What to buy in Singapore (Nov 2018)
Bring home a slice of the Singapore experience beyond just photographs, to remember the highlights of your trip and to share your best experiences and memories with loved ones upon your return.
Whether you are looking to introduce authentic Singapore flavours at a party that are bound to get your guests salivating, or amass a collection of pretty trinkets that will remind you of the local sights you visited in the Lion City, this guide will come in handy.
Local tastes you can bring home
Visitors from all over the world wax lyrical about local Singaporean dishes such as the famous Chili Crab, Nasi Lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk) or one of Singapore’s best known dishes, Hainanese Chicken Rice. Even celebrity chefs such as Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay have given their stamps of approval to Singapore’s cuisine. If you are racking your brains over how to bring home a taste of Singapore to share with loved ones back home, be sure to check out The Cookie Museum‘s selection of cookies with a local twist. The elegant packaging makes it perfect for gifting, and you never have to worry about complaints of bringing home a boring gift.
Why not complement your tin of cookies with sachets of tea from 1872 Clipper Tea Co? This local tea brand will be sure to please everyone.
Brands that have stood the test of time
From humble beginnings in a shophouse to a company with outlets island-wide, Eu Yan Sang is a household name when it comes to high-quality traditional Chinese medicine and herbs. The Chinese are firm believers that good health begets wealth. So pick up their best-selling tonics such as the bottled birds’ nest and essence of chicken, and give the gift of health.
Bring home Singapore’s version of barbequed meat jerky from Lim Chee Guan (conveniently located at the basement of ION). Once a luxury only consumed during special occasions such as Chinese New Year, Bak Kwa (barbequed meat) has become a snack Singaporeans love to indulge in. It is traditionally given as a gift during Chinese New Year visitations and is a firm favourite with visitors and guests.
Capture Singapore festivities in a gift box
A giftware shop showcasing contemporary Singapore culture, Supermama is the place to find a variety of carefully curated items. The shop, which has the vibe of a fun and inviting art gallery, is known for its contemporary giftware line. Their minimalist designs incorporate common local sights such as HDB flats (public housing apartment blocks) and construction cranes that may not make it into the usual travel photo galleries or tourist guidebooks.
In 2015, they celebrated Singapore’s Golden Jubilee with a series of plates that marry modern design with intricate emblems of local history. In particular, the iconic Merlion plates series, with its clean lines, easy colours and stylised Merlion elements, would make a gift that is both practical and ornamental.
RISIS, a local jeweller best known for plating natural orchids in 24-karat gold, is popular with those looking for souvenirs with a touch of luxury. For Singapore’s 50th birthday, the brand has collaborated with five local figures who have helped shape the cultural landscape in Singapore, such as music composer and songwriter Dick Lee and President of United Nations Women National Committee Singapore Trina Liang. The result is a series of handcrafted, limited edition pendants. Each pendant showcases different aspects of the nation’s history, from architecture and the arts, to food and travel. All proceeds from the sales will go to charity.
And when it is time to return home, leave with memories of the myriad experiences that the city-state has to offer and bags crammed full of souvenirs that will remind you of your visit.