If you're looking to bring something home that shouts 'Made in Singapore' instead of postcards or fridge magnets, we've summed up some of the hottest, most addictive and tasteful experiences and gifts that you'd definitely want to buy a few extras.
1. Salted Egg Chips
Because we salted-egg everything and salted egg is everything!
Fellow Singaporeans, if you thought the salted egg trend is only big in Singapore, you are very wrong.
They say it's "dangerously addictive" and we have to agree! Get your hands on some Irvins Salted Egg chips at Plaza Singapura or Westgate now.
2. Local knick-knacks
Buy the iced gem pin for a friend at home who prefers something subtle and the bak chor mee cushion for that one friend who's always lazing at home.
Tell your friends about the umami-licious world of bak chor mee and show them your shot with the merlion t-shirt on and our half-lion half-fish icon in the background.
A local design studio with quirky lifestyle products that relates to every Singaporean, founder and designer Tan Li Ling has created perfect conversation-starters.
wheniwasfour is stocked at Naiise - where you can also pick up more designed-in-Singapore products - go check them out at The Star Vista.
Photo: Bee Cheng Hiang
There's beef jerky; and then there's bakkwa.
Pronounced /buc-ku-ah/ it's one of the best things about the Lunar New Year (no, we're kidding, it's the family gatherings and... no, it's bakkwa).
Sometimes we buy a slice or two as a snack just cause we cannot resist walking past a stall without salivating.
Pick up a packet (or two) at Bee Cheng Hiang in Raffles City Singapore or any CapitaLand mall near you. Fun fact, you can also find them at our Raffles City developments in China, from Shanghai to Chengdu and Ningbo!
Pro tip: be sure to check your local immigration rules before stocking up. Some countries allow for vacuum-packed and labelled food packages but others may not.
Even-more-pro pro tip: try different recipes with bakkwa. Some friends enjoy it as a sandwich while others wrap it around crisp mini cucumber sticks. Try make bakkwa aglio olio the next time you host dinner - they'll be back for seconds.
Photos: Bee Cheng Hiang
4. Local kopi and that coconut jam kaya
Skip the hotel breakfast and go on an adventure.
You cannot get a local breakfast more authentic than runny eggs, kaya toast with creamy butter slices and a dark, aromatic, full-bodied roast.
Do your research beforehand and learn the art of ordering kopi (coffee) like the locals - Kopi O (black, with sugar) / Kopi (with condensed milk) / Kopi C (with sugar & evaporated milk). Add the word peng for iced; and switch kopi to teh for tea.
5. Fashion labels by Singapore designers
Photo: IN GOOD COMPANY
Singapore designers Sven Tan and Kane Tan are flying the Singapore flag high - with their fashion label IN GOOD COMPANY stocked in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand - the duo's first standalone boutique is in ION Orchard, right in the heart of Singapore's shopping belt.
IN GOOD COMPANY also took home the coveted Designer of the Year accolade at the inaugural Singapore Fashion Awards 2016.
Rock their unique designs and get your friends all envious.
Photos: IN GOOD COMPANY
6. Peranakan Culture & Cuisine
Descendants of indigenous people of the Malay archipelago and Chinese / Indian immigrants, many Peranakans lived in the Katong area hence the colourful shophouses and gorgeous houses with ornate ceramic tiles dotting the district.
Try Violet Oon's Satay Bar & Grill at Clarke Quay or an authentic taste of Peranakan cuisine. Savour the perfectly chargrilled meats with fiery sauces and try the many other Nyonya favourites on the menu. Soak up the nostalgic vibes of yesteryear in the elegant decor and order a cocktail or two to unwind.
7. Curry puffs
Somewhat similar in guise to the Cornish pasty, a curry puff is a little pocket of golden goodness.
Wrapped in a delicious pastry, filled with chicken, curried potatoes, egg, herbs and spices, it is a wonderful mid-day snack.
You get the occasional specials like Nasi Lemak Curry Puffs or Chilli Crab Curry Puffs, don't be afraid to give them a shot!
Try one (actually, don't stop at one) and other goodies like fishballs or chicken wings at Old Chang Kee at Bedok Mall, Junction 8, Plaza Singapura and many other malls.
They've recently opened their first outlet in London's Covent Garden so you know where to satisfy your craving if you're living in Europe!
8. Famous green pandan cake
News outlet CNN coined the humble pandan cake as "one of the world's 17 best cakes" in 2017.
Is it true, you ask? Of course!
Light and moist all at once, this unsuspecting cloud of green wobbly goodness is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.
Satisfy your curiosity at local bakery Bengawan Solo at Bugis Junction, Plaza Singapura or Tampines Mall if you're looking for something nearer to the airport.
Bring some home for your friends and family if luggage space permits. Most definitely try some of the local kuehs and sweet treats, they are all pretty in poppy colours and perfect for that #travelgram.
9. Singapore's famous tiger ointment
Singaporeans are familiar with the smell of the camphor-based medicated balm. Growing up, family members would have applied it on our itching insect bites, used to as pain relief for back aches or even smeared some balm under our noses when we are down with a cold.
With a formula that dates back to the ancient courts of Chinese emperors, it is little wonder that most households here will stock a jar or two of Tiger Balm.
Sons of Chinese herbalist, Aw Chu Kin, brought their father's medicinal business to Singapore in the early 1900s and then sold their ointment to surrounding countries like Malaya, Hong Kong, Batavia, Siam and various cities in China.
It is so well-loved some fans have even inked the iconic logo on themselves!
10. A Singaporean Mickey?
To celebrate Mickey's 90th anniversary, Raffles City Singapore is hosting Disney’s first “Mickey Go Local” campaign this August!
Head to Raffles City Singapore to check out the public exhibition of 90 Mickey Mouse figurines designed in true "Singapore style" by individuals from different walks of life, including President Halimah Yacob.
Specially-created “Mickey Go Local” products, including household items, fashion merchandise and accessories, feature Mickey Mouse in uniquely Singaporean settings that showcase local heritage, customs, language and delicacies. Over 80 of these products will debut at the “Mickey Go Local” pop-up store at Raffles City Singapore.
We will be sharing more behind-the-scenes exclusives in our upcoming story, stay tuned!
For those among us experiencing wanderlust, check out the 10 best poolside views for travelling for!
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