Thursday, 30 July 2020

Made in Singapore: 8 homegrown brands to love

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Local homeware boutique Lim’s Holland Village is known for its vintage-inspired, Asian-style catalogue of furniture and home accessories

Lim’s Holland Village

Situated within the bohemian enclave of Holland Village is a homegrown boutique, Lim’s Holland Village, which boasts an eclectic catalogue of individually sourced Southeast Asian furniture, homeware and decor. Born from a passion to preserve and accentuate the value of traditional crafts, the family business was founded in 2016 by CK Lim (who opened his first homeware store in the 1970s at Changi Village before starting the now-defunct Lim’s Arts & Craft in Holland Village) and his three daughters. Well-loved by locals and expats alike, the brand has expanded to two outlets in Singapore, one at Holland Road Shopping Centre and the other at Great World.;; +65 6466 3188

Vesi+Derm’s latest line of products includes the Invigorating Night Cream, the Daily Skin Fortifying Body Lotion and the Intense Fortifying Cream


Singapore-based skincare technology company Vesiderm was founded on a technology that was developed by A*STAR scientists. It creates nano-sized liposomes, or water soluble bubbles, from egg yolk lecithin that help the skin absorb active ingredients in beauty products more effectively. At the same time, the liposomes work to reduce skin inflammation and reinforce the skin’s barrier function against chemical agents. With this new formula, the company launched its inaugural skincare brand, Vesi+Derm, with a focus on natural ingredients that are free of parabens, steroids and petroleum derivatives. The clinically tested, liposome-packed Daily Skin Fortifying Body Lotion — one of its best sellers — fights the aging process and keeps the skin moisturised without leaving a greasy residue.;; +65 9178 5985

The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.’s newly launched Singapore Tea Party Mix comprises two tea blends – Nyonya Dawn and Merlion Dreams

The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.

An artisanal tea producer that launched in 2013, The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. is part of the BP de Silva Group, a fifth-generation family empire that was founded when Sri Lankan entrepreneur Balage Porolis de Silva came to Singapore and opened a jewellery store in 1872. It offers the finest teas from Sri Lanka, India and Taiwan, as well as tea-infused patisserie at its flagship boutique at ION Orchard. This year, in celebration of Singapore’s 55th birthday, it has unveiled the Singapore Tea Party Mix, a limited edition set that includes the Nyonya Dawn and Merlion Dreams tea blends – the former features Ceylon black tea with notes of pandan, while the latter is a caffeine-free blend infused with lemongrass and butterfly pea flowers.;; +65 6509 8745

GudSht’s bubble tea-inspired Mao Cha is a fragrant mix of Thai milk tea and Japanese whisky


The brainchild of the bartenders at Elite Bar Solutions, GudSht is a quirky, homegrown bottled-cocktail label that was born out of the pandemic to support the livelihood of Elite Bar Solutions’ bar team. Its range of alcoholic concoctions — developed within a week from conceptualising the brand — includes the Singapore-inspired Cheng Tng Gao, which combines the traditional local dessert (made with barley, winter melon and ginkgo nuts) with cognac and amaretto. Bubble tea fans will also love Mao Cha, a fragrant mix of Thai milk tea and Japanese whisky, topped with jelly pearls. GudSht’s best-seller, however, is the cheekily named Unicorn Barf. Swirling with silver glitter, the purple cocktail pairs Campari and Roku gin with butterfly pea and yuzu syrup – appealing to all taste buds.;; +65 8820 4459

Each pint of the Stinky Scoop contains about two mid-sized Mao Shan Wang durians’ worth of flesh


The playfully named Stinky’s specialises in desserts made from the supposed world’s smelliest fruit. A subsidiary brand of local durian café 99 Old Trees, it uses only the freshest durians sourced from Pahang, home of the oldest Musang King durian tree in Malaysia. Crowd favourites include swiss rolls made from the Mao Shan Wang variety and shortcakes that pair rum-soaked Japanese sponge cake with durian custard cream. Another popular order is the Stinky Bowl, a creamy bowl of D24 durian mousse that will leave you wanting seconds. The pièce de résistance, however, is the Stinky Scoop – a small-batch ice cream made with pure Mao Shan Wang pulp, with each pint containing two mid-sized durians’ worth of flesh.;; 46 Owen Road, #01-277; +65 8792 4589

Salted Egg Fish Skin is Shi Le Po’s signature product

Shi Le Po

Founded in 2017 by three friends, Singaporean snack empire Shi Le Po is known for its signature salted egg fish skin, a best-selling snack concocted by chef-owner Kelvin Yam. The first in a line of offerings from Shi Le Po, the snack uses dory fish skin, which is cooked at 200°C in industrial-grade stir fryers, before being baked for a crispier finish. Inspired by Singapore flavours and zi char dishes, the brand’s fish skin snacks also come in flavours such as black pepper crab, and ginger and spring onion, all of which are available at all outlets of The Cocoa Trees.;; +65 6684 7767

Rice dumpling maker Kim Choo Kueh Chang celebrates its 75th anniversary this year

Kim Choo Kueh Chang

Traditional Nyonya dumpling and snack specialist Kim Choo Kueh Chang was established in 1945 by Lee Kim Choo, who sold kueh under a banyan tree along Joo Chiat Place, where the brand’s flagship outlet now stands. Three generations later, it still serves as a guardian of Peranakan culture in Singapore, offering not just an array of traditional treats such as pineapple tarts and the nine-layer rainbow kueh lapis, but also heritage tours, workshops and kebaya fittings. As precinct caretakers, Kim Choo Kueh Chang also runs a Singapore Visitor Centre for the Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood.;; +65 6741 2125

Pow Sing’s signature dish is made with organic, hormone-free chicken

Pow Sing

Singaporean institution Pow Sing is beloved for its Peranakan signatures. But its most popular dish is in fact the Hainanese chicken rice. In a city teeming with renditions of this iconic dish, what sets the Pow Sing version apart is its organic, hormone-free chicken, sourced from a Malaysian farm that plays classical music to its poultry. Pow Sing’s original branch in Serangoon has been going strong since 1983, but East-siders can visit its new outlet at Jewel Changi Airport. While you’re there, try the signature Nyonya cabbage roll, curry fish head and ayam buah keluak (braised chicken in gravy) as well.;; +65 6243 3155

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