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Everyone knows that Singaporean cuisine is a melting pot of influences, a culinary amalgamation that fuses the best ingredients, spices and styles across our multi-cultural palates. But did you know that the same delicious diversity can be found in our snacks and tidbits as well?
Our homegrown brands in Singapore have plenty to offer when it comes to uniquely Singaporean nibbles — and they’re not limited to just Bee Cheng Hiang bak kwa. From beancurd skin crisps to fancy tea, here are some of the best made-in-Singapore treats for a country that loves to snack as much as they love to shop.
1. Myeureka Popcorn
Popcorn may not come to mind when thinking about Singaporean snacks, but what if they’re coated in flavours familiar to our palates?
Myeureka is a Singapore brand started by local popcorn lovers on a mission to create the best snack around — one that can be enjoyed whether you’re watching a movie or not.
Utilising non-GMO corn kernels with no added preservatives, Myeureka offers a medley of tasty popcorn options that go beyond the regular sweet butter caramel.
Take the Real Durian Popcorn (S$14) for instance, which promises to make you fall in love with the King of Fruits, if you are not yet a fan. Not to mention that it’s a great entry point for those who’ve been too afraid to taste the real fruit.
Myeureka also pays homage to our love for seafood with flavours like Chilli Crab Popcorn (S$10.70), Salted Egg Popcorn (S$8), and Spicy Cuttlefish Popcorn (S$11) — all of which will feel right at home among zi char spreads. Other Asian (but not so Singaporean) options to try: the spicy Wasabi Popcorn ($10) and the savoury Kimchi Popcorn (S$7.50).
Where to buy: iShopChangi, GetIt by Changi Recommends, all major supermarkets and convenience stores.
2. Irvins Salted Egg Salmon Skin
Credited as one of the local brands that pioneered a salted egg yolk craze in Singapore, Irvins Salted Egg snacks are called ‘dangerously addictive’ for good reason.
With fans far and wide (including Cardi B!), it would seem that Irvins has perfected the ultimate flavour bomb of a snack: salted egg fish skin. Though the homegrown brand is prominently known for its utterly buttery salmon skin crisps coated in salted egg (S$8) and black pepper (S$8.50), Irvins also offer up the same umami explosion with its potato (S$8) and cassava (S$7.50) chips.
For those who can’t decide on one (because all of their snacks are excellent!), Irvins has a variety box bundle (S$19.90) packed with multiple salted egg best-sellers, including salmon skin, potato chips and cassava chips. Don’t be surprised that their stocks are often sold out at their physical retail stores though — people typically buy Irvins snacks in bulk whenever they’re up for grabs. They’re just that good.
Where to buy: iShopChangi, physical stores islandwide, including in Jewel Changi Airport and Changi Airport Terminal 1.
3. TWG Tea
Not many people know that TWG Tea is a Singapore brand but it absolutely is. A subsidiary of local lifestyle company The Wellness Group (thus the acronym TWG), the luxury teahouse chain is known for artisanal tea, pastries and desserts, which can be found at its many upscale cafes and boutique outlets across the world. TWG teas and tea accessories can also be bought online.
TWG items are typically sought out as posh gifts for the tea-loving crowd. Choose from hundreds of loose-leaf tea varieties — ranging from French Earl Grey ($42.06) to the exquisitely floral Changi tea (S$39.25) — all stored in classy tins that would stand out on any shelf. Figuring out which TWG tea is best suited for you or your gift recipient is quite an adventure in itself!
Gourmet snacks are also available to accompany the epicurean tea sessions, including assorted tea-infused macarons (S$48 for 24 pieces), matcha shortbread cookies (S$22) and the delicate Singapore Surprise Cake (S$76): vanilla cream tart with fresh strawberries infused with Vanilla Bourbon Tea.
Where to buy: iShopChangi, physical stores islandwide, including at Changi Airport T1 and T3 Transit/Departure Lounges.
4. Uncle Saba’s Poppadoms
Anyone who’s ever eaten poppadoms would know how addictive they are — the Indian snacks are just so light, crispy and delectable. Uncle Saba’s, an innovative Singapore brand, made these traditional nibbles even more snackable by offering them in convenient Pringles-like canisters, ready to be popped open and eaten right away.
You can eat them as you would other poppadoms (that is, with some rich curry and rice), but they’re just as good when eaten by themselves. Pro tip: Make some creamy dips!
In any case, they make for guilt-free binge sessions since the snacks are gluten-free and vegan (being made from lentils), with zero MSG and zero trans-fat. Priced as low as S$2.50 each, they come in various unexpected seasonings too, including sour cream and onion, Korean BBQ, and a Singapore special: chilli crab-flavoured poppadoms.
Where to buy: All major supermarkets.
5. F.EAST Potato Chips
A relative newcomer brand to the local scene, F.EAST made its name with potato chips influenced by the flavours of Southeast Asia. We’re talking about chips coated in very familiar flavours such as Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, egg prata with curry, and beef rendang.
As odd as those seasonings might sound, F.EAST pulled off quite a feat by replicating their exact tastes within the chips, fulfilling the company’s promise of delivering Singapore-centric flavours.
You can taste the labour of love that goes into each crunch too, because it took over two years for the F.EAST founders to develop their now-beloved products. Truly, you need to at least try one to see what we mean. At S$2.95 per packet, what’s there to lose?
Where to buy: Shopee, Amazon Singapore, all major supermarkets and convenience stores.
6. Fupi Beancurd Skin Crisps
Fupi is also another homegrown snack brand that promises guilt-free bingeing — their crisps aren’t fried potato chips; they’re savoury tofu skin.
Vegan-friendly with no added preservatives, cholesterol and trans-fat, Fupi’s snacks are essentially upscale renditions of the traditional side dish common in Chinese households.
Flavours are just as familiar too for Singaporeans who love their spices, ranging from nyonya laksa to Sichuan mala to hot pot tomato. A variety pack ($30.88 for a bundle of 6) makes for a great gift (for yourself or otherwise) since all Fupi snacks come in artfully-designed resealable packages to keep things fresh and crisp, always.
Where to buy: iShopChangi, NTUC Fairprice
In times like these when local retailers are struggling during a global pandemic, buying from homegrown brands is a great way to support them. Now that we’ve got a whole list of them, it’ll make your next snack run much easier too.
Be sure to check out other ways to support local, like visiting the best ice cream bars and late-night food haunts the city has to offer!
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