If you have friends and family members who are missing Singapore because they are abroad at the moment, why not gift them a little something that will remind them of home? Forget run-of-the-mill gifts – go for souvenirs that are fun, stylish and have a unique local flavour. Below are some interesting picks from local designers and homegrown brands. P.S: They work perfectly for foreign pals too.
1. Games from Origame
From creating Singapore’s iconic kopitiam (coffeeshop) drinks to striving to be the best zi char (cook and fry) eatery in town, the quirky, fast-paced games from Origame will bring a barrel of laughs to any dinner party. Designed by game designer Daryl Chow, the games are a great reflection of Singapore’s unique culture.
2. Leather goods from Bynd Artisan
Expect sophisticated, well crafted, personalised leather products and notebooks from this craft atelier that is part of a long legacy that has spanned close to 80 years. Run by husband-wife duo James Quan and Winnie Chan, Bynd Artisan also runs workshops for its clients, ranging from making a basic leather card holder to cartoon character painting and brush writing.
3. Artisanal chocolates from Janice Wong
The chocolate bon bons from this award-winning Singapore-born chef are on another level, featuring a multi-coloured hues that are akin to an art piece. The Signature Singapore Series is the one to get, with intriguing flavours such as Chilli Padi, Gula Melaka Pandan and BBQ Bakkwa Chicken praline poprocks.
4. Homewares from Onlewo
Inspired by Singapore’s vibrant neighbourhoods like Little India and Tiong Bahru, Onlewo’s homewares – from throws and plates to cushion covers and table runners – offer a quirky take on local culture. Our favourite is a table lamp sporting old movie tickets from the 1940s to the 1970s.
5. Spices from Anthony the Spice Maker
Venture into Chinatown Complex to pick up the brand’s pre-packed spice blends, so you can recreate local dishes like laksa (spicy noodle soup) and bak kut teh (pork rib soup) even when you’re back home. The spices are au naturel with no preservatives, MSG, additives, no fillers and colourings added.
6. Jewellery from Carrie K
The brand’s Icon collection (think drop earrings, studs and brooches) is inspired by the former National Theatre’s five vertical diamond-shaped bays that formed its distinctive frontage. Each diamond was meant to represent the five stars of the Singapore flag and showcase the country’s spirit of inclusivity.
This article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine and updated on 13 May 2021.