Generally imported, the produce these stores stock is pretty pricey. But there are some fabulous sources of local goodies – see the Tong Heng entry – out there. Also check out the Sweet Stuff section for more local inspiration in the form of Tuffs, among others…
Park House Condo (#01-21/27)
21 Orchard Boulevard
T: (+65) 6304 1336
Pricey but an institution that people keep coming back to, this place has been here for 13 years. They now occupy the entire ground floor of the condo, so must be doing something right. Come here for a big choice of organic produce – around 98% of what they stock is organic – but be prepared to pay a lot for it. Mesclun salad at $69/kg anyone? What we love though is the 100% pure fruit ice lollies (called Smooze) which are stocked on the shelf (you freeze them yourself at home) and are a veritable health food steal at $9.95 for 8. They are the only bargain that this place stocks. Brilliant for kids, there are three flavours to choose from.
Opening Times: 10am-7pm Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun
123-125 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6333 6683
Hediard is a vaguely glamorous, if slightly faded, foodie establishment in black and white Tudor Court, just beside Tanglin Mall. A good place to go for chocolates or teas and coffees as gifts for foodie aficionados, dinner party or house warming host treats. Excruciatingly expensive, and many things you can get cheaper and better at Culina in Dempsey but it obviously wont have the Hediard labelling. They also serve tea and coffee and Hediard inspired dishes in their connected café next door to the shop. Check it out at Christmas for seasonal gifts and goodies European style. Great place for a good value set lunch – see EAT ME, DRINK ME/Lunch.
Opening Times: 9am-8pm daily
Block 8 Dempsey Road (#01-13)
Singapore 247696 www.culina.com.sg
T: +65 6474 7338
A Dempsey Hill Foodie Institution this place has the largest range of ingredients and rare items for the serious cook in Singapore. If it isn’t here you can try Jones or Huber’s just around the corner. It is an unlikely place to find relatively cheap De Cecco pasta (better value by far than cold storage), some interesting cheeses (cheaper than Jones but not as large selection). VERY serious Wagyu beef can be purchased here, they always have fresh oysters, truffle paste (and occasionally the fresh variety), a large selection of oils and vinegars and some real italian tomatoes…though you will pay for them. If you are really a cook, you will appreciate their 5ltr cans of olive oil for $65 – a snip when you compare to even Fair Price for a half decent 500ml bottle! It is also the best place to go around 10am when the sourdough baguettes come out of the ovens. they make lovely little pointed rolls too that are great from picnic sandwiches to toddle of to the botanics with. Great place to go for wines as well. Not too expensive if you know your stuff, and they sometimes run a bin ends basket. Make sure you clean up when they do. Otherwise it is a good place to find some lovely french and italian wines and they will always have a good bottle of chilled champagne available. BTW. you can sit outside or in and sample food cooked in the kitchens using their ingredients – always impressive list of specials, but be warned – the wine you c</em> Opening Times: 10am-9pm Mon-Thu; 9am-9pm Fri-Sun
B1 #20a (next to Da Paulo’s)
Paragon, Orchard Road
If it is classic British fare that you are after, then sometimes only the royal brand will do. You can get Harrods hampers in Takashimaya, pick up some Waitrose favourites at Cold Storage and Marketplace and get M&S staples relatively easily across the island but when it is a truly English condiment or biscuit that you hanker for, then only Prince Charles’ Organic range will suffice. The small, but perfectly formed, store in the basement of the Paragon is pretty expensive when you are comparing it to what it may cost back in Blighty but occasionally it is just downright necessary. BTW: make sure you stock up long before Christmas as the marmalade and cranberry sauce goes early! Their dark choc ginger biscuits are perfect pressies – superior and rich – and you somehow, just instinctively, know that the Queen loves them. Perfect for feeding any tricky/demanding visitors missing home.
BTW: If it is English fare that you just must have go to M&S, their dried pastas and tinned soups are surprisingly good value when compared to Cold Storage and at Easter it is the only place to get decent eggs (well, this and Canele – see later listing)!
