7 Traditional Pastries for Afternoon Tea in Singapore

7 Traditional Pastries for Afternoon Tea in Singapore

Mention “Afternoon Tea” and the first thought that comes to mind is most likely the high class affair that has so defined the British social custom. I think it’s amazing how such a long-lasting tradition has remained steadfast in British culture.

In Singapore, an afternoon tea differs vastly from that of our British counterparts’. Instead of the fancy decorum and proper scones, we have a variety of sweet and savoury pastries, made according to generations-old recipes. And instead of precisely brewed cuppas, we pair our afternoon treats with local kopi (coffee with milk) or teh (tea with milk), splashed together according to individual tastes.  Yep, afternoon tea in Singapore is rather more casual and fuss-free. 

Sadly, numerous establishments serving heritage kuehs from our childhoods have slowly closed their doors over the years. This reflects a troubling narrrative that also plagues our traditional hawker stalls. People are willing to pay upwards of $8 for a slice of (often factory-made) cake at an uppity cafe but yet scoff at the idea of forking out anything more than one or two dollars for our unique local pastries. 

It’s a little disheartening no doubt. Lest we forget what a real afternoon tea in Singapore looks like, here’s our list of seven favourite traditional pastries, and where to get them.  

1. Ang Ku Kueh

Ang Ku Kueh, or “Red Tortoise Cake”, occupies an important place in the Chinese food culture. Moulded in the shape of the tortoise shell, it is believed in Chinese culture that tortoises signify longevity while the colour red refers to good fortune and prosperity. 

Traditionally, Ang Ku Kueh will feature a soft but chewy skin, made of glutinous rice flour wrapped around a sweet filling usually peanut or sweet mung bean. 

Today, Ang Ku Kueh does not solely come in the traditional red, but in different colours representing different flavours from black sesame all the way to durian.

Where to go for Ang Ku Kueh

Ji Xiang Confectionery is a household name in the Ang Ku Kueh business, starting in a small kitchen in a HDB flat before setting up shop in Everton Park all the way back in 1988. 

Echoing the symbolism that is associated with eating Ang Ku Kueh, the characters “Ji ()”and “Xiang ()” means luck and prosperity respectively. 

Championing the slowly dying trade of making things by hand, Ji Xiang Confectionery trudges along, one Ang Ku Kueh at a time. 

Address

1 Everton Park, Singapore 081001

Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday from 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Closed on Sundays

2. Putu Piring

When it made an appearance on Netflix’s popular “Street Food” series, Putu Piring caused quite the stir. The controversy – is this humble dish representative or not representative of traditional, authentic Singapore hawker food? 

Silly food critics – why are they even arguing? It’s delicious and that’s all that matters. 

This round, steamed rice cake filled with gula melaka (unrefined palm sugar) traces its origins all the way back to the Indian immigrants who came to Singapore in search of a better future.

Best eaten freshly steamed and still warm, the chewy outside gives way to the sweet, gooey insides for the ultimate bite. 

Where to go for Putu Piring

Fans of the snack will point you to their favourite neighbourhood coffeeshop that still sells them, while purists swear by Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring. This humble stall started out in 1985 and has since switched hands to Ms Aisha Hashim, a second-generation hawker who took over from her family. 

Donning a white hijab, Aisha and her colleagues carefully mold the glutinous rice flour into round mounds, their movements like clockwork, a well-oiled machine that churns out Putu Piring day after day. 

Address

14 Haig Rd, Singapore 430014

Opening Hours

Daily from 10:45 AM – 10 PM

3. Swiss Rolls

Swiss rolls are strictly not “traditional” or “Singaporean” by any sense of the word, but I distinctly remember having swiss rolls as a classic snack when I was a young boy. 

Wrapped in between the soft, fluffy sponge cake should be a cream that is spread evenly, giving you a perfect ratio of cream to cake with each mouthful. Take a sip of hot kopi during intervals of each bite and you’ve got yourself a decadent tea time. 

Nostalgia has a taste my friends. 

Where to go for Swiss Rolls

When it comes to old-school Swiss Rolls, Rich and Good Cake Shop takes the cake by far. Their original stall along Kandahar Street was started back in 1997 by a mother-maughter duo and has garnered a loyal following that sees a queue daily.

They pride themselves on their kaya and durian rolls, but with classic fruity flavours like blueberry and mango also on the menu, there’s plenty to love.

This is one stall we are happy to say will be in for the long haul; they recently launched an outlet at Changi’s Jewel. Field reports tell us that they usually sell out by lunchtime!

