Saturday, July 18, 2009

Singapore Food Festival 2009: Launch and Food Street at Clarke Quay

Samba Masala kicked off the launch of the Singapore Food Festival 2009
The Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is here again! For 10 days from 17-26 July, you can look forward to feasting and festivities. The Singapore Tourism Board kindly gave me an invite to the launch held yesterday at Clarke Quay Central Square.

Singapore Food Festival with a Peranakan theme
This year the Peranakan (Straits Chinese) theme takes centrestage. Peranakan food can probably be called a fusion success story - a marriage of Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques with Malay spices. Throw in some Indian and British influences and you have a multi-ethnic heritage cuisine to be proud of. Along with the food came the colourful culture of the Nonyas and Babas. We had true blue Peranakan ladies in full regalia, singing and dancing in coy retro fashion. See a video here.

I thought Samba Masala was a great opening act - cheery and chirpy high-energy dance percussion (itself a fusion mix of Brazillian samba and Asian instruments). This is a small segment of their performance. My first video taken with the iPhone 3GS!

Sweltering weather! Chang Beer to the rescue!
Oh yes, it is Singapore, so the weather was relentlessly warm. Thank God for the Chang Beer (official beer) booth. It's been said that this beer goes well with spicy Peranakan food. The beer tastes very mild and clean, so that may be why. Well, at any rate, it certainly was refreshing in this weather.

Food Street on Read Bridge
One of the highlights of the SFF is the Food Street featuring about 30 stalls. This is at Read Bridge linking Clarke Quay to the other side of the river. You buy F&B coupons to exchange for food at these stalls. There were huge crowds eagerly snapping up the food. It's nearly impossible to get a seat (or breathing space). Buy your food and sit by the river steps outside The Central, maybe? I didn't try any of the food as I thought it may be a better idea to visit the actual restaurants or establishments separately.

Straits Chinese
One of the first stalls you will see (if you are coming from Clarke Quay) is the Straits Chinese stall (no.29). This is by the Guan Hoe Soon Group, one of the oldest Nonya restaurants in Singapore.

Ooh, they have a "Tok Panjang" Nonya buffet at S$18.88++ (adult) and S$10.88++ (child) at the Shenton Way and Queen Street branches. Click on the brochure to see it full-size. Looks like a good deal. Ayam buah keluak, bakwan kepiting and Spicy assam fish are some dishes mentioned.

Ayam buah keluak and dry laksa
Ayam buah keluak and dry laksa from the Straits Chinese stall. Other well-known Peranakan names like Kim Choo with their Nonya dumplings and snacks, and Blue Ginger were also there. Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel had a couple of stalls too (yes, their durian pengat is available!)

Popiah from Florence Gourmet
Here's Florence Gourmet dishing out spring rolls. They mainly do catering and DIY popiahs.

My what lovely things grow on trees...
It's not all local food. The Tapas Tree also has its offerings. Mmh, lovely. Yes, of course I am talking about the paella, churros and tapas.

Cuba Libre stall
Cuba Libre, like the Tapas Tree, is also a restaurant at Clarke Quay. They too, have a stall here, should you like to preview some of its fare.

Thye Hong fried hokkien mee
Prepare to queue at the Thye Hong fried hokkien mee stall, as you would at most of its other locations.

Indian Curry House
There are several Indian stalls too. This is Indian Curry House. Their restaurant is near Siglap, and they do delivery too.

Casuarina Curry - hey is that Seetoh?
Casuarina Curry - hey, is that K.F. Seetoh who just walked into my frame of view?

Ivory kitchen
Ivory and The Indian Kitchen. With easy to see sample boxes of food. Looks great.

Chen Fu Ji selling chili crab and black pepper crab
If you're hankering for crabs - chili or black pepper - Chen Fu Ji sells whole crabs at S$12 each. Yes, fried rice and fried chicken wings too.

R Burger
There's an official burger? R Burger. R for Revolution. It's a Japanese chain, and the burger is a fusion product, using Chinese "mantou" for the bun, along with Asian sauces and ingredients. More in this press article. Their shop is opening at Orchard ION on 21 July. I have vouchers to give.

