A Taste of Singapore Food Souvenirs to Bring Home
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A Taste of Singapore: Food Souvenirs to Bring Home

When your vacation in Singapore is ending and it’s time to shop for souvenirs, ditch the mugs, T-shirts, and key holders; those are the most common gifts people buy. Instead, go for something more interesting—like food souvenirs!

After all, food is a big part of Singapore’s culture, so food souvenirs let your loved ones back home get a taste of this country in some way. Plus, you have many food souvenir options—from sweet-and-salty dried meat to sweet treats inspired by local cuisine!

For recommendations on the best food souvenirs to buy in Singapore (and where to buy them), read this article. I’ve prepared a list for you!

The Best Food Souvenirs to Buy in Singapore

Bak Kwa

Bak kwa is one of the most beloved snacks in Singapore, so it only makes sense that you purchase a pack (or two or three) to bring home with you. 

Bak kwa is a dried meat product that’s like jerky and tastes sweet and salty. This snack came from Chinese immigrants back in the day, which is why it’s become a tradition to eat this during Chinese New Year

Another great thing about bak kwa is that it’s so versatile. You can eat it as is, but you can also pair it with rice, put it in sandwiches, or use it as a topping for soups and salads. 

Some people even use bak kwa as an ingredient for dessert, so anything goes!

Lup Chong

Lup chong is another Chinese delicacy that has become popular in Singapore. It may seem like your typical sausage, but it’s more than that: it’s made from pork (sometimes duck liver) that’s smoked and seasoned with rice wine, soy sauce, and rose water.

Because of its sweet and savory flavor combination, lup chong is great to eat with rice, noodles, and pasta. Duck liver lup chong is somewhat different because it has a richer flavor than its pork counterpart, but it’s definitely still worth trying. 

Pork Floss

Also known as yuk sung, pork floss (or meat floss) is a delicacy that’s made of dried meat. Pork is the most commonly used meat, but chicken and beef are also valid alternatives. 

This treat is characterized by its light and fluffy cotton-like texture, which is why it’s called “floss.” It’s great to eat on its own, but you can use it as a filling for savory buns and pastries and even as a topping for soups, congee, and other dishes. 

Chips Inspired by Local Cuisine

Look for potato chips with flavors inspired by local cuisine such as F.East Chips. You can find flavors exclusive to Singapore like Hainanese chicken rice and Singapore laksa!

It’s a great way to introduce Singaporean flavors to your friends and family back home. They’ll be able to appreciate the savory and gingery aroma of Hainanese chicken rice and the spicy kick of Singapore laksa. 

Another popular flavor is the egg prata with fish curry. This one is also pretty spicy, making it a perfect gift for people who like things hot and peppery.  

Kaya Jam

When it comes to breakfast, nothing is more Singaporean than several pieces of kaya toast and a serving of soft-boiled eggs. If you want to recreate this breakfast back home, then you’ll need to buy a jar of kaya jam. 

Kaya jam is just another name for coconut jam; its main ingredients are simply coconut milk, eggs, and sugar. Sometimes, the jam is also infused with the flavor of pandan. 

Kaya jam is creamy and sweet, and it’s commonly spread on toast. But this jam isn’t just reserved for breakfast; it can also be used as a topping for desserts, such as pulut tekan (sweet glutinous rice that’s colored blue due to butterfly pea flowers). 

Instant Kopi

For your loved ones who are big fans of coffee, you should give them a taste of the iconic Singaporean kopi. Made from robusta beans, kopi is noted for its high caffeine concentration, so ideally, you shouldn’t consume more than one cup of brewed kopi.

That said, kopi is delicious and customizable; I prefer adding evaporated milk and condensed milk to mine. It’s also accessible now because of the availability of instant kopi; Toast Box and Old Town are two of the biggest brands. 

Kayat toast is the most popular pairing for kopi, but you can also eat pastries with it. Even cheese pairs well with a cup of kopi!

Singapore Breakfast Tea

For your loved ones who prefer tea to coffee, you should bring them a tin or two of Singapore Breakfast Tea! 

This tea features a mix of green tea, black tea, rich vanilla, and rare spices, so brewing it brings forth a unique flavor—rich and sweet, with a bit of aftertaste. To customize the taste further, you can also add a splash of milk and sugar or a sliced lemon to your cup. 

Even though this tea is mostly consumed during breakfast, it’s also great to drink when you’re eating a snack at any point of the day. So, your tea-lover friends and family members will appreciate this gift.

Sambal Belacan

Gone are the days when ketchup and mustard were the go-to condiments; if you want something that adds flavor and heat to your meal, get yourself a jar of sambal belacan. 

Essentially, sambal belacan is a condiment that’s made from chili peppers, fermented fish or shrimp, and other spices. Because of this, it’s both salty and spicy, with a kick of umami. 