Address

24 Kandahar St, Singapore 198887 (Daily from 10:45 AM – 10 PM)

78 Airport Blvd, Singapore 819666, Jewel Changi Airport (Daily from 9am to 11pm)

4. Kueh Salat

A perennial classic, Kueh Salat is well-loved throughout Singapore. A two layer kueh featuring a sticky and chewy glutinous rice lower layer topped with a sweet and coconutty custard that get its iconic green hue from pandan leaves. Certain places around mix the glutinous rice with blue pea flowers which gives those nice blue streaks in the rice. 

A good Kueh Salat is one with a rich fragrance of coconut and pandan along with smooth custard top and chewy glutinous rice to give a nice contrasting texture with every bite. 

Where to go for Kueh Salat

It seems that today there are two movements when it comes to making Kueh Salat – the traditional way and a little modern twist. We start with Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry that is currently being run by third-generation owner Jenny Soh. Around since the 1970s, this pastry establishment has stuck to its guns and continue to serve up traditional kuehs that see them flying off the shelves right when they open for business. The Kueh Salats here are sold in small rectangular blocks, perfect for small bites. 

Recently however, there’s been a slew of pastry shops and cafes that have been turning the humble and small Kueh Salat into a full-fledged cake that has enraptured people all across the island. One such place leading the charge is Chalk Farm. Housed in Paragon, its Kueh Salat has been making waves among food bloggers and on Instagrammer since it opened back in 2013. If you’re looking for a modern take on the all-time favourite, Chalk Farm is the place to go. 

Address

Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry: Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Rd, #01-39, 160055

Chalk Farm: 290 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238859

Opening Hours

Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM – 8.30 PM
Closed on Mondays

Chalk Farm: Daily from 10 AM – 9 PM

5. Kueh Chang (aka Bak Chang)

A triangular-shaped wrapped glutinous rice dumpling, Kueh Chang is commonly associated with the Dragon Boat Festival. The most popular origin story revolves around the figure of Qu Yuan, a poet and minister who committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River. 

It is said that he was well-admired by the locals and people raced out in boats to save him. Unfortunately, Qu Yuan’s body couldn’t be found and the people resorted to throwing balls of sticky rice into the river in the hopes that the fish would eat them instead of Qu Yuan’s body. That gave birth to both the tradition of Dragon Boat racing as well as eating rice dumplings, or Kueh Chang.

There are many versions of Kueh Chang, the Nyonya version typically features braised pork, five spice powder, and candied winter melon. Purists will probably opt for Kee Chang which has no filling and normally paired with sugar or gula melaka (palm sugar).

Where to go for Kueh Chang

Kim Choo Kueh Chang is a stalwart in the industry, started all the way back in 1945 under a Banyan tree along Joo Chiat street. Kim Choo specialises in Nyonya-style Kueh Chang and prides themselves in making Kueh Chang the traditional way. This means their products are old-school good, without the distraction of modern influences we see so many other bakeries dallying with in an attempt to capture younger tastebuds. 

It is perhaps this stubbornness in retaining its traditional taste and methods counts for its longevity in the vast and diverse Singaporean foodscape. 

Address

109 East Coast Road 428800 Singapore

Opening Hours

Daily from 9 AM to 9 PM

6. Egg Tarts

Egg Tarts are said to hail from the province of Guangzhou, under the genealogy of English custard tarts and Portuguese Pastel de nata

There are different variations of egg tarts, with some employing a crust that is crumbly while the more common ones feature a buttery flakey crust. Whether it’s the former or latter, the crust encases a smooth and wobbly egg custard which should, ideally, melt in your mouth. 

Where to go for Egg Tarts

While Egg Tarts are traditionally not Singaporean, Tong Heng Delicacies is true blue Singaporean. A favourite amongst the locals, and known for their diamond-shaped egg tarts, this humble shop in Chinatown has an 83 year history. 

They have since undergone an entire revamp at their Chinatown outlet, employing a modern and sleek outlook. If you ask us though, there was something about the old-school kopitiam (coffee shop) chairs and no frills counter that had so much character and history written in the walls. 

Address

285 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058833

Opening Hours

Daily from 9 AM to 9 PM

7. Buttercream Sponge Cakes

Not unlike the Swiss Rolls from before, buttercream sponge cakes are a nostalgic tea time snack for many Singaporeans. Usually a layered sponge cake with buttercream between the layers, the sponge cake is typically vanilla or chocolate with chocolate sprinkles generously heaped on top of the cake. 

