By now, you’re facing one of two situations: 1) you’re sitting back in your chair all smug like Tony Montana because you’ve taken care of your CNY preparations weeks in advance or 2) fear and desperation are now starting to take hold because you kept on procrastinating till the last minute.
Hopefully, you’re in the better of the two situations. If not, you’ve got to prepare yourself for this simple fact – prices on your favorite CNY treats have risen as fast as black market concert tickets to F1.
You’re going to have to pay a markup – that’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean you need to get hustled. Thankfully, we can help you with a few great value-for-money suggestions this CNY:
1. Bak Kwa: Fragrance Foodstuff
When it comes to Bak Kwa, Fragrance Foodstuff is known for having some of the tastiest around. It’s also one of the most accessible in Singapore with 35 island-wide locations. And when it comes to your wallet, buying a few kilos won’t leave you destitute – especially when you consider you’re paying for quality bak kwa.
- $19.98 Per 300g for Bacon Bak Kwa
- $50.00 Per Kg for Signature Sliced Bak Kwa/Gold Coin Bak Kwa/Honey Bak Kwa/Chicken Bak Kwa
- $52.00 Per Kg for Chili Bak Kwa
- $74.00 Per Kg for Premium US Pork Bak Kwa
You can’t currently order online through the Fragrance Foodstuff website, but you can find the locations for each of its outlets here.
2. Pineapple Tarts – Le Café Confectionery & Pastry
“Golfballs” or not, these pineapple tarts are consistently on everyone’s “must have” list for CNY. Of course, the problem is that Le Café tends to sell out of their pineapple tarts daily – so if you don’t want to get disappointed, make sure you show up bright and early to ensure you come away with a few jars.
- $13.80 for a 10 piece jar
- $21.50 for a 20 piece jar
To add these sweet treats to your CNY celebration, you can visit any of its 3 locations in Singapore. Click here to check out the Le Café website to see the bakery’s full list of goodies.
3. Prawn Rolls – Bee Cheng Hiang
True, Bee Cheng Hiang is better known for its Bak Kwa, but its prawn rolls aren’t half bad either. Always crispy and flavorful, these treats are sure to run out quickly. Thankfully, they’re not too horribly high priced, so you’ll definitely be able to get a few jars to last you through CNY.
- $21.00 for a 350g jar
Bee Cheng Hiang has about 40 island-wide locations, so it won’t be too hard to find one close by. Here’s a list of all of its locations here. You can order online, but like Fragrance Foodstuff, that option isn’t available at the moment.
4. Melon Seeds (Red & Black) – Chinatown (preferably)
It’s believed that eating plenty of melon seeds is good for your ancestral and financial outlook. Of course, some of your family members just enjoy munching on them because they’re just plain tasty and don’t make it tougher to talk… especially when you’re eating pineapple tarts. Thankfully, they’re probably the most affordable item on this list – just make sure you pick up enough!
- Varies from $5-$10+ per 500g in Chinatown
- $2.60 for 170g from *cough* GIANT (Black only)
There’s no way around it – you’re going to either have to visit a market in the heartlands or hit Chinatown to pick up your melon seeds. Sure, it’s more crowded there, but at least you’ll get to experience the lively atmosphere and maybe see a lion dance while you’re there.
5. Mandarin Oranges –Bee Seng Fruit Supply
Ah, Mandarin oranges… probably the only CNY treat that won’t make you gain a few kilograms. Unfortunately, due to bad weather conditions in Guangdong that damaged some of the orange crop, prices have risen by a few dollars per box – but they’re still fairly affordably, so there’s no reason you can’t pick up your usual amount this year.
- $14.00 for a Prosperity Box of 20 Lukan oranges
- $9.99-$19.99+ at local grocery retailers
Chances are you can pick up some decent boxed mandarin orange deal at Cold Storage or similar grocery retailers, but Bee Seng Fruit supply is a popular fruit retailer that carries some of the tastiest oranges available. You can find Bee Seng’s website here.
6. Love Letters – Bengawan Solo
Unfortunately, many of the “prime” bakeries making love letters like the popular Mirana Cake House don’t take “late” orders. In fact, they’ll be as likely to entertain your order as a bouncer from Pangaea who sees a homeless guy trying to get into the club – it isn’t happening. But that doesn’t mean you’re totally out of luck, as Bengawan Solo has some pretty decent love letters that are sure to keep your family snacking!
- $21.80 for a 390g tin
Bengawan Solo has 40 island-wide locations so you’ll probably find one close to where you live. You might even stumble across one by accident, but just in case, click here to find a listing of all their locations and CNY goodies.
7. Yu Sheng – Cold Storage
I know you’re thinking “Cold Storage???” What the hell! I know, I would share the same sentiments if I was you too, but the reality is that almost every restaurant that has it won’t entertain your order because it’s so late. But to the credit of Cold Storage, it’s not a half bad deal, and the quality will be good.
- $34.99+ per Yu Sheng platter
You can probably find a Cold Storage near you without even needing to reference a map, but here’s a list of locations just in case. Here’s a tip on presentation – switch out the Yu Sheng and place it on a fresh plate if you’re worried about presentation.
8. Ba Bao He 八宝盒 (8 Treasures Box) – ???
If there was one item on this list that needed to be purchased early, it was this one. Now, finding an 8 Treasures box is about as likely as trying to find a unicorn… or the fountain of youth. But if you come across one in your travels to purchase any other items on this list, do snap it up ok?
- ??? But believed to be insanely expensive at this time.
Final Note: Yeah, it’s late, but as the ancient saying goes: “If you know other good places to find these items, especially the legendary ‘8 Treasures Box’, please help a brotha out?” And on that note, I leave you wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!
Do you know of any good CNY goodie deals that everyone should know about? Share your comments on Facebook!
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