Last Updated: January 24, 2018
If you’ve been wondering about the buzz around the Civic District these few days, you’ll want to check out the Light to Night Festival 2018. From 19 – 28 January 2018, be dazzled by spectacular light-shows and installations that are truly a feast for your eyes.
But you’ll want to fill up your belly too while admiring these amazing interactive installations. On 19 – 20 and 26 – 27 January 2018, head over to Art X Social on the Padang, for 10 snacks to munch on as you soak in the electric atmosphere.
When I saw the sign for Spanish Fried Milk ($4 for original, $5 for matcha, $6 for butterscotch), I was immediately intrigued. How on earth can you fry milk?
I tried the original flavour, which uses condensed milk. Served with rainbow sprinkles, these handmade milk custard balls looked a bit like mini donuts. But biting into a Fried Milk ball was a different taste experience.
The Fried Milk ball was slightly crispy on the outside, with a warm and creamy centre. Although the centre wasn’t completely liquid as I expected, the chewy texture was actually quite pleasant.
Word of warning: even though you’ll want to chow down immediately, you should probably wait for it to cool down. I made the mistake of popping the whole thing into my mouth, and the spurt of creamy milk custard was hot enough to burn my tongue.
If you need to cool down your tongue after the toasty warm Fried Milk, why not try the Royal Milk Tea with Pearls ($4 a la carte, $2 with purchase of any Fried Milk)? The milk tea is made with premium Earl Grey leaves imported from England, and I could really taste the difference.
The distinctive bergamot fragrance sets this Earl Grey milk tea apart from other weaker versions I’ve tried before.
Wah Cow! is actually a new brand concept from English-themed cafe Hyde & Co. No wonder its Earl Grey tasted so good!
Who doesn’t love fried chicken? I couldn’t possibly pass on the Har Cheong Kai Fried Chicken ($5) from Hyde & Co.
Unlike the usual shrimp-paste chicken winglets that you get from zi char stalls, this flavourful fried chicken was cut into smaller pieces that are more convenient for snacking. It also meant that I couldn’t help but pop more pieces into my mouth.
The skin was also crispy, with most of the umami shrimp flavour under the skin that became stronger towards the end. I really enjoyed how the flavour slowly evolved as I chewed on the tender chicken chunks.
If you want some carbs to go along with that meat, you can get the Value Combo Set (additional $5), which lets you add Truffle Fries to any order.
I loved the truffle fragrance of the fries, which mingled with the freshly-grated cheese topping. That’s right, they grated the cheese onto the truffle fries by hand, right before giving it to me.
The portions were both quite big, so if this is your first stop, grab a friend or two to share!
Easy Eggs is one of those stalls with a fairly minimalist exterior, but an eye-catching concept. As someone who absolutely loves eggs, I couldn’t possibly skip this eggs-cellent stall.
All of the items on the menu are egg-centric, and I decided to have theWanton Quail Eggs ($6.90), which sounded the most interesting — whole quail eggs encased in crispy wanton shell.
The dish comes with two sauces, and you can pick from a selection of Sriracha Thai Chilli Sauce, Takoyaki Sauce, Nacho Cheese Sauce and Japanese Mayonnaise. I chose Takoyaki Sauce and Japanese Mayonnaise, as recommended by the stall owner.
Each bite of the crispy wanton shell produced an audible crunch, until I reached the quail egg centre. The yolk was creamy and rich, and I really enjoyed the contrast in textures.
Each order comes with five pieces of Wanton Quail Eggs, but they were so good that I polished off all five by myself.
Because I’m such a glutton for egg-related dishes, I had to try another dish from Easy Eggs.
The Mentaiko Eggs ($6.90) was prepared in a unique way — fluffy scrambled eggs are placed into a takoyaki pan and shaped into round scrambled egg balls. I found that this method of preparation actually introduced more air into the eggs, and the result was a super-fluffy ball of eggy goodness.
After dishing the egg balls onto a cute little paper boat, the stall owner slathered a generous amount of mentaiko sauce onto them. When I say generous, I mean it. Just look at that blanket of sauce keeping the egg balls nice and warm!
He also scorched the mentaiko-drenched egg balls until the sauce was bubbling and lightly charred. With eight egg balls in one order, you won’t have to fight with your friends over the last paiseh piece.
I didn’t expect to find our hawker favourite chai tow kway at an arts festival, so chancing upon Carrot Cubes was a pleasant surprise.
I usually enjoy a bit of spice with my carrot cake, so I decided to go for the Hottie Carrot Cake ($5). After all, we all need a little spice to keep things interesting!
The carrot cake was without the redness from the chilli that I had expected, and because of that, I actually took quite a big bite. Boy, was that a mistake! The heat of the spice hit my throat like a punch from the piquant flavour of Thai chilli that definitely woke up my taste buds.
If you love spicy carrot cake, you need to try this. You can’t miss their stall, just look out for the cheery orange carrot plush toy that sits on the counter.
If you came over to Art X Social with an empty stomach, you need to drop by Sofnade to load up on protein and carbs.
The Meatballs in a Bucket ($10 for regular, $15 for large) is chockful of meaty, starchy goodness. It comes with chicken or beef meatballs topped with cranberry sauce, twister fries, and mashed potatoes slathered with brown gravy (or you have the option of cheese sauce). Mmm, that’s practically a meal on its own!
