From the colourful shophouses to its unique kebayas, these jewellers have blended Singapore’s Peranakan heritage with artful craftsmanship that is not only beautiful to look at, but also meaningfully Singapore. Here we share three that have captured our hearts.
For jewellery worthy of royals, look no further. This very same peranakan brooch has been gifted to Queen Elizabeth II and she has been spotted wearing it on multiple occasions. If you are looking for something truly extravagant, check out Foundation Jewellers. But don’t say I didn’t warn you, prices here can easily go up to the thousands.
Artfully designed while keeping with the local heritage, the jewellery is a perfect gift. Each piece is a recreation of the beauty of local Peranakan culture and will definitely turn heads. Perfect to don for the special occasion.
EDEN + ELIE
Casual without compromising on elegance, these pieces by EDEN + ELIE are inspired by the floral kebayas, clothings often worn by Nonya women. Showcase your fun side with these colorful pieces!
Famed as a food paradise, you would be spoilt for choice when deciding what snacks to buy back home. Instead of the unoriginal merlion chocolates, check out these top 5 favourite local snacks in Singapore.
The Asian-equivalent of beef jerky, you are definitely missing out if you don’t get Bak kwa a try. Marinated with sugar and salt, the humble pork meat is barbecued to give it a tantalizing a smoky flavour. Check out the vacuum packs if you are looking to put them in your luggage.
If you want to try a soft and fluffy meat jerky, the pork floss may be what you are looking for. Roasted to golden brown colour, this savory snack can be eaten on its own or mixed in with a bowl of rice/noodles/pasta. The local bakery, BreadTalk is also selling the pork floss bun. Try some first if you’re uncertain about getting it as a souvenir!
Whether it’s in the shape of a golf ball or a roll, pineapple tarts is undeniably the local favourite and a standard staple when the Chinese New Year Festival is round the corner. The best ones bring out the sweetness of the pineapple flesh with the buttery base melting in your mouth.
Do not underestimate these deep fried spring rolls. Wrapped underneath is the spicy hebi hiam paste, made from dried shrimps and ground sambal chilli. For those who are not used to the spicy chilli, be prepared to immediately jump out of your chairs to grab a glass of water. But once you get past the spicyness, you will come back for more.
A simple crisp made from baking sugar, eggs and coconut milk, it is often rolled up into cylindrical biscuits or folded into wedges. Although not actually a letter with words, they are just as much of a sweet delight to receive. But do take note that they crumble easily so be careful not to squash them if you are bringing them on board the plane with you.
Cheap and everywhere,these gifts are often bought in bulk by tourists in Singapore. From tacky merlions to useless magnets, these ubiquitous items are often products of tourism marketing rather than something that truly symbolises the country it represents. We think there is a better way to spend your money but for starters, we compiled the worst 5 Singapore souvenirs that comes easily to our minds that you should avoid unless you really like them.
The Merlion Figurine
The first on our list is of course the useless Merlion figurine. Yes, i know it may be tempting to get them when you are only in Singapore for three days and you don’t know what else to get for your not-so-close uncle. But seriously, the Merlion does not even look cool. Buy it and your friends will start doubting your taste in things.
The classic thoughtless gift that speaks volume about what you think of them. If you are buying something to stick on the fridge, why not stick a photo of your travel on the fridge instead? I bet it will be more memorable.
Unless you are buying for a Singaporean overseas, we can’t imagine how anyone else might be happy receiving it. In fact, overseas Singaporeans might be happier receiving some Singaporean snacks that they can eat rather than a keychain proclaiming their love for their country in a foreign land.
They are so abundant that it’s hard to miss them. Shops after shops have different variants of these merlion chocolates. Till date, the $1 found in Chinatown Point is the cheapest. But sometimes I wonder if it’s not shaped in Merlion, would anyone buy it?
The sarong kebaya has been aggressively marketed together with the “Singapore Girl” and has spurn off various other products using its print. But buying a uniform, unless you have some uniform fettish is rather hard for locals to comprehend.