I used to travel a few times a year for work and leisure, and then all of a sudden, I stopped travelling altogether and forgot how it was like to explore a new place and culture.
This was probably why my heart skipped a beat when I visited the newly opened Surrey Hills Grocer.
Located at D’Arena in Jurong, you’ll need to take a short drive or bus ride to the location. Sure, it may be slightly inconvenient, but it reminded me of the visits I had to Australian farms and vineyards, which all featured a scenic drive, and this interestingly added to Surrey Hills Grocer’s rustic charm.
The gourmet grocer-and-bistro offers some of the best Australian produce, products, cuisines, and experiences you can find in Singapore.
A grocer that lets you access exclusive Australian-made and -grown products
In fact, the 3,000 square-feet grocer stocks a majority of Australian-made and -grown brands and products that are made available in Singapore for the first time.
Co-founder Pang Gek Teng shared that they were able to do so thanks to the strong connections they have built with the locals (Australians).
“We have carefully curated and built connections with a group of trusted farmers, brand partners and vendors to bring Singapore customers an Australian-inspired grocer, and lifestyle and dining concept that is truly genuine and sustainable,” she says.
Exclusive brands to look out for include Rich Glen Olive Oil, a family-owned business that produces olive-oil based food and skincare range, Stonebarn Truffle, the largest commercial truffle producer in West Australia, and Koko Black, an iconic premium Australian chocolate that will be making its debut in Singapore.
Surrey Hills Grocer works directly with many of these brands to make sure that their products can be exported to Singapore without compromising on product quality.
I found the infused olive oil options by Rich Glen Olive Oil the most intriguing. I picked up the Agrumato Lemon Lime and found that it is great for seasoning salmon – drizzle some of it and cook it along with some dill and you’ll get a very fragrant dish.
Koko Black chocolates are also great as gifts or as a personal indulgence. There are many great options to choose from but I personally enjoyed the Dark Zesty Orange & Almond Block.
Besides looking forward to exclusive Australian goods, you should also look out for fresh produce from Straits Agriculture, a local farm that sends its harvest to the grocer daily to be sold, as well as to support its bistro’s farm-to-table concept.
Wine-lovers will be pleased to know that Surrey Hills Grocer also has a dedicated Winery featuring the best wines sourced from Australian vineyards.
Those who cook, check out the Herbs & Spices Corner, where you can choose up to 24 types of Surrey Hills herb blends. This is exciting because you no longer need to buy multiple herbs and spices just to whip up one meal – these blends are created through inspirations from authentic Australian home secret recipes so you can easily pick it up and use for your next meal.
If you’re not sure which one to go for, try ‘The Surrey Blend’, which is an all-in-one marinate for all cooking; ‘Camper’s BBQ Blend’, for BBQ dishes; and ‘Surfers Paradise Blend’, to season seafood.
Before you check out your purchases, don’t forget to also swing by the Florist Bar, helmed by local, family-owned lifestyle florist shop. You’ll be able to find an exquisite range of seasonal floral and botanical offerings from Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.
Enjoy a meal at Surrey Hills Café
Another highlight at the grocer is definitely the Surrey Hills Café, an alfresco dining concept that pays homage to the authentic Australian brunch culture. The menu was designed in collaboration with an Australian Michelin-starred chef based in Singapore, who brought in his locality knowledge and special touch to the cuisines.
Crayfish Benny (S$24) was a dish that I haven’t seen anywhere and was attracted me the most. It features marinated crayfish and molten eggs topped with crayfish reduction hollandaise on toasted English muffins.
While it was indeed unique, as someone who doesn’t eat a lot of seafood, the “seafood taste” of the dish was a little too overwhelming for me. My dining companion, on the other hand, enjoyed it. If you ask me, I’d say go for it only if you’re a true-blue seafood-lover.
If you’re a Vegemite fan, try Avo (S$19), an Australian take on avocado toast. This features seasoned and mashed avocado served with whipped ricotta and vegemite emulsion on a sourdough.
My personal favourite is the Tasmanian Salmon (S$26), which is slow-cooked sashimi-grade salmon served on a bed of mushroom reduction barley grains, topped with marinated roe. The barley grains tasted like a less cloying version of mushroom risotto, which makes it easy to dig into.
No brunch is complete without fresh bakes; the café also produces bakes and pastries in house daily. It has also worked with local artisanal ice cream brand Creamier to offer ice cream. Surrey Hills Grocer revealed that consumers can look forward to more Australian product-centric ice cream flavours that use air-flown dairy from farms that can be found only at the grocer in the future.
It offers a direct-to-boot concept
Understanding that there are busy folks who don’t have time to shop in supermarkets but want to make small purchases effortlessly, Surrey Hills Grocer is the first in Singapore to offer a direct-to-boot concept here.
All you need to do is to make their purchases online, select a specific date and time-slot, then drive down to have your grocery purchases loaded into their boot at your availability – all done without leaving your car.
To support this concept, the grocer has built a sheltered designated parking bay that can allow up to four vehicles at a time. The service is completely contactless, fuss-free and best of all, complimentary.
For consumers who prefer door-step delivery, Surrey Hills Grocer also offers a flat islandwide delivery fee of S$15. You’ll get this waived if you spend at least S$120.
Surrey Hills Grocers is located at D’Arena (511 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638366). It operates from 11am to 3pm (Brunch) and 6pm – 9pm (Dinner) on Tuesdays – Sundays.