Serene Centre (#01-05)
10 Jalan Serene
T: (+65) 6468 8859
Island Creamery is in the Serene Centre, as well as Upper Bukit Timah. Choose from their classics (burnt caramel in a choc cone is hard to better and their cookies ‘n’ cream is a winner) as well as delicious local flavours that we love, including cancer-busting soursop, durian and chendol. Priced at $2.80 for a single scoop and $4.50 for a double.
Opening Times: 11am-10pm Sun-Thu; 11am-11pm Fri & Sat
43 Jalan Merah Saga (#01-70)
Chip Bee Gardens
T: (+65) 6472 0870
Organic café and food store, this place is (of course) outrageously expensive but lovely for organic presents and goodies as well as a coffee or light lunch. They stock very nicely packaged (now you know where your money went), good quality ingredients, that come in all shapes and sizes; boxes and jars, with their signature black and white labeling. They are one of the few places in Singapore that do delivery, and in fact will deliver a weekly organic pot luck box of fruit and veggies to your door. Well worth looking into for busy mums. Their dried organic pulses, lentils, flours and rice varieties are very good but if it’s ingredients and not gifts you require, ask them for a refill box vs presentation jar. It may be half as pretty but it’s also half the price (i.e. $10.80 for a jar of dried chick peas but only $5.80 for a refill box). They often have some very nice fresh ingredients too, but too hit and miss to make a pilgrimage for something specific unless you call ahead.
BTW: Actually, if this is really your bag, and your motherly devotion to feeding your little people organic means that you will puree your own baby food, then take advantage of their $70.00 ‘babybox’. Delivered every week, they assure us there are as much veggies as you will need for a weeks’ worth of pureed goodness for your little angel. There is a secondary branch in the food hall level of Taka (#B2) opposite Cold Storage (T: (+65) 6735 2337).
Opening Times: 9am-9pm daily
REGENT TO GO
Under the Regent Hotel
One Cuscaden Road, 249715, Singapore
T: (+65) 67253243
One of the few places that, come Easter, you can get genuinely fresh-baked hot cross buns, a must for all the pining expats. The bakery is cute, with a lovely café area to sit in and enjoy a coffee with a decent pudding or pastry. It is also a fab place to buy desserts – particularly individual ones that you would be proud to serve/pass off as your own creation at any dinner party!
Opening Times: 9 til 9 everyday
15 Upper Dickson Road
T: (+65) 62942334
Fab little foodie find that is worth the detour. Actually, a great place to finish the meal if you had dinner at Lagnaa across the road. It isn’t all about ice cream – you can pick up little indian tapas style bites too but the reason you go is for their mouth-wateringly beautiful frozen indian style gelato. Made by boiling milk as the base for the ‘ice cream’ this is a good option for those that don’t want to or can’t eat eggs. Slightly more solid than western ice-cream as it isn’t aerated, this rich dessert comes in many flavours often with indian leaning spices or embellishments such as rose petal syrup, cardamom, cinnamon and toasted almonds. Check out the chocolate served with broken pistachios and little cubes of jelly and basil seeds or the mango and lychee kulfi, a taste sensation enhanced by the ever constant gentle hint of incense that pervades the joint. Finish with a palate cleansing mint tea with a hint of eucalyptus served in brass hand carved mugs.
