Last Updated: January 6, 2020
Move over Mariah, Christmas has come and gone and Chinese New Year songs have already started making its way onto our radio waves.
The Year of the Rat promises new beginnings and the way to start the Lunar New Year (as well as the new decade) right, is by ensuring you have all the right essentials for Chinese New Year.
A way to do that is at Ang Mo Kio Hub’s CNY Fair located at Basement 2. With everything from moreish Chinese New Year snacks to flaky traditional pastries to hampers that are sure to impress the in-laws, Ang Mo Kio Hub’s CNY Fair will ensure the Year of the Rat will be your best yet.
This fair runs from now till 12 January 2020, so be there to grabs all your Chinese New Year must-haves! Without further ado, here are 7 must-try stalls at Ang Mo Kio Hub’s CNY Fair for you to win this Lunar New Year.
What’s Chinese New Year without the towering tubs of Chinese New Year snacks to feast on? Indonesian brand Rasa Sayang is here to make sure that you have something to munch on while counting those ang pao‘s.
An absolute must of mine has to be Kueh Bangkit, the soft, powdery, coconutty biscuit that disappears in your mouth is one that I always forward to. For Rasa Sayang, they took the good ol’ trusty Kueh Bangkit and added one of my other well-loved ingredients, gula melaka.
Rasa Sayang’s Kueh Bangkit Gula Malaka (S$17) has subtle notes of that caramelly palm sugar and was a refreshing change to the usual kueh bangkit.
For more serious snackers, the Garlic Sweet Emping (S$23) is one that needs to be on your snack table. For those unfamiliar with emping crackers, this is a slightly bitter cracker that you can sometimes find served with lontong and mee rebus.
Light and garlicky, this emping was strangely addictive and trust me you can’t stop at one. Rasa Sayang has an entire smorgasbord of snacks, so do head over to their stall to try all they have to offer.
While Chinese New Year is a time for crackers and snacks, it’s also a time to indulge in more deluxe offerings. Yummi House is where you can find Freshly Cooked Imperial Bird’s Nest (starting from S$28) and premium wild honey to soothe and luxuriate in.
It doesn’t get more luxe than Bird’s Nest in a glass bottle. As your mother and grandmother will tell you, bird’s nest has a multitude of benefits.
It’s rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, which is excellent for immunity and after one too many goodies during Chinese New Year, it’ll be a godsend.
For all the sore throats after intense card games, Yummi House’s Acacia Monofloral (S$78.90 per tub) honey is here make collecting your winnings a little sweeter. You can enjoy the honey is whichever way you like, in a cup of tea or mixed with some warm water or even just straight from the tub.
The honey boasts a sweet and slightly sour taste—a more interesting flavour profile than your store-bought variety.
To impress the in-laws, Yummi House’s Chinese New Hampers is perfect for getting you into their good books.
This Abundant Fortunes (S$298) hamper has everything from Yummi House’s A98 Firword Monofloral honey, mini A49 Mahogany honey to their B2 Rose Apple floral honey and even two 135ml Crystal Bottles. With a hamper like that, you’ll definitely be the sweetie this Lunar New Year.
Mei Kee Bakery by Bakery Cuisine is where you can find old-school bakes such as Tau Sar Piah and Yuan Yang Biscuits. These are sure to be a hit if you have older folks in your household as well.
A classic from these traditional bakeries has to be the Yuan Yang Bing 鸳鸯饼 (S$2 for one, S$5 for three, S$8 for five). These flaky discs are usually made with a combination of two fillings that work well together. Hence, the name yuan yang is apt, meaning perfect combination.
One of the most popular goods from Mei Kee bakery, these were made with a fragrant kaya filling and salted bean paste. These pastries usually are quite old-school, and you can’t help but feel nostalgic as you bite into one.
If you frequent Johor Bahru, you’ll be no stranger to these baked char siew buns. These Chicken Char Siew (S$2 for one, S$5 for three, S$8 for five) are the perfect savoury companions for Chinese New Year.