Jo Napot Bakeries chimney cakes
OK, this stall - Jo Napot Bakeries - was trying very hard to sell the chimney cakes (S$2 for short one, S$4 for tall one). The cake is of Hungarian origin. But because it is so new (and pricey!), I think they should have had samples. I didn't see anyone buying.

There's even gelato - Frutta La Viva
There's even gelato! From Frutta La Viva. Wait, six chopsticks rating from Makansutra? Wow, die die must try indeed! Oh why are they located so far away from me? Upper Bukit Timah!

Largest Peranakan Buffet Line
When the Food Street ends its run, the largest Peranakan buffet line will take over the bridge with up to 100 dishes. I think it will be even more packed than it already is!

One of the best media gifts I've seen - gorgeous tingkat or tiffin carriers, packed with real food too!
Each of the media and VIPs got a gorgeous tingkat or tiffin carrier, packed with nasi lemak, ayam buah keluak and Nonya kuehs (sponsored by Swissotel Merchant Court). This is one of the loveliest media gifts I've seen.

Thank you, Benjamin of STB, for the launch invitation.

OK, I am giving away all the vouchers that I got.
- S$10 worth of F&B coupons for Food Street (note you have until 25 July to use them)
- 5 x R Burger vouchers (S$1 off each combo)
- a 15% discount voucher for Swissotel Merchant Court F&B outlets, valid until 31 December 2009.

First person to ask for them in the comments will get the whole set. Meanwhile, you can check the SFF website for more details on promotions, cooking classes and activities.


  1. Hi Camemberu,

    how do i get them? Thanks

  2. Tingkat as media gift?!? Wow! That's pretty cool. And better still, they contain food :-)

    When you do pop over to bt timah area, KM and i will take you there. Lol

  3. hi Camemberu, can I have the vouchers please? :D

  4. Hi Jetfire, unless you happen to live next door, I will mail the vouchers to you, along with a festival guide. Can you email me your mailing address? camemberu (at) - thanks!

    Momo: haha, yeah, I must do a Bukit Timah food trail someday! :D

  5. wow thats fast, u blog immediately after the event? :p frutta la viva i think no business leh, everytime i pass by them nobody one, somemore now udders open one outlet beside them, udders were crowded when i went last night

  6. Hi Camemberu,

    Can I get the R Burger voucher please? (I love their Burgers!)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. LiYin: hi, you're second in line. If I don't hear from Jetfire by end Sunday, I'll give the vouchers to you. Standby to email me your mailing address, yeah?

    LIC: Haha, I wanted to blog the same evening, but just didn't get time to sit down until after the satay party the next day. :) Frutta La Viva nobody? Wow.

    Koume: I'll check with the ones who requested earlier if they can release some R burger vouchers?

  9. Eh just in case, im ok to release 2 vouchers for R burger if i still qualify for the vouchers :) Camemberu i have send u 2 emails lol

  10. Wow,the festival sounds very interesting!!!! =),thanks to your post, btw, can you recommend me like what food to try there? Coz I don't think I can take up to 100 dishes in one day ^^

    I went to another S'pore food festival happened last weekend in Little INdia, it's not really like what I expected so, I'm a bit hesitating for this one.But seems like it's better, or my taste more about Chinese cuisines =b

    Another thing, am still able to get the $10 voucher? ^^ here is my email :

    Thanks alot!!!

  11. Anon/Emerald_Gabriel: I didn't get to try any of the food there, but I would scale my expectations accordingly, because most of the food is not prepared on the spot, but transported from some kitchen elsewhere. Also, the 100 dishes refers to the Longest Peranakan Buffet rather than the Food Street which has 30 stalls. Try the non-Indian Asian dishes then, if you prefer Chinese food. :)

    I would love to give you the vouchers but Jetfire was first, and I've already mailed it to him.

    Koume: can you send me your mailing address for the R Burger vouchers? Jetfire has released two of them for you. Thanks!


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