Think Mustafa Centre, and immediately you’ll be reminded of the crowded throngs of human traffic, tight parking spaces and being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things you can buy at this 24-hour retail centre; you can almost find anything here!
Situated on the second floor is the supermarket, where you can stock up on anything from fresh produce to various sundries. Mustafa Centre’s supermarket offers products from all over the world, mainly from the Middle Eastern Countries, and the options are simply endless with the variety of food items available.
Armed with comfy walking shoes and taste buds for the exotic unknown, I scoured the level two supermarket to bring you 10 of the most interesting and quirky finds at Mustafa Centre supermarket.
1. Chocodate ($3.50)
I was surprised to find these date bonbons outside of Ramadan, and was kind of curious about what the Chocodate tastes like. For $3.50, you’ll get 10 pieces of individually wrapped sweets in a gold ziplock bag, and it comes in three flavours: White, Dark and Milk Chocolate.
The chocolate taste was surprisingly creamy and rich, and there was an aftertaste of palm oil, that was common in most cheap chocolates. The date was sweet, while the crunchy almond hidden inside it gave it more bite.
I have only two words for this: Deceptively delicious.
2. Hazerbaba Turkish Pomegranate/Apple Tea ($5.80 each)
In Turkish culture, tea is usually served to welcome guests to your home, and Hazerbaba spares you the long tea brewing process with its instant Turkish teas. The Apple Tea and Pomegranate Tea ($5.80 each) have been condensed into instant granules and can be prepared either hot or cold.
The apple tea is refreshingly sweet and carries notes of tartness, an excellent thirst quencher in our sunny Singaporean weather. Sweeten up your drink with some honey if you’d like.
3. Bhel Muri Puffed Rice Snack ($1)
Bhel Muri is a traditional Northern Indian puffed rice snack, topped with peanuts and thinly fried vermicelli, chopped onions and chilli, tossed with garam masala powder and spicy tamarind chutney. I’ve only seen Bhel Muri as a street side delicacy on travel shows, but this was my first time seeing it sold in Singapore.
Haldiram’s Bhel Muri Puffed Rice Snack ($1) came in a small plastic cup, with two individual packets containing the seasoned puffed rice, mango chutney and a little plastic spoon to toss everything together.
I loved the strong seasoning and the crunch of the puffed rice, however, the tangy mango chutney was a tad too spicy for me, and I immediately regretted adding the entire sauce packet to the cup.
This snack would be a great choice for those who love Indian muruku and want to try something more adventurous.
4. Uncle Cook’s Assorted Mukhwas Candy ($2.90 each)
Looking for a way to freshen up your breath but can’t find mints? Mukhwas are a traditional Indian digestive-aid and breath freshener made up of candied fennel and anise seeds, coconut and sesame, flavoured with peppermint oil.
Uncle Cook’s offers a wide range of these colourful breath fresheners for $2.90 each, some containing betel nut, coriander seeds and liquorice. It may come across as a little too strong for some, but as they say, as small teaspoon goes a long way when it comes to mukhwas.
5. Camelicious’ Camel Milk – Original ($6.90/250ml)
Finding the Camelicious’ Camel Milk was the most exotic highlight of my Mustafa trip. I made a beeline for it once I saw this on the chiller shelves, and chose the original flavour ($6.90), which turned out to be a HUGE mistake on my part.
The camel milk was very creamy but carried an extremely gamey, dehydrated meat aftertaste. Even my daredevil palate couldn’t down 1/3 of the bottle. There were also other flavours such as saffron, chocolate, cappuccino and strawberry, which I think would be definitely more palatable than the original.
6. Go! Cheezooz – Chocolate, Tomato Salsa, Plain ($1.90 each)
If you love cheese, why not try Go Cheezooz‘s range of creamy cheese spreads. Mustafa currently stocks all three flavours: Plain, Chocolate and Tomato Salsa ($1.90 each).
Made from flavoured blends of cheddar cheese, this is sure to be a hit with the kids and for the parents who are looking for a unique breakfast bread spread.
7. Haldiram’s Rasgulla ($4.90)
A traditional Bengali dessert made from a type of cottage cheese called chhena. These spongey balls of cheese are cooked in a light sugar syrup and usually served during festivals or special occasions.
If you’re a fan of paneer, you’ll enjoy the chewy, slightly rubbery texture of the rasgulla cheese dumplings ($4.90), and Haldiram’s version comes in a rose-flavoured syrup.
If you’re looking for something reminiscent of the Chinese ah-balling, rasgulla is sure to change up your dessert game.
8. Badam Drink With Almond And Saffron ($1.20)
Badam Drink ($1.20) is a popular Indian beverage that is essentially almond milk, mixed with sugar, saffron and cardamom. Best served chilled, this nifty almond drink contains bits of almonds and would appeal to those who love masala chai.
The saffron flavour in the drink was a bit too overwhelming for me, and reminded me of biryani seasoning.
9. Mama Africa’s Zulu Sauces ($3 each)
Bringing the heat of Africa right to your taste buds, I found Mama Africa’s Zulu Sauces ($3 each) in Habanero and Peri-Peri flavour in Mustafa’s supermarket condiment section. If you like your food with a kick of spice, or just to challenge yourself to something new, this hot sauce is for you.
The Habanero is the spiciest of the range of sauces, yet it doesn’t cover up the flavour of the pepper itself. The Peri-Peri has a touch of lemon that zests up the chilli sauce, a great complement to fish and steamed vegetables.
10. Cadbury Spreads – Crunchie and Caramel ($5.90 each)
Fellow chocolate lovers will love the Cadbury Crunchie and Caramel Spreads ($5.90 each). The Caramel Spread reminds us of chocolate with hints of coffee and was of a spreadable consistency. That being said, don’t go to town on this though, it can get cloyingly sweet.
The Crunchie Spread had generous bits of honeycomb pieces, authentic to the candy bar itself. The cocoa is more pronounced in this spread, but do crunch away carefully and look out for the hard pieces of honeycomb!