August 9 is less than a month away, which means it’s almost time to watch the Singapore National Day Parade and break out into the nostalgic National Day song “Home”.
But if you’re a true Singaporean, you’d ALSO be queuing up for limited edition food items and merchandise, a.k.a. Singapore’s national sport. Here are 7 of my favourite things to snap up this NDP 2018:
ISLAND CREAMERY CHILLI CRAB ICE CREAM ($3.80 FOR SINGLE SCOOP)
As much as I love Island Creamery and its locally inspired flavours – Ping Pong Milo is literally my favourite – I gotta say, their NDP-themed ice cream sounds kind of gross.
I had a taste of it yesterday and it’s sour and sweet (like ketchup) and believe it or not, spicy too. I can’t say I’m a fan of this exotic flavour, but since Singaporeans are always looking for cheap thrills, I’m guessing it’s well worth a try.
OLD CHANG KEE CHILLI CRAB CURRY PUFF ($2.20 EACH OR $4 FOR 2)
I don’t know what the deal is with chilli crab this year, but everyone’s favourite Old Chang Kee’s curry puff is also getting a chilli crab variation for National Day. It has actual crab meat with chilli crab sauce and egg.
And yes, your eyes aren’t fooling you – the curry puff even has bright red pastry. Don’t worry, it’s just the regular crust, dyed for the festivities.
MCDONALD’S HA CHEONG GAI BURGER
McDonald’s National Day special menu is always a cash cow for the fast food giant. (Remember the nasi lemak burger?)
This year, the National Day menu includes the Ha Ha Cheong Gai Chicken Burger ($6.05) and drumlets ($2.20), Breakfast Curry Burger ($4.20), D24 Durian McFlurry ($4) and McCafe’s Kueh Salat Cake ($5).
STARBUCKS CHICKEN LAKSA PIE ($5.90)
Even Starbucks is hopping on the patriotic bandwagon. The signature item on their National Day seasonal menu is definitely the laksa pie ($5.90), which sounds quite intriguing. I haven’t actually tried it, but I spot tau pok and I’m sold.
On the sweet menu, there’s the Kit Kat chocolate cake, Nestum cake and pandan gula melaka cake.
LIHO'S BASTARDISED MILO DINOSAUR ($2.50 FOR MEDIUM CUP)
It may not be as good as the legit Milo dinosaur served at your favourite prata shop, but at least LiHo didn’t completely rip off the concept.
To be honest, chocolate milk topped with Speculoos crumbs sounds like a pretty damn good idea too. The limited edition drink costs $2.50 for the medium cup and $3.50 for large.
SHARITY ELEPHANT EZ-LINK CARD ($12 EACH)
OMG, remember Sharity the Elephant, the adorable pink mascot which champions caring and sharing? The 1984 character has made a recent comeback and this year, she (he?) is featured on National Day EZ-link cards which you can buy at TransitLink ticket offices islandwide.
Sharity shares the spotlight with Ang Ku Kueh Girl and friends in the 2 limited-edition designs. Each card costs $12 but only contains $7 in loaded value. $0.50 of each card will be donated to the Community Chest.
GEMNESIS MERLION EAR STUDS ($18 PER PAIR)
Handmade novelty jewellery are all the rage, so make sure you get your hands on these adorable mini merlions by Gemnesis.
The ear studs are made to look like the iconic merlion chocolates sold to tourists, and come in 3 “flavours” – caramel, chocolate and white chocolate. They’re $18 per pair.
NDP 2018 FUN PACK (FREE)
Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without the NDP 2018 fun pack, even though you can’t queue for it.
If you’re one of the lucky people who managed to ballot for National Day Parade tickets, you’ll get one. This year’s funpack looks quite nice, actually. There are 18 designs for the canvas tote bag, all of which were contributed by talented special needs children. Inside, there’s an assortment of snacks and parade props (like a light-up toy and placards).
If you didn’t manage to get NDP 2018 tickets, you’ll have to beg your friends, coworkers and neighbours, or just buy the fun pack from the black market (read: Carousell).
This article was first published in MoneySmart.