Sambal belacan is incredibly versatile! Most people just use it as a dipping use for their proteins, but you can get creative with it; for example, you can mix it into your soup base or even make a pasta sauce using it. 

Bak Kut Teh Soup Mix

Bak kut teh is a pork rib dish that’s become a staple during cold weather because of its hot broth. However, this broth takes hours to make, which is why many people don’t make it often. 

Luckily, you can buy several packets of bak kut teh soup mix that you can just dump into a pot and let it cook for a few minutes! It doesn’t have the flavor of hard work sprinkled in, but it’s definitely the next best thing. 

Nasi Lemak Cookies

Nasi lemak is made from rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, making it a savory dish. So, there’s no way that it can work as a dessert…right?

Spoiler alert: it actually can! In fact, many bakeries in Singapore have made their own rendition of nasi lemak cookies. 

The savory, buttery, and sweet flavors actually work together, and depending on where you buy your cookies, they can even taste spicy and have hints of dried anchovies!

Durian Puffs

Durian, on its own, will always be a controversial topic because of its funky smell. But when you use it in a dessert, it’s perfection! 

So, if you’re leaving Singapore, don’t forget to buy a box of durian puffs for yourself and your loved ones back home. Durian puffs have a flaky pastry and a creamy durian filling; they’re light, airy, and sweet, making them very addictive to eat. 

Dried Persimmon

A traditional dried fruit that’s popular in East Asia, dried persimmon is a versatile snack. You can eat it on its own, or you can use it to create other desserts or put it in your tea; you can even use it to make wine! 

The flavor of dried persimmon is very concentrated, sweet, and fruity; it also has some notes of cinnamon. This snack is also relatively affordable, so feel free to buy several bags of them. 

Kueh Lapis

Kueh, or steamed rice cake, is one of the most iconic Singaporean desserts; in fact, it’s so beloved that it actually has several different types. If you’re getting overwhelmed with which ones to bring home, I recommend kueh lapis.

Kueh lapis is just pleasant to look at because it’s made of several layers. Usually, these layers are different colors, making them look like a rainbow, but sometimes, only two or three colors are used, especially if the baker has a theme in mind. 

Kueh lapis is often compared to pudding because it’s usually soft and wobbly; that said, some shops prefer to make their kueh lapis firm and springy. In terms of taste, the rich flavor of coconut milk is prominent, and its sweetness is just the right amount. 

Pandan Cake

Personally, pandan cake is one of my favorite desserts ever, and if you’ve never tried it, this is your chance to rectify that—and maybe purchase a box of it as a souvenir when you fly back home.

Pandan cake is noted for its green color, thanks to the pandan leaf. It’s also light and airy, like a chiffon cake, and while most bakeries serve this cake as is, some add a layer of frosting or even a filling inside to add more sweetness. 

Pineapple Tart

Pineapple tarts are small and bite-sized, but wow, do they pack a punch! In the tart’s center, you’ll find a filling of pineapple jam, which is equal parts sweet and tangy; as for the tart crust, it’s rich and buttery and crumbles when you bite into it!

In Singapore, pineapple tarts are considered festive cookies, so they’re popular during festivals like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali. That said, bakeries sell these tarts all year round, so you can find them practically anytime.

The Singapore Sling

The Singapore Sling is a gin-based cocktail that’s believed to have been developed in the early 1900s. Currently, this is a popular drink served at the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, and there’s always a long queue of people who want to try it. 

If you have a friend or family member who loves trying new alcoholic drinks, you can buy a bottle of premade Singapore Sling for them. Just beware that the bottle is heavy, so make sure you have enough room in your luggage for it.

Where to Buy Food Souvenirs in Singapore

TWG Tea

Website

TWG Tea is a popular brand with many locations all over the world. In Singapore alone, there are currently 13 branches, and many of them are in Changi Airport, so you can just buy your tea souvenirs there before your flight. 

The Singapore Breakfast Tea is the souvenir I recommend you buy, but you have other options as well, such as Gyokuro tea or Darjeeling tea. Many of the products offered here are expensive, but luckily, there are still affordable options (under S$50). 

1872 Clipper Tea Co

Address: 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 10 pm
Contact Number: +6565098745
Website

Another great place to buy tea souvenirs in Singapore is 1872 Clipper Tea Co. The oldest tea producer in Singapore, this shop specializes in the finest teas from Sri Lanka (previously known as Ceylon). 

Some of the best tea flavors available here include peach breeze, lychee fiesta, jasmine pearls, and blissful berries. In addition to tea, this shop serves pastries like delectable leaf pies and fluffy tea puffs, so feel free to buy a few of them as well. 

The Golden Duck

Website

If you’re looking for snacks that are flavored after Singaporean dishes, The Golden Duck is the best brand to turn to. In fact, The Golden Duck is so beloved that its products are sold in groceries all over Singapore and in 20 other countries!

