We've been weighing up the pros (saving our marriage) versus the cons (making too many cakes) of the hottest kitchen gadgets!
Regardless of whether you’re a domestic goddess or more inclined to outsource the cooking to your wonderful helper, we all like to keep up with what’s hot in the kitchen. Chances are you’ve heard the chat about cult kitchen appliance Thermomix, you’ve pondered the health benefits of the NutriBullet, and secretly coveted the revamped retro bubbly water maker, the SodaStream. To buy or not to buy? Do they live up to the hype? We’ve done our research and have come up with a list of pros and cons for each culinary contraption. And we can steer you in the right direction on where to source them in Singapore should you decide to take the plunge…
The thirst quenching SodaStream is a tropical dweller’s best friend. There’s a whole lot to love about this compact home carbonation system. If you were a child of the ’80s, you may have fond memories of the original incarnation (circa 1903), with vintage glass bottles and sugary flavours (like cherry cola). These days the range has expanded to include sleek, display-worthy designs, and is loved by the sparkling mineral water set. It also saved at least one HoneyKids marriage when it replaced the endless supply of expensive bottled fizzy water that had previously caused a certain husband to spontaneously combust every time he saw the Redmart bill…
It’s affordable (especially when compared to long term use of aforementioned bottled fizz), both in terms of initial outlay (a standard model setting you back around $269, plus gas cartridge at $50), and to maintain (re-fill cartridges cost $26 if you recycle your canister). It’s simple to use and light for easy transportation. Given the high economic and environmental cost of buying bottled soda water (and the risk to one’s marriage), the SodaStream is a wise investment. It’s also a good alternative to shop-bought kids’ fizzy drinks as you can use natural, low-sugar sweeteners. We love whacking all manner of fruit into ours for a mocktail appearance the kids are on board with.
Albeit not strictly a downfall of the device itself, the SodaStream is not universal. Be forewarned that you can’t import your US or Australian model because the local gas cartridges don’t fit. And, while the bottles are BPA-free, they aren’t dishwasher-safe.
Where to get it
SodaStream and the gas cylinders are available at major department stores including Takishamaya, Tangs, Robinsons, Redmart, Best Denki, ToTT and Cold Storage (GWC and Plaza Singapura stores), Fairprice Finest Thomson Plaza and Live it Up @ Parkway Parade. It’s also available to buy online at www.sodastream.sg, where you’ll not only be able to bag your device, but can also order the cylinders and flavourings to go with it. Plus delivery is free if you spend over $50. They’re speedy too! Hot tip: There’s a sale happening online right now: grab a SodaStream Source Black right now and bag yourself a saving of $40.
The Thermomix is a case of German efficiency on steroids. This high-tech food processor has gastronomic food buffs around the world whipped into a state of foodie frenzy. Check out this hilarious video, which deftly illustrates the Purist Cook vs the Thermomix Disciple war.
Short of giving you a massage, it seems there’s nothing this fabulous device can’t do.
- It niftily merges 10 appliances into one, so can chop, mix, mince, grind, blend, stir, whip, knead, grate, juice, cook, steam and weigh.
- It’s super compact, measuring at 30cm x 28.5cm and 6.3 kg. When you sell all your old kitchen paraphernalia (Magimix, blender, juicer and steamer), you’ll be left with a nice clean bench top, and some extra cash to put towards the Thermomix’s hefty price tag.
- It’s a massive time saver – just set and go. It’s also the master of multi-tasking, whipping up risotto while it steams veggies on the top.
- Not only do you avoid washing up pots, pans and utensils, it also self-cleans (well, sort of). It will not, however bathe your children.
- It makes bread, which is an absolute godsend in a city not renowned for its artisanal baps.
- From a nutritional POV it’s groundbreaking: all foods are whole foods, and you know exactly what you are eating. Think Thai curry made from homemade coconut milk, raisin toast with nut butter and tomato sauce made from real tomatoes (and all with no preservatives or artificial sweeteners).
- The safety engineering is second to none, so your tots can’t chop off their fingers. And with electronic motor limitation, it can’t burn out.
- Once you purchase, it’s like you’ve joined a club. They want you to rave about your Thermomix and recruit your mates, so they offer great post-purchase support.
- COST! Stating the obvious, you’ll need to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford this puppy (it retails for an eye-watering $2,320).
- The mixing bowl only holds two litres, so you can’t cook for a cast of thousands. If you’re entertaining you’ll have to wash up between courses.
- With its cold steel exterior, it takes away the messy flair and joy of traditional cooking.
- While the new touch screen TM5 model has a chip loaded with recipes, you may have trouble converting and programming in your old family faves.
- Like Tupperware, it’s sold via approved agents, not in department stores.
- The TM5 model is over-subscribed, so it’s hard to get hold of extra mixing bowls and accessories.
Where to get it
Until recently you couldn’t buy the new TM5 model in Singapore. It is slightly cheaper overseas, so if you can, buy in Australia ($2,089AUD) and bring it in your hand luggage. It may affect your warranty, however, if used overseas. Head to www.thermomix.com.sg to pick one up right here in Singapore.
Converts to the NutriBullet movement swear by this super fast fruit, nut and veg juicer as THE device to improve your health and wellbeing. Here’s why:
- It’s easy to use and clean, the whole process taking three minutes tops – you blend and drink from the same cup.
- It’s good quality, durable and quiet.
- It’s affordable (from around $100).
- It’s small, sleek and slender (like you will be once you’ve used it for a few weeks)!
- It’s a lifestyle changer; you’ll happily sup on fresh green smoothies for breakfast every day.
- Unlike traditional juicers, it blasts the entire vegetable, fruit and nut, so that fibre and micro-nutrients are retained.
- The fibre in the drink makes you feel more full, it aids digestion and absorption of nutrients, and helps with weight control.
- Provided you maintain a 50/50 ratio of fruit and vegetables, it tastes delicious, so is a good way to get kids to ingest zucchinis and kale without them noticing.
- Not all vegetables can be turned into smoothies, e.g. you need to use a juicer for wheatgrass. Hmm, not a dealbreaker.
- The standard model isn’t overly powerful.
- The cup size is quite small, so it only gives a single serve. You could be busy washing out repeatedly if you have a large family.
Where to get it
NutriBullet is readily available island-wide! Snap one up at OG on Orchard, Metro on Orchard, Giant, or Robinsons: in fact any and all department stores and electrical stores.
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