Latin American food isn’t exactly the most common (or commonly appreciated) in Singapore, which is perhaps why Peruvian eatery Tono Cevicheria decided to start its own food festival to shine a spotlight on the myriad of colorful cuisines. For the debut of what’s set to become an annual event, Latinada will be themed “A Week in Bali,” inspired by Tono founder Daniel Chavez’s time at the Ubud Food Festival in Bali, where he discovered a group of Latin American chefs prepping dishes from their home countries.
Spanning a week from Sept 17 to 23, the series of dinners (and one Sunday lunch) takes you through the cuisines of Mexico and Chile to Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil, bringing on board chefs from names like Grain Traders, Kilo, Ola Cocina del Mar, Kiln Petitenget, Pica South American Kitchen, Kilo Bali, and Nusantara by Locavore to work their magic in the kitchen.
Kicking off the week, Viva Mexico shows off Mexican-born chef Tamara Chavez’s expertise in whipping up a four-course sharing menu of traditional dishes like taco de lengua (beef tongue taco) and aguachile (a type of ceviche) with octopus. The next day spotlights Chile with Fonda Tono — in celebration of the Chilean National Day, sample everything from empanadas de pino (traditional beef stew in pastry) to cordero asado (lamb rack with mustard, cumin, garlic, and rosemary).
On hump day, Peru and Venezuela take center stage with fresh seafood, Venezuelan corn bread, a live arepa station, and a dessert of flan de ron (egg custard with rum and vanilla). If you’re not too stuffed when Thursday rolls around, swing by for a tribute to chilli with dishes like crispy mashed cassava fritter with sambal roa, a seafood stew brimming with clams, mussels, prawns, and squid, and even spicy chocolate cake.
In the spirit of ushering the weekend in, Friday’s Carnaval highlights Brazilian cuisine with an extensive menu including the likes of cheese bread with pulled pork ribs, barramundi cooked in coconut milk, braised beef brisket, and shredded duck with bamboo shoots and kaffir lime leaves.
As a nod to the festival it was inspired by, Latinada’s “Terima Kasih Bali” Saturday feast focuses on Indonesian plates, with tempeh braised in a spice mix, sea bass in coriander and clam broth, and sticky rice with basil ice cream. To end it all off, Sunday brunch gets a tad rowdy with beats by Kilo’s Joshua Adjodha and a live babi guling (roast pork) station.
Latinada is on from Sept 17-23 at Tono Cevicheria, #01-49/50 Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser St.
Mon-Sat 6pm-10:30pm, Sun 12:30pm-4:30pm.
Mon-Thurs $88; Fri-Sat $108; Sun $128 (includes free flow food and drinks).