A well-baked buttercream sponge cake will be light and airy, with the moist buttercream holding the different layers together. 

Where to go for Buttercream Cakes

There are still many traditional bakeries that do sponge cakes and Love Confectionery in the Bukit Merah area still retains their original facade and kitchen. 

Walking by the bakery, you’ll be drawn in by the smell of fresh bread being baked daily before stopping and looking at a shop front that seems stuck in time. An old couple quietly fills the shelves with colourful sponge cakes; there’s no pretentiousness, just simple, good, and traditional baked cakes. 

Address

22 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-60, 1150122

Opening Hours

Daily 12 PM to 9 PM

Other Stories You May be Interested in

5 Insta-worthy Airbnbs in Seoul to Enjoy

There are many factors that come into play when searching for the perfect Airbnb. For some, price is primary driving force while others may want to stay in the best locations. Many want a nice comfortable stay out of their Airbnbs, something that reminds them of home....

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Sakurai: The Ultimate Tokyo Tea Experience

The season of Autumn is upon us, though it hardly matters to those of us who reside near the Equator. In Japan however, it means that temperatures are slowly dropping, typically reaching a cool range of about 23˚C to 28˚C in the day. With clear skies and cooling...

10 Iconic Seoul Street Foods to Try

We may know and love Korea for its as K-pop and K-dramas, but Korean cuisine offers just as much variety, excitement and visceral satisfaction. Although, for many foreigners, the experience of Korean food tends to center around cultural mainstays - BBQ, fried chicken...

7 Macau Famous Foods (And Where to Try Them)

With its glitzy casinos and luxurious world-class entertainment, Macau's reputation as the 'Vegas of Asia' is well deserved. Once a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau is today a major resort city offering world class entertainment and glitzy...

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

What’s Happening in Singapore – July 2019

What’s Happening in Singapore – July 2019

Most of us would agree that Singaporeans work the longest hours and when chances arise, we spend our off days exploring new cities, both near and far. Now, what happens when you do not have enough off days left and in need of an invigorating city break? Let us present you with possibilities to seize right here on this little red dot. Here’s an exciting list of things to do in Singapore this July that will make your heart sing, rejuvenate your mind, and perhaps inspire a greater appreciation for this city.

Aladdin Broadway Musical at Sands Theatre

Image courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Oh, imagine a land, it’s a faraway place… Sounds familiar? Arabian nights like Arabian days…You’ve guessed it! We are thrilled that Aladdin the Musical has finally make its way to Singapore!

For those who have watched the Disney animated film, Aladdin, here’s a wonderful opportunity to bask in the atmosphere of the bustling Agrabah!

Fast facts: There are over 300 glittering costumes, with 700 different styles of beads and almost 500,000 Swarovski crystals! Indeed, shining, shimmering, splendid! Together with visually arresting theatrics, dazzling special effects, and unforgettable songs— watch and sing along with the incredibly talented cast that bring the magic of Aladdin to life at the Sands Theatre.

Aladdin the Musical will start its run on 21 July 2019 and ends on 11 Aug 2019. Get your tickets here.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities by Circus Du Soleil

Still wishing for more dazzling theatre experience after all the fanfare in Agrabah? Then you’re in luck. The largest Canada-based theatrical producer in the world, Circus du Soleil returns to Singapore with a whimsical world of curios set in the 1800s, featuring a mad scientist and his steampunk machines.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities presents the story of an eccentric inventor’s world through gravity-defying, jaw-dropping acrobatic acts, together with a live band, vocalists, lighting and stage effects, all in all, an impressive production that genuinely lives up the hype.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities opens on 6 July 2019 until 4 August 2019. Immerse yourself in a steampunk world here.

From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience

Ever wondered how did Singapore earn its nickname as the Lion City? Who discovered the island? What happened during the Japanese Occupation? To answer these questions, head over to The Bicentennial Experience  a journey into Singapore’s past and present. We promise it is unlike any history classes you have been through during school days as it comes with live performances, augmented reality, panoramic cinema, and even an actual rain shower!

This large-scale immersive showcase is held in Fort Canning Centre to commemorate 200 years of Singapore’s history, it is akin to a giant time machine that brings you back to the past, some 700 years ago. Watch and feel our Singapore story leaping off the pages from history textbooks which we have been taught or were too used to, and you’ll emerge with a greater sense of appreciation for this island-nation.

The Bicentennial Experience runs from 1 June 2019 to 15 September 2019. Admission is free.

