What should DH bring back from Singapore?
What foodie gifts should I have DH bring back from Singapore? He will be going for a week this Friday.
so hard to say both because no idea what like are and because singapore doesn't really have strong indigenous food traditions that aren't borrowed from neighboring countries (no offense singaporeans but i can't think of any really!)
assuming you are US-based, i'd say...
kaya spread for kaya toast
indian tea and other random things from mustafa (which is, btw, the cheapest place in the world to buy a pressure cooker outside of india)
Some REALLY Sungaporean food items to bring back:
1. Prima brand produces a great range of vacuum-packed sauces that will permit you to recreate iconic Singaporean dishes at home, whether you live in DC or Timbuktu. Some of my favourites include the Hainanese chicken rice, the Chilli Crab, and the Singapore bah kut teh (pork-rib soup). You buy the raw ingredients, cook them as per the instructions on the pack, then add in the package contents. Believe me, I have cooked sucessful Singapore dinners all the way from Hong Kong to London using Prima!
2. Raffles Hotel produces a range of Singapore Sling mixes in little bottles. Also chocolate truffles filled with kaya/egg-jam.
3. Bengawan Solo, a popular bakery chain, has pre-packed cookies which travels well. The cookies are very typical of Singapore-Nyonya flavours: pineapple tarts, sugee (semolina) cookies, etc. There's a Bengawan Solo outlet in Changi Airport Terminal 2 if you need to do last-minute shopping.
I most heartily agree with all of M Gomez' suggestions! Those Prima Taste packs are (mostly) wonderful. For many years now, no trip to Singapore has been complete without my buying a couple of years' supply of (In addition to those already listed above) Laksa, Singapore Chicken Curry (just add chicken and potatoes), and Laksa Fried Rice. The results are often better than those of the Singaporean or Malaysian restaurants in the Bay Area.
I haven't had those kaya truffles, but I will next chance I get to visit Singapore.
Love Benagwan Solo, too! (And though Singaporean friends say that there are better places I never have time to root them out.) My favorite things are generally too perishable to take on long plane trips, but you can ask DH to taste the samples that they offer, and he will doubtless find something you (or he) will enjoy. (Those sugee cookies are great--buttery, crumbly, powdery. . . Green pea cookies are nice, too.)
Baba's Indian Masala -- this is my favorite masala! Have him get you 1 bag each of the Meat Curry powder, Fish Curry powder, Korma powder, and Sambhar powder. If you like spicy indian food, you'll enjoy these.
Maggi brand Nasi Goreng spice paste: these are little individual sachets of seasoning to add to your Nasi Goreng (fried rice). They come in different flavors.
Lipton Instant Tea: instant 3-in-1 milk tea. Good for keeping at the office for a quick cup of chai.
Milo Wafers: a kit kat type of candy made with Milo.
Next time, you should try Alagappa's curry powder (they have a purple/pink-coloured pack for cooking meats, and green/yellow-coloured pack for cooking seafood). Alagappa's products are only available in provision shops in Little India, Serangoon Road, or Mustafa Centre. Your curries will smell divine!!
I tried the Alagappa's meat curry powder a couple trips ago (maybe 18 months ago?) and while it was good, I prefer the Baba's. I use Baba's meat curry powder in a lot of things besides meat -- I add a little to toor/toovar dal, to squash/zucchini dishes, etc. I may have to pick some up when I come in December and do some more experimenting though!
maggie nasi goreng sauce is a nice idea. i never thought of that.
i wouldn't bother with spice packets or "curry" packets. it's pathetically easy to make your own "curry" if you have the five main spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, mustard seed, chili powder)...you will also find that it tastes much better then prepackaged stuff.
tho if you absolutely insist on buying a spice packet, i recommend shaan's chicken tikka masala mix.
also assuming you are US based here are some other options:
chocolate covered potato chips from royce
tim tam cookies (from australia but who cares they're damn good)
bak wa (lim chee guan)
or from same store, chinese sausage or pork floss
chili sauce from west lake (they have one location in plaza singapura) ... awesome with fried rice.