Visiting Singapore and unsure what to take back with you for family or friends? You do not have to resort to getting fridge magnets and snow globes. To help you out, we have curated a list of delightful yet quirky Singapore souvenirs that captures the very soul of the nation.
Singapore Souvenirs for the Gourmand
1. Pandan Chiffon cake from Pure Pandan
With its fluffy texture and light taste, pandan chiffon cake is incredibly easy to love. Charming the taste buds of both locals and foreigners alike, many buy them by the box. Pure Pandan, which specializes in chiffon cakes, takes pride in using all-natural ingredients for their creations. You can also purchase other flavours such as chocolate and green tea – the more the merrier!
Cost (SGD): 15-32 for whole cakes, 1.70-3.50 for single slices
Available at Pure Pandan (133 New Bridge Road, #B2-05, Chinatown Point, Singapore 059431)
After a sweet treat, explore Chinatown and its places of interests with Locomole’s Chinatown Trail .
2. Nasi Lemak Tea from Ette Tea
Adventurous tea lovers will love the nasi lemak tea blend from local tea company Ette Tea. Inspired by the Malay dish, the nasi lemak blend featuring exotic ingredients such as dried chilli and coconut flakes has found fans overseas. Pick up a caddy for the tea aficionado in your life; and if unsure, stop by their atelier to give it a taste!
Cost (SGD): 18.00 for 50g, 26.00 for 50g with tea caddy
Available online at Ette Tea’s website and at the Ette Tea Atelier (333 Kreta Ayer Road, #03-25, Singapore 080333)
3. Silver Needle White Tea from Wang San Yang Tea Merchant
Established in the 1950s, Wang San Yang Tea Merchant has been promoting Chinese tea culture for over 50 years. A Chinatown Heritage Brand, they even conduct tea demonstrations for interested customers. Visit their store to learn about traditional tea practices and pick a few favourite teas to take home. We especially recommend their Silver Needle White Tea, highly prized and refreshing in taste.
Available at Wang San Yang Tea Merchant (531 Upper Cross Street, #01-61, Hong Lim Complex, Singapore 050531 / 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-260, Marina Square, Singapore 039594)
Visit Wang Sang Tea Merchant along LocoMole’s Chinatown trail
4. Local Meal Kits from Prima Taste
Singapore is well known for being a food paradise, so what better Singapore souvenirs are there than these local meal sauce kits by Prima Taste? True to taste as well as easy to use, with a wide range of flavours from Hainanese Chicken Rice to Laksa, foodies are definitely in for a mouth-watering treat. Just remember to keep some for your own use too!
Cost (SGD): ~7.90
Available at all major supermarkets island-wide
5. Kueh Lapis from Bengawan Solo
Also known as the “thousand layer cake”, kueh lapis is beloved in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. It is sometimes considered to be the Asian cousin of baumkuchen. Buy some from bakery chain Bengawan Solo, a household name synonymous with local confectionery. Rich and buttery, it is well worth the slightly higher price!
Cost (SGD): 1.90/slice, 55 for large cake
Available at Bengawan Solo outlets island-wide and at the airport
6. Peanut Candy from Sze Thye Cake Shop
Peanut brittle candy is a sweet and crunchy favourite, traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year. Though it is easily found in supermarkets, nothing beats the taste of freshly-made peanut candy, which can be found at Sze Thye Cake Shop. Opened in the 1950s, the shop still works with traditional methods and old equipment.
Available at Sze Thye Cake Shop (2 Beach Road, #01-4795, Singapore 190002)
Alongside, check out LocoMole’s Kampong Glam trail after a sweet taste of delicacies!
Singapore Souvenirs for the Bibliophile
7. SG A – Z: Singapore through the Alphabet by Rebecca Green
With hand drawn illustrations, SG A-Z takes readers through the alphabet with Uniquely Singaporean things and places. It’s an interesting way to introduce Singapore to friends and family. What’s more, the hardcover book won’t look out of place on your coffee table!
Cost (SGD): 29.95
Available online and at BooksActually (9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645)
8. Singaporean Cookbook (Mum’s Not Cooking: Favourite Singaporean Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy)
This is a cookbook for beginners new to Singaporean recipes, as the “near clueless” in its title demonstrates. Mum’s Not Cooking also suggests helpful substitutes for hard-to-find ingredients, which makes it the perfect souvenir! With its cute art, the cookbook also makes for a fun and visually wenticing read that might lure the casual reader into the kitchen to cook up a delicious storm.
Cost (SGD): 20.90
Available online and at Kinokuniya (391 Orchard Road, #04-20/20B/20C/20E, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872)
Singapore Souvenirs for the Fashionista
9. Kueh tutu sling bag from Ang Ku Kueh Girl and Friends
View this post on Instagram
NEW launch: Kueh Tutu sling bag with wonderful detailing! 3 ways of carrying this. 🙂 Get it here: http://angkukuehgirl.com.sg/2013/kueh-tutu-sling-bag.html Have your Kueh and carry it™! #angkukuehgirl #angkukuehgirlandfriends #kuehtutugirl #kuehtutu #tutukueh #嘟嘟糕 #designedinsingapore #designedinsg #singaporesouvenirs #slingbag #clutch #crossbodybag #shoulderbag #tutu #kueh
Kueh tutu is a truly Uniquely Singaporean dish, having been invented on the island itself. This sling bag, inspired by the kueh tutu, uses its flower-shaped kueh and green pandan leaf base to create a pretty and fashionable bag that can be carried three ways, with the coconut/peanut filling replaced by a printed Ang Ku Kueh Girl lining.