For more info visit www.bicentennial.sg

 

Kueh Appreciation Day 2019

What better way to celebrate our heritage and tradition through food? Apart from the annual Singapore Food Festival, have you heard of Kueh Appreciation Day? Held in OUE Social Kitchen, the Kueh Appreciation Day aims to share and cultivate appreciation for the traditional snacks of Singapore.

What can you expect at the event? Oh, it’s not all Peranakan but a variety of kueh (the Malay word for cake) from different ethnic groups – Eurasian, Malay, Hakka, Hokkien, Teochew, and Hainanese. You’ll discover that these traditional snack cakes reflect the identities of our ethic groups. And in today’s world of hipster staples like avocado and poached egg brunch, these traditional flavours are becoming rare. What’s even more interesting is that there are kueh-making classes you can attend and bring back your own creation! Good things must share, so hurry, jio (Hokkien word for ask) your foodie khakis (the Malay word for friends) to share the calories!

Organised by Slow Food, a non-profit organisation in Singapore, Kueh Appreciation Day 2019 is a one-day event on 28 July 2019. Get your ticket here. For more information, visit https://slowfood.sg/kueh-appreciation-day/

Open Air Film Club

A film for foodies! The Hive presents Kelvin Tong’s “Republic of Food”, a story set in a dystopian city where food as we know it is banned due to a deadly plague, imagine a world without Bak Chor Mee, Popiah, Kueh.. But all hope is not lost, watch the small band of foodie embark on a risky search for delicious local food in a forbidden world. 

Catch this delicious visual feast under the stars at the rooftop of Hive. Rest assured you won’t be starving as there are snacks and drinks available! Get your tickets here.

When: 19, 26 July 2019

Where: The Hive New Bridge Road, 59 New Bridge Rd, Singapore 059405

 

50 Cents Fest at Chinatown Food Street

July is all about food culture in Singapore! If you’re still looking for mouth-watering treats at an unbelievably affordable price, then check out 50 Cents Fest held in Chinatown Food Street. The two-day event from 27 July to 28 July is a celebration of Singapore’s multi-cultural heritage through food. What to expect? There are over 40 stalls and 50 mobile vendors selling a variety of local fare priced at 50cents. What’s the significance of 50cents? Glad you asked, that was how much it costs to enjoy a bowl of noodle back in the 1930s Singapore. Given the ever increasing cost of living in Singapore, we think this is a great opportunity to indulge, so ditch your diet plan and travel back to the good ol’ days here.

When: 27 July to 28 July 2019

Where: Chinatown Food Street, Smith St, Singapore 058938

% Arabica Singapore

Great news for those looking for coffee with a kick! You don’t have to fly over 7 hours for a cup of Kyoto’s branded coffee. %Arabica has finally opened its first outlet in Singapore at Arab Street! Don’t be surprised if you see a long queue, because it is a relatively small 20-seater café. What about the hype? Coffee snob would know better that at %Arabica you can find coffee beans from different countries like Japan, Ethiopia, Brazil, just to name a few. Not forgetting to mention, the minimalist aesthetic of the outlet coupled with great lighting is a perfect backdrop to get your best shot for the ‘gram.

Where:  % Arabica Singapore
56 Arab Street Singapore 199753

Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)

Jazz in July at The Esplanade

What other cool things to do in July besides eating and drinking? July is also a month dedicated to Jazz musicians and performances, there are over 100 free jazz performances at the giant durian a.k.a Esplanade, which is Singapore’s premier arts centre situated along the scenic Marina Bay. Let the talented musicians take you around the world through their love for Jazz. Don’t miss renowned Japanese Jazz band – KYOTO JAZZ MASSIVE 25th anniversary performance in Singapore on 26 July 2019!

When: 1 – 5 and 8 – 31 July 2019

Where: The Esplanade

For more information, visit https://www.esplanade.com/festivals-and-series/jazz-in-july/2019

Rose Romance in Gardens by the Bay

Life is a bed of roses literally at Gardens by the Bay! Stop and smell the roses in an idyllic European style garden with over 40 varieties of rare roses from around the world. Find yourself among the rose-filled castles, towers, old ruins, and even the famous Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet “balcony” as you take a leisure stroll in this beautiful garden.

So, if you’re looking for ideas on where to go on a date, we think Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay is the place to be, save yourself from the sweltering heat, and look your best for the ‘gram! Romance is definitely in the air! Get your tickets here.

When: Until 14 July 2019

Opening Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 9 PM

Where: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay.

