8 unique CNY snacks in 2024 that are definite conversation starters

By Sarah Chua February 2, 2024
8 unique CNY snacks in 2024 that are definite conversation starters
Photos (clockwise from left): 5 on 25, Joy Luck Teahouse, Ah Mah Homemade Cake

Depending on your relationship with your family members, those annual Chinese new year (CNY) visits can be a hit or miss. Haven’t we all had moments where we’ve sat around the table during a visitation, unsure of how to begin the conversation? 

Or perhaps you might have been at the receiving end of not-so-savoury questions such as: “Where’s your other half?”, “When are you getting married?” and “You put on weight, ah?” and desperately want to change the topic.

I’m not sure about you, but having been in these situations, one effective way to get round those dreaded CNY conversation lulls or awkward topics is to help yourself to the most interesting CNY snacks on display and either: 1) distribute those Chinese new year goodies so everyone is too busy to talk or 2) just talk about the snacks.

After all, if there’s anything else Singaporeans like talking about — aside from the persistent sweltering heat — it’s food. Here’s our pick of some of the best CNY snacks in 2024 that are bound to get the conversation going: 

1. Ah Mah Homemade Cake’s dragon cookies

Paya Lebar Square, B1-46, 60 Paya Lebar Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (10.30am to 9pm)

Vivocity, B2-K7, 1 Harbourfront Walk
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 9.30pm) 

cny snacks 2024
dragon cookies are sold in bundles together with the brand’s original pineapple tarts or its butter cookies shown here. Photo: Ah Mah Homemade Cake

Unless you live under a rock, you would probably have been inundated with the many dragon zodiac decorations popping up in your face, especially in the lead-up to CNY. Like they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, which makes dragon cookies the perfect way to join the fray. 

These dragon cookies from Ah Mah Homemade Cake, which are essentially pineapple tarts in a different form, are ridiculously adorable and look like a sagely dragon warrior a la Mulan’s Mushu dragon. 

Ah Mah Homemade Cake is a small snack outfit that originated from Malaysia, opening shop locally in 2017. You might remember it best for its soft and spongy castella cakes. It prides itself in using only the best ingredients and no preservatives, so whether it’s a castella cake or a dragon cookie, you can be assured of its quality and freshness. 

How to order? Get these CNY snacks online or at Ah Mah’s two physical stores at Vivocity or Paya Lebar Square. They’re sold bundled with its regular pineapple tarts or butter cookies and go for S$26.80 a bundle. 

2. Annabella Patesserie’s zodiac macarons

Enterprise Centre, 09-01, 20 Bukit Batok Crescent [Pre-orders and self-collection only]
Open: Monday to Sunday (8am to 6pm)

cny snacks 2024
Photos: Annabella Patisserie

Prefer your zodiacs a little more cutesy? Make a beeline for Annabella Patisserie’s CNY macarons, which come dragon-themed or feature all twelve zodiac signs. Prices start from S$6.80 for a 2-in-1 lucky dragon in a gift box, to S$168 for a dragon family macaron tower that resembles a Disney Tsum Tsum stack. 

Annabella Patisserie was started by Anabella Sonwelly, first as a home-based business, and has now grown into a 15-member team doling out exquisite and adorable macarons. The patisserie is also halal-certified. 

How to order? Order them online through its website or GrabMart. If you’re eager to get them, you can also see if its CNY pop-ups are in your hood in the lead-up to the festive season. . 

3. Joy Luck Teahouse’s 22K French gold flakes egg tarts 

274 South Bridge Road
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 8pm)

200 Victoria Street, B1-K25
Open: Monday to Friday (11am to 9pm), Saturday and Sunday (10am to 9pm)

9 Bishan Place, B1-03/03A
Open: Monday to Sunday (10am to 9pm)

Nothing screams prosperity in Chinese culture than actual gold itself. While some of us might not be able to afford to adorn our house with gold all around, these 22K French gold flakes egg tarts (box of four for S$19.80) are still bound to make those elders happy and fill their tummies at the same time.

Joy Luck Teahouse is a HK-style cha chaan teng founded by local producer Robert Chua in 2020. He was also the one who brought popular HK F&B brands Tim Ho Wan and Kam’s Roast to Singapore, so you can be sure that Joy Luck’s three signature offerings — egg tarts, pineapple buns and milk tea — are up to par. 

How to order? These unique gold-flecked CNY snacks, packed in a gold box no less, are only available at its flagship Chinatown outlet for now, and its promotional price of S$19.80 (U.P.: S$22.80) only lasts till the end of Feb, so swing by as soon as you can! 

4. The Marmalade Pantry’s petite chicken bak kwa 

Multiple outlets islandwide. 

cny snacks 2024
Photo: The Marmalade Pantry

If you’re one of those who loves your barbecued meat fix, particularly during the festive season, but find a whole slice of pork bak kwa too much, The Marmalade Pantry’s petite chicken bak kwa (S$30) packs the same punch but in a smaller package. 

