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I’ve Hit the Cheap Cheese Jackpot in Singapore — Its Name is Phoon Huat

You’ve probably seen Phoon Huat (or Redman) outlets around Singapore, but, unless you happen to be a baking enthusiast, it’s likely that you’ve never spent any time inside one.

Well, you’re missing out what I think is the greatest alternative grocery store in Singapore since ValuDollar.

Phoon Huat doesn’t only sell flour, sugar and cupcake sprinkles, it also stocks tons of “normal” groceries like cheese, butter, pasta, canned food and breakfast items

… and they’re all way cheaper than Cold Storage! Heck, they’re cheaper than NTUC FairPrice and RedMart even.

Here’s a look at the various cheap cheeses, dairy products and other pantry staples you can find at Phoon Huat / Redman outlets.

 

16 best items to buy from Phoon Huat Singapore

Obviously, most of the shop space in Phoon Huat is devoted to baking-centric items like frozen raspberries and cake mixes. It takes a bit of rooting around to find “normal” groceries. 

But this is a very rewarding activity, since a lot of the items here are on par with, or even cheaper than regular supermarkets.

Here are the items that I think are super worthwhile to buy at Phoon Huat:

Item Phoon Huat NTUC RedMart*
Butter 200g $2.40 $3.95 $3.50
Cooking cream 200ml $2.10 $3.80 $3.80
UHT milk 1L $1.55 $1.70 $1.70
Processed cheese 12 slices $3 $3.90 $3.70
Sliced gourmet cheese 200g $3.50 $5.35 (150g) $4.96 (150g)
Grated parmesan 100g $3 $6.45 $4.20
Brie / camembert 125g $4 $13.90 (200g) $5.10 (150g)
Cream cheese 500g $5.70 $6.30 (250g) $2.45 (150g)
Fresh mozzarella 125g $4 $4.20 $4.20
Breaded mozzarella sticks 1kg $15 $4 (200g)
Pasta 500g $1.63 $1.95 $1.70
Canned tomato 400g $0.99 $1.99 $1.50
Canned kidney beans 400g $1.19 $1.60 $1.50
Canned chickpeas 400g $1.19 $1.95 (425g) $1.50
Rolled oats 1kg $3.60 $4.75 $4.75
St Dalfour jam $4.50 $5.30 $5.30
Gryphon tea $17.40 $20.95 $18.95 / $20.95

*Note: RedMart sometimes sells Phoon Huat house brand (Redman) items. For comparison’s sake, I’ve picked the cheapest non-Redman alternative.

 

Butter, cream & milk

Item Phoon Huat NTUC RedMart
Butter 200g $2.40 $3.95 $3.50
Cooking cream 200ml $2.10 $3.80 $3.80
UHT milk 1L $1.55 $1.70 $1.70

These dairy staples are common ingredients in baking, so it’s no surprise that Phoon Huat sells loads of butter, cream and milk products. 

It’s not unusual to see aunties whacking 10 or 20 bars of butter on Phoon Huat’s storewide sale days (every Wed and Sun, more on that in the last section). The butter here is unbelievably cheap! Of course there’s also the more fancy French butter that will cost more lah, but I took a photo of the cheapest basic butter to compare.

Cream is really expensive at regular supermarkets, so I occasionally buy mine from ValuDollar ($1.95) when there’s stock. I’m amazed that Phoon Huat sells it at just slightly more.

UHT milk may not taste quite as good as fresh, but it’s good enough for baking and adding to your coffee / Milo. Again, the prices here are really low — almost as good as ValuDollar.

 

Different types of cheese

Item Phoon Huat NTUC RedMart*
Processed cheese 12 slices $3 $3.90 $3.70
Sliced gourmet cheese 200g $3.50 $5.35 (150g) $4.96 (150g)
Grated parmesan 100g $3 $6.45 $4.20
Brie / camembert 125g $4 $13.90 (200g) $5.10 (150g)
Cream cheese 500g $5.70 $6.30 (250g) $2.45 (150g)
Fresh mozzarella 125g $4 $4.20 $4.20
Breaded mozzarella sticks 1kg $15 $4 (200g)

Cheap cheese wonderland, thy name is Phoon Huat.

Okay, Phoon Huat is no Cheese Ark — you won’t find ~artisanal~ cheese here — but if you have basic tastebuds like me, the options here should be good enough for many satisfying pizzas and pasta dishes.

Sandwich cheeses? Check.

Really cheap grated parm? Check.

Soft cheeses galore? Check.

And oh my, is that… a 1kg box of BREADED MOZZARELLA STICKS?!

 

Western pantry staples

Item Phoon Huat NTUC RedMart*
Pasta 500g $1.63 $1.95 $1.70
Canned tomato 400g $0.99 $1.99 $1.50
Canned kidney beans 400g $1.19 $1.60 $1.50
Canned chickpeas 400g $1.19 $1.95 (425g) $1.50

Since my Asian cooking skills leave a lot to be desired, my existence somewhat depends on Western dishes like pastas, soups and stews. I may not know how to produce restaurant-quality wok hei, but boy can I boil a mean pot of pasta and even stir in some tomato sauce afterwards.

Consequently, one of my quests in life is to hunt down cheap pasta. I’ve even tried ValuDollar’s house brand (trust me, you don’t want to go there).

While I’ve been buying Barilla spaghetti from my local ABC Bargain Centre at $1.50 a pack, it’s comforting to know that Phoon Huat also sells a great variety of seemingly legit Italian pasta at just a little bit more. 

I’m also forever making minestrone soup in my rice cooker, too, so you bet I’ll snap up these cheap canned tomatoes, beans and chickpeas soon enough.

 

Breakfast items

Item Phoon Huat NTUC RedMart*
Rolled oats 1kg $3.60 $4.75 $4.75
St Dalfour jam $4.50 $5.30 $5.30
Gryphon tea $17.40 $20.95 $18.95 / $20.95

This is kind of incidental, but I also found a few breakfast items around the store. Apart from cereal, cornflakes and the like, there’s an entire section of dry goods like rolled oats, nuts and fruit. I know they’re meant for baking purposes, but it would also be really doable to DIY your own muesli with these ingredients.

Also, this is not exactly budget-friendly, but I also wanted to highlight that Phoon Huat also sells some atas “cult” items like St Dalfour jam and Gryphon tea. 

By some wizardry, they’re considerably cheaper at Phoon Huat than supermarkets, so you might want to stock up if you’re a fan of these brands.

 

Before you rush to the nearest Phoon Huat outlet…

Wondering where the nearest Phoon Huat / Redman outlet is? Here’s a link to the official website’s store listing

From what I’ve read, the biggest Phoon Huat outlet in Singapore is the megastore at Buona Vista MRT station. The one at Holland Village’s Chip Bee Gardens (where I took the photos and prices in this article) is a decent size, too.

Phoon Huat also has 2 Redman stores (The Star Vista and Serangoon Nex; a 3rd one will open at [email protected] in September) which are swankier and focus more on gourmet stuff; they have in-store delis where you can get artisanal cheese and other frou-frou foods. That said, you can still find some of the classic Phoon Huat items at the usual low prices.

Final important note before you go on a shopping spree: Phoon Huat has 10% off storewide on Wednesdays and Sundays, which makes their cheap ingredients even cheaper!

Got any other good buys from Phoon Huat to recommend? Share it with us in the comments.

 

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