Admission charge to Flower Dome applies.

Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture at Asian Civilisation Museum

That yellow imperial gown worn by Rihanna at the MET Gala in 2015 took the internet by storm and it is now on display at the Asian Civilisation Museum.

Immerse yourself in the beautiful world of China’s leading fashion designer, Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture show, where every dress designed by her tells a story about legends and fairytales from her youth, Chinese imperial culture, nature, and life itself. Get your tickets here.

When: 15 June to 15 September 2019

Where: Asian Civilisation Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555

 

Other Stories You May be Interested in

5 Insta-worthy Airbnbs in Seoul to Enjoy

There are many factors that come into play when searching for the perfect Airbnb. For some, price is primary driving force while others may want to stay in the best locations. Many want a nice comfortable stay out of their Airbnbs, something that reminds them of home....

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Sakurai: The Ultimate Tokyo Tea Experience

The season of Autumn is upon us, though it hardly matters to those of us who reside near the Equator. In Japan however, it means that temperatures are slowly dropping, typically reaching a cool range of about 23˚C to 28˚C in the day. With clear skies and cooling...

10 Iconic Seoul Street Foods to Try

We may know and love Korea for its as K-pop and K-dramas, but Korean cuisine offers just as much variety, excitement and visceral satisfaction. Although, for many foreigners, the experience of Korean food tends to center around cultural mainstays - BBQ, fried chicken...

7 Macau Famous Foods (And Where to Try Them)

With its glitzy casinos and luxurious world-class entertainment, Macau's reputation as the 'Vegas of Asia' is well deserved. Once a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau is today a major resort city offering world class entertainment and glitzy...

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

7 Unique Singapore Souvenirs to Bring Home With You

7 Unique Singapore Souvenirs to Bring Home With You

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 

Other Stories You May be Interested in

5 Insta-worthy Airbnbs in Seoul to Enjoy

There are many factors that come into play when searching for the perfect Airbnb. For some, price is primary driving force while others may want to stay in the best locations. Many want a nice comfortable stay out of their Airbnbs, something that reminds them of home....

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Sakurai: The Ultimate Tokyo Tea Experience

The season of Autumn is upon us, though it hardly matters to those of us who reside near the Equator. In Japan however, it means that temperatures are slowly dropping, typically reaching a cool range of about 23˚C to 28˚C in the day. With clear skies and cooling...

10 Iconic Seoul Street Foods to Try

We may know and love Korea for its as K-pop and K-dramas, but Korean cuisine offers just as much variety, excitement and visceral satisfaction. Although, for many foreigners, the experience of Korean food tends to center around cultural mainstays - BBQ, fried chicken...

7 Macau Famous Foods (And Where to Try Them)

With its glitzy casinos and luxurious world-class entertainment, Macau's reputation as the 'Vegas of Asia' is well deserved. Once a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau is today a major resort city offering world class entertainment and glitzy...

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

7 New Ways to Enjoy Hong Kong (Beyond Shopping and Dim Sum)

7 New Ways to Enjoy Hong Kong (Beyond Shopping and Dim Sum)

Dim Sum, Char Siew Siu Yoke (Barbecue pork and crispy roasted pork belly), and Cha Chaan Tengs encapsulate the typical tourist Hong Kong experience. You can even throw in Cantonese Congee (if you still have enough space for it). Sprinkle in some shopping and  that’s your 4- or 5-day itinerary, done. 

For most, it’s mainly about the eats when you’re in Hong Kong, especially with the tons of Michelin restaurants to be found all over. This begs the question: is there anything else Hong Kong has to offer?

Of course there is. From challenging Hong Kong’s numerous hiking trails, to hunting down famous photos, to reliving the city’s movie-making heydays, and even visiting quaint waterfront villages, there are plenty of alternatives to the usual shopping and dining. 

If you’re looking for fresh new ways to enjoy Hong Kong, give these 7 alternative itineraries a go. At the very least, you get to burn all those calories eh?

1. Sai Kung

Hong Kong is as metropolitan as they come, a hyper-modern, financial hub that rivals that of Singapore. West of the main district of Hong Kong, however, lies the peninsula of Sai Kung, which is filled with quaint waterfront villages that seem opposed to the hard and fast changes that has swept the majority of the country.

Reminiscent of the islands of Bali or Thailand, Sai Kung has beaches and even cliff diving spots to boot. Not your typical scene of Hong Kong, the local Hong Konger’s life in Sai Kung is a little more physical and back-breaking than that of their office counterparts.

