Anna and I recently went on a field trip. A friend had sent me an email about a factory tour and it was only $16 which is amazing! I honestly don’t know how they even paid the bus driver for that amount but I’m not complaining. Tours normally cost around $50-$70 and they are usually about a half day outing. This one was all day. We left the house at 7:45 and got home at 4:30. A long but really really good day!!
The tour was so laid back and fun. Not all stiff and proper like most others I’ve been on. The tour guide stood up as the bus took off for our first destination and asked “Does anyone want to sing a song?” I chuckled inside thinking she’s lot her marbles but to my amazement and entertainment two ladies and a French couple had us all singing Frère Jacques in French, Chinese and English. It was hilarious and Anna had a blast. We met Clare, a super sweet Southern gal from Georgia. She homeschools two of her children and she and Anna hit it off. Anna even made me sit by the window so she could chat it up with Clare. So funny! Clare, if you ever read this, my daughter loved you. You made her feel so comfortable. She particularly loved that you initiated a big high five after she helped you figure out your cell phone issue. Clare is leaving Singapore soon which is sad. I really would have loved to get to know her better.
Anyway, here’s what we found. One particular find was amazing! I’ve been so excited to share. If you like smoked salmon or other seafood and you like knowing it’s fresh and you like not spending a million dollars on it, read on! This stop was the highlight of my day. Made my heart go all pitter patter.
First we stopped at a Otah & Satay factory. The shop staff welcome our large group of ladies and went through the entire history of Otah as we watched the fast hands put them all together. Otah is a spicey fish paste mixture that they slather just the right amount of inside a coconut leaf, toothpicked together just so for steam to come through, and then grill for about 10 minutes. It’s good if you like fishy things. We’re not huge fans but it’s not horrible at all.
We then walked down to a curry puff and savory kueh (kueh can be a dessert cake but in this case it was rice flour skinned dumplings) factory. I bought some mushroom soon kueh and leek soon kueh and and they were ok but also not favorites.
Next stop was a rice noodle factory at Gourmet East Kitchen. It was in this huge building that was just crammed with all sorts of food factories with garage doors. I didn’t even know something like this existed in Singapore but apparently there are several. Many of the factories sell to the public so one could go there and stock up on all your favorite goodies for a fraction of what you pay elsewhere and you get to see them all being made. Cool place. I’ll have to go back and just spend time wandering around. This one was in the Tampines/Bedok area.
Now for the highlight of the day! Fasslers!!! This is the place that got my heart rate up. Freshly smoked salmon, sashimi and fresh soups and more for SO much cheaper than you can get in any store in Singapore. Yipee!!! I got two huge bags full of stuff for $100 SGD. And we found out where winter is in Singapore. Their huge walk in freezer! Anna and I loved it in there and stayed as long as we could. If you go and you think you’ll need a jacket, take one. They have some there that you can borrow but I’m not sure they get washed.
The get farm bred fresh nitro flash frozen salmon from Chile so once it is thawed out it is as good as fresh if not better. They don’t get their salmon from Norway because it is not flash frozen and might take up to 5 days from Norway to our kitchen. The guide explained that in the freezing process, any worms and parasites are killed so it’s actually better than eating it fresh. Makes sense to me. They keep it frozen until they are ready to process it and smoke it. Because they are a small factory, they can customize their recipes according to their customer’s desires. They make soups for MosBurger and they sell their salmon to NTUC (Fair Price) and Ikea among others but these are the big ones he mentioned.
It was in the smoking chamber that I could not help but think of my dad. He would have never wanted to leave this place. My dad’s smoked salmon is simply the best. But this place smelled so good!! And since my dad’s smoked salmon is not here then Fasseler’s will just have to do. They use properly dried beech wood with as few knots as possible to smoke the salmon. They had a really cool machine smoker that only takes 4-5 hours of time for the smoking process.
Along that same street, Woodlands Terrace, there was a Bak Kwa factory outlet, Foodedge, an Italian Confectionary (I bought bagels and pesto sauce there but they had amazing cheesecakes, pizzas and pastas, crepes and ice creams), and a host of others factory outlets. Take a taxi there or drive, bring your shopping cart, cash and walk the street and stock up.
Our last stop was a jade, gem and jewelry shop. They had so much bling! It was pricey but beautiful and I suppose you could be guaranteed quality for Qualitas. They also do jewelry repairs. Customers are allowed in by appointment only so call ahead.
It was a good day!! So much valuable information for such a good value. I hope you found something helpful from this post. I travelled to areas of Singapore that I hadn’t been before. I love new adventures and good finds!!