A few hidden gems and a couple of good standbys for everything you need for both the kitchen and table in the kit department.
293 Holland Road
T: (+65) 9320 7802 / 8113 9158
We’ve been hunting for something like this for ages after failing to satisfactorily sharpen our own knives at home, having bought every available gadget and gizmo that purports to guarantee a razor sharp edge. None seem to work. These guys are the real deal. Prices vary according to knife size. PS: They are not a shop, but a little stall just opposite HomeFix on level 2 of JCS.
Opening Times: 10am-7pm daily, except Wed when they are closed.
896 Dunearn Rd
T: (+65) 6219 7077
As if Phoon Huat and Sia Huat weren’t quite enough for this little town, this slightly oddly named catering cavern has just opened its’ doors to customers in the Bukit Timah (King Albert Park) area. Gargantuan barely covers it. The place is a veritable warehouse, at least in size, generously packed with just about anything a foodie or cook could desire across no less than 36,000 square feet! It isn’t wholesale but it also isn’t astronomically expensive. The name in fact stands for Tools Of The Trade; and they do indeed stock everything from that elusive Tamis, a decent ice cream scoop (four different sizes), new Kitchenaid mixers, wooden spoons as long as your arm and pots that you could fit a five year-old in! They also stock half decent Belgian chocolate couverture, a few dry ingredients, and at the checkout you can sign yourself up for a workshop and grab a coffee. There is also everything you could possibly require for the table – glassware, crockery and cutlery abound. If you are really a serious cook, give yourself a good hour or two here…if nothing else to try and gauge the sheer volume of different culinary gems they stock. Chef heaven.
Opening Times: 10.30am-9.30pm daily
43 Jalan Merah Saga
Chip Bee Gardens
T: (+65) 6471 0566
A Cooks’ Aladdin’s Cave. Not cheap, but if you are looking for that elusive kitchen gadget then this is the place to go. They also have a pretty good selection of cookery books – particularly the more high-end or difficult to get hold of – make sure you check out the new Maggie Beer or Skye Gyngell offerings – truly inspirational. BTW: If it is baking kit that you are after try Phoon Huat just up the hill on the same road by the Aussie Butcher – they have almost everything you need at a fraction of the price (see below for full listing).
Opening Times: 10am-9pm daily
15A Lorong Liput
T: (+65) 6466 6002
No, not a mis-placed entry, this is actually an electrical homewares store that has been run by an Indian family for years. As their name suggests, they started life selling silk and fabrics (from 1952). In 1974 they made the switch to electronics and really can better almost any price you can find elsewhere for your required item (in fact, it is worth visiting Best Denki, or similar, for research before you go). An institution in the heart of Holland V, you can purchase just about anything electrical from here, from coffee makers and cameras to barbecues and washing machines. The service is second to none – they really know their stuff and their advice is well worth taking. BTW: Avoid weekends when it is horribly busy or go early evening and then treat yourself to dinner nearby. BTW: There are a total of 3 retail outlets, see their website for details.
Opening Times: 11am-8pm daily
United Square (#B1-56)
101 Thompson Road,
T: (+65) 6254 7998
A very unexciting shop but hugely useful and stocks and sells a good selection of basic electrical gear, including everything you’d need to set up house (washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges, cookers, microwaves etc). Good prices make buying from here easy as you can be fairly confident you won’t be beaten within the retail market (Parisilk may be comparable and if you can face it and have time – go here first. If you can’t, and bearing in mind that Parisilk can involve some rather hard bargaining, then come here and be done with it). What’s more, their display is comprehensive which makes it so much less exhausting. They also have a branch in the east coast (Katong Mall #B1-03/11; T: (+65) 6348 7998). BTW: Prices are fixed but if you are buying a lot, try to negotiate and at the very least, get the delivery thrown in.
Opening Times: 11am-9pm daily
7-11 Temple Street
T: (+65) 6223 1732
A commercial kitchen equipment store open to the public yet we defy you to leave this shop without what you were looking for plus an armful of fabulous Cooks’ hardware that you suddenly realized you just couldn’t do without. If they don’t have it, they will do their best to find it – this is Singaporean service at its best. Whether you are searching for a spare bowl for your kitchenaid, a rare shaped piping tip for your icing bag, or a commercial sized Paella pan, this is the place to go. TIP: Look out for elegant rounded rectangular bamboo steamers among other serious and unusual modern cookware for the seasoned chef (no pun intended). BTW:Walk a couple of stores up (there is more of the same and sometimes cheaper) and check out a fantastic cheap ceramic tableware store on the other side of the road. Stuff Ikea and get interesting shaped, commercial quality plates and cups for the same price!
Opening Times: 8.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri; 8.30am-5.30pm Sat. Closed Sun
PHOON HUAT BAKING SUPPLIES
44 Jalan Merah Saga (#01-48)
Chip Bee Gardens
T: (+65) 6471 5250
A domestic goddess’s heaven, this extensive chain appears at various locations across Singapore and stocks just about everything the serious home baker or professional pastry chef could require. Mainly supplying restaurant and retail outlet it is also open to the public and whilst service can leave a lot to be desired even if you know what you are looking for, you will undoubtedly find it yourself. Whilst the place is stacked from floor to ceiling, it is relatively well organised and you can usually find most things in stock. It also runs good baking courses, particularly Wilton accredited cake decorating courses for the more creative baker. BTW: It is a good place to look for items that you might otherwise buy at Pantry Magic – always check here first before you pay 3 times the amount for the same thing further down the road! It’s also a great place for good value catering packs of tin foil and clingfilm and their freezers stock real Irish butter and great kids cheese (basic, mild cheddar etc) at bargain basement prices (Petit Normande butter works out as $2.75 a pack, Greenfields Irish butter at $2.10). Granted they are frozen, but so Huat?
Opening Times: 10am-8pm Mon-Sat; 10am-7pm Sun
391A Orchard Road
T: +65 6738 9905
The anchor of Ngee Ann City, Taka’s kitchenware department has a great stock of top grade cooking gear – just be prepared to pay for it.
Opening Times: 10am-9.30pm daily
310 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6737 5500
Excellent kitchen and home department (B1) that wholeheartedly participates in the Singapore Sale (when it’s on). Better value than Taka, things are still expensive but relatively good value for its Orchard location. Rare stockist of awesome microplane graters.
Opening Times: 10.30pm-9.30pm Mon-Thurs & Sat; 10.30am-11pm Fri; 11am-8.30pm Sun
If you still haven’t found what you need, check out…
Sunlik – a lovely little hole-in-the-wall behind The Raffles Hotel, on the same road as the Mint Toy Museum, filled with lots of baking supplies.