Opening Times: seems to vary but pre dinner is always a good bet
JONES THE GROCER
Dempsey Hill (#01-12)
9 Dempsey Road
T: (+65) 6476 1512
Affectionately known as Jones the robber…and for good reason….but the extortionately high prices ARE occasionally bearable because it is one of the few truly large open, brasserie-style places in Singapore. You can (if you queue) get a fab brunch or breakfast and a half decent ‘flat white’ or latte. Lunches and dinners are also served with aplomb but none of these are really the reasons you go to Jones….the refrigerated cheese room, stocked floor to ceiling with French, Italian, English, Spanish and Australian cheeses is really something to behold. Whilst a seriously pale imitation of The Cheese Room at La Fromagerie in London’s Marylebone, it is nonetheless the best of its kind in Singapore. The service here leaves a bit to be desired – it would be great if they had knowledgeable staff on tap – but if you know what you want or are happy to look for it, this place can be a real treasure trove. Those really elusive ingredients such as dried porcini, white truffle paste or saffron can all be found here as well as a truly heavenly import of Persian Fairy Floss. The pistachio is to die for, but in this humidity lasts minutes rather than days once opened…well, that’s our excuse anyway!
Opening Times: 9am-6pm Mon; 9am-11pm Tues-Sun
Tanglin Mall (#B1-07/08)
163 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6738 0629
A half descent bakery where you can get freshly baked bread and, most surprisingly, Cloud9 ice cream – a new artisan brand boasting interesting flavours for the discerning gelato connoisseur. BTW: Check out the recommended Salted Caramel or the new Earl Grey & Fig. Heaps of other branches including Great World City and Wheelock – see website for more details. They also do good take-away sarnies if you are noodled-out.
Opening Times: 9am-8pm daily
BROWN RICE PARADISE
Tanglin Mall (#02-35)
163 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6738 1121
A large stockist of organic, vegan and vegetarian goodies. Whilst you couldn’t quite argue that the shelves are well-stocked (though much better now than a year ago), you can find most alternative health and more obscure organic labels at this large-ish shop on the strange hidden mezzanine level in Tanglin Mall (accessed behind the lifts, which are behind the information counter on 2nd floor). A good source of Ella’s Kitchen and Organix baby food.
Opening Times: 10am-8.30pm daily
2 Orchard Turn
T: (+65) 6735 1837
Calls itself the finest luxury tea brand in the world, TWG was actually founded in S’pore and has the ultimate seal of approval: it is used by Raffles Hotel. If you are sick of tea bags and hanker after a real Earl Grey (choose from their 12 types) – come here. They stock over 800 types of tea from every country in the world that produces tea. Price range from $6 for 50g (about 5 heaped tablespoons of tea) which is actually quite good value – to $34 (again per 50g) which is punchy. BTW: You can also eat French patisserie/bistro fare here, in what they rather pretentiously call their Tea Salon & Boutique. They also have a branch in Republic Plaza (#01-22; T: (+65) 6538 1837) as well as Takashimaya (#B2) that just sells tea.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily
390A Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6735 5391
A bit of a local bakery staple, there are branches pretty much everywhere (a grand total of 39 in S’pore) but their kueh lapis is excellent. If you want to sample Singapore baking, this is a one stop shop, from eggs tarts to kueh dadar. BTW: Striped, multi coloured lapis sagu makes for a really fun change from boring old jelly for kids’ parties. Their tinned cookies are good, relatively inexpensive presents.
Opening Times: 10am-9.30pm daily
Liang Court Shopping Centre(#B1-50)
117 River Valley Road
T: (+65) 6339 1111
If its Japanese groceries you are after, look no further than Meidi-Ya. The only one in S’pore, this is THE Japanese supermarket (they supply Isetan too, so cut out the middle man and come straight here). They stock a huge amount of fresh food imported directly from Japan as well as some recommended own label products ‘My’ (+ name of product). ‘My Jam’ is delicious. BTW: If you go around lunchtime, you can check out the oodles of noodle bars and Japanese restaurants at Liang Court which is very Japanese food-heavy. BTW: Not a place for bargains, but the quality is high. As well as Japanese specialities they also sell the usual supermarket fare.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily
Tanglin Mall (#B1-19)
163 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6734 1326
Nothing exciting as chocolate shops go, but a great and easy stop for proper dark chocolate for baking with (they have so many shops, it feels as if there’s one in every mall). Try Frey’s extra dark bittersweet chocolate ‘Noir Authentique’ which is usually on offer ($7 for 2 100g slabs…AND it’s Swiss) and has 78% cocoa solids. Don’t even consider cross checking with Tanglin Market Place that has a wildly disappointing cooking chocolate section. Cocoa Trees also carries the rare, hard to find but heavenly, homesick-inuducing Bendicks Bittermints as well as dark choc, praline-filled Baci.