The bite-sized snack is prepared with a fish sauce-based marinade and similarly grilled over a charcoal flame for that familiar smoky flavour. Y’know what we like best about these petite portions? We can just throw them into our bags for a quick snack when the gatherings go on for a bit too long. 

You can purchase bak kwa for CNY separately or as part of its set of items known as The Signature Collection (S$90), which also comes with its black sesame almond cookies, salted egg yolk almond cookies, walnut cookies, and shallot cheese cookies, all in a gorgeous jewellery case. 

How to order? Pre-order them any of The Marmalade Pantry’s physical stores or through its website from now till Feb 20. 

5. Sing Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant’s Hainanese chicken rice cookies

35 Seah Street
Open: Sunday to Thursday (11am to 8.15pm), Friday and Saturday (11am to 8.30pm)

cny snacks 2024
Photo: Sing Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant

Everyone has their own take on famous CNY goodies, as well as famous local food, but what happens when you cross the well-loved local chicken rice dish with a CNY snack? We think Sing Swee Kee’s Hainanese chicken rice cookies (S$22) comes close in terms of taste, with its strong yet not overpowering notes of onion and garlic. It is also incredibly fragrant and would be a great gift for anyone who’s celebrating CNY out of town and missing home. 

Sing Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant has a long history of dishing up Hainanese chicken rice, so you can be sure that these Hainanese maestros know what they’re doing with this fusion CNY snack creation.

If you prefer your cookies conventionally sweet, it also has other unique takes on local flavours in a cookie, such as its teh C (S$22) and kopi cookies (S$20). 

How to order? Order these CNY snacks on its website or purchase them from its Seah Street outlet. 

6. 5 on 25 at Andaz’s 13 Wonders Mahjong Set 

Andaz Singapore, Level 25, 5 Fraser Street
Open: Monday to Sunday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10pm)

cny snacks 2024
Photo: 5 on 25 at Andaz

For some of us, CNY is synonymous with the many mahjong games that go late into the night. If your relatives or friends are huge mahjong fanatics, surprise them with these edible 13 Wonders mahjong set (S$48) from the modern Cantonese restaurant, 5 On 25 at Andaz Singapore. This literal winning hand of tiles are peach chocolate-flavoured and comes with a spicy, mandarin dragon praline centrepiece. 

5 on 25 is also doling out a festive menu, complete with the classic yusheng, pen cai and more, and its offerings are available for both dine-in or takeaway. We say it’s just the spot to head to, if you’re looking for somewhere modern with familiar traditional Cantonese fare. 

How to order? Purchase this snazzy set at its restaurant or through Andaz’s online shop

7. Tigerlily Patisserie’s festive sables

350 Joo Chiat Road
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (9am to 5pm)

cny snacks 2024
Photo: Tigerlily Patisserie

Find the regular CNY cookies too cloying or just too mainstream? How about a sable which is a buttery, slightly crumbly cookie? This type of cookies means “sandy” in French and is so named, thanks to its crumbly nature. 

Popular Joo Chiat bakery Tigerlily Patisserie has three different sable flavours for the festive season (S$7 each) — chocolate orange, seaweed and pork floss, and red date and logan

All of these flavours are commonly associated with CNY and would taste familiar to anyone even if you’re trying them for the first time. But we particularly loved the red date and logan, which reminded us of the Chinese dessert cheng tng but in a cookie. 

How to order? You can get these CNY snacks online at Tigerlily’s website till Feb 16 or in-store till Feb 18, with a two-day lead-time for online orders. 

8. Mdm Ling Bakery’s sweet potato cookies 

Available online through its website.

cny snacks 2024
Photo: Mdm Ling Bakery

With its unique shade, these purple sweet potato cookies (S$21.90 for a standard-sized tub) from Mdm Ling Bakery will definitely cause some, if not most snackers, to do a double-take. These eye-catching crumbly morsels are made from Japanese sweet potatoes and are slightly sweet with faint notes of chestnut. 

Contrary to its matriarch-sounding name, Mdm Ling was founded by a trio of millennial pals who see themselves see themselves as an affordable yet quality alternative to the expensive big bakery names. For those of us who have Muslim friends over for CNY will also be glad to know that the bakery and its cookies are halal-certified. 

How to order? Get your cookies from its website and GrabMart, or head to its many CNY 2024 pop-up booths islandwide this new year.

Want more CNY inspiration? Read our go-to guide on places to order last-minute CNY delivery and takeaways this year, or check out McDonald’s upcoming CNY Hello Kitty plushie launch

Ah Mah Homemade Cake, Joy Luck Teahouse, The Marmalade Pantry, Sing Swee Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant, and Tigerlily Patisserie are available on the GrabFood delivery service, while Annabelle Patisserie and Mdm Ling are available on GrabMart.

Do explore the new GrabFood Dine-in service for awesome deals.

You can also book a ride to self-collect any of these delectable CNY snacks in 2024.

Sarah Chua-HungryGoWhere

Sarah Chua


Sarah is constantly seeking out new coffee spots and cocktail bars around the world, and should probably drink more water while at it.

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