The meatballs went quite well with the tartness of the cranberry sauce. It reminded me of a crispier version of IKEA’s meatballs.
I liked how creamy the mashed potatoes were, and the savoury brown gravy complemented the buttery potato flavour. Because the meatballs, fries and mashed potatoes were layered in the bucket, it was inevitable that the fries got a little soggy from the gravy.
I got this bucket halfway through my exploration of the stalls, which explained why I could only manage less than half of it before feeling full. For $10, I’d say that the portions of meatballs, twister fries and mashed potatoes were pretty generous!
When I first saw The Juicy Way, I groaned internally and thought, Not another one of those gimmicky colourful sugar drinks. To my surprise, they actually use fresh fruit juice and natural colouring in their drinks.
As someone who’s always trying (and failing) to “eat clean”, I decided to give their beautifully-coloured juices a try.
I wanted to try the Aries ($6), which was cold-brewed Earl Grey tea with an assortment of cut fruits. I know, I’m a bit of a maniac for Earl Grey. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in stock, so I settled on the more colourful The Big Bang ($5) instead.
Made with dragonfruit, guava and honeydew that’s coloured with blue peaflower, this drink was a sight to behold. I loved the pretty swirls of purple, white and blue in the bottle!
Of course, it also tasted pretty darn good. This light and refreshing fruit juice blend was just the thing I needed after all that snack-bingeing. I could taste the individual fruit flavours in the drink, although the honeydew taste came out the strongest.
With super Insta-worthy colours and a refreshing taste, I would definitely come back to try the other flavours!
Ever since my trip to Amsterdam, I’ve fallen in love with poffertjes, or Dutch baby pancakes. Even the name sounds adorable! A mini version of the usual pancakes we’re used to, poffertjes are also fluffier and lighter.
Imagine my delight when I spied Cake Love selling poffertjes in an assortment of flavours. I went with the Ondeh-Ondeh Poffertjes ($6 for 10 pieces), because the fusion of local and Dutch flavours sounded quite intriguing.
Like the traditional ondeh-ondeh, these poffertjes were topped with grated coconut flakes and gula melaka. Additional gula melaka sauce was also drizzled over it, which infused wonderfully into the poffertjes.
Each bite became an explosion of flavours in my mouth. The pandan fragrance, crunchy coconut flakes and sticky gula melaka syrup delighted my taste buds with their distinctive flavours.
I did a double take when I saw the menu for The Wicked Cream. Ice cream, and s’mores? That’s two of my favourite things combined into one delicious dessert!
The Roasted Ice Cream S’mores ($10) is basically three desserts for the price of one. Gooey toasted marshmallow covered a crunchy chocolate hard shell, with a solid centre of handcrafted artisanal gelato. Talk about sweetness overload!
Thai Milk Tea was my choice for the gelato centre, because I’m a fan of its sweet aroma. The marshmallow was scorched in front of me, so I got to admire the white marshmallow turning into a lovely shade of golden-brown.
Licking off the sweet and gooey toasted marshmallow layer revealed the hard chocolate shell beneath it. The slightly bittersweet chocolate was a good break from the sweetness, which eventually gave way to spiced tea flavours from the Thai Milk Tea gelato.
My only gripe is that the chocolate shell was a little hard to bite into, because of how smooth the surface was. Luckily, the dessert was served with a spoon, so you can crack the shell and continue enjoying the three-layered dessert goodness.
Of course, I couldn’t resist just one more sweet treat from The Wicked Cream. I always have room for dessert!
The Roasted #WickedMallows ($4 for one stick, $10 for three sticks) reminded me of the toasted marshmallows I’d always try to make at barbeque gatherings. Except this was way better, because of the amazing selection of flavours.
There were 16 flavours to choose from and it took me awhile to finally decide on Sea Salt Gula Melaka, Mango Coconut and After Eight Mint. Likewise, the marshmallows were scorched in front of me, which almost left me drooling in anticipation.
I really liked the After Eight Mint, because the refreshing taste of mint helped to undercut the gooey sweetness of the marshmallow. The Mango Coconut even had little bits of mango in it! I felt that the Sea Salt Gula Melaka could’ve been more fragrant, but the sweetness was just right.
Other interesting flavours include Salted Egg, Cotton Candy Bubblegum, and even Watermelon. This was definitely an upgraded version of campfire s’mores.
The 3 for $10 promotion also includes the Soft Ice Cream ($4 for regular, $5 for large), so I indulged my greedy side and got a Thai Milk Tea soft-serve too. I really enjoyed how rich and creamy the soft-serve was. Unfortunately, it came in a cup instead of a cone.
If you’re already at the Light to Night Festival, why not head down to Art X Social to fuel up as your power your way through the installations. I can’t deny that the snacks were certainly delicious. Even if you don’t want to gorge yourselves on the food, it’s still worth a taste.
Grab some friends and draw up your gathering plans, because you’ll want to share these tantalising bites!
Light to Night Festival 2018 happens from 19 – 28 Jan, 10am – 10pm (12mn on Fridays and Saturdays).
*This post is brought to you in partnership with National Gallery Singapore