7 Unique Singapore Souvenirs to Bring Home With You

by | Jun 28, 2019

Your stay in Singapore has (sadly) come to an end but before that flight home you plan to get some keepsakes that will remind you of your time in Singapore. 

Now, I’m not here to ask you get that tacky “I love Singapore” T-shirt or the typical fridge magnets and no, Merlion chocolates are a thing of the past. With many local designers and indie brands popping up, there’s no lack of ingeniouosly designed knick-knacks to be found in the local gift scene.  

If you are looking to bring a Singaporean keepsake back with you, check out these 7 unique Singapore souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else. 

1. Food-related Trinkets (and There are Many, Way Too Many)

By now you’ve probably realised Singaporeans love obsession with all things food, and we have an abundance of local heritage food — Chicken Rice, Laksa, Nasi Lemak, and Chilli Crab to name a few. So naturally, this would extend to little gifts that revolve around our favourite and best eats.

The Little Drom Store has a lovely and quirky collection of designer plates featuring food recipes and different local delicacies. If you can’t bear to use them, these plates can also serve as an excellent decoration setpiece (as Red Republic shows us) that will have your guests chirping with delight.

If you feel the plates are a tad too big, there are little keychains or pins that are perfect to hang from the zippers of your bag or pinned right at your shirt pocket. 

If you would like something a little more special, Thepigbakesclay does clean cufflinks of a traditional Chinese pastry called Ang Ku Kueh.

The colour red in the pastry signifies luck and the tortoise shell design points to longevity. 

Where to get them?

Online at The Little Drom Store, Red Republic, Thepigbakesclay, and available at Naiise Outlets.

2. Orchid, Our National Flower

The national flower of Singapore is the Orchid, and we can’t very well ask you to bring fresh flowers home (it won’t survive the flight). Thankfully for Gardens by the Bay, they have preserved natural Dendrobium Orchids into glass paperweights moulded in the iconic silhouettes of the Gardens by the Bay. Available in multiple models, from the signature Supertree to the world-renowned flower domes, such a beautiful paperweight will sure to spur gazes of envy. 

Photo courtesy of Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore Memories has done something completely different with the Orchid, taking its essence and scent and infusing it in perfume bottles. The result is a unique gift that will trigger your memory of your visit with just a whiff.

Where to get them?

Online and at the Gardens by the Bay Gift Shop and online at Singapore Memories

3. The Salted Egg Yolk Craze

Salted egg anything feels like a craze that will never die down. Want to make a dish of yours more popular? Just slap on some salted egg sauce and you’re good to go.

And with this craze birthed a new craze of salted egg yolk chips and fried fish skin. IRVINS Salted Egg is one of the pioneers and leading brands of salted egg yolk chips. It’s popularity is unmatched with queues at its outlets all across the island where selling out the day is a given. 

If you can’t bear the queues, The Golden Duck Co. and Aunty Esther’s are fine alternatives. 

Where to get them?

Online and at IRVINS Outlets, Online and at The Golden Duck Co. Outlets, Online and at Aunty Esther’s Outlets

4. A Marmalade for the Cocktail Aficionados

The Singapore Sling has a long history in Singapore, said to be first concocted in the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel back in 1915 by Hainanese bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. The cocktail consists of a base of gin, cherry liqueur, pineapple, and lime. 

The Straits Preserve Singapore, a maker of marmalades, has turned Singapore’s signature cocktail into a jam that can be enjoyed as the first meal of your day. It takes the classic flavours from the cocktail and made a marmalade that is fruity and citrus-y with a hint of cherry. 

Truly a reimagination of the Singapore classic, and now you can have “alcohol” for breakfast.

Where to get them?

Online and at Changi Airport, Naiise, and various outlets

5. Local-inspired Artisanal Teas

Singaporeans love their local cup of kopi (coffee with milk) and teh (tea with milk), yours truly included, but I have yet to find an instant sachet that can completely capture the taste. 

There are, however, some artisanal teas that have taken classic Singaporean flavours and infused them into teas, producing teas that may surprise you. 

The first comes from Ette Tea which styles themselves as a contemporary tea house which strives for an intricate blend of heritage and tradition with modern and novel designs. One of the most bizzare flavours that was birthed was the Nasi Lemak tea. 

Nasi Lemak is a savoury, spicy, rice dish with the rice being cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves. It is a Malay dish that is adored by all. Ette Tea has taken the fragrant coconut and pandan flavours and brewed a tea that features a blend of houjicha, genmaicha, coconut flakes, dried pandan, and dried chilli. 

If you are less adventurous, you can consider Ette Tea’s other local creations or teas from T2 Tea. You’ve heard about the classic English Breakfast tea, but have you heard about the Singapore Breakfast tea? T2 Tea offers a unique blend of puerhcha that is inspired by and reminiscent of Kaya Toast, an iconic breakfast in Singapore. 

To tea purists, this may not sound all that inviting, but if you want something that’s out of this world and unique, these artisanal teas may do the trick. 

Where to get them?
Singapore Breakfast Tea: Online and available T2 Tea Outlets

Ette Tea: Online and available Naiise Outlets

 

6. A Little Inflection of Singlish

Singlish words have entered the Oxford English Dictionary since 2016, prompting some sort of legitimacy as a variant form of the English language (at least in the eyes of the International audience). 

To Singaporeans however, Singlish is our pride and joy, an economical, efficient, straight to the point way of communication.

Statement.sg has taken our beloved language and imprinted them on cotton tees. From quintessential Singlish “No Lah Where Got” to completely bewildering to foreigners, like “Uh Uh Siol”, the tees are an innovative way to celebrate something that is irreplaceably ours. 

If you don’t want to wear Singlish, you can bring them around by way of tote bags courtesy of The Little Drom Store. The designs are cute and give you just enough information to understand what the phrases may mean. 

Hey, who says Singlish can’t be stylish?

Where to get them?
Shirts by Statement: Online or available Naiise outlets

The Little Drom Store: Online

7. Hear the (cute) Merlion Roar

Part mermaid, part lion, the Merlion is solidly entrenched within Singapore’s lore and mythology. Its fish body seeks to represent the port town or sea town that Singapore once was and the lion head represents Singapore’s other name of “Singapura” which means “lion city”. 

The Red Republic have reimagined the Merlion into an adorable plushie that you can hug for life, perfect for a gift for any little one. The mystery faces series features tons of different facial expressions and the fun part is not knowing which expression you’ll get until you open the box!

Maybe these merlions won’t roar, but they are gosh darn cute. 

Where to get them?
Available online and at Naiise outlets 

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