Top local snacks
Up your snack game this year with the latest crop of top made-in-Singapore tidbits to chomp on.
Six of the 10 finalists at last month's Asia's Great Snack Challenge 2021 - organised by Enterprise Singapore - are retailing online at RedMart as well as at Food Folks @ Lau Pa Sat.
My favourite - which won the competition's Open Category - is called Wok Puffs ($7.80 for a box of eight).
I can see why it won - the popped whole-grain brown rice with garlic crisps and ikan bilis seasoning is an extremely addictive savoury snack.
The other standout is truffle-flavoured mandu chips ($5.80 a pack), a meat-free twist to the traditional Korean dumpling.
Iwas sceptical about the use of truffle oil, but it works well to perfume the salty and sweet bite-size snack. It is like eating crunchy truffle chips, with the puffed rice inside the dumpling giving it extra texture.
Another finalist, which retails on its own platform, is the cheekily named Eat My LJ ($14.90 a pack). LJ refers to lajiao (Chinese for chilli).
Kashmiri chillis are deep-fried and seasoned with a blend of peanuts, salt, sugar and other condiments.
Chilli lovers like me will relish the slow, pleasant burn which lingers at the back of the throat. It is fairly oily, but not overwhelmingly spicy.
The eye-catching packaging suggests eating it with noodle or rice dishes. Fear not, just eat it as is.
Where: Food Folks @ Lau Pa Sat, 18 Raffles Quay
MRT: Telok Ayer
When: Till Feb 1
Familiar mini favourites from bakery chain Paul make a return for delivery this Chinese New Year, good for small gatherings at home.
I like the mini pineapple panna cotta tartlets ($35 nett for eight), which are filled with almond custard cream, pineapple chunks and jelly, and topped with coconut and pineapple cream.
Or go for the mini Mandarin orange marmalade tartlets ($35 nett for eight), filled with almond cream, Mandarin orange jelly and crunchy orange pearls.
For something savoury, get the mini croissants ($22 nett for eight), which come in three flavours - pumpkin floss, chicken bak kwa and hae bee hiam.
If you are dining in, try the Big Huat Mandarin orange tart ($8, available at all outlets except Changi Airport), with orange segments arranged on pastry cream in a buttery tart shell.
Where: Paul outlets, including 02-09/K1 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road; and 01-16/17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road
When: Till Feb 15
Info: Order two days in advance at Paul's website
Hokkien Lang's radish and yam cakes
If you are looking for an alternative to the usual yam or radish cakes, try the selection from Hokkien Lang Kueh Co.
The cakes - each weighing a hefty 1.2kg - are made with brown rice flour and ingredients such as chicken Chinese sausages, dried shrimp and dried shiitake mushrooms.
My top pick is the radish cake topped with otah ($29). It sounds odd, but the mildly spicy otah complements the yam cake well.
More traditional options include the radish and carrot cake ($25); and pumpkin and yam ($25).
The savoury cakes are best eaten pan-fried with a dollop of garlic chilli or XO sauce. Steam the cakes for a healthier option.
The company's Huat Chai bundle (from $88) for Chinese New Year includes its signature radish and carrot cake, osmanthus walnut nian gao, and a jar of hae bi hiam cookies.
Info: Order at Hokkien Lang Kueh Co's website