Cost (SGD): 35.90
Available online and at various brick-and-mortar stockists.
10.Pins/Badges from When I Was Four
Cart back a dash of old school Singapore with the Nostalgic Badges series from When I was Four! Ranging from favourite local childhood snacks to pins of exercise books used in Primary School, these adorable pins will dress up bags or shirts for a quirky, hipster look.
Cost (SGD): 11.90 – 15+ depending on design
Available online and at When I Was Four (261 Waterloo Street, #02-18, Singapore 180261)
11. Shirts from Statement
Singlish (or Singaporean English) has recently made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, and these shirts will make a good introduction to the local patois. The lepak shirt makes a statement while looking pretty stylish, and is made of cotton to keep you cool in the summer heat.
Cost (SGD): 30.00, inclusive of local shipping
Available online and at Naiise outlets island-wide
Singapore Souvenirs for the Friend
12. Strangely Singaporean Postcards from The Little Drom Store
Charmingly-illustrated and in bright colours, each card from this postcard series has a character descriptor in Singaporean slang. You can match the postcards to your friends’ personalities and even mail them out before you leave for home, for an individualized and uniquely Singaporean souvenir that won’t break the bank!
Cost (SGD): 26.00 for a set of 18
Available online and at The Little Drom Store (1 Zubir Said Drive, #02-01, SOTA, Singapore 227968)
13. Coffeeshop Kopi-O Lipbalm from Shophouse Sixtyfive
Let the scent of this kopi-O lip balm transport your friend to Singapore! The beans of kopi-O, or black coffee with sugar, are roasted with butter to make the taste and smell more aromatic. Shophouse Sixtyfive’s lip balm replicates this decadence in their hand-poured lip balm made with beeswax.
Cost (SGD): 9.80
Available online and at various brick-and-mortar stockists
14. Ang Ku Kueh cufflinks by Thepigbakesclay
View this post on Instagram
Happy Saturday to all😃 SG delights workshop in progress! #thepigbakesclay #workshopsg #workshop #charmbracelet #charms #localisedfoodcharms #localsg #singaporefood #singaporebased #singapore #sg #igsg #sgig #craftsg #craft #handmadesg #handmade #handcrafted #foodjewelry #foodcharms #makerssg #supportlocal #polymerclay #miniaturefood #thepigbakesclay #workshops #sgworkshop #angkukueh
Help your friend look dapper with this quirky set of handmade cufflinks modelled after the ang ku kueh, traditional Chinese pastries often eaten during auspicious occasions. The red colour of ang ku kueh stands for luck, and the tortoiseshell design signifies longevity. Not only do these cufflinks let your friend keep a little luck at hand, they also provide a handy conversation starter if needed!
Cost (SGD): 24.90
Available online and at Craft Assembly (61 Haji Lane, Singapore 189254)
Singapore Souvenirs for the Home
15. EMBRACE ME Cushion Cover Series from Scene Shang
The vivid colours of the cushion covers from Scene Shang will perk up a living room instantly. A tribute to the Art Deco-styled buildings of Singapore, designs include Clifford Pier and Tanjong Pagar Railway. Scene Shang also gives information on the cultural and historic importance of these buildings, so why not head over to their website and learn more about Singapore as you shop for new cushion covers?
Cost (SGD): 28.00, 38 with stuffing
Available online and at Scene Shang (263 Beach Rd, Singapore 199542)
16. Tiffin Carrier from Hai Seng Porcelain
Tiffin carriers are tiered lunch boxes that have been used in Singapore since colonial days, often to deliver homemade meals with love. They are less often seen now, but are still used heavily by food catering services. Get one to take multiple dishes to work with ease and pique the interest of colleagues, or keep it as a display item in your home!
Cost (SGD): 18-24 depending on size
Available at Hai Seng Porcelain (4 Sago Lane, Singapore 050004)
17. Merlion Celadon Soap Dish from Melissa Zakka
Undoubtedly Singapore’s most famous national icon, the Merlion’s majestic presence is perfectly captured in this soap dish by Melissa Zakka. The classy ceramic piece can also double up as a trinket tray, so it’s both versatile and practical.
Cost (SGD): 13.00
Available online and at Melissa Zakka (333A Orchard Road, #04-30, Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897)
Singapore Souvenirs for the Young (and Forever Young!)
18. Milo Granola from Eastern Granola
Eastern Granola’s range is inspired by South East Asian flavours, and their Milo Granola is sure to delight little kids with a sweet tooth. Made with rolled oats and a generous dash of Milo powder and gula melaka (palm sugar), this is a healthy snack you definitely can’t help devouring!
Cost (SGD): 16.00 for 500g
Available online and at various brick-and-mortar stockists
19. Find and Seek Singapore by Sally Roydhouse
Explore Singapore through this gorgeous picture book! Written from the point of view of a young boy coming to Singapore, the book takes readers through the everyday sights and sounds within the city, from iconic places like Marina Barrage to the boisterous Chinese New Year celebrations. Perfect for a family activity, or open the pages to “revisit” Singapore anytime you desire!
Cost (SGD): 24.95
Available online and at various bookstores.
20. Chaptehs from Mint Museum of Toys
A chapteh is a weighted shuttlecock consisting of a rubber disc with brightly coloured feathers attached. Many Singaporeans grew up playing this traditional game, where the goal is simply to keep the chapteh in the air without relying on the use of hands. Keep little children entertained while teaching them about other cultures!
Available at the Mint Museum of Toys (26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382)