It is with great excitement that I attend GastroBeats - the first large-scale outdoor food festival since the pandemic hit.
The sprawling 14,200 sq m space near Marina Bay houses more than 20 food stalls, a retail section, claw machines and eight food-themed bouncy castles by Jumptopia.
The stalls feature the likes of kueh brand Kueh Ho Jiak, youtiao specialist You Tiao Man, Ah Lim Nasi Lemak and Praffles, where prata meets waffles.
Fans of reality cooking competition MasterChef can go for the Culinary Masters section. Chef-restaurateur Sarah Todd of MasterChef Australia fame, who is in town for the event, has collaborated with MasterChef Singapore alumni Derek Cheong (till June 12) and Genevieve Lee (June 13 to 19) to offer a selection of dishes. They include beef cheek vindaloo pie tee ($22 for six) topped with coconut foam, and spiced panna cotta ($12) with orange compote, mango pearls and caramel tuile.
Each chef also has an exclusive dish for the week he or she is featured.
Former MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris will also be here from June 20 to 26.
The retail section features familiar favourites such as social enterprise The Art Faculty, as well as Zenko Superfoods and home-grown snacks brand Boxgreen.
I also discover new brands - Fawn Labs, and Sachi, maker of the world's first alcoholic beverage brewed sustainably from soya whey.
For entertainment, there are live music gigs from Thursday to Sunday evenings.
I suggest going on a week night to avoid the long queues, and dressing light to beat the heat.
Where: Bayfront Event Space, 12A Bayfront Avenue
When: Till June 26, 4 to 10.30pm daily
Price: From $9 a person for entrance
Info: GastroBeats website
Restaurant Gaig refreshes Chef's Menu
Known for its Catalan cuisine, Restaurant Gaig has refreshed its five-course chef's menu ($158++ a person) for the spring-summer season.
The highlight is Spanish suckling pig, which executive chef Marti Carlos Martinez showcases from nose to tail.
It starts with a canape featuring roasted suckling pig brain and binchotan-grilled carabinero prawn served with tempura crisps. Not quite the usual surf and turf, the snack presents the Catalan concept of "mar i muntanya" (sea and mountain) to show the region's diversity.
Other courses include Gaig's delicious signature cannelloni stuffed with beef and pork served with truffle sauce, and squid ink rice with a "floral silken" - the chef's modern spin on a Spanish paella.
The silken is made with blended cuttlefish and egg white that is spread into a thin sheet and cooked sous vide at 64 deg C. The result is a silky veil topped with edible flowers, draped over the flavourful rice and Japanese firefly squid.
The meal culminates with the main of oven-baked pork loin and crisp skin and deep-fried pig's tail.
An accompanying tealight candle is made with rendered pork fat, which melts into a warm dip for bread. Go the whole hog and add an oven-baked deboned pig's head ($25 for a half portion).
The rich meal ends on a light note with a lactic and guava dessert. Do not worry - the dish tastes and looks much better than it sounds.
Creamy goat's milk mousse and dulce de leche is served with frozen buttermilk foam and drops of guava puree on white chocolate "sand". Wisps of cotton candy on top add a slight sweetness.
Where: Restaurant Gaig, 16 Stanley Street
MRT: Telok Ayer
Open: Mondays to Saturdays, noon to 3pm and 6 to 11pm. Closed on Sundays
Info: Restaurant Gaig website