Wednesday 7 July 2010

Singapore Food Festival 2010 - Media Conference

This year Singapore Food Festival 2010 Media Conference was held on 06 July 2010 at Mandarin Oriental. It has being more than 10 years since the 1st Singapore Food Festival (SFF) held on 16 years ago. From 16 - 25 July 2010 (10 days) there will be varies kind of activities lining up such as great feast, cooking classes, online games and etc.

This year food festival is presented by Standard Chartered Bank and jointly organized by Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) and Single Point Contact Pte Ltd as well as supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). The highlighted of this year theme is focus on specialty dishes of the main Chinese dialect groups in Singapore.

I was honor to be invited to attend this event by Marcus form "Word Of Mouth Communications" to witness the media conference of this year Food Festival event. At the conference I was also excited to see my favourite celebrity chef, Eric Teo who is currently the Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore.

The Ba Bao He - 八宝盒 (eight treasures box) that is originated from Qing Dynasty was used as jewellery boxes and snack containers during Chinese New Year. Each snack in the box is uniquely symbolised of a blessing from longevity to wealth. At the media conference yesterday, these eight treasures boxes are found on either the guest tables and reception area to be served as part of the "Singapore Chinese Dialect Street Snacks" theme. The snacks in the box are such as: Candied Winter Melon to represent a sweet year ahead, Malt Candy represent wealth and prosperity, whereas Dragon Beard Candy symbolised Longevity.

After guest arrival and registration follow by light cocktail reception, the media conference starts off with the opening speech follow by a 5 minutes of traditional street “Hand Puppet Performance - 布袋戏 “.

From 16 - 25 July 2010, you can also catch these Hand Puppet performance live at:-

Hand Puppets 布袋戏
Venue: Central's River Promenade
Time : 8.00pm to 8.30pm
9.00pm to 9.30pm
Language: Teochew, with English synopsis

After the interesting Hand Puppet performance, it is time for the highlight of the event where the SFF’10 Panelists will held a 30 minutes discussion follow by another 10 - 15 minutes of Question & Answer session to the Media. The 5 Panelists are:-

1. Mr Edmund Chua, Assistance Chief Executive from Singapore Tourism Board
2. Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Tourism, Shopping & Dining from Singapore Tourism Board
3. Mr K F Seetoh, SFF’ 10 Consultant from Makanstrua
4. Mr Luke Lee, SFF’ 10 Organiser, SPOC Solutions Pte Ltd
5. Mr Andrew Tjioe, CEO of Tong Lok Signatures Restaurant Pte Ltd

At this media conference event, there are also some Awards Presentation to the Sponsors such as Standard Chartered, Oriental Hotel, City Gas and etc. Master Chefs award are also given to Mr Lai Fak Nian from Plum Village, Mr Wong Kah Onn and his wife, Ms Helen Lim from Lai Wah Restaurant and etc.

Cooking Demo by Chef Eric Teo and Mr KF Seetoh marked the second highlight of the yesterday event. This cooking demo is to promote the “Makansutra SFF Culinary Master Classes” where foodies can choose to attend a series of cooking classes based on different “Singaporean Chinese Dialect” dishes conduct by some well-known chef such as Mr Liew Choy (on Chinese cze-cha dishes), Mr Francis Yeo Hock Seng(on Teo Chew Dishes), Mr Lai Fak Nian (on Hakka Dishes) and etc. Schedule & Booking information can be found on SFF'10 official website (HERE).

This is the first time that SFF actually focus on specialty dishes of Singapore's main Chinese dialect groups. Far from being a homogeneous cuisine, Chinese food is very varied and can differ greatly from region to region in China. By showcasing these dialect dishes at SFF 2010 and allowing locals and visitors to experience these dishes is a way of honouring Singapore's culture and heritage through food.

On the SFF 2010 media conference, all the invited guests and media are able to sample the 5 main Singapore Dialect group dishes from Cantonese, Kakka, Kokkien, Teo Chew and Hainan.

Above photo feature the Cantonese Style "Roast Pork Belly - 烧肉" from Cherry Garden, Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The top layer of the roast pork belly is so crispy and fragrant when bite and the meat portion seems to melt in your mouth too.

This "Braised Roasted Pork With Yam - 南乳芋头扣肉" is one of the 3 dishes from Moi Lum Restaurant. This famous restaurant was founded in the 1920s by founder Mr Khong Yu Lum and it has has been selling their legendary "Crispy Fried Chicken-梅林烧鸡" and "Golden Coin Beancurd - 金钱豆腐" for the past 80 years.

Talking about Hakka Dishes in Singapore, most of us will think of Hakka Niang Dou Fu and Suan Pan Zi (abacus seeds). On the event, Kew Garden has presented us three delicious Hakka dishes such as “Abacus Seeds - 算盘子”, “Red Wine Ginger Chicken - 红糟鸡” and “Soon Kueh - 客家笋粿”.

I was impressed by the taste of their "Red Wine Ginger Chicken" whereby the meat is so tender and perfectly infuse in their homemade rice wine and wine lees. And sampling of this dish gives me a familiar taste that resemble my mother-in-law’s signature Hakka “Huang Jiu Ji -黄酒鸡” dish that is cooked with Glutinous Rice Wine.

When comes to Teochew dishes or snacks, I am sure you are quite familiar with this “Peng Kueh -饭桃” that is made of Glutinous Rice fillings such as rice, peanut, dried shrimps and etc. This Teochew snacks is usually eaten at breakfast or teatime, which is served together with dark sweet soy sauce.

I am sure most of us would like this Hokkien “Kong Ba Bao - 扣肉包” even though it might be a bit towards the oily food section. For me a slice of good Kong Ba must be tender, juice and melt in your melt when eaten. And this taste extremely good when sandwich with steam mantou and lettuce.

The "Hainanese Chicken Rice and Pork Chop" from Yeh Lai Siang Catering Service caught my attention as the first pushcart stall near the entrance of the event room. The chicken rice is shaped into balls and accompany with delicious tender chicken pieces and fragrance chilli sauce. If you prefