Cheat day, every day

With cookies, tarts, bak kwa and countless other goodies coming fresh out of the oven and grill, there’s no reason to keep to your diet plans this season. It’s cheat day, every day. Here’s a categorical guide to making those calorie gains worth ingesting.

Pineapple tarts

 

Of all the Lunar New Year goodies available, the pineapple tart reigns supreme. This most popular (and probably most sinful) of all CNY treats come in many shapes—balls, pillows, open-faced, you name it. But whatever form it manifests itself in, the buttery, thick jam-filled pastry is one we can’t live without. Get it at these places.

The Pine Garden

Come for the seasonal goodies but be warned that you might be unable to resist spending on their old-school cakes too.

Handmade Pineapple Tarts ($28.60)
Yuzu Pineapple Roll ($30.50)
Pineapple Tarts Roll ($26.30)
Purchase at 529 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-2369 and #01-2329; AMK Hub #01-11; Compass One #B1-39; and Northpoint #B2-01

Baker’s Well

Well, this is probably one our favorite range of pineapple tarts in Singapore. Added points for creativity and freshness.

Juicy Pineapple Tarts ($22)
Juicy Pineapple Pillows ($29)
Nyonya Apple Shape Pineapple Tarts ($25)
Juicy Pineapple Tarts with Cheese ($39)
Purchase at 35 East Coast Rd.

Colony Bakery

These are handcrafted by the hotel’s pastry chefs before being made exclusively available at their in-house bakery.

Pineapple Tarts ($38)
Pineapple Balls ($42)
Purchase at 3/F The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Ave.

Gin Thye

In operation since 1964, this traditional local bakery chain offers some of the richest, yet not cloyingly-sweet pineapple tarts around.

Pineapple Tart Round ($18)
Pineapple Tart Flower ($18)
Pineapple Tart Roll ($18)
Purchase at www.ginthye.com

Butter Studio

They’ve managed to nail the modern take on a traditional favorite yet keep to a home baking style that all will appreciate.

Traditional Pineapple Tarts ($29.80)
Parmesan Pineapple Tarts ($29.80)
Espresso Pineapple Tarts ($29.80)
Purchase at www.thebutterstudio.com

HarriAnns

While better known for their nyonya kuehs, the same quality dedication is applied to their rich and moist pineapple tarts.

Open Pineapple Tarts ($23.90)
Closed Pineapple Tarts ($23.90)
Purchase at www.harrianns.com

Fancy Delight

While also better known for something else (egg tarts, to be specific), they still produce one of the best pineapple tarts around.

Pineapple Tarts ($20.90)
Pineapple Ball ($21.90)
Pineapple Milk Ball ($21.90)
Purchase at www.fancydelight.com.sg

Old Seng Choong

The heritage brand have just opened their first retail store so you can more conveniently enjoy their yummy takes on the classic pineapple tart.

Original Pineapple Tarts ($24.80)
Yuzu Pineapple Tarts ($26.80)
Bakwa Pineapple Tarts ($28.80)
Orange Peel Pineapple Tarts ($28.80)
Spicy Nonya Pineapple Tarts ($26.80)
Purchase at Clarke Quay Central #01-48

Bakerzin

They may be a cafe chain, but the homegrown brand has managed to dish out consistently good confectionary thanks to a an excellent pastry team.

Golden Ingot Original Pineapple Tarts ($23.80)
XO Golden Pillow Pineapple Tarts ($32)
Assorted Pineapple Tarts ($23.80)
Purchase at www.bakerzin.com

Thye Moh Chan

We know them for their Teochew pastries, but their take on the classic pineapple tart is a gula melaka treat we can’t resist.

Gula Melaka Pineapple Pastry ($18.80)
Purchase at Paragon #B1-11/12 and Chinatown Point #01-45/46

Bak kwa

 

Otherwise known as rou gan, this Chinese meat jerky is another staple in the roster of CNY goodies. Both sweet and salty at the same time, the barbequed meat is most traditionally served in large squares (that makes it rather hard to consume actually), but in more recent times now come in coin, strip (like bacon) and triangle shapes.

Lim Chee Guan

This bak kwa institution never fails to deliver unto us succulent, smoky barbecued meat—and long queues to go along with it.

Signature Sliced Pork ($54 for 1kg)
Purchase at 203 New Bridge Rd.; People’s Park Complex #01-25; and ION Orchard #B4-37

Chai Ho Satay & Dried Pork

They dish out some of the best satay during off-season and when CNY comes around, becomes a hotbed for westies to get bak kwa.

