This epic food festival is 25 years in the making

Photo: Visit Singapore

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The Singapore Food Festival gives “melting pot” new meaning. This festival is famous for combining so many delicious foods together in a vast assortment of awesome events. Indeed, the Singapore Food Festival has been celebrating our Little Red “Pot” (if you will) for 25 scrumptious years.

A quarter century of the Singapore Food Festival means there’s a lot to look back on and celebrate. Since launching in 1994, the creative dining experiences have become so popular they’ve garnered international awards and even been spun off as regularly offered events. Lunch with Lions received an international award in 1998 and Dinner Safari is now a staple for corporate groups. World Gourmet Summit started as an event under the Singapore Food Festival; now it’s been a successful event on its own for over 20 years.

World records have even been set at the Singapore Food Festival over the years. In 2007, Kopitiam Group of Companies set the record for the World’s Longest Satay–a whopping 140.02m– breaking the previous 1998 record of 83m by Thomson CC. In 2011, the Indian Restaurants Association Singapore was deemed to have the “Longest Table in the World” (160m with over 20 dishes!) and went on to take home the “Most Number of Curry Fish Heads Served in a Single Dinner” in 2012. (Yes, those are real world records!)

Fast-forward to 2018, and our current culinary excitement.

The Singapore Food Festival is set to raise the bar of deliciousness to new heights when it takes over the island this July 13-29.

There will be a ton of food-focused events, special menus at restaurants all over the city, and arts and entertainment for everyone from serious foodies to hungry passers-by. How can you get all this goodness in your belly, you ask? First, take a look at all the classics and modern incarnations that await at the 25th Singapore Food Festival.

Photo: STREAT / Visit Singapore

Celebrate hawkers, and chefs, together at STREAT

If we had to single out one signature event within the Singapore Food Festival, it would be STREAT. This two-day outdoor event gathers Singapore’s favorite hawkers and chefs to celebrate modern Singaporean cuisine, or mod-Sin for short, with outdoor pop-ups and live local entertainment acts, workshops, and masterclasses.

The pop-up restaurant is specially curated by Chef Emmanuel Stroobant and Chef Haikal Johari, from Michelin-starred establishments Saint Pierre and Alma respectively. An exciting line-up of hawkers and chefs will also be serving up traditional and modern takes on Singaporean classics, and we can’t wait.

Try hand-rolled fish balls and noodles from Fishball Story, Singapore-inspired dishes from Xiao Ya Tou, creative fusion dishes from Morsels, traditional fare from Old Bibik Peranakan Kitchen, all here (and more, of course) at STREAT.

For the first time, a dedicated bar will be set up at STREAT, helmed by Manhattan, named Asia’s Best Bar in 2017 and 2018. Do also look out for limited editions of craft beer by Trouble Brewing launched exclusively for the Singapore Food Festival’s 25th anniversary.

When: Friday, July 13, 5pm-10:30pm and Saturday July 14, 12pm-10:30pm

Where: Empress Lawn, 10 Empress Place

Photo: Park Bench Deli x Rumah Makan Minang / Visit Singapore

Bold flavors and creative sandwiches from Park Bench Deli

When these guys say their sandwiches are bold, they really mean it. Park Bench Deli is partnering up with Rumah Makan Minang to take rendang–that beloved Indonesian meat dish—to another level by serving it as a *drumroll please* Beef Rendang Burger. Spicy, savory, incredibly easy to pick up and devour; we love it! Also available to satisfy your wildest culinary dreams is the Dream Nasi Padang Platter.

Next up, try the Roast Char Siew Banh Mi by Park Bench Deli and Roast Paradise. This sandwich combines so many winning elements: Cantonese style smokey barbequed pork, crunchy veggies, tangy pickles, all packed pleasantly together in a fresh baguette, Vietnamese style. Along with the Roast Char Siew Banh Mi, they’ll be serving up platter of Premium Roast Char Siew Bossam.

Feel free to polish off any and all of these delights with locally flavored cocktails and mocktails from Native Bar and refreshing beverages by Teh Tarik Uncle.