Thanks to the bustling floating seafood market that starts its lively trade in the early hours of the morning, fresh seafood is almost guaranteed while eating at one of the many restaurants lined up and down the waterfront. Try a bite at Michelin-starred stand-out Loaf On Restaurant.

2. Tai Mo Shan 

Tai Mo Shan is Hong Kong’s highest peak, piercing through the clouds and easily seen from all across the island. As with being the highest peak, it also boasts the highest waterfall in Hong Kong, which you can hike up to get expansive views of the Kowloon reservoirs and the Tsuen Wan skyline.

You don’t have to worry about not having any experience as there are signposts all around and you can even get a private hiking tour up Ng Tung Chai waterfalls to ensure you get the best experience. You’ll be catching your breath every now and then, but when you see the sunlight peeking through as you surmount the peak, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you didn’t give up.

3. Lantau Island

If you don’t know where Lantau Island is, it’s where Hong Kong Disneyland is situated. But the Mouse only occupies a tremendously small portions of the entire island. Look further within and you’ll be surprised at the many hidden things Lantau Island has to offer.

Lantau Peak is a hotspot for catching the sunrise and chasing sunsets, which makes the gruelling hike all the more worth it. February is the best time to hike up as it is when the clouds are minimal. You can climb up via the North Ridge or South Face with the help of a personal hike guide! Completing the hike is no mean feat, but that also means it’s all the more rewarding when you reach the top.

If you have the time (and strength), find and discover the Po Lin Monastery. Hidden amongst the lush vegetation, this Buddhist sanctum is a sacred place and often referred to as the “Buddhist World in the South”. When the clouds float through the grounds filled with Buddhist iconography, it truly feels like a mystical place of origin.

4. Tian Tan Buddha

When on Lantau Island, a visit to the Tian Tan Buddha is a must. Just opposite the Po Lin Monastery, this towering Buddha statue overlooks the entire island.

Taking 12 years to build, the 34m sacred sculpture serves as a pilgrimage point for many Buddhists all over Asia. The Lantau peak experience would not be complete without a visit to Tian Tan Buddha.

To view the larger-than-life scuplture at its most magical, stay till after sundown, when dazzling lights come on and uplift the sculpture into something truly sublime.

5. Dragon’s Back Peak

Quite possibly the most famous hiking trail in all of Hong Kong, the Dragon’s Back should be attempted by anyone who wants a new lens and frame to look at the iconic city skyline. 

The trail up Dragon’s Back is well-marked and easy with a peak that promises panoramic views of the city. Up some 284 metres high, you’ll find yourself at the Shek O viewing plateau which offers stunning views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, and Tung Lung Island. 

For those itching for an adrenaline rush, you can paraglide off into the blue skies and gain a whole new perspective onto the city below. If you like your two feet to remain solidly on the ground, flying kites would prove to be the safer and milder option. 

6. Hong Kong’s Movie Heritage

Now, let’s switch gears and explore a side of Hong Kong that has been an important pillar of the country’s culture. The 1980s and 1990s were the heyday of Hong Kong’s film industry. Billed as the “Hollywood of the East” back then, Hong Kong had a hyper-active film industry, with breakneck production that saw camera crews running all over the city 24/7.

The pace of local film production has dropped in the recent decade, but iconic film locations remain throughout the city. Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan is a famous place that attracts crowds, thanks to its staus as the filming location of the Hong Kong classic Rouge (1987). The Chungking Mansions in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui served as the principal location of Wong Kar-wai’s famous Chungking Express (1995).

If you truly want to relive the old films, the Hong Kong Film Archive strives to collect and conserve Hong Kong-made films and all that is associated with them. They also do regular screenings of films throughout Hong Kong’s history so if you’re a cinephile, you’ve found your haunt in Hong Kong. 

7. Photo Hunting

Say what you will about Instagram, but the fact remains that it has become a useful platform for budding photographers to showcase their wonderful work – and for photography enthusiasts to find new images to love. 

Hong Kong, with its myriad skyscrapers, offers photo opportunities at every turn and down every alley. If there was an award for most popular photo hotspot in Hong Kong, we’re sure the Yik Cheong building will take home the prize easily.

This “Monster Building” as it’s also known, is one of the most Instagrammed spots in all of Hong Kong. A conglomeration of 5 dense and stacked flats, Yik Cheong has come to be representative of urban living in Hong Kong, and the go-to architecture to capture the essence of what Hong Kong is all about.

