Singapore Takeaway: Unique Culinary Souvenirs

January 5, 2017

Singapore will fill you with spectacular sights, sounds, a vibrant culture, and lip smacking food. The question is, what would you take away from the pulsating new-age city to remember it by?  

You can find the usual souvenirs like keychains and t-shirts easily, but the island-nation also offers some Singapore-specific takeaways that will instantly bring up the fantastic ‘foodie’ memories you have experienced during your visit. 

If you are at the end of your Singapore sojourn and are looking for the best culinary souvenirs, we have three interesting picks for you.  

1. Pastes And Sauces 

The culinary adventures and memorable tastes that you experienced in Singapore can be re-lived again and again with the fine selection of curry pastes, sauces, and pre-mixes that you can pick off the shelves from local stores and supermarkets. Think Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, satay and many more! Even that addictive garlic chilli sauce that goes with every dish of Hainanese chicken rice can be found on the shelves. 

One of their signature dishes, the Singapore Curry Chicken can be recreated with curry pastes packaged by brands such as Ayam. Then you have the iconic Laksa sauce kit from Prima Taste and Hai’s. To round off the culinary experience, you could also bring away the Beef Rendang paste or one of the many other savoury offerings to recreate a Singaporean feast back home.  

Where to get them?  

Any leading supermarkets like NTUC Fairprice, Giant and Cold Storage 

2. Savoury Delights 

This is as Singaporean as they come: a local delicacy that has remained unchanged over the past eight decades. We are talking about the Bak Kwa: tender barbecued pork jerky strips are a highlight of the city-state’s culinary experience. It has its origins in the Fujian province in China, but local shops have added their special touch with flavours like Chili Bak Kwa and made it an inimitable item of the island-nation.  

The tender strips are prepared with meat that is hand woven with a traditional bamboo sieve. The strips are then slow cooked over live coals. Once the strips have been smoked, they are then packaged to preserve their natural taste and flavour. The individually vacuum packed option allows the Bak Kwa to stay fresh and tender for months until you open the package to relive a special Singapore memory.  

Tip: They typically cost around $50/kg. Avoid getting them during Chinese New Year as the prices will be inflated! 

Where to get them?  

Kim Joo Guan - 257 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058806 

Lim Chee Guan - #01-25 People’s Park Complex or #B4-37 Ion Orchard 

Bee Cheng Hiang – 40 over outlets islandwide. Best to get them at Changi Airport (available at Terminals 1, 2 and 3) just before you depart. 

3. A Sweet Surprise 

From a salty, savoury treat we move to a soft, sweet and fragrant cake that is another popular ‘souvenir’. The Pandan Chiffon Cake is a sweet treat so ingrained in the public conscience that the mere smell of it rekindles pleasant childhood memories in the local population. It is not a fanciful 7-layered chocolate cake but it has a simple fragrance and lightness that compels one to have more than a slice at one go.

Its green hue comes from Pandan leaves or Pandanus amaryllifolius, a tropical plant commonly used in South East Asian cooking. It requires a lot of effort and time to squeeze the juice out of the Pandan leaves for the cake-making, so the locals will gladly buy it from the local bakeries as opposed to making their own. 

When you bring away this culinary souvenir from the island - nation, you will be filled with the sweet smells of Singapore when you indulge in it.      

Tip: It typically costs around $15 per cake or $1.50 per slice. This cake contains coconut milk. 

Where to get them?  

Bengawan Solo -  40 over outlets islandwide. Best to get them at Changi Airport (available at Terminals 1, 2 and 3) just before you depart. 

Rich & Good Cake Shop – 24 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198887. Swiss roll versions with different flavour combinations like Pandan Kaya.

4. Aroma of a Legacy

As you wander the streets of Singapore, you are bound to have come across the local coffee chains like Ya Kun and Toast Box. Serving Hainanese-style coffee and the comfort breakfast of fresh toast and runny eggs, they are a must-have for locals and tourists alike.

Traditionally, the coffee beans are roasted over firewood with margarine and sugar, imbuing a strong and aromatic flavour. After having a cup of the coffee, be sure to pick up a pack of roasted coffee beans for your morning coffees back home.

Be sure to check out their other popular products like bottled kaya, a coconut egg jam, for your toasts.

Where to get them? 

Ya Kun -  50 over outlets islandwide 

Toast Box – 70 over outlets islandwide

Killiney Kopitiam – 20 over outlets islandwide Orignal store is at 67 Killiney Rd Singapore 239525 (near Orchard Road)