Next week, the 24th edition of the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) will launch and take over the city for two weeks of incredible eats, all under the theme “Savour Singapore in Every Bite”. Those who know the city as we do realise that you don’t need a festival to tell everyone how good the food is: in Singapore, it’s a food festival 24/7. But the SFF does have a lot of treats in store for even the most hardened of Singapore dining veterans.
Kicking off on the 14th of July 2017, and running to the 30th, local and visitors will be dining on both traditional and contemporary Singaporean flavours, interpreted through the palates of our home-grown culinary heroes. There’ll be 20 gastronomic experiences that celebrate the country’s heritage and flavours, honouring the people who work passionately to keep local culinary traditions alive (learn more about some of our own experiences with the history of Singaporean cuisine HERE).
Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, Director of Attractions, Dining and Retail, Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said: “Food is tied so closely to our identity of being Singaporean. One dish alone can tell stories of passions, struggles and of our heritage. As the only event in Singapore dedicated to showcasing local food, we wanted to go to the core of what it means to be truly Singaporean and enable visitors to savour Singapore in every bite.”
“At this year’s SFF… dishes won’t just feature local flavours, but also local ingredients. We are also excited about the various partner events that highlight Singapore’s culture and history, such as heritage food tours, talks and dining experiences.”
So of the events, what are some of the highlights? STREAT, is returning for its third year in 2017. This year, the highly-anticipated pop-up restaurant will be helmed by Peranakan chef Malcolm Lee of Michelin-starred restaurant Candlenut, and Wild Rocket’s chef Willin Low, who is widely recognised as the founder of Mod-Sin cuisine. Together, they will present contemporary interpretations of local classics, through a 3-course Mod-Sin and modern Peranakan Tok Panjang menu.
In addition, the pair will also work together to curate a selection of nine stalls, each helmed by young “hawkerpreneurs” and chefs, who will present a unique spin on quintessentially local dishes. Some of the participating vendors include New Ubin Seafood, Peranakan Khek and Whampoa Prawn Noodle. Visitors can also look forward to first-time collaborations at STREAT, such as between popular zi-char stall, Keng Eng Kee, and Good Chance Popiah, as well as between contemporary eateries, Taste Affair and The Masses.
This year’s festival also shines the spotlight on four different “Foodie Profiles” and the SFF events that exemplify them. The four profiles are:
1. The Gutsy Gourmand who lives and breathes modern cuisine
- Head down to STREAT, the festival’s marquee event, to check out chefs Malcolm Lee and Willin Low’s pop-up restaurant, and support the nine other stalls helmed by talented young “hawkerpreneurs” and chefs;
- If you fancy hawker fare and love wine, you’re in luck. The Hawker Food & Wine Safari will pair artisanal wines from Australia and New Zealand with 2016 Bib Gourmand eats from stalls like Hong Heng Fried Sotong Prawn Mee at Tiong Bahru Market and Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Hawker Centre;
- Cocktail lovers must get hands on some locally-inspired drinks at the Launch of Singapore-inspired bottled cocktails. Boutique bottled cocktail brand, Sunday Punch, will introduce The East Side – a refreshing gin cocktail that pays homage to Katong Laksa, and Kopi B – a rich drink that incorporates local coffee roast;
- If you needed another reason to enjoy local grub, Chope Exclusives: Local eats edition will offer a complimentary signature local dish with reservations made at participating restaurants. There are also special set menus at attractive prices;
- Open Stoves by Timbre+ is returning for a second edition with off-the-menu culinary treats borne out of collaborations between invited culinary talents and Timbre+ resident chefs;
- Sip on tea creations at the Singapore Tea Festival, courtesy of local tea brands like Hush Tea, Pin Tea and The 1872 Clipper Tea Co at the Tea Market, and enjoy local-inspired eats at the “Teapitiam”.
2. The Traditional Taster who believes there’s nothing like old school fare
- Back by popular demand is The 50 Cents Fest: Those Years 那些年, held at Chinatown Food Street. Expect 1980s hawker favourites and entertainment from that era like live Xin Yao performances. Revive the past with dishes like Abacus Seeds (a Hakka dish made with yam) Cantonese Paper Wrapped Chicken, Hokkien Rickshaw Noodles and Ice Balls…Best of all, prices start from just 50 cents;
- The Singapore Restaurant Festival will run for three months and feature 52 participating restaurant brands like Joo Bar, Tung Lok, Goldleaf Restaurant, Fatty Weng and Tim Palace. Each will feature a Singapore-inspired
- Fans of kueh cannot miss the Kueh Pairing Workshop Series where you can learn how to pair different kuehs with different teas, coffees and even cocktails for a refreshing, new experience;
- The Heritage Town Festival offers a colourful insight into all things Peranakan – sign up for The Heritage Food Trail which kicks off with a Tok Panjang meal and a lesson in ondeh ondeh making after, or sign up for the Community Arts and Food Culture Showcase which is an art, music and craft presentation showcasing our shared heritage;
- Expand your knowledge of kueh at the Kueh Appreciation Day, and taste a wide selection of kuehs from Singapore’s various ethnic and dialect groups like Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese and even Eurasian. Also try your hands at creating these delectable treats at the kueh master-classes.
3. The Culture Craver who embraces all things local
- Into its third edition, the Hawker Spotlight 2017 honours and celebrates Singapore’s distinctive hawker culture through casting the spotlight on one of our favourite hawker centres, Maxwell Food Centre. Local food connoisseur Moses Lim will host a small media tour, and an on-site contest for the public will be held, so that a select group of lucky winners will also get to join Moses on this tour;
- This year, the ION Orchard Culinary Creations 2017 will focus on celebrating local cuisine and culture. At the Chocolate Wonderland, chocolate infused with local ingredients and flavours will be on offer. Also check out the Singapore Cultural Experience, a showcase of Singapore’s Peranakan heritage through activities like kueh-making lessons and handicraft workshops;
- Singapore Airlines will be showcasing local flavours to the world as they roll out their Popular Local Fare menu on selected flights, featuring 18 local favourites like Laksa, Hainanese Pork Chop Rice and Beef Rendang with Tumeric Rice;
- Keen to pick up culinary techniques? A New Taste is a series of five workshops by At-Sunrice Globalchef Academy aimed at cultivating a deeper understanding of Singapore’s far-reaching culinary heritage. Learn about the spices used in local cuisine, or try your hand at making a Singapore-inspired cocktail or mocktail.
4. The Art Addict who appreciates creativity not just in food, but in art form as well.
- One of Singapore’s first interactive dining experiences that combines food with contemporary dance to create a unique dining experience, Project Plait: Inheritance is a food-meets-dance collaboration between Jiakpalang’s executive chef Nixon Low and dancer-choreographer, Naomi Tan;
- Here’s a weekend idea: Go for an urban farming workshop, shop for local produce at the Social Market, then tuck into a picnic basket on the lawn while enjoying a local food film under the stars, at the Open Air Cinema at Social Market;
- Budding food photographers cannot miss the Transforming Your Food Images workshop – pick up tips to snap drool-worthy photographs of your next meal;
- Nourish your mind at General Assembly’s special SFF edition of its Food for Thought panel series. Muse about topics like “The Future of Food” and “Taste Talks: Neo Sin, Mod Sin, or Original Sin?” with speakers like Malcolm Lee, chef-owner of Candlenut, and Dixon Chan, CEO & co-founder of Burpple.
Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Emirates, Qantas and Jetstar all fly direct to Singapore out of various destinations around Australia, and Silk Air operate a direct service out of Darwin.
For more details on the Singapore Food Festival, head HERE.