If you’re looking to enhance your feed with brighter colours, the Choi Hung Estate would fit the bill. The old estate is painted with bright tones, lending an almost surreal, lost-in-time tone to your shots.

And of course, the neon street signs of Mong Kok will forever satisfy a photographer looking for some stunning long exposure night shots. 

Hunt for photos, run amok, and discover Hong Kong from the ground up.

Photo by Brayden Law on Unsplash.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash.

Photo by Ryan Tang on Unsplash.

Other Stories You May be Interested in

5 Insta-worthy Airbnbs in Seoul to Enjoy

There are many factors that come into play when searching for the perfect Airbnb. For some, price is primary driving force while others may want to stay in the best locations. Many want a nice comfortable stay out of their Airbnbs, something that reminds them of home....

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Sakurai: The Ultimate Tokyo Tea Experience

The season of Autumn is upon us, though it hardly matters to those of us who reside near the Equator. In Japan however, it means that temperatures are slowly dropping, typically reaching a cool range of about 23˚C to 28˚C in the day. With clear skies and cooling...

10 Iconic Seoul Street Foods to Try

We may know and love Korea for its as K-pop and K-dramas, but Korean cuisine offers just as much variety, excitement and visceral satisfaction. Although, for many foreigners, the experience of Korean food tends to center around cultural mainstays - BBQ, fried chicken...

7 Macau Famous Foods (And Where to Try Them)

With its glitzy casinos and luxurious world-class entertainment, Macau's reputation as the 'Vegas of Asia' is well deserved. Once a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau is today a major resort city offering world class entertainment and glitzy...

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

What Type of Traveller are You?

What Type of Traveller are You?

Travelling can both be a joy (it most often is) and a pain (yes, it can, especially when travelling with the wrong people). The purpose of our travels and what we seek to get out of our overseas forays can be as varied as the stars in the night sky. 

We all love to travel, but like many things in this world, travelling and the experiences we get from it are largely subjective. Are you looking for a heart-racing, exhilarating ride or is kicking back on the beach with a mojito what floats your boat? Perhaps it’s meandering through alleys and unearthing the cultural and historical aspects of a city or maybe tasting the best food the country has to offer. 

The important question is: what type of traveller are you?

1. The Family Traveller

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Once you have your own family, holidays become a little bit trickier; it’s no longer a simple matter between you and your spouse. Family-friendly accommodations, attractions, and the like all have to be taken into account. More often than not, your child will be the one calling the shots, and that’s all fine with you, especially if the little ones are having fun. 

Alternatively, a trip to the countryside and villages may be in store to widen the horizons of the kids, who are accustomed to iPhones and metropolitan skyscrapers. 

If you are the kid — Disneyland, ‘nuff said. 

Recommended destinations: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia

2. The Thrill Seeker

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

Start off with a simple flying fox, dip into water with some cliff diving, and end the day off with a bungee jump. For some people, that’s not a holiday, it’s hell. For the thrill seekers though, it’s practically the perfect getaway, they might even have time to squeeze in that one roller coaster ride. 

Places like Phuket and Bali are fast becoming a popular travel hotspot for those looking to live life a little more on the edge, while New Zealand still ranks as a top destination for bungee jumping and skydiving. 

Recommended Destinations: Thailand, Bali, New Zealand

3. The Luxurious Traveller

You’ve been saving up for practically the entire year (both your leaves and money), and it’s high time you splurge on yourself. There’s always the five-star hotels, infinity pools, and never-ending boutique shopping to satisfy you and your wallet. If you want a new travelling experience however…

There has been a rising trend of luxury train rides as an alternative way of travel and boy do they give a new definition to train rides. Think Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” but without the murder part. 

Okay, think fine dining, plush cushions, velvet fabrics, and a classy service — it’s a five-star hotel on tracks. 

Recommended Destinations: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Seven Stars in Kyushu, Eastern Oriental Express

4. The Cultural/History Buff

Photo by Daniel Tseng on Unsplash

If you could, you would do away the modern skyscrapers and bring in the ancient architecture. Forget the lavish shopping streets and walk through the historical neighbourhoods with old and traditional facades. Uncovering little nuggets of the past is what inspires you to travel. 

The rich and deep history of the Continental world makes Europe a can’t-miss for any cultural or history buff, but cities in the Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia also boast a cultural blend of architectures that will leave you exploring for days on end. 

Recommended Destinations: Europe, Japan, Korea, Vietnam

5. The Adventurer

Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash

You strap on your boots and your gear, ready to take on the world. You dream to catch every sunrise and chase every sunset. The world is at your fingertips and every part of the natural world is yours to discover.