The great thing about The Golden Duck is that it sells a snack box, which has five bags of chips in several flavors. The Singapore chili crab flavor is my personal favorite, but I also really like the salted egg fish skin and mala hot pot. 

Bengawan Solo

Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #B4 – 38, Singapore 238801
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 9:30 pm
Contact Number: +6562382090
Website

Established in 1979, Bengawan Solo is one of the go-to shops for people who want to get uniquely Singaporean cakes and pastries. 

Pandan cake is the shop’s bestselling dish, so I highly recommend trying this one. They also have a wide range of kuehs available, such as kueh lapis, ondeh ondeh (rice cake balls with molten palm sugar), and kueh salat (a rice cake with a top custard layer).

Bengawan Solo has several locations in Singapore. The head office is in Woodlands, but you can also find shops in Orchard Turn, Sembawang, Pasir Ris, and Yishun

Ya Kun Kaya Toast

Address: Orchard Rd, B1 – 02 310-320, Singapore 238864
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Saturday—8 am to 9:30 pm
  • Sunday—8 am to 9 pm

Contact Number: +6567329976
Website

Having over 50 outlets across 14 countries, Ya Kun Kaya Toast has become a Singaporean cultural icon. So, if you want to buy kaya toast or the signature kopi, this is the place to go. 

As for gifts, I recommend buying a bag of Ya Kun coffee power (you can choose between 250 grams and 500 grams), a jar of kaya jam, and a pack of cookies. These cookies are flavored with kaya butter and kaya pistachio.  

Violet Oon

Address: 78 Airport Blvd., #01 – 205 / 206, Singapore 819666
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—12 to 3 pm, 6 to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday—12 to 10 pm

Contact Number: +6598349935
Website

Violet Oon is a cafe well-known for its aesthetically pleasing interior. Seriously, dining here feels like you’re dining with posh aristocrats. 

But other than that, this cafe also serves adorable, delicious pastries. And when you order the party trays, you’ll have stacks of snacks to nibble on. 

You’ll also have many choices for souvenirs. They have cookie tins (go for the gula melaka coconut crunch) and kaya jams; for cakes, you can’t go wrong with the pandan gula melaka cake or the mango calamansi tart.

Old Seng Choong

Address: 60 Airport Blvd., #02-175/176 Transit Lounge, Singapore 819643
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—6 am to 1 am
Contact Number: +6596647410
Website

Founded by a renowned local pastry chef, Old Seng Choong has been around since 1965. In that time, the confectionery has won the hearts of many patrons and opened several branches throughout the nation, including two in Changi Airport. 

The bestselling products here are the pandan chiffon cake, lychee martini Swiss roll, kueh lapis, and chocolate orange sea salt cookies. They also have truffle bak kwa and concentrated bird’s nest if you want non-dessert options. 

Janice Wong Singapore

Address: 290 Orchard Rd, #B1 – k28, Singapore 238859
Operating Hours

  • Monday to Thursday—10 am to 9 pm
  • Friday to Sunday—10 am to 10 pm

Contact Number: +6592337547
Website

Janice Wong Singapore is a haven for dessert lovers because you have so many options. Their chocolate selection alone is phenomenal; there are chocolates with unique designs and premium chocolates using cacao beans from various countries.

The cakes are also unique and aesthetically pleasing; for example, the gula melaka pandan pistachio cake looks like a bed of clouds! A variety of kopi and cookies is also available here. 

If you’re overwhelmed with your options, you can customize your own box, so you can add all your favorite kopi, tea, and chocolate flavors. 

Melissa Zakka

Address: 333A Orchard Rd, #04 – 29 / 30, Singapore 238897
Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—11 am to 7 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Contact Number: +6563338355
Website

Melissa Zakka is a souvenir shop that sells a wide variety of goods. Cosmetics, stationery items, and apparel are the bestsellers, but you can also find a few treats, both savory and sweet. 

For example, you can get a bag of salted egg fish skin chips, pineapple cookies, tau sar piah (savory mung bean paste biscuit), and chocolate-dipped mangoes. They also have a bag of traditional kopi, kaya jar, bak kut teh soup mix, and almond chocolates. 

Kim Hock Guan

Address: 180 Bencoolen St, #01-25, Singapore 189646
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10:30 am to 8:30 pm
Contact Number: +6568357118
Website

If you want to bring home bak kwa for your loved ones, you might as well get the very best, and Kim Hock Guan, the oldest bak kwa shop in Singapore, absolutely delivers. 

Kim Hock Guan uses bak kwa production methods that have been around for centuries, and they also use lean meat only. Because of this, the bak kwa here has a rich flavor and chewy texture. 

Aside from bak kwa, you can find pork floss as well; your options are traditional, crispy, and seaweed.