A rich and robust filling of chicken char siew, these flaky buns did not disappoint.
The pièce de résistance from Mei Kee bakery has to be their Salted Tau Shar Peah (S$0.90 for one, S$5 for six). If you know your tau sar pia, you know that there are two variations. You can get them with a sweet or salted filling; it’s a personal preference, but I do like the savouriness of the salted variety.
For Mei Kee Bakery, their Salted Tau Shar Peah was filled with slightly salted yellow bean paste. While it was flaky, the pastry lacked that iconic buttery taste that tau sia pia is known for. However, what I did like was that the filling was not an in-your-face saltiness, but well-balanced and subtle.
Now, if you want to curry favour this Chinese New Year, these dried persimmons from Curmay will do just the trick. These dried persimmons hail from Korea and are 100% natural with no sugar added.
Dried persimmons have an intense, almost candy-flavour that will be perfect for nibbling this Chinese New Year. A box of 40 dried persimmons will cost you S$20.
These are available individually as well for S$2 a box if you would just like to have some for yourself. While dried persimmons are not the prettiest to look at, these are perfect for dessert after a glorious time of feasting.
When it comes to snacks during Chinese New Year, variety is a must to keep things interesting. With a dazzling array of snacks at My Mum’s Cookies, you can surely eat till your heart’s content.
A savoury but unexpected flavour that is sure to intrigue and delight is the Nasi Lemak Cookies (S$19). While the cookie was spicy and crumbly, there wasn’t much of a coconut element to it—nevertheless, a rather toothsome snack.
For those looking for something a little lighter, these Mixed Nuts Crisps (S$28.80) will fill you up just fine.
Made with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, almonds and dried cranberries, this was a real textural delight.
花生大王(Huang Sheng Da Wang) is where you can find an entire buffet spread of nuts specifically sourced from China. Besides the quintessential Chinese New Year snacks, there will always be an assortment of nuts and seeds for those mahjong games.
If you don’t know where to start, the Little Pearl Peanuts (S$15 per 500g) are an easy crowd favourite. Fresh and fragrant, these peanuts are a notch higher than your run-of-the-mill peanuts.
Another accompanying nibble has to be the Baked Sunflower Seeds (S$13 for 500g). These sunflower seeds are absolutely crucial as an accompanying nibble while all the aunties humblebrag about their children’s accomplishments.
If you want to impress your relatives and let them know you are indeed living the Singapore Dream, you have to have these American Pine Nuts (S$25 for 500g).
Pine nuts are notoriously expensive as it takes a long time to grow and harvest them. Not to mention, pine nuts come with a laundry list of health benefits. Have these golden kernels in your house, and you have already won Chinese New Year—not that it’s a competition (or is it?).
If you are hosting this Lunar New Year, then Wang Guang Xing Goods has to be on your list. They procure a variety of dried goods that are pivotal if you want to host this year’s family gathering.
Any good home cook knows Dried Mini Scallops (S$12 for 100g, S$50 for 500g, S$100 for 1 kg + 200g) are critical if you want your soup to be sweet.
For that extra punch of sweetness, I do think a portion of Dried Abalone (S$130 for 100g) from Japan is vital for all the oohs and aahs when you present your soup. The abalones are from Japan, so you can be sure of the quality of these dried goods.
For that little bit of luxury, Wang Guang Xing Goods also has Dried Sea Cucumber to amp up your Chinese New Year. Depending on where they are from, the Dried Sea Cucumber ranges from S$55 to S$135 per 100g.
Chinese New Year is usually a flurry of preparation, and sometimes we’ll find ourselves scrambling for last-minute goods. With Ang Mo Kio Hub’s CNY Fair, it’s a one-stop-shop for all everything you need. If you like the festive lanterns draped across the fair, these are also for sale but get them quick because there are only one or two pieces of each design available!
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Ang Mo Kio Hub CNY Fair.
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Ang Mo Kio Hub's CNY Fair
53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Basement 2, AMK Hub, B2, Singapore 569933
53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Basement 2, AMK Hub, B2, Singapore 569933