Saturday, July 17, 2010
Singapore Food Festival Launches With Clarke Quay Food Street
Hurray! The Singapore Food Festival is officially open! One of the most sought after core events is the Clarke Quay Food Street that transforms Read Bridge into a bustling foodie destination in the evenings. This year, you can taste signature dishes from the major Chinese dialect groups at more than 30 stalls under one roof.
A dash of Chinese opera, auspicious noise from lion dances and festive confetti completed the guests-of-honour opening ceremony sequence. And we're off to eat!
We tried to cover as many interesting dishes as possible. I won't show all the stalls (will leave some for you to discover), but here are some highlights.
Lim Hai Sheng's Carrot Cake drew a long queue, just like its heartland stall in Ang Mo Kio. But it is really worth it. The carrot cake is moist, savoury and has generous amounts of chye poh (preserved radish) that you can see and taste!
Note that payment is by a special edition Food Festival Kopitiam cashcard - you'll see the notice on top of every stall. No cash will be accepted, so get the card (available at both ends of the bridge) before you start queueing up at any stall!
Kew Garden has some Hakka cuisine worth trying. I enjoyed the peppery pork stomach soup. The abacus seeds (or "yam gnocchi" as KF Seetoh called them) are quite old school. If you like red wine lees chicken, this is a potent and gingery version redolent with wine.
Gim Tin's Traditional Hokkien Tapioca Roll was very interesting. You don't see this very often, and it's my first time tasting this dish. The sliced tapioca rolls are slightly bouncy and chewy - great texture. Best eaten with lots of chili!
Tian Jin Hai's stalls featured cold crab and chili crab at S$8 each. I didn't try any, but could not resist getting a picture.
Yeh Lai Siang's Hainanese chicken rice balls were actually not bad! We were hesitant to try these at first, because some of the rice balls looked dry, but that wasn't the case at all.
Hainanese "Xi Guo" or Happiness Kueh. This looks like something made with glutinous rice flour.
Most Bizarre Food Award goes to...Hainanese Chicken Intestines Fried with Pineapple! I can barely make out the chicken intestines - never seen this part of the chicken before, and don't quite get why anyone would want to eat them. But of course, don't knock what you haven't tried. I didn't have the guts to eat any though.
It's not all Chinese food. There's satay, rojak and some Indian fare. We really thought this "Bell Puri" dish from the Indian Curry House quite intriguing. It's like savoury and spicy Rice Crispies with five different chutneys.
Abundant displays of traditional chinese cakes and pastries from Yang Hua Cake House. It's nice to go back to these every so often. We found a chewy pounded peanut candy that was really nice and fragrant.
Four Seasons Durian featured D24 durian pancakes, durian mochi, and even durian gelato (Mao San Wang and D24 varieties).
There really is a lot of food to try. The best way is to get a group of friends to share dishes. Then if you want, you can go for fuller portions of what you like. And after eating, you can walk alongside the river and check out the Riverside Market.
CLARKE QUAY FOOD STREET
16 - 24 July 2010
4pm - 11pm
NOTE: No cash is accepted. Payment is by the special edition Kopitiam card, which you can top up and use at Kopitiam food courts around Singapore.