road #01-45 (Chinatown); Jewel Changi Airport #B2-231 (Changi Airport); Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd #B1-12 (Orchard); and VivoCity #03-01(HarbourFront).
Opening hours 10am–10pm, daily.
Perhaps you want to treat the sweet-tooth in your life to some delicious kueh lapis (layered cake), pandan chiffon cake or pineapple tarts. If so, look no further than Bengawan Solo, a celebrated brand that shines at making traditional treats and confections. Pick up a pretty box or two of cookies, packaged in elegant octagonal tins with patterns inspired by indigenous flowers. Local flavours to try include cashew nut, coffee oat, almond and hazelnut.
Address Jewel Changi Airport #01-228/229 (Changi Airport), ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn #B4-38 (Orchard) and numerous stores in the transit area and public area of Changi Airport, and across Singapore.
Opening hours 9am–10pm, daily.
You can’t talk about Singaporean cookies without mentioning Home’s Favourite, which sells a mouthwatering selection of Willy Wonka-worthy souvenirs. Here, the cookie flavours range from the classic (pineapple or lychee, for example) to the bold, such as chilli crab and laksa (spicy, coconut-milk-based noodle soup). Friends and family will love these delicious nibbles, which come packaged in traditional tiffin-style containers.
Address TANGS Orchard.
Opening hours Mon-Sat 10.30am–9.30pm, Sun 11am–8.30pm.
Since you can never have too many cookies, especially not after a trip to Singapore, we also recommend Old Seng Choong’s biscuits, which come beautifully presented in decorative, gold-coloured gift boxes. Try cakes, cookies and pies starring distinctly Singaporean flavours, such as goreng pisang (banana fritters) and bak kwa (barbecued meat slices).Popular cookie choices include pandan (screwpine) coconut, cereal prawn and earl grey. You can also pick up pre-mix sauces so that the food-lovers in your life can rustle up Singaporean classics back home: chilli crab and Hainanese chicken rice, perhaps.
Address The Central @ Clarke Quay, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #01-48.
Opening hours Daily 11am–10pm.
Run by fourth-generation owners, Pek Sin Choon was established back in 1925. Easily recognised by its ‘Shepherd Boy on Buffalo’ trademark, Pek Sin Choon stocks popular teas such as jasmine, pu’er, oolong and tie guanyin. Not sure what to go for? Fear not: you can sip and sample in the tea boutique before selecting your purchase. Charmingly, traditional Pek Sin Choon continues to wrap its tea leaves in paper by hand, rather than mechanising the process. Visitors can learn more about the many teas on display (which are also used by many traditional Chinese medical halls), and browse vintage-style teapots, tea caddies and tea-brewing sets. This educational boutique also hosts tea workshops and customises gift bundles on request.
Address 36 Mosque Street.
Opening hours Mon, Wed-Sat 8.30am–6.30pm; Tue 9am–6.30pm.