Head to the Epicurean Market at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands this weekend for a taste of everything from local and gourmet fare to cocktails, wines and spirits.
Organised by the integrated resort, the annual three-day event is in its fifth instalment and will include a Singapore Street Food section, to celebrate Singaporeans' love of food, for the first time this year. It starts tomorrow and ends on Sunday.
Expect a two-storey shophouse setting where eventgoers can get local delights such as Teochew png kueh (glutinous rice cakes) and rendang pipi daging (braised wagyu beef cheek rendang with turmeric- ginger rice) as well as a live demonstration on how to make char siew soh, a flaky barbecued pork pastry.
Tickets are priced at $39 a person (inclusive of booking fee) for a three-day pass. Each ticket entitles eventgoers to one free signature dish, worth $15, from participating outlets such as Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen. Prices for food and drinks start at $3.
Over the years, the event has come to be known as the launch pad for the resort's new food and beverage offerings. Lavo, a multi- concept restaurant, lounge bar and nightclub with outposts in Las Vegas and New York, is slated to open early next year.
At the Epicurean Market, visitors can tuck into Lavo's signature dishes of beef, pork and veal meatballs with ricotta; and a prawn fra diavolo chifferi pasta, a classic spicy pasta in a light tomato sauce.
Restaurants that made their debuts at the Epicurean Market in previous years include Adrift by David Myers and Spago by Wolfgang Puck.
Ms Christine Sheares, the integrated resort's vice-president of food and beverage, says: "Epicurean Market is a food and culinary event that celebrates Marina Bay Sands' culinary prowess and diversity. These sneak previews provide unique access for our guests, allowing them to experience these restaurants prior to their official opening."
The event will span three expo halls and feature 70 exhibitors, including the resort's celebrity chef restaurants, and more than 200 dishes.
There will also be 27 free masterclasses, ranging from cooking demonstrations to talks about tequila and shochu.
Hop across five cocktail bars run by alcohol conglomerate Diageo. Look out for the Tanqueray Garden, which will serve gin and tonic. The Kampung Bar will concoct Singapore-inspired cocktails such as the Singleton Milo Peng, made with Singleton Of Glen Ord 12-year-old whisky and milo powder; and the Laksa Remos, a creative take on the classic ramos gin fizz that includes coconut milk and laksa leaves.
Other highlights include a Farmer's Market selling fresh produce and fine gourmet products, such as spice rubs and handmade pasta, as well as a range of desserts and pastries made on the spot at celebrity chef Daniel Boulud's Epicerie Boulud from New York, including his famed madeleines.
BOOK IT / EPICUREAN MARKET 2017
WHERE: Halls A, B and C, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue
WHEN: Tomorrow to Sunday; noon to 2am (tomorrow and Saturday), noon to 9pm (Sunday)
ADMISSION: A three-day pass costs $39 a person (inclusive of $1 booking fee). It includes entry for all three days and one free signature dish, worth $15, from a participating outlet.
INFO: Go to www.marinabaysands.com/epicureanmarket
This year's event also has a strong focus on wines and spirits, which the resort attributes to Singapore's growing bar scene. There is an expanded Wine Walk, with about 35 wine booths, and a selection of more intimate premium masterclasses known as the Connoisseur Series. Masterclasses are priced between $38 and $188 and are limited to 30 to 40 participants a session.
Last year, the Epicurean Market attracted about 16,000 visitors over three days and a bigger turnout is expected this year.
Singapore diners seem to have a healthy appetite for food festivals, given the increasing number of events each year, and organisers continue to vie for larger segments of the gourmet pie.
Ms Sheares says: "As Singapore matures as a dining destination, food festivals are a great way to showcase the nation's love of eating and its diverse spread of cuisines."
•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan