One of the many things that make us proud to be Singaporeans has to be our country’s dynamic culinary scene. We have also heard successful stories of fellow Singaporeans who started small in the F&B industry but have expanded across the globe with many branches to their names.
Of course, nothing worthwhile ever comes easy and behind every success story is a difficult journey full of obstacles. There is much we can learn from their perseverance and willingness to overcome any setback.
Today, let us celebrate the achievements of 11 Local Food Brands That Expanded Overseas and found recognition on an international scale.
Known for their array of attractive desserts, Bakerzin is a household name today and a popular choice when you need a simple afternoon tea session.
Besides its many outlets in Singapore, you can also find eight Bakerzin outlets in Jakarta, Indonesia.
#2 BREADTALK GROUP
BreadTalk started in 2000 by founder George Quek, and the award-winning F&B Group also owns Din Tai Fung, RamenPlay and Toast Box among others.
The expansion has seen BreadTalk with bakeries across 15 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
#3 CRYSTAL JADE CULINARY CONCEPTS
We are such fans of Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts because of their traditional Chinese food that never fails to impress.
Having first expanded to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Crystal Jade outlets are now operating in Asia and even San Francisco.
#4 JANICE WONG
Janice Wong is a renowned pastry chef in Singapore who is a genius at creating lavish, deconstructed desserts. She is the mastermind behind the popular 2am:dessert bar at Holland Village and JANICE WONG SINGAPORE restaurant in National Museum of Singapore.
She has two other successful dessert bars in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
#5 LAO BAN SOYA BEANCURD
Who would have known that a small stall in Old Airport Road Food Centre selling soya beancurd is able to turn a nostalgic snack such as Tau Huay into a trend? Yet, they did it.
Lao Ban’s chilled and firm beancurd-pudding is so good, and the company has ventured into Ho Chi Minh City, setting up a small cafe selling gelato, waffles, milk tea and coffee.
Homegrown brand Paradise Group is no stranger to Singaporeans. Paradise Group started its first seafood restaurant at Defu Lane in an industrial estate back in 2002. Today, it has expanded into a massive empire with different restaurant concepts in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai, Taiwan and Philippines.
With its many outlets in Singapore, one can easily satisfy their cravings for Thai food at any ThaiExpress outlets. Following its successful first outlet in Holland Village, ThaiExpress can now be found in Australia, China and Mongolia.
Readers would know that we are some of the biggest fans of TungLok Group’s arsenal of restaurants; well, we will never get tired of their good dim sum, seafood and Chinese dishes.
Started in 1984, TungLok Group manages 30 restaurants of various dining concepts across Indonesia, Japan, India and China.
#9 TWG TEA
It is not astonishing that TWG Tea usually comes to mind whenever someone mentions afternoon tea but are you surprised to find out that this foreign-looking brand is actually from Singapore?
Established in 2008, TWG Tea is an upscale tea salon that currently has outlets in Asia, America, United Kingdom, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. That’s really impressive, yes?
#10 WEE NAM KEE CHICKEN RICE RESTAURANT
Hainanese chicken rice is a favourite among Singaporeans and Wee Nam Kee is a popular brand that we can always count on. Look out for their other outlets in Jakarta, South Korea and their latest addition—Japan.
It has been reported that all their chefs are being taught to prepare everything from scratch and the marinades are not shipped from abroad. Does it still taste equally good? Well, you would have to make that judgment call for yourself.
#11 YA KUN KAYA TOAST
The most famous kaya toast chain in Singapore is not just a household name in our country but has also made a mark in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar and more.
We are glad that our friends from abroad get to have a taste of authentic kaya toast from Singapore—an irresistible combination of hot toast, creamy kaya jam and rich butter.