From the wintry mountains of Norway, and deepest gorges of New Zealand to the ancient city of Bagan, the world is truly filled with marvelous natural wonders, and you wouldn’t want to miss a second of it. 

Recommended Destinations: Norway, New Zealand, Vietnam 

6. The Budget Traveller

Photo by Marcus Loke on Unsplash

Everything comes at a price, and if that price is the lowest it can get, all the better. The budget traveller speaks to people who want the best bang for your buck and seek to prove that the best travel experiences don’t have to mean spending lavish amounts of money.

Hostels are your best friends when it comes to accommodations and often times can quite honestly offer the most enriching travel experiences as you mingle with people from all over the world. 

Recommended Destinations: Southeast Asia 

7. The Instagrammer

Ahh, for the ‘gram. It seems everything in today’s world is for Instagram. Good or bad, Instagram is undeniably driving travel nowadays. Beautiful and fantastical landscape shots are getting the trendy hashtags and travel feeds are fast becoming the go-to for people seeking travel inspiration. 

Getting picture-perfect shots (whether of yourself or the scenery) is a must on any trip. which will be accompanied by a customised hashtag (but of course). If this sounds like you, well embrace the fact that  you my friend, travel for the ‘gram. 

Recommended Destinations: Trendy destinations (The Golden Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam and Siargao Island, Philippines)

8. The Foodie

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

When your travel itinerary is planned around various eating places, you know you are a foodie. Searching for the best and signature food of whatever the country has to offer is the number 1 priority where any trip is determined by one thing and one thing only — your taste buds.

Taiwan’s foodscape has left an indelible impact on taste buds globally with her down-to-earth cuisine… and bubble tea establishments popping up by the dozens everywhere is just the beginning!

Similarly, part of Singapore’s (and for that matter, Asia) draw is undoubtedly the abundance of heritage food as a result of influences from all over Asia as well as past colonial interactions.

But that’s not to say you can’t find great food in the West. Australia consistently produces some of the most exciting food trends, while the UK is a traditional stronghold of world-renowned chefs. 

Recommended Destinations: Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, UK

9. The Introspective Soul Searcher

The trip to “find yourself” as they say. Often the solo traveller, travel escapades are a time for you to look within and consider one’s purposes and directions in life. From a solitary hike to cooking classes, you’re up for anything and everything that makes you grow as a person. 

You see travel experiences as instrumental in shaping who you are and getting lost in your own thoughts in nature is well, second nature. 

Recommended Destinations: India, Bali

10. The Influencer

Perhaps you’re the true travel inspiration for many people out there. Your fans are ardently scrolling through your feed, living vicariously through the social media posts you share. Every once in a while it inspires them to pack their luggage and explore the magical places you’ve shared.

You have the power to influence not only where to travel, but how to travel and travel right. It’s an immense responsibility, one where done well, can impact the world. 

Recommended Destinations: Up and coming destinations (Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan)

Other Stories You May be Interested in

5 Insta-worthy Airbnbs in Seoul to Enjoy

There are many factors that come into play when searching for the perfect Airbnb. For some, price is primary driving force while others may want to stay in the best locations. Many want a nice comfortable stay out of their Airbnbs, something that reminds them of home....

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Sakurai: The Ultimate Tokyo Tea Experience

The season of Autumn is upon us, though it hardly matters to those of us who reside near the Equator. In Japan however, it means that temperatures are slowly dropping, typically reaching a cool range of about 23˚C to 28˚C in the day. With clear skies and cooling...

10 Iconic Seoul Street Foods to Try

We may know and love Korea for its as K-pop and K-dramas, but Korean cuisine offers just as much variety, excitement and visceral satisfaction. Although, for many foreigners, the experience of Korean food tends to center around cultural mainstays - BBQ, fried chicken...

7 Macau Famous Foods (And Where to Try Them)

With its glitzy casinos and luxurious world-class entertainment, Macau's reputation as the 'Vegas of Asia' is well deserved. Once a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, Macau is today a major resort city offering world class entertainment and glitzy...

Enjoy Stunning Osaka Autumn Views at Hoshi no Buranko

Autumn is the best season. The weather turns cool enough for jackets and sweaters and hot cups of coffee, dusk gets longer and shadows deepen, and leaves turn from green into stunning hues of reds and oranges.   Some of our favourite holiday destinations are arguably...

Pin It on Pinterest