Let’s be honest, one of the best parts of Chinese New Year (CNY) is the snacks. Who can get enough of the addictive bak kwa (sliced barbecued pork), love letters, pineapple tarts and more? We see you reaching for another portion — even after you’ve wolfed down an entire tin in one sitting.
Well, new year’s resolutions can wait, because we’re ready to start the CNY feasting. So put on your stretchiest pants or comfiest dress, and let’s dive into our recommendations on where to get the most delectable CNY snacks.
1. Bee Kim Heng
People’s Park Food Centre, 01-1010, 32 New Market Road
Open: Saturday to Monday (10am to 6pm)
Bee Kim Heng is a family-run bak kwa stall located at People’s Park Food Centre. It was established in 1951 by Teo Ah Thin who, today, has more than 70 years of experience grilling bak kwa.
It sells only three items: Original sliced pork bak kwa (S$64 per kilogram), spicy sliced pork bak kwa (S$68 per kilogram) and gold coin bak kwa (S$64 per kilogram). Each piece of bak kwa is barbecued over charcoal, imbuing it with delectable, smoky flavours.
Prices are expected to increase in the lead-up to CNY, so remember to place orders early. Orders can be placed via 8852 9921 or by visiting its store.
Do also note that from now until the lead-up to CNY, Bee Kim Heng will be operating every day from 10am to 6pm.
What to order: Original sliced pork bak kwa (S$64 per kilogram)
2. Uncle Lee Confectionery
4 Jalan Pisang
Open: Monday and Tuesday, Thursday to Saturday (10am to 5pm)
Best known for its old-school cakes, Uncle Lee Confectionery proves that newer isn’t necessarily better.
Uncle Lee, the head baker behind all goodies, has been baking since the 1980s. He has acquired a strong following for his nostalgic local bakes, with many customers having grown up eating his confectionery when he was head baker at the now-defunct Hock Ann Confectionery.
Uncle Lee Confectionery has only a handful of snacks available this new year: Butter cookies (S$20), love letters (S$22), kueh bangkit (S$20), peanut biscuit (S$18) and jau gok peanut puff dumpling (a type of sweet fried dumpling, S$25).
The jau gok peanut puff dumplings are a traditional Chinese New Year treat. Each piece is shaped to resemble gold ingots, signifying good fortune. However, it isn’t as easily found as treats such as pineapple tarts or bak kwa – a perfect CNY gift to relatives and friends who enjoy something unique but still traditional.
What to order: Jau gok peanut puff dumpling (a type of sweet fried dumplings, S$25), love letters (S$22), butter cookies (S$20)
3. Culture Spoon
409 River Valley Road
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (8am to 9.15pm)
Culture Spoon is a multi-concept kitchen that serves multiple menus by chefs, bakers and foodpreneurs under one roof. One of its newest concepts is Le Sucre, a bakery serving pastries, all-day breakfasts and cakes.
Le Sucre is helmed by chef Jason, who has done stints at restaurants, hotels and bakeries in Singapore, such as Cultured Bakeyard.
For the Lunar New Year period, Le Sucre will be offering pecan nuts (S$15) and CNY cookies in the following flavours: Hazelnut, almond coin, chocolate and fruity. Each box is priced at S$8.50.
To sweeten the deal, Le Sucre is offering bundle promotions, too. Its CNY cookies bundle of two (S$15) and CNY cookies bundle of four (S$28) can help you settle your CNY gifting needs.
What to order: Almond coin CNY cookies (S$8.50), hazelnut CNY cookies (S$8.50)
4. Bread and Butter Bakehouse
Kensington Square, 01-48, 2 Jalan Lokam
Open: Monday to Sunday (8.30am to 8.30pm)
A homegrown bakery that prides itself on its handcrafted pastries, Bread and Butter Bakehouse caught our eye with the unique flavours (and shapes) of its pastries.
Take the nonya apple-shaped pineapple tarts with cloves (S$36) as an example. A combination we’ve never heard of, its interesting silhouette and the addition of spice adds a touch of warmth to the sweet pastry.
And while we’ve all heard of almond cookies and pineapple balls, what of almond pillows (S$33) and juicy pineapple pillows (S$33)? Rather than shaping these as round orbs with a slightly flattened bottom, Bread and Butter Bakehouse shapes these in an oblong form. If it gives us more of the snack in every bite, we’re all for it.
If you’re looking for treats suitable as CNY gifts, or would simply like to get more bang for your buck, try its promotion set, the “Huat Huat” CNY Box (S$68). It comes with the crowd favourites: Almond pillows, cashew nuts cookies (S$23 a la carte), lychee cookies (S$23 a la carte) and premium pineapple tarts (S$28 a la carte).
What to order: “Huat Huat” CNY box (S$68), nonya apple-shaped pineapple tarts with cloves (S$36), almond pillows (S$33)
5. Mdm Ling Bakery
38 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2, 01-05
Open: Monday to Friday (10am to 5pm)
Famous for its frozen buns, Mdm Ling Bakery needs no introduction. It’s one of the few bakeries that’s halal-certified, vegetarian and vegan-friendly, so its CNY goodies can be enjoyed by all.
We’re fans of its green pea cookies (from S$8.50), a melt-in-your-mouth cookie that has a slightly crunchy exterior. Think of it as a peanut or almond cookie, but nut-free.
Those willing to pull out all the stops for your CNY gifts can take a look at its Steps to Prosperity (S$148) bundle. It contains 12 of its bestselling cookies, such as its kopi siew dai cookies and red velvet cheese cookies, in fun-sized bottles. These are packaged into a beautifully intricate pink box that’s bound to impress its recipient.
Place your orders early as Mdm Ling Bakery has a CNY promotion on its site until Jan 10, with free delivery for orders above S$88.
What to order: Green pea cookies (from S$8.50), kopi siew dai cookies (from S$9.60)