Feast on local fare

Sample the paneer beet aur sirka pyaz (above), comprising cottage cheese, beet and pickled onions, at The Great Indian Food Affair or the prawn bostador (right) at A Taste Of Eurasian Heritage.
Sample the paneer beet aur sirka pyaz (above), comprising cottage cheese, beet and pickled onions, at The Great Indian Food Affair or the prawn bostador at A Taste Of Eurasian Heritage.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE FOOD FESTIVAL
Sample the paneer beet aur sirka pyaz (above), comprising cottage cheese, beet and pickled onions, at The Great Indian Food Affair or the prawn bostador (right) at A Taste Of Eurasian Heritage.
Sample the paneer beet aur sirka pyaz, comprising cottage cheese, beet and pickled onions, at The Great Indian Food Affair or the prawn bostador (above) at A Taste Of Eurasian Heritage.PHOTOS: SINGAPORE FOOD FESTIVAL

The Singapore Food Festival returns next month for its 25th edition - with a focus on home-grown creations

The annual Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is set to return from July 13 to 29 for its 25th edition. It reprises last year's theme of "Savour Singapore In Every Bite".

The smorgasbord of events covers four categories: Modernity, Culture, Art and Tradition.

Under Modernity, highlights include SFF's signature event Streat, which sees chef Haikal Johari of Alma restaurant and chef Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre restaurant team up for a four-hands pop-up restaurant.

On creating the menu, which includes scallops and beef short rib, chef Stroobant says: "It took us a bit of time to put the meal together, as we worked to build the flavours on each other's dish. For dessert, I do a classic chocolate cake, while chef Haikal beautifies the dish. We also have to be mindful of keeping a Singapore touch in the dishes."

Another collaboration (July 15 and 29, from noon until stocks run out) is between sandwich specialist Park Bench Deli and roast meats specialist Roast Paradise to serve items such as roast char siew banh mi; as well as between Park Bench Deli and Indonesian restaurant Rumah Makan Minang, for a beef rendang burger and nasi padang platter.

Events under the Culture category include Feast at Sentosa - Sentosa Grillfest (July 13 to 15, 20 to 22 and 27 to 29, 6 to 11pm), in which a variety of international dishes and barbecue delights line 1km of the beach. There will also be a Gourmet Market, where diners can pick raw ingredients to be cooked by the chefs.

Get a taste of regional Indian specialities at The Great Indian Food Affair, which includes cooking demonstrations and special menus at Punjab Grill at Marina Bay Sands and Yantra at Tanglin Mall.

Ms Sashena Hassamal, marketing and business development associate for events company De Ideaz, which conceptualised the event, says: "You cannot have a food festival without Indian cuisine.

"We can showcase the variety of Indian food available through the restaurants on different weekends. Yantra, for example, will have more than 35 dishes for its Big Fat Indian Wedding menu."

For those looking to pair food and arts, there is everything from beer yoga to a five-course modern Singaporean meal interwoven with contemporary dance - A Samsui Love Story: A Food & Dance Affair (July 17 to 20, 7.30pm) - by chef Nixon Low of the TungLok Group and choreographer Naomi Tan.

If you want a taste of tradition, look out for the return of the favourite 50 Cents Fest: Colonial Singapore (July 28 and 29, 11am to 11pm) by Chinatown Food Street, where you can savour old-school dishes from fish moilee (spiced creamy fish curry) to aromatic kopi gu you (black coffee with butter).

There will also be surprise items launched for the SFF, such as a new curry puff by snack chain Old Chang Kee, as well as a new durian item from fast-food chain McDonald's.

Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, director of retail and dining with Singapore Tourism Board, says: "It has been an amazing 25-year journey for the SFF.

"This event is a celebration of our multicultural heritage as it is the only event in Singapore dedicated to showcasing local fare."


Highlights

STREAT

What: Headlining Streat is a four-hands pop-up restaurant ($60 nett, $55 nett early-bird price until July 9), which sees chef Emmanuel Stroobant of French restaurant Saint Pierre at One Fullerton team up with chef Haikal Johari of Alma at Goodwood Park Hotel.

The five-course menu features Canadian scallops with coconut, turmeric and laksa leaf oil; and beef short rib with black pepper, ginger and buah keluak. Other participating establishments include The Fishball Story, Non Entree Desserts, Venue by Sebastian and Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang. The Regent Singapore's acclaimed Manhattan cocktail bar will also be there.

Where: Empress Lawn, 10 Empress Place

When: July 13, 5 to 10.30pm; and July 14, noon to 10.30pm

THE GREAT INDIAN FOOD AFFAIR

What: Curated by events company De Ideaz, this event will showcase various Indian dishes.

There will be an Indian Street Food Extravaganza on July 28 and 29 (noon to 3pm, 6 to 9pm) at Sayali in Little India, which features classic Indian street food such as pau bhaji (vegetable curry served with soft bread), bhel (a snack made with puffed rice and vegetables) and pau wada (a vegetarian snack).

There will also be cooking demonstrations and workshops at Punjab Grill (July 21 and 22, noon to 3pm) at Marina Bay Sands and Yantra (July 14 and 15, noon to 3pm) in Tanglin Mall. Both restaurants will also serve special menus. The Banana Leaf Apolo will be providing various combo meals from July 16 to 20 (11am to 10pm), which includes its famous fish head curry.

Where: Various locations and Little India

When: July 13 to 29 Info: www.deideaz.com

A TASTE OF EURASIAN HERITAGE

What: Learn all about Eurasian culture with chef Quentin Pereira of Quentin's Eurasian Restaurant. There will be a tour of the Eurasian Heritage Centre, followed by a cooking demonstration by chef Pereira.

Participants ($40 nett a person) will get a special Eurasian bento, which includes curry debal, prawn bostador and meaty cutlets (corned beef cutlets). You can also buy Eurasian craftwork.

Where: 139 Ceylon Road

When: July 15, 21, 22 and 29, 11am to 1.30pm

Info: www.eurasians.org.sg

MAKAN COSMOPOLITAN

What: Makan Cosmopolitan ($90 a person, $80 early-bird price until June 25) is the first play in a series of theatre and dining interdisciplinary performances produced by arts company Ape Studios.

It explores the themes of emotional attachment in Singapore through a narrative set in a hawker centre. There will be a specially curated menu at Escobar to accompany the performances.

Where: Escobar, 01-23 China Square Central, 20 Cross Street

When: July 6, 7, 13 and 14, 8 to 10pm

Info: www.apestudios.org/makan-cosmo

BEER YOGA & CITYLIGHTS

What: This event pairs the joy of drinking beer with the mindfulness of yoga for an energising experience.

Each participant ($29 a person) will get a limited-edition SFF-branded beer from local craft brewery Trouble Brewing. Yoga mats and towels are not provided.

Where: Clifford Square, 1 Fullerton Square

When: July 13, 20 and 27, 7 to 8pm, 8 to 9pm

Info: goo.gl/CK8m5y

• For more information and a full list of events, go to www.singaporefoodfestival.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'Feast on local fare '. Print Edition | Subscribe