Chinese New Year may be about yusheng and pencai for many, but a good selection of snacks is still a necessity.
Some people love gathering with family and friends, whereas others prefer to spend the day in bed, avoiding human contact.
If conversation fails, offer these snacks to those around you - they're good icebreakers - or stuff your face with them and you'll be left alone.
Top food blogger Miss Tam Chiak has compiled her list of the top 10 pineapple tarts. The golf ball-sized ones from Carlton Hotel Singapore didn't make her list but they should have.
The Carlton premium pineapple tarts ($25.80 for eight pieces) are bestsellers for the hotel. I love their heft and the buttery pastry that encases the pineapple filling.
Call 6349-1292 to order.
New to the market are pineapple tarts from P. Bistro (Palais Renaissance, #B1-06). At $35 a bottle, the tarts are elegant and refined, made with hand-grated honey pineapple.
You have to order before Feb 1. Call 6734-9268.
I love the black charcoal chicken bak kwa pineapple tarts (sold with the white cranberry pineapple tarts, $20.80 for 18 pieces) from Jack's Place. If wearing bright colours is killing your soul, indulging in these little black nuggets should balance it.
The plus? They're delicious.
UGLY CAKE SHOP
Ever since the Ugly Cake Shop started its online business, I've been a fan. You must try its lemon drizzle cake.
Now that it has a physical shop (GB Point, #01-06), you can pop by any time for a cake.
But the Melting Moments ($26 per jar) is available only for Chinese New Year.
Tweaked from a British recipe, these flower-shaped cookies just melt in your mouth.
Call 8228-8300 or go online (www.uglycakeshop.sg) to order.
PIES & COFFEE
Since anything with salted egg yolk is popular these days, it is no surprise that Pies & Coffee has come up with salted egg yolk cookies ($22).
They are sweet and salty and should be a hit at your Chinese New Year do. You can buy them from its outlets at Robertson Walk, Rochester Mall, The Grandstand and Alexandra Retail Centre.
THYE MOH CHAN
Although Thye Moh Chan (Paragon and Chinatown Point) has an array of traditional snacks, its new item - Three Treasures Tau Sar Piah ($16.80 for nine pieces) - caught my attention.
These bean paste pastries have additional fillings of bak kwa, longan or prunes.
The mix of sweet and salty is quite enticing.
The crunchy peanut cookies ($15.80) from Yang Yang are great because they are tasty and halal-certified.
The cookies are made without preservatives from a recipe that is at least 50 years old.
Get them from the Takashimaya CNY Fair, VivoCity CNY Fair or Tangs Plaza till Feb 6.
Or order online at www.yangyang.com.sg.
GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL
This Wealth of Opportunities cake ($88) from Goodwood Park Hotel is certainly a conversation starter.
It is shaped like a large golden garlic clove - a symbol of luck, fortune and good opportunities - but inside, you get a chocolate marble cake.
Call 6730-1786 to order
Photos: P.Bistro, Jack's Place, The Ugly Cake Shop, Pies & Coffee, Thye Moh Chan, Yang Yang Cookies, Goodwood Park Hotel
This article was first published on January 20, 2016.
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