Taste of Home

I like grocery shopping. I know some people find it a chore and try to keep their grocery pitstops as short as possible. But I take my time and wander the aisles.

We’re fortunate enough to live close to a huge NTUC FairPrice, Singapore’s largest grocery store chain. The store spans two floors and is pretty well-stocked. There’s a kitchen at the first floor next to the fresh produce section where you can have your meat and seafood purchases cooked or grilled on the spot. Next to the fruits and vegetables section, there’s a small indoor farm which houses plants grown without soil.

If you’re lucky (or unlucky), you might visit NTUC when the durian specials are out. The fruit has a pungent, sweet scent that you can detect as far as the store entrance. I’m a fan, but not everyone is. (There’s a reason why durian is banned on public transport here in Singapore!)

One of my favourite sections in our local NTUC is the International Food section. There you can find tasty products from Taiwan, Japan, USA, the UK (they even carry the Sainsbury’s house brands), and of course, the Philippines.

I thought it would be interesting to note down which Filipino products were on the shelves and how much it cost. Of course, you can get most, if not all, of these from smaller sari-sari stalls at Lucky Plaza. But the fact that they’re carried in one of Singapore’s largest retailers suggests that the demand for these products is strong enough to make it profitable for NTUC to stock them.

ProductPrice (Singapore $)Price (Php equivalent)*
Noodle Queen Pancit Canton (454g)3.20112.00
Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Chilimansi (pack of 6)3.10108.50
White King Classic Puto (steamed rice cake) mix2.90101.50
Del Monte Filipino Style Spaghetti Sauce (500g)3.60126.00
Del Monte Mango Juice Drink (1L)3.75131.25
Barrio Fiesta Spicy Bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste)4.80168.00
Mama Sita’s Sinigang sa Sampalok (tamarind seasoning) mix (50g)1.6557.75
Mang Tomas All-Purpose Sauce (550g)3.20112.00
Datu Puti Soy Sauce (1L)3.00105.00
555 Sardines (1 can)1.1038.50

* SGD 1 = PHP 35 as of today, with some rounding.

Noodles – both the usual pancit canton and the instant Lucky Me! kind – were a perennial favourite. Some of the brands also prominently display their halal certification on the packaging given the market here (for instance, Mama Sita’s mixes and marinades are halal-certified). I also realised Mang Tomas has dispensed with the name “lechon sauce” in favour of the more appropriate “all-purpose sauce”. Totoo, it goes with almost anything.

Some of the choices also seemed slightly odd to me (Why stock Rebisco crackers but no Skyflakes? Who buys all those Fudgee bars?).

A cursory price check on SM Online also shows the prices here are marked up over 100% on average compared to the Philippines. A similar can of 555 Sardines would set you back Php 18 if you buy it at SM, but costs over twice that in NTUC.

Then again, this is the taste of home. It’s the closest we’ll get to being there, at least for now.

Think critically dear readers,

15 thoughts on “Taste of Home

  1. Dito sa dami ng mga Asian sari sari store ang taste of home ay halos nasa bawat kanto (by the way I am starting a new blog that will slowly replace the existing one, the url is http://www.filipitaly.com. I will keep the one on WordPress alive but I’ll focus more on the creation of the new one which will be more of a niche blog about the Filipino culture and language)

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      1. …here on WordPress I am getting likes and followers from people from all over the world almost like in a social network. What I am trying to do instead is focus on a Pinoy audience without any distractions

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  2. Every time I pass by the Filipino section at the groceries… I end up buying something because I’m sentimental not because I actually need it. It’s how I ended up with a few packets of that Crispy Fry mix. 😀

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  3. Nice! Shelves devoted to Philippine products. We depended a lot on FairPrice for groceries (ground floor of Chinatown Point.)
    I regret not trying the durian there (I can’t twist the boyfriend’s arm hard enough!)

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    1. I’m partial to the red prawn variety, though some of my friends don’t like it. Masyado raw matamis. Hehe.
      When we first arrived in Singapore we stayed at a serviced apartment near Chinatown Point! I always liked its spiral-shaped interior. 😊

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  4. What a fantastic grocery store! I like grocery shopping too. What’s better than all that food, especially all that colorful fresh produce. Unfortunately, I haven’t been grocery shopping for months. COVID came early to the Seattle area, and we still haven’t got it under control. I have a respiratory condition, so I order my groceries and pick them up in the parking lot.

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    1. Oh no, keep safe! Hopefully they manage it soon… We order some things online too, mainly stuff that’s too heavy to carry since we walk to / from the store. 😊

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