There’s just something about homemade meals that shout “comfort” and “love”. Of course, if you’re not a good home cook, they can also scream “burnt edges” or “food poisoning”. But you can fix that by going to a cooking class in Singapore.
The other reason why affordable cooking classses are always in demand in Singapore, the land of cheap hawker food, is that in the long run, learning to cook not only makes your meals healthier.
If you dine out less, it is also more economical, especially if you’re cooking for the family.
9 Singapore cooking courses and classes that are SkillsFuture claimable
That said, cooking classes aren’t super cheap. A hands-on cooking class can cost over $100, though the fee typically includes all ingredients. But then, you’re also paying for the practice and guidance from an expert.
If you have SkillsFuture credits – $500 worth are given to every Singaporean aged 25 and above – you can use them to offset your cooking class fees at certain schools. You end up paying a highly discounted rate or nothing at all.
Otherwise, don’t worry – there are some wallet-friendly options out there too. Here are the 9 best places you can go to for affordable cooking classes in Singapore:
|Cooking school||Specialty||Price per class|
|PA community Centres||Mostly local cuisines e.g. Peranakan, Indian, vegetarian||$13 to $72|
|ABC Cooking Studio||Japanese classics and pastries, some international dishes available||$35 (trial), or from $90.95 (package)|
|Butter & Bake||Western baking classes for bread, pastry, macarons etc.||$80|
|Little Green Kitchen||Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free cooking. Broad range of cuisines from Asian to Arabian to Mexican||$85|
|Hungry Mummies||Asian-style home cooking based on ingredient (e.g. fish) or theme (e.g. high tea)||$100|
|Jia Lei Cooking School||Focuses on individual dishes e.g. mee siam, Chinese herbal soup, dim sum. Also has baking classes.||$135 to $165|
|Palate Sensations||Gourmet styles and techniques e.g. sous vide, make your own pasta, chocolate, sausages||$145 to $250|
|Allspice Institute||Peranakan cooking||From $160 (3-session course)|
|BakinCalf||Baking/dessert school for Nonya kueh, churros, cream puffs, doughnuts, etc.||$160 to $220|
*All the cooking schools above offer SkillsFuture claimable cooking classes (except ABC Cooking Studio) but specific classes may not be claimable. Do check before signing up!
PA community centre cooking classes
Mention “cheap cooking classes” to any passing auntie and she will most likely point you to the nearest community centre.
Affordable cooking classes are conducted at CCs islandwide, but you need to pick with care because some are just demos with food tasting. That means you won’t get to actually practise cooking the dishes.
The price of the classes can range from $13 to $72 per class. You can find out what’s on, check class fees and book classes on the OnePA portal.
As of right now, there are these courses happening for the rest of 2019:
- Japanese Cooking at Paya Lebar Kovan CC ($72)
- Elementary Chinese Restaurant Cooking at Siglap CC (4 for $49.50)
- SkillsFuture@PA Hawker Fare Series: Char Kway Teow ($40.50)
Not all the classes are SkillsFuture claimable, but some are. Make sure you confirm with the centre itself before you sign up.
Addresses: The classes will be held at the various community centres stated in the PA website
ABC Cooking Studio Singapore
ABC Cooking Studio is a Japanese cooking studio that set up shop in Singapore in 2015. Although they are one of the newer players in Singapore’s cooking school scene, they have launched a third studio at the new Funan Mall after 2 successful ones in Takashimaya and Westgate.
There are 5 categories of cuisines that you can go for: Bake, Cake, Cooking, Wagashi and Kids.
Their package fees are quite steep. For the “Cooking” category, the 12-lesson package costs $1091.40 and you’d also have to pay a membership fee of $140. Although the course fee translates to a reasonable $90.95 per lesson, the full package cost can be intimidating.
Luckily ABC Cooking Studio has a trial class, which is only $35 now (usual price $48). You can choose to make pastries like Royal Pinkalicious cake, Cheese and Bacon Fondue Bread, or cook dishes like Japanese Hamburg Steak. Book online before going.
As it is a Japanese cooking studio, ABC offers a wide variety of Japanese cuisines that you can learn to make, such as Teriyaki Chicken Bento, Tonkatsu and Japanese Ramen.
Addresses: Funan Mall, Takashimaya and Westgate.
Butter & Bake
Want to use your SkillsFuture credits to learn to bake? Try Butter & Bake for western-style macarons, cakes and breads. The classes here cost $80 for a 3-hour session. The current focus now is on baking macarons.
Store-bought treats like macarons cost at least $2 apiece, so imagine how much you can save if you make your own.
Address: 110 Lor 23 Geylang, Singapore 388410
Little Green Kitchen
At cooking studio cum food consultancy Little Green Kitchen, you can learn to cook all sorts of cuisines that are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.
