Disclaimer: I don't dislike snacks. The only reason I try not to snack is that I usually only stop when I'm at the bottom of the pack. In fact, I’ve got a soft spot for Kettle’s Honey Dijon, though now more towards their tongue-puckering and tart Sea Salt & Vinegar, which I allow myself to get only when on offer—moderation while being frugal.
Salted egg yolk is undeniably a Singapore classic now—there’s even a nationwide campaign where you can score a luxury staycation at a 5-star hotel for sharing salted egg dishes—but as I browse both supermarkets and Instagram, there seems to be a couple of rising trends.
Range of ‘healthier’ crisps seems to have quietly expanded, with options such as those cooked in avocado oil, to gluten-free and vegan varieties even made with replacements such as lentil, hummus or brown rice.
There also a high number of almost food-mimicking, savoury offerings, ranging from Nissin’s Tom Yam Seafood Potato Chips (which my sister is obsessed with) to also familiar notes like black truffle or an English breakfast spread.
F.EAST (Flavours Of The East) is one local brand that rose to popularity recently with launch of their two Singapore-centric flavours: Hainanese Chicken Rice and Singapore Laksa. Tried the latter, it kinda tastes like laksa, but more of that Prima Deli instant noodles way, rather than a lemak, homely version you’d find at eateries.
They also just launched a new Egg Prata with Fish Curry flavour ($3, 70g pack) that is not too bad. Notes and spices of fish curry with a subtle savoury hint making up for the egg prata part of it.
Then there’s also this mad craze for spicy chips that more and more brands are feeding with either increasingly spicy or creative flavours.
The Golden Duck is launching a range of seaweed tempura (available starting 28 September 2018) in two local flavours: Salted Egg Crab and Chilli Crab. The Singapore Chilli Crab Seaweed Tempura ($7 for a 110g pack)—detailed to have bits of crabmeat, crab stick, chilli flakes and dried coriander within the crunchy batter—is a good starting point for spice fiends in the making. It has a nice mild spice matched with umami from seaweed and a deep chilli crab taste.
For moderate levels of spice, go for popular local brand (and now Halal-certfied) Irvins Salted Egg’s Spicy Hot Bomb series. Of the lot, I enjoyed their spicy and savoury Hot Bomb Salted Egg Fish Skin ($16 for 230g, $8 for 105g) most because of that glorious, crisp crunch of fried fish skin—heard the Potato chip version is comparatively spicier.
It also works really well when crushed to smaller bits and added as a condiment to just about anything (porridge, salad, ice cream etc).
PS. Understand the shops now retail max. 7 pouches a person, though I heard if you ask nicely, some places allow you more. Or if you're traveling via Changi Airport, one pro tip is to purchase through iShopChangi—no queue and no limit (while stocks last).
Those who enjoy the thrill of Mala Xiang Guo and Szechuan cuisine will definitely enjoy Ooh’s Mala-tinged potato and cassava chips (both $6 for 95g). Listing ingredients including dried chilli, salt, peppercorn powder, ginger powder, pepper and fennel, the Ooh Mama Mala Cassava Chips I had starts off extremely flavourful and packed with spices, before an almost guaranteed numbing and tingling effect springs in.
Any other chips you’d like to share or trends you’ve noticed? Comment below and let me know!