The 22nd edition of the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) got off to a roaring start with its signature event, STREAT 2016. Held from the 15th-16th of July at Clifford Square, the event features a motley crew of renowned chefs and famous hawkers who bandy together to showcase the nation’s finest culinary creations.
Ranging from traditional delicacies to modern reinterpretations and fusions of the foods we hold close to our hearts, STREAT promises a vast array of choices for one and all. We eagerly joined the throngs of people for the opening night to sample the spread, and the top 5 delights you cannot afford to miss!
What’s not to love about popiah? For these two days, visitors will not need to travel to the east coast to get their fix of Singapore’s favourite fresh spring roll. Brave souls, who beat the endless queue, will get what they deserve – popiah rolls from Kway Guan Huat, one of the most famous popiah joints in Singapore.
It is also one of the few popiah stores that still make their own popiah skin, while keeping to its traditional method of making the special popiah dough. While waiting in line, feast your eyes on the live demonstration of hawkers making the popiah skin from scratch, before assembling them with mouth-watering ingredients such as sliced carrots and lettuce.
Each roll of popiah ($5), sliced into four pieces, also comes with a side of two Kueh Pie Tee pieces.
A common household name amongst prata-lovers, Casuarina Curry Restaurant is well-known not only for its delectable pratas, but also for its long waiting time at Upper Thomson Road. Expect more of the same at STREAT, where they have whipped up two new murtabak flavours, namely Tandoori Chicken as well as Satay-Mutton. Accompanied with their famed curry, the tandoori chicken murtabak is definitely a must-try.
Filled with generous portions of well-grilled tandoori chicken smothered in a melted bed of cheese and mushrooms, you would be forgiven if you forgot about the need for curry to enhance its flavour! Be ready to part with $8 and at least half an hour if you intend to feast on this sumptuous delight.
When you walk into the festival, you’ll be greeted with the star of the show – a partnership between the chefs of Tung Lok Heen and Restaurant Labyrinth. They present us with a selection of local fusion foods, reinvented.
Drawing in the crowds was the 5-course gustatory exploration that consists of satay, chilli crab, bak kut teh, laksa cheong fun as well as bread and kaya. Being truly representative of some of the nation’s best loved foods, the $40 price tag was no deterrent as the pop-up restaurant was filled right till closing hours. We take a look at the ala-carte Oyster Omelette Pie Tee as well as the bread and kaya.
The Oyster Omelette Pie Tee ($9) was an exciting variant of the traditional Pie Tee one usually encounters. The juicy oysters were the perfect complement to the crispiness of the Pie Tee base. The underlying mini omelette servings were fluffy and light, providing good balance to the flavour of the main ingredient. Definitely a must-try if you’re a fan of Kueh Pie Tee.
Bread and butter pudding, just better! With kaya toast being a breakfast staple in most households, we were initially surprised to see this being offered as a dessert instead of one of Chef Han Liguang’s novel creations, perhaps chilli crab ice cream or kaya macarons.
We were pleased to be served with a mini-loaf of bread topped with a generous amount of kaya. When we sank our teeth into it, we were rewarded with a well-balanced mix of sweet and savoury that provided a solid conclusion to the elaborate meal.
At $8 as an ala carte portion, we did think that the serving was rather small. Nonetheless, it’s not every day that you get a radically different interpretation of your traditional kaya toast, so give this a shot later this evening!
This fancy cocktail takes an unexpected twist on the all-time local favourite drink. It is infused with a shot of Pisco, the popular South American brandy characteristic of Chile and Peru. Needless to say, it is nothing short of zesty and packed with character.
At $12, the drink is also a cooling refreshment from the balmy heat of the festival crowds, and you’ll definitely appreciate the delectable relief. The rendition is one in a series of items served by Propaganda Events at Streat 2016.
Other popular favourites include Teh Tarik with Scotch, Vodka-infused Cheng Teng and Tequila Chendol. Be sure to pop by if you’re looking for something uniquely local with a pleasant surprise.
In a nutshell, STREAT 2016 has something for everyone. Whether you’re a cafe hopper who’s an avid fan of waffles, or an avid local foodie, you won’t leave the festival disappointed. Check out the other offerings such as beers and wines, alongside other renditions of your favourite hawker foods such as roti jala and devil’s curry. Today is the last day of the festival (5pm to 1030pm), so head down while you can and all the best in beating the crowds!
Contributed by Samuel Wittberger and Prisca Ang