Classes here cover a wide spectrum of exotic cuisines, from Sri Lankan to Arabian to Mexican. Even non-vegetarians can get inspiration for how to prepare their greens. At $85 per class, fees are not the cheapest, but still affordable.
Address: 1 Hacienda Grove, #03-05, Upper East Coast Road
Hungry Mummies is a home cooking school started by a mum. They focus on simple recipes that can be prepared for everyday meals.
The small group classes are intimate and hands-on, typically either featuring an ingredient (e.g. fish) or following a theme (e.g. English high tea). Fees are standardised at $100. Courses include Simple Thai Recipes and Singapore Home Cooking (Chicken Recipes) for the month of December 2019.
Address: 58 Telok Blangah Heights
Jia Lei Cooking School
Instead of categorising by cuisines, Jia Lei Cooking School’s classes are based on specific dishes or types of food. So, you can learn to make noodles, congees, fish and chicken dishes. There’s a wide variety of baking classes, too.
Current ongoing classes include Confinement Food Cooking Guide, Cheesecake Special Variations, and Healthy Pastries Bread Making.
Ranging from $135 to $165, the classes here are mid-priced. Even so, a whole slew of them are eligible for SkillsFuture credit, which is great.
Address: Blk 269, Queen Street, #02-226 Singapore 180269
Probably one of the better-known cooking schools in Singapore, Palate Sensations is where you can pick up gourmet-style cooking.
Apart from the usual Asian, Peranakan, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese fare, you can learn cooking techniques like sous vide. There’re also classes that’ll teach you to make your own pasta, chocolate and even sausages.
Classes range from $145 to a rather steep $250, but the good thing is you can use SkillsFuture credits to pay for some of the classes.
Address: Chromos #01-03, 10 Biopolis Road, Singapore 138670
Everyone loves Peranakan food, that rich, heady mash-up of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cooking. However, it’s seldom available at hawker centres so it doesn’t come cheap.
Learn to cook your own Nonya food at Allspice Institute, though, and you’re set for life. Classes are a bit pricey at $160 to $200, but some of them are SkillsFuture claimable.
The Peranakan Beginner course will go through how to make nonya rempah, Nana’s Prawn, Tahu Goreng over 3 days and there will also be a trip to a local market. For $160, that means each session costs slightly over $50, which is actually pretty worth it.
Address: Blk 162, Bukit Merah Central #07-3545, Singapore 150162
At home-based baking school Bakin Calf, you can pick up baking a whole range of items from bread to doughnuts to churros to bagels. Classes on baking and making bread cost about $160 to $220 at Bakin Calf.
The good thing is, you can claim the course fees from your SkillsFuture credits.
If you want to gift a class to a friend or a family member, you can also purchase their $50 or $100 E-Voucher.
They also specialise in teaching you how to make nonya kueh, which is arguably more labour-intensive than western-style baking.
Address: Blk 257 Yishun Singapore 760257
Why learn to cook in Singapore?
Sure, you could get a pretty decent meal at a hawker centre, complete with a drink, for $5. That seems pretty cheap. And hassle-free. But that’s only if you’re feeding yourself. When you start having to feed a family, especially kids, the costs go up rather steeply.
Staples like rice, fresh veggies, eggs, tofu and cooking condiments are very affordable. The cost of ingredients only go up if you go for fish or expensive meats like beef. Otherwise, you can easily feed a family of four for less than $10 for a meal of rice and 3 dishes.
When you prepare your own food, your money goes to the ingredients rather than overheads like kitchen staff and rent. You also have control over the ingredients you buy – for example, choosing a good cut of meat rather than the cheapest mince.
Tips to save time and money when you cook at home
Of course, the main drawback of cooking at home is the effort of slaving over the stove. But you don’t really HAVE to. Consider the following tips to simplify your cooking:
One-pot rice cooker meals
If you like claypot rice, you’ll love the one-pot rice cooker meal. You put in the rice, sliced marinated meats and leafy greens. In the time its takes the rice to cook – 20 minutes or so – you have a complete meal. Dress with a drizzle of soya sauce and sesame oil for aroma.
Slow cooker meals
Put your meats and veggies in a slow cooker, leave it overnight or throughout the day while you go to work and come back to a pot of casserole goodness. The slow cooker also makes lovely Chinese soups like black chicken soup.
One dish, many meals
Make a stew during the weekend, freeze it in portions to use during the week. You can repurpose it in a different way for each meal. Serve it with bread, on pasta, over rice and baked with cheese, as a salad – it’s your choice.
Do you have other cooking classes or tips to recommend? Share them with us!