The Best Singapore Souvenirs for Family and Friends

The Best Singapore Souvenirs for Family and Friends

Forget about mass-produced Merlion mementos, cheap, made-in-China figurines labelled “made in Singapore” and Merlion-shaped chocolates. We’ve collated a list of souvenirs which we believe are just about ten times more meaningful and desirable to souvenir recipients. After all, the best souvenirs should authentically represent Singapore and showcase the city-state’s uniqueness. Time to up the souvenir-giving game!

Tau Sar Piah (bean paste pastry)

A traditional Chinese baked pastry teemed with savoury or sweet bean paste, the Tau Sar Piah – “bean paste biscuit” in Singapore’s Teochew dialect – traditionally plays an important role in Chinese ritualistic ceremonies and in maintaining social relations. The exchanging of such food gifts is seen as a token of goodwill and well wishes to older generation Singaporeans. Nowadays, the pastry has become more of a local delight that’s consumed on normal occasions. In recent years, you can even find more contemporary flavoured fillings such as durian or green tea.

While you may sometimes see Tau Sar Piah being sold at supermarkets or in pre-packed forms, for a taste of true blue Singaporean Tau Sar Piah, it’s best to purchase from freshly baked confectionary shops like Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah, located along Balestier road. There are in fact, a few renown confectionary shops which hand make their pastries daily.

And don’t worry about taking the pastries on the plane. All you need is an air-tight container for the pastries to keep fresh.

Price range: S$0.60 onwards

Where to buy:

  • Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah, 639 Balestier Road. Singapore 329922 | Tel:62534584
  • Sze Thye Cake Shop, 2 Beach Rd, Singapore 190002 | Tel: 96581286
  • Ng Kim Lee Confectionery, 4 Chun Tin Rd, Singapore 599591 | Tel: 64663515

Traditional (old school) Singapore biscuits

Curious to know the kind of snacks your Singaporean colleagues grew up eating? Well, you can bring a taste of that back home. We’re certain these biscuits will tickle, if not intrigue some palates. Already plenty rare in Singapore, you should get your hands on these elusive finger delights before they get phased out by the tides of progress.  

It’s hard to put into words the value of traditional biscuits but they are an indelible part of many Singaporeans’ childhoods. More than taste, these old school biscuits represent the memory of a Singapore in times past, less the stateliness of its present-day achievements.

When choosing your souvenirs, do keep an eye out for these traditionally popular flavours: Ais Gem, Marie Biscuits, Chocolate Wafer and Pineapple Jam.

Price range: S$3 onwards

Where to buy:

Biscuit King, 130 Casuarina Road, Singapore 579518 

Bakkwa (Barbequed Meat)

Bakkwa can be considered the Chinese version of jerky. Traditionally, Bakkwa was the result of a food preservation technique developed before refrigerators existed. However, this preservation method has evolved since first generation migrants brought it into Singapore. Today, this savoury sweetmeat is grilled over charcoal to retain its juiciness and take on a smoky flavour. Bakkwa is now a local delicacy and an indispensable part of Chinese New Year festivities, often given to elders, parents or friends to celebrate the occasion. If you’re looking to share with your family and friends a uniquely Singaporean palate experience, Bakkwa hits the spot. 

Price range: S$45 to S$70 per kilogram 

Where to buy:

  • Bee Cheng Hiang
  • Fragrance
  • Kim Hock Guan
  • Lim Chee Guan

Singapore Sling

We’re pretty sure you’ve at least had a sip of the national drink of Singapore but did it cross your mind to purchase it as a souvenir? While the Singapore Sling was first concocted in 1915 at Raffles Singapore, it is now available in ready-to-drink 40ml to 70ml bottles.

Price range: S$30 to S$80 

Where to buy:

  • Raffles Hotel Long bar
  • Raffles Gift Shop
  • Major supermarkets (Jason’s, NTUC, Cold Storage)

Singapore Orchid gifts

When speaking of Singapore icons, one cannot fail to mention the Singapore Orchid. Appreciated for its beauty and the Vanda Miss Joaquim’s significance as the National Flower, gifts bearing the flower are synonymous with being uniquely Singaporean.

A homegrown brand with its roots seeped in Singapore’s cultural heritage, RISIS is known for its hand-picked, gold-plated orchid gifts. If you’re looking for a souvenir which is presentable, endearing and representative of Singapore, RISIS offers a wide selection of premium gifts for one and all. 

Price range: S$60 onwards 

Where to buy:

  • National Orchid Garden at Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City Shopping Centre
  • The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands
  • Suntec City Mall
  • Tangs Orchard
  • Tangs Vivocity
  • Changi Airport, T3

Knick knacks by Singapore designers

From Nasi Lemak Tea, Singapore Sling Marmalade to Singlish notebooks and tote bags bearing traditional icons in contemporary-style graphics – local gift shop Naiise. has a dedicated section stocking edible, wearable and lifestyle products designed by Singaporean designers. A perfect place to find interesting, pop-culturesque designer gifts with that Singaporean twist at highly affordable prices. Better still, Naiise.’ products often come together with a descriptive label explaining the significance and inspiration behind the designs – allowing foreign friends who may be unfamiliar with the Singapore culture to better appreciate your gift.

Price range: S$3 onwards

Where to buy:

  • Clarke Quay Central
  • Katong I12
  • Suntec City
  • The Cathay
  • Orchard Gateway
  • Westgate
30 Dec 2016
Maxine Loh