Sliced Barbecue Pork ($42 for 1kg)
Purchase at 448 Clementi Ave. 3 #01-10

SuperNature

This is one for the health conscious. Bak kwa made with free-range Australian pork? Why not.

Free-Range Bak Kwa ($88 for 1kg)
Purchase at Forum The Shopping Mall #B1-05/09

Sang Hock Guan Dried & Minced Pork

Keeping it old-school has kept old customers loyal and new ones curious. Some have even named their bak kwa the best in town.

Minced Pork Bak Kwa ($52 for 1kg)
Purchase at Block 163 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 #01-446

Salted egg snacks

 

The uncontrollable salted egg yolk trend is not going away and perhaps that’s for the better. Many snack brands have spawned from the upsurge in demand for the traditional sauce and have been lacing it onto chips, fish skins and cookies alike. We’re not complaining.

SianTan Frenzies

It’s as if they knew everyone will go into a frenzy for more of their snacks once they’ve tried it once—and boy, they’re right.

Salted Egg Fish Crisps ($14)
Salted Egg Potato Crisps ($14)
Salted Egg Yam Crisps ($14)
Salted Egg Tapioca Crisps ($14)
Purchase at www.siantanfrenzies.wixsite.com/frenziessnacks

Pacific Crispy Fish Skin

Flavoursome and sweet salted egg yolk snacks that are halal to boot. Also good when tossed with yu sheng.

Pacific Salted Egg Crispy Fish Skin ($7)
Purchase at www.causewaypacific.sg

Golden Duck Co.

Just for CNY, they’ve launched special edition gold packagings still filled with their addictive salted egg snacks.

Gourmet Salted Egg Yolk Fish Skin ($7)
Gourmet Salted Egg Yolk Potato Crisps ($7)
Purchase at order.tgdsingapore.com

Aunty Esther’s

The newcomer has won the hearts of many. Every packet of their delicious snack is handmade to delicious perfection.

Salted Egg Fish Skin ($8.80)
Salted Egg Potato Crisps ($8.80)
Purchase at www.auntyesthers.com

Nian gao

 

Is it just us or is this traditional CNY pastry becoming harder and harder to find? We sure hope it’s the former, because the sticky glutinous rice cake is hella good. It’s chewy, sweet and can be found in so many variations; whether pan fried, steamed or eaten like a savoury dish. Here are some we found to be utterly delectable.

Forecourt Stall

The popular sticky tarts are created by the hotel’s chefs and the attention to balance and taste is impeccable. You’ll find one box isn’t enough.

Golden Nian Gao Tart with Cempedak ($32 for 8 pieces)
Golden Nian Gao Tart with Yam ($28 for 8 pieces)
Purchase at 1/F Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Rd.

Tai Chong Kok

Get steamed nian gao the way it’s traditionally made (through hours of hard work) at this Chinatown stalwart.

Nian Gao (from $6.50)
Purchase at 34 Sago St.

Cookies

 

No, we’re not talking about the average chocolate chip cookie you can get any time of the year. When CNY comes around, bakers start dishing out some of the most creative flat-baked goods you can find. Here are some that have caught our attention.

Dean & Deluca

Get ‘em by the tin or as part of a larger gift basket at this gourmet grocer that is throwing in other delectables ranging from teas to wine.

Dean & Deluca Almond Cookies ($19)
Dean & Deluca Osmanthus Cookies ($19)
Purchase at www.deandeluca.com.sg

Spatula & Whisk

This is where cookie dreams are made. While their kopi chocolate and gula melaka coconut flavours are perennially addictive, their festive ones are looking mighty good too.

Bakkwa Cookies ($18.80)
Charcoal Sesame Cookies ($14.80)
Purchase at spatulaandwhisk.com

The Baker Haus

Get these handcrafted cookies while you can at their pop-up booths around town. Follow them on social media to find out where.

Salted Egg Almond Cookies ($30)
Green Peas Cookies ($25)
Blueberry Cheddar Cheese Cookies ($28)
Three Layers White Cloudy Cookies ($30)
Sambal Chicken Floss Cookies ($30)
Traditional Butter Cookies ($22)
Purchase at www.fb.com/tbhcookies

Kele

Yes, their pineapple tarts are known to be some of the best in town, but so are their other bakes—nothing fancy, just really good.

Macadamia Nut Cookies ($21.40)
Grandparents Almond Cookies ($17.80)
Caramel Oat Cookies ($17.80)
Purchase at www.kele.sg


Check out our Chinese New Year Guide 2018 for more ways to have a good time this festive season.