Update: This is the 2019 version. For the latest update in 2020, please click here.
Some residents in the same neighbourhood as me were grassroots volunteers and they kindly organised a Chinese New Year shopping trip to Woodlands Terrace for all residents. As I had been wanting to visit Fassler and Melvados at Woodlands Terrace for quite some time and that the ticket prices were only a token sum of $2 per pax, I persuaded Sunshine to go for some CNY shopping together. Hehe.
After a short bus ride, we reached the start of our shopping lane. Sunshine and I immediately agreed that as we were asked to board our bus later at the same place, we would window shop in all the shops first till the end of the street, mentally prioritise what to buy and then buy all the things on our way back. We were a bit surprised to see that there were many other group tours from other constituencies there as well! It was very crowded in some shops that we had to squeeze our way in and out. Lol.
The first shop we saw was CS Tay – their famous product being the Japanese seaweed chicken. However, as our favourite of the series was tofu skin wrapped chicken and there was no 1kg packet there on sale, we did not buy any of their frozen chicken. However, we bought some frozen teriyaki unagi. I thought that could be one of our dishes and I would then only have to cook a veg for our meals next time. Yums!
Unknown seafood shop (forgot to note its name)
I was attracted by the picture of its cod fish streak on its banner. Upon entering, there were lots of different seafood on sale, including sea cucumber, prawns, oysters. They even had signs on how to cook their cucumber. I was very tempted to buy a box of prawns for our steamboat. However, as we were not really fans of prawns (our main aim of having prawns in our steamboat is only to make the soup sweet), 1kg seemed too much for us. I thought I could select a few at NTUC nearer to CNY. After walking one round in the shop, I finally found the cod fish! However, none of them were white, much less as pretty as what was shown on their banner! It was the first time I saw “yellow” cod fish. This turned me off immediately and we did not buy anything from here eventually.
Fragrance was the most crowded shop we stepped into that day. Omg! We had to squeeze our way in and then out. Lol. Normally, Sunshine would be turned off by such crowds and would wait for me outside. However, he unexpectedly followed me all the way in. My mum had tasked me to buy their braised pork knuckles. Thankfully, I did not take long to find it.
According to a resident who shared her research with us on the bus, this factory sells Japanese products. I remembered seeing eel, Japanese soup stock and other frozen seafood. We did not linger here for long.
Boon Tong Kee
I thought I would be able to eat their famed chicken rice here but I was wrong. Haha. They were selling the various sauces used with their chicken rice, some cooked food as well as frozen seafood suitable for steamboat.
We finally reached where I had wanted to go for quite some time now – Fassler! They specialised in selling frozen seafood, soup stock, heat-to-eat (not sure if there is such a term) frozen, cooked food such as yam paste, braised duck etc. There was an assortment of frozen food 琳琅满目, some of them on sale, others, “on sale” for the past few months. Lol. There was also a cooler room where their products were stored at much lower temperatures. It was at this place where Sunshine’s wallet bled the most for we bought salmon lasagna, packets of soups, garlic and butter mussels and frozen salmon.
It was the only shop to have fringe activities for CNY: writing of couplets and a backdrop for photo taking with an inflatable God of Fortune. When we were first there, it was still early and there was no queue for either of these activities. I have always wanted to have written couplets but the queue was always very long at all other events. Hence, I thought if this is so unpopular, perhaps, I could get one written for us when we were on the way back. Little did I know that both had no queue as it was too early. On our way back at 11+am (as opposed to 9+am when we first reached), there was already a queue for the couplets! *cry!*
After Fassler, the second place which I looked forward to visiting that day was Melvados! When we first reached, it was still quite early and we saw trays and trays of brownies, cheesecakes, other cooked food offerings, soups, cookies and ice cream for our sampling! Omg! Like a typical Singaporean, I sampled many different food and my favourites were: Macadamia Chocolate Brownie, Speculos Cheesecake (which was very surprising for myself as I thought it would be very sweet and cloying), Mushroom & Cheese Pasta Bake as well as the Cajun Roasted Chicken with Sauce. I also sampled their premium pistachio and salted hazelnut cookie dough ice creams. Though their ice creams were smooth and not too sweet, I still preferred the pistachio ice cream from PS Cafe Petite (in Tiong Bahru) due to its stronger pistachio nutty taste.
DJ Bakery was one of the last few shops we visited. There were lots of CNY goodies for sale. However, as Sunshine and I did not know if their prices were indeed cheaper and we were trying to prioritise buying from shops which we would not see elsewhere (hint: Frassler), we did not buy much from here. I bought the seaweed goodies while Sunhine bought pandan love letters (Sunshine had already finished a bottle of original love letters from NTUC). Now, when I walked past DJ Bakery and checked their prices, I realised that the prices at the factory outlet were indeed cheaper! We bought our goodies at $12 per bottle but they were being retailed at $15 and $13/$14 for the respective items at their neighbourhood shops. Sadded. Wish I had bought more there. Lol.
Old Chang Kee
I thought the Old Chang Kee outlet would be selling frozen offerings of what they sell elsewhere. However, they were selling cooked food and cold drinks at this outlet. I think it was a respite for many as quite a number of us had walked the whole stretch of road to reach the end of the street.
After a three hour shopping trip, all of us went back with numerous shopping bags （满载而归）, tired but satisfied. Haha. Thanks to the volunteers at Gambas CCC for organising!