Unusual pairings are among the highlights at the upcoming annual Singapore Food Festival, which runs from July 14 to 30.
Ms Claire Ariela Shen, 33, managing director of Cooking Art Industries, is organising the Kueh Pairing Workshop Series. She says: "We had extensive tasting sessions and drank copious amount of tea, coffee and cocktails to develop the curriculum.
"Generally, kueh pairs well with hot beverages. Cold alcoholic drinks are trickier as their low temperature - along with acidity and bitters - don't always react well with the ingredients in kueh."
The three sessions in the series are held on July 15 (kueh with tea), July 22 (kueh with cocktails) and July 23 (kueh with coffee).
For a food pairing on another level, check out Project Plait: Inheritance, a collaboration between the newly opened Jiakpalang Eating House's executive chef Nixon Low and dancer-choreographer Naomi Tan.
The interactive dining experience, from July 20 to 22, combines food and dance in a Singapore-inspired five-course meal. During the event, the audience will watch a dance work along with each course.
THE 50 CENTS FEST: THOSE YEARS
What: Revisit old-school hawker favourites at The 50 Cents Fest. Dishes include fried oyster cake, Hakka abacus seeds, ah balling (tang yuan in sweet peanut soup) and the popular street dessert of finely shaved ice balls.
Where: Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street
When: July 29, noon to 11pm; July 30, 11am to 11pm
Price: Free admission, prices for food and drink start from 50 cents
HAWKER WINE SAFARI
What: Pair artisan wines with hawker fare from food centres such as Maxwell Food Centre and Old Airport Road Food Centre. The Australian and New Zealand wines are from Merchants Wine Store's boutique selection.
Where: Various locations, including Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street; Old Airport Road Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Road; and Hong Lim Food Centre, 531A Upper Cross Street
When: July 14 to 30 (except July 17 and 24), 6.30 to 8.30pm Price: $88++
Info: Register at store.merchantsofsingapore.com.sg/specials.html
KUEH PAIRING WORKSHOP SERIES
What: Kueh-maker Rainbow Lapis partners three local companies for three kueh-pairing workshops. On July 15, pair kueh with tea ($80) at Tea Chapter and learn to make tea-infused kueh. On July 22, head to Bar Stories in Haji Lane to try making kueh and bespoke cocktails ($98) inspired by kueh and other flavours. And on July 23, check out the Kueh with Speciality Coffee ($80) session, where you get to learn kueh-wrapping techniques, along with pairing kueh with coffee.
Where: Tea Chapter, 9 & 11 Neil Road; Bar Stories, Level 2, 55-57 Haji Lane; Kaldi's Berry, 02-01, 231 Mountbatten Road When: July 15, 2 to 5pm (Tea Chapter); July 22, 4.30 to 6.30pm (Bar Stories); and July 23, 10am to 12.30pm (Kaldi's Berry)
Info: Register at bit.ly/RLSFF2017
SINGAPORE TEA FESTIVAL
What: Nine local tea brands will come together for this inaugural tea festival. They include The 1872 Clipper Tea Company, Gryphon Tea Company and Tea Chapter. Besides trying tea and checking out tea products, visitors can attend workshops on tea brewing and tea layering. For the festival, The 1872 Clipper Tea company has come up with a new collection inspired by traditional drinks. Bandung, for example, is a white tea with floral notes and a tinge of creaminess, while Chocolate Malt is made with Ceylon black tea and has caramel flavours.
Where: B4 event space, Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn When: July 22 and 23, 10am to 10pm
Price: Free admission, pay for food and drinks Info: www.sgteafest.com
TRANSFORMING YOUR FOOD IMAGES
What: Get food photography tips from Morsels chef-owner Petrina Loh, who will team up with food delivery service The Foodist on everything from food styling to plating. Bring along your cameras. Light bites are provided.
Where: Morsels, 01-04, 25 Dempsey Road
When: July 23, 3 to 5pm Price: $90 Info: www.thefoodist.com.sg
• For more information, go to www.singaporefoodfestival.com
Other key events of the festival, which is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), also champion everything local, in line with this year's theme, Savour Singapore In Every Bite.
Streat, the festival's signature event, will see a collaboration between chef Malcolm Lee of oneMichelin-starred Peranakan restaurant Candlenut and chef Willin Low of modern-Singaporean restaurant Wild Rocket. They will helm a pop-up restaurant at Clifford Square on July 14 and 15.
The duo will offer a Tok Panjang dinner menu ($50), where diners get to sample a variety of three appetisers and three main courses, which are served communal style.
Streat is also getting the former owners of French restaurant chain Saveur - chef Joshua Khoo of Taste Affair at Amoy Street Food Centre and chef Dylan Ong of The Masses in Beach Road - together for a collaboration.
Festivalgoers should try to save tummy space for other food and drinks from nine stalls, including Bib Gourmand-rated zichar restaurant New Ubin Seafood and kuehmaker Peranakan Khek.
Tea lovers can look forward to the debut of the inaugural Singapore Tea Festival on July 22 and 23, which celebrates local tea brands such as The 1872 Clipper Tea Company, Hush TeaBar and Pin Tea.
Mr Micheas Chan, 37, general manager of The 1872 Clipper Tea Company, which is organising the Singapore Tea Festival, says: "The tea scene has become more robust and progressive of late. Many foreign and local brands have come onto the scene and, increasingly, more food-and-beverage joints are also experimenting and having fun with new ways of drinking tea and using tea in their food recipes.
"Events like this bring brands, craftsmen and tea drinkers together to learn from one another. This breaks down the perception that you need to pay an arm and a leg and be in a stuffy lounge to enjoy a good cup of tea."
Also expect tea-inspired food from local establishments such as seafood specialist The Naked Finn and chicken-centric restaurant Bird Bird.
Whether it is food or drinks, Ms Ranita Sundramoorthy, director of attractions, dining and retail at STB, says "there will be something to suit everyone's taste" at the food festival.
"We are paying tribute to our identity and culture through our common love of food."
•Follow Eunice Quek on Twitter @STEuniceQ