Opening Times: 9.30am-9.30pm daily
Block 11 Ghim Moh (#1-64)
T: (+65) 6468 4237
Looking for the perfect pirates’ treasure chest cake for little Johnny’s birthday but don’t want to crack in to your treasure chest to pay for it (or make it yourself – by the time you’ve bought all the ingredients, you’re gonna be paying more than these guys’ll charge you)? Perhaps you are after a Hansel and Gretel creation or a proper 3D castle…whatever it is, look no further than this awesome HDB bakery who have oodles of designs to choose from – check out their website which is pretty comprehensive. A sweet secret worth smiling about, these cakes are priced at $50 per kg (1kg is the minimum order). You can collect your creation, or they will deliver it to your door (for a fee). You won’t need much more than a kilo as they are so sweet and a sliver for each of the little people will be more than enough!
Opening Times: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
GHIM MOH WET MARKET
Ghim Moh Road (off Holland Road)
One of the most famous wet markets in Singapore and fabulous for your daily dose of fresh veggies, kampong chicken, fish etc. Once you’ve done your food shopping – don’t forget to check out the hawker stalls here, which are legendary and make for the perfect local lunch stop, provided you are not looking to go on a Monday (when most markets are shut for cleaning). To get stuck in to the hawker fare, park in the bays to the front of the market, and walk down the right hand side of all the various stalls (vegetable, fish and clothing). You will see a sign telling you that there is a loo on your left. Keep going straight and you are there, in the midst of Ghim Moh’s hawker centre. Stalls to try that have a legendary following and that are known by most Singaporeans include GUAN KEE for fried char kway teow (#01-12; closed Mon & Fri); there is usually a terrible queue (always a good sign) as it’s just Uncle cooking all on his own…but don’t let this stop you…get in line. The roast duck at JIU JIANG SHAO LA (#01-45) is also very good and you can ask for as much or little as you want – from a whole duck, chopped, to 1 portion of breast meat only etc. Eat here or take it away. Add rice, gravy and some veggie and you have lunch fit for a king.
Opening Times: Usually around 5am-2pm is the best time to visit a wet market. Generally, the earlier you go, the less crowded and cooler it is. Closed Mondays. Some stalls close on Fridays too and some are even more random and close every alternate Friday – good luck and go figure…
285 South Bridge Road
T: (+65) 6223 3649 or (+65) 6223 0398
This place is famous for it’s egg custard tarts. They are so delicious that frankly, it’s well worth double parking and leaping out to buy a box of at least 6. They are perfect if you have people to tea and cost a little more than a $1 a tart. (Where else can you find prices like those? Not even in Geylang!) Crumbly, flaky pasty cases and with a smooth custard filling that is – very crucially – not too sweet. Like a delicious French/Euro pastry they are in fact a hangover from the days when the Portuguese were here.
Opening Times: 9am-10pm daily
56 Serangoon Road
T: (+65) 6297 3231
If you want to buy fabulously priced spices from obscure (amchoor powder) to obvious (bay leaves) then this is the place to come. A bag of 12 cinnamon sticks is around $2 just to give you a bench mark against Cold Storage. Snatch up armfuls of fresh coriander while you are here as well as a few Indian mangoes for good measure. Really helpful staff will locate everything for you in a trice. On the corner of Serangoon and Campbell Lane, on the opposite side of the road to Tekka Market. (If you know you are going to be super quick, you can get away with a spot of illegal parking on a double yellow on Campbell Lane.)
Opening Times: 9am-11pm daily