If you have a trip home what would you buy back to Singapore

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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boffenl
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Post by boffenl » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 4:41 pm

Thanks Sierra! I love Mustafa too! I got most of the normal stuff there as well, but just couldn't find red chili powder. Maybe it was out that day but has anyone seen it anywhere else? I'm dying for a bowl of home-made chili! The other spices pretty much mean "home" to me (like the Old Bay is what we use on shrimp and crab) and costs WAY more here than home.

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Post by boffenl » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 4:57 pm

Thanks Sierra! I love Mustafa too, best place to buy shaving cream for the husband and all manner of soaps too. I bought most of my spices at Sheng Shong (sp?) when we arrived. But most of my "home" spices like Old Bay and SeasonAll I use just cause that's what we use at home. :) I still can't find red chili powder, either I'm not looking hard enough or it's called something different here. I'm dying for a good bowl of homemade chili!

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 5:00 pm

Boffenl - you can DEFINATELY get at Mustafa's, all types of chilli powders, and if you are a bit of a freak like me, everything you need to make your own garam masala! I'd suggest you try and go "out of hours" as it does get pretty busy up in the food section.

I need to do another shop sometime next week, so if you want a shopping partner, let me know via PM and I'll be happy to combine our trips and point out the areas for you.

Cheers, Mr. P

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Post by cbavasi » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 8:24 pm

hey boffenl - i bought a giant bag of red chili powder just today at marketplace. it was in the section that sells all the chinese herbs and packets. you can get seasame seeds and popcorn and cinnamon sticks...etc for about a 1/3 of the cost of mccormicks or other import brands. you can't miss the section - i think it's at all the cold storages too b/c it's the "first choice" brand.
i make tons of mexican and tex-mex stuff and seemed to be going through chili powder like nobody's business - so was really happy to find this big pack!

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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 8:34 pm

Yeh McCormicks etc are damned expensive here, cbvasi.

Good pickup. Although the First Choice brands at CS are good, they don't tend to have the same spice-factor as what I get at Mustafa's.

That being said, CS don't always have the same lines of brands from week to week, which is why I tend to use other stores like NTUC.

For example, last week, I needed some gnat spray (flies) - and CS used to have a water-based spray. I searched high and low, to no avail. This week, well, low and behold, they had it! Same with little things like crab meat - sometimes in, sometimes out.

Still, CS are convenient (for Ms. C and I) but oh, so expensive!

Oh, btw, Chinatown is pretty good for some spices too.

HTH, Mr. P

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Post by cbavasi » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 8:55 pm

sierra2469alpha - thanks for the tip! i haven't opened the pack yet and being a so-cal gal i like my food SPICY. hadn't thought to buy the spices at mustafa - but good call. i love, love, love that place early on a saturday morning when no one is there. have you checked out this place in chip-bee garden that is a baking supply store. not the super fancy one - but the cake decorating one. they have loads of nuts, dried fruits and other interesting things all very very inexpensive. i'd been searching hi & lo for walnuts and they were there at only about $5 for a pretty big bag.

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Post by durain » Mon, 29 Sep 2008 9:18 pm

if you got a wet market nearby, try there as well. i get those paste-type spices from the indian lady for doing curry and stuff like that. dont know what's the exact name for it but the indian lady knows what i need. :)

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Post by EDC » Tue, 30 Sep 2008 1:47 pm

loving the info from this thread - helping decide what to pack, but also where to get things in and around Singapore!

cbavasi - you mentioned a baking supply store in chip-bee garden. Can you be a bit more specific as to the address & name of store? Do alot of baking & making for the family here in Oz, and would love to continue this once we settle in, and having guidance as to where to buy supplies would be fantastic.

EDC
10 weeks to go

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Sep 2008 2:07 pm

EDC,

Here you go. Probably the largest chain of specialty baking shops in Singapore:

Phoon Huat

They even do baking classes at some of their locations. You can register online as well......
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by cbavasi » Tue, 30 Sep 2008 8:24 pm

yes, yes that's the shop. it's fantastic!! i had been going to "bake it yourself" http://www.b-i-y.com/ and the wilton supply shop in adelphi center (great for specialty shaped kids cake pans) - but the Phoon Huat store in chip-bee gardens is INSANE. really really great for all your baking needs - and then some!

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Post by Loops » Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:15 am

From home I'd bring a couple of big pork pies and a few bottles of decent cider.

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Post by Seasoul » Mon, 06 Oct 2008 9:58 pm

If I have a chance to fly back home, here's what I tend to bring, that I cannot find easily or in sizes/models/brands that are not what i'm looking for:

- underwear (bras especially)
- Tampons
- Birth control pill (im used to mine..and you know hormones don't like changes heh..)
- Codeine (in case paracetamol doesn't do it for you)
- body cream + hair products I'm used to and can;t find here (don't think because you use Garnier or L'Oreal or smthg like that, you're gonna find it...sometimes you can't)
- clothes and shoes for work (I'm "tall" - casual clothes you can always get around, I mean fliplops, shorts, tank top etc... but classy stuff usually it's hard to find my size)
- some food I craved (it's amazing how the most insignificant home cookie or honey or whatever you haven't eaten in months can become like THE thing you'll pack first in you bags on the way back here :) )

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Post by JimH5 » Tue, 07 Oct 2008 9:54 pm

I usually bring back a fresh pair of running shoes (despite the fact that they're made in Asia, they're cheaper in the US).

Same thing with branded clothes. . .both for fit and price.

I'm buying and installing a Slingbox at Christmas, so in 2009, I'll be "bringing back" television programming.

I'm trying out my first VPost shipment from Amazon.com, so we'll see how the shipping rates are. Kinokuniya is a terrific store, but it's quite pricey. Amazon may be better for books, DVDs, etc.

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