Singapore Food Festival turns 25 this year, offering more gastronomic experiences than you can stomach
Besides a good scandal or two, nothing brings Singaporeans together more than food. Or even better, a scandal about food, especially if it’s someone appropriating Singapore food. There’s a kind of sacred understanding that nobody can or should mess around with our (love for) food, unless they’re looking for a digital knuckle-sandwich. In the face. Made lovingly by an oh-so-Singaporean lynch mob. We kid.
Jokes aside, whether you're hankering after some cheap eats or a fancy evening out, you'll be happy to know that the highly anticipated Singapore-themed culinary event Singapore Food Festival 2018 will be back on Jul 13-29, with more than 20 gastronomic experiences that feature both traditional and contemporary Singaporean flavors.
One of the ways you can navigate the massive festival across the three weekends is through the four pillars of which the events have been categorized in: Modernity, which features local stalwarts who’ve been shaking up the food scene with their quirky spins on local favorites; Culture, where the local dining culture and habits are put under a microscope; Art, where culinary gurus in their own right marry food and art; and Tradition, where you can rediscover local heritage through time-honored dishes.
While there are a couple of interesting ones with mass appeal, like McDonald’s new menu “inspired by local favorites” (could it be a durian burger? A durian milkshake? We’ll know in the first week of July), and a number of heritage kueh workshops, we won’t pound you with too much information—you can do that on your own time. So here are seven events to get you (and your appetite) started, all plated in bite-sized nuggets for a quick digest.
Ah, the festival’s signature event. There’s absolutely no reason to miss this, especially since they've moved out of Clifford Square to a bigger venue. The main event here is a collab between chefs from one Michelin-starred restaurants Saint Pierre and Alma, where you can enjoy a five-course meal for $60 (or $55 before Jul 9). Otherwise, expect the tradition-meets-mod-Sin dishes by hawkers and chefs from the likes of Old Bibik Peranakan Kitchen, Xiao Ya Tou, Morsels and more.
When: Jul 13, 5-10:30pm & Jul 14, 12-10:30pm
Where: Empress Lawn
Who doesn’t love their sandwiches? They make something as simple as grilled cheese so damn heavenly. On two separate days, they’ll be teaming up with Roast Paradise and popular Indonesian restaurant Rumah Makan Minang to create an appetite-whetting menu of items. We tried the roast char siew banh mi sandwich and the beef rendang burger at the media preview today (Jun 21), and we haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
When: Jul 15 & 29
Where: Park Bench Deli
You know how you can walk from the Siloso Point cable car station to get to the entrance of ZoukOut through one of the pavilions on Siloso beach? Yeah, that entire 1km stretch is going to be turned into a food street with nosh from The State of Fun’s establishments and second generation Singaporean hawkers. You’ll want to munch stuff like jumbo prawn Hokkien noodles, salted egg chicken waffles, Hainanese satays (ask them what’s different from the regular Malay satays), and other international cuisine and BBQ delights.
When: Jul 13-15, 20-22, 27-29; 6-11pm
Where: Siloso Beach Service Road
For the fourth edition, all eyes are on Amoy Street Food Centre, home to the most number of stalls in the Michelin Guide. Pick up a Hawker Spotlight booklet at either one of the Singapore Visistor Centres or City Gas Gallery, where you can use find special deals and discount coupons for stalls at this famous Singaporean mecca of hawker food.
When: Jul 20-28
Where: Amoy Street Food Centre
Inheritance: A Food & Dance Affair by Project Plait
We wrote about this before because we love culinary affairs that come with a twist. This production, set in 1937 Singapore, tells the tale of a samsui woman who meets a satay man (he's actually an undercover spy) as tensions build in the lead up to WWII. Plot aside, we tried their third dish—the nyonya otah scotch egg—and dare we say it was one of our favorite dishes at the media preview.
When: Jul 17-20
Where: Caldwell House Alcove @ Chijmes
It is exactly what you think it is. Over on the cozy corner of Ann Siang, watch mouth-watering films that will otherwise set your cravings on hyperdrive like Chocolat, Eat Drink Man Woman and Like Water for Chocolate, while munching on popular local grub like crispy soft shell with chili crab ragu and hawker-style BBQ chicken wings.
When: Jul 13-29 (Mon-Thu, 7pm & 9:30pm / Fri-Sat, 8:30pm)
Where: The Screening Room
This one’s a no-brainer. Come on, delish snacks and full-on meals at 50 cents?! Yes, hunney. Feed us that Kerabu Bee Hoon, Fish Moilee and what-have-you. If you’re up for it, head over to Smith Street, where it will probably be crawling with hungry (probably hangry), kiasu Singaporeans fighting for that last gula melaka ice ball or plate of black pepper crab. Here, there is no room for anyone who won’t dare to reach out for that last “paiseh” piece. (PS: we’re probably painting a really scary picture, but really, everyone there is actually gracious).
When: Jul 28-29, 11am-11pm
Where: Chinatown Food Street (Smith Street)