It’s that time of the year when we start panicking about what thoughtful present to shove into the hands of our nearest and dearest. We can’t help you buy all your gifts, but if your loved one enjoys wining and dining, here are a few suggestions for varying budgets!
Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker WIFI
Cr: Anova Culinary
Whether your friend is an aspiring chef or a time-starved disaster in the kitchen, a sous vide machine can help to produce restaurant-grade meals. It works by immersing vacuum-sealed food in a water bath and cooking it at a precise, consistent temperature. The result? Juicy, flavour-packed steaks or perfectly poached 65 degrees Celsius eggs — every single time. A machine like the Wifi-enabled Anova means your friend can start cooking his meals from the office, freeing him from the tyranny of the clock. The best part is that you stand to be a guest at his next dinner party, so really, this is the gift that keeps on giving.
Available for $159 on https://sg.anovaculinary.com/
Cocktail gift boxes
Cr: EC Proof
For the budding mixologist, get her a set (or two!) packed with everything she needs to make her favourite drink, prepared by the same people behind The Proof Flat on 43A Hong Kong Street. The gift sets come in gorgeous handmade black lacquer boxes and feature a must-have drink with the appropriate utensils and tools. For the friend who is classic and timeless, get the Rum Old Fashioned (which comes with a bottle of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum); for the classy companion, opt for the Manhattan (Willett 3 Year Whisky and Mancino Rosso Vermouth — yum).
Available from $150 to $250 on https://ecproof.com/
Cookbooks with a Singapore twist
Cr: Epigram Books
Singapore made it onto the Michelin map last year, so why shouldn’t we embrace our local food and chefs? Plusixfive: A Singaporean Supper Club Cookbook features Singaporean-in-London Goz Lee’s spin on hawker delights like chwee kueh and ayam buah keluak in a book packed with award-winning illustrations — if your friend isn’t going to try the recipes, at the very least he has a cool coffee table book. For the hardcore chefs gunning for authenticity, Epigram also stocks compilations for Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Peranakan, South Indian and Eurasian dishes.
Available from $22.90 to $44.90 on https://shop.epigrambooks.sg/
Food and drinks with a local bite
While we’re on the topic of #supportlocal, these next few suggestions may go down well with the patriotic pal, or the foreign friend visiting you for the holidays. Ette Tea offers a pack of local favourites in tea form (Mini Mix Local Flavours, an assortment of three flavours, $48.90 at www.ettetea.com) — so have your nasi lemak or chicken rice with fewer calories. For the feisty and fearless, try Mofo Chili ($10 to $12, ) which go just as well with kangkong (morning glory) as they do chicken wings. And what better way to show love than helping your friend skip the crazy queue for Irvin’s salted egg yolk fish skin and chips? A special Christmas package is available for $235 at irvinsaltedegg.com.
Chope vouchers and gift cards
If all else fails, get your friend Chope vouchers. The secret to happiness is experience, not things — so why not be the catalyst for a meal to remember?
Restaurant vouchers are available at $50 and $100 while Chope Gift Cards go for $25 onwards at The Chope Shop.