Don’t Buy Gifts, Buy Experiences: There’s A New Local Service That’s Like Airbnb But For Foodies


If you’ve ever pained over buying souvenirs home from a trip, you’d be happy to know that people who spend money on experiences rather than physical gifts are generally happier.

According to research, the lingering high from your adventures easily outweigh the gratification of buying things – plus, they last longer too.

That’s where NOSHtrekker, a small team of individuals, comes in.

By curating memorable dining and fascinating local hosts, and connecting them with travellers and experience junkies, this team aims to holistically bring the thrill of discovering new places, cuisines, and cultures together.

Think Airbnb, but for foodies and incredibly diligent.

“What if the souvenirs you take home from your travels are memories of time spent with local people and delicious food – instead of gifts like magnets and keychains?” This was what ran through co-founder and Chief Experience Designer of NOSHtrekker Tahnya Butterfield’s mind when she decided to set up the team.

Together with Sarah Tan, her co-founder and Brand Director, the founding team’s personal travel experiences fuelled their desire to change the way travellers connect with cultures and experience a place. This eventually led them to their first hosts, or NOSH Hosts.

Who Are NOSH Hosts?

Not everyone can become a NOSH Host. First and foremost, you’d have to be a great cook. You should also be, as Sarah describes, “a docent of culture, heritage, wellness, sport or industry”. That’s a given, considering the service that NOSHtrekker promises.

But more importantly, to become a NOSH Host you have to have something they refer to as “sharp service eyes”. The business’ plethora of Hosts all carry these characteristics are usually found through word of mouth.

An open-minded, wholesome business model such as NOSHtrekker not only allows the coming together of people from different backgrounds with similar interests, but also through this movement, creates a “closely-knit community and network of advocates” that are “always scouting for talent” on behalf of the company.

This then ripples into the dining experience they carry in their repertoire.

When you head to NOSHtrekker’s website, the selection of gastronomical experiences is aplenty.

Not only do you get to choose the kind of dining experience that you want, you pick the kind of cuisine you’d like to have.

From traditional Peranakan hors d’oeuvres and old Malaya plantation-inspired cocktails to fresh Kashmiri styled veggies and a Kerala coconut chutney, NOSHtrekker almost guarantees a flavour you’ve never had before – and this is merely in Singapore.


What’s particularly interesting, is that you get to dine in unconventional spaces such as heritage and architecturally designed homes, and even museums and farms.

Take Tea Culture for example. You begin with a tea service in a private tea salon – something you don’t do every day. A once-in-a-lifetime experience as they “recreate flavours that have never been written down or recorded” recommends Sarah.


What may be the most unique about NOSHtrekker is the fact that there will always be a local at your table to walk you through your meals and actively share their stories with you. Everything instantly becomes more personal, more experiential, more fruitful.

Do Singaporeans Actually Go For These Local Experiences?

“We have a good mix of adventurous locals and foreigners.” This is made possible as NOSHtrekker is able to specially create food travel experiences for individuals who are “looking for more curated and personalised dining experiences.”

But if you want out of Singapore’s culture for the moment, NOSHtrekker also offers something they call Delicious Detours, where you can simply book an itinerary that brings you and your tummy on an adventure to destinations such as Brunei and Australia.


Hang out with livestock at the Southern Highlands or take a private boat into the mangroves to watch Brunei’s wildlife. The best part? Everything is planned for and you just have to show up hungry – literally and culturally.

More Than Just Eating

If simply eating is not enough for you, NOSHtrekker also offers the actual cooking experience with their NOSH Hosts so that you go home with more than just a satisfied stomach.

NOSH Hosts curate their menu based on seasonal ingredients and lead hands-on cooking sessions, where you can discover the secrets behind culture-rich meals from chefs that are also authors, educators, farmers, and even playwrights.

Then, replicate these dishes again at home when you bring home recipes from NOSH Hosts’ collections.

In the future, NOSHtrekker aims slated “to deliver higher standards of service quality, stronger stories and more fabulous food” says Sarah. With Thailand, Italy, and New Zealand in the works, their goal seems like a possibility in the near future.

So, if you’re looking to leave a table with a richer soul, you know who to call.

Check them out here.