Mark your calendar so you don’t miss the chance to try this exciting menu!

When: July 15 and 29

Where: Park Bench Deli 179 Telok Ayer Street

Photo: Eurasian Association / Visit Singapore

Spicy Portuguese prawns and more at Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant

Fancy-sounding Prawn Bostador, a Eurasian recipe with roots in Portuguese Malacca, is as simple as prawn and chili paste. But Bostador in Creole Portuguese means ‘slap,’ so don’t be surprised when Prawn Bostador gives you a good fiery slap in the palate. Long story short, magic happens when Singaporean delicacies meet Malaysian spices.

Curry Debal or the Devil’s Curry (more heavenly than devilish, if you ask us) is a Eurasian dish that emerged years ago from Goa. Traditionally, it’s made from leftovers spiced up with tangy mustard and just the right amount of heat (to make you sweat like you ran a 10k).

If a dish made from leftovers is already so good, what if the ingredients were carefully sourced and cooked to perfection? Find out at Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant. Executive Chef Quentin Pereira has paired up with The Eurasian Association to offer festival-goers a perfect Eurasian Bento—Curry Debal, Prawn Bostador and Meaty Cutlets, Steamed Rice and Sambal Belachan.

Save the date for fancy leftovers and a good flaming slap, plus a special cooking demonstration by Chef Quentin himself.

When: July 15, 21, 22, and 29 from 11am-1:30pm

Where: Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant, 139 Ceylon Road

Photo: 50 Cents Fest / Visit Singapore

Go back to the 1930s at the 50 Cents Fest

We’re going back, waaay back, to the pre-WWII era, when Singapore’s Chinatown was marked by coolie quarters, street markets, hawker stalls, and opium dens. From as little as 50 cents, you can sample authentic 1930s dishes including kerabu bee hoon (tossed rice vermicelli), fish moilee (mildly spiced creamy fish curry dish) and kopi gu you (butter caramelized black coffee).

These foodie gems are being served along with other long-lost local dishes, promising to be quite an experience.

When: July 28-29, 11am-11pm

Where: Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street

Photo: Old Chang Kee / Visit Singapore

Celebrate classic chicken curry at Old Chang Kee

Curry might be ubiquitous in Singapore and a common dish for Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and Peranakan cultures, but once upon a time, it was an exotic food from India.

Now, curry is a proud Singaporean staple, adapted to Southeast Asian palates with tiny changes in herb and spices, variations in meat, and ways of consumption. Rice? Roti? Anything goes! One of our favorite ways of consuming curry is in a puff and when that puff craving hits, Old Chang Kee is the go-to. This home-grown chain even opened up recently in London!

Old Chang Kee is hosting a two-day event to take you on a tour of chicken curry through the ages, but it’s not your #basic curry recipe. Try a range of curry dishes and snacks such as curry puffs and curry buns. In addition to consuming these little puffs of heaven, you can join curry cooking demos, learn to pound your own spices, and even bring your kids for spice art sessions.

When: July 27-28, 11am-9pm

Where: Indoor Atrium, Velocity at Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road

Photo: A Samui Love Story / Visit Singapore

Come for the food, stay all day for the art

Apart from tons of tasty food, the Singapore Food Festival is a great place to interact with, absorb and appreciate the arts and culture (with a foodie slant, of course).

Celebrate the world of food through dance, watch your all-time favorite food films at the Screening Room, or enjoy a story about star-crossed lovers at Project Plait X Tung Lok. Don’t miss the hilariously relatable theatrical performance exploring the colorful characters of hawker centers. Just don’t laugh so hard that teh tarik comes out your nose. Trust us, we’ve been there.

Let the Singapore Food Festival take care of your taste buds, fill your tummy with good food and your heart with wonderful memories. With a 25-year history to look back on, we’re incredibly excited for what this year might bring. After all, this is only a small bite out of the huge pot of rich, melting flavors that is the Singapore Food Festival. There’s much more to be discovered (and devoured) this July 13-29.

Click here for the full line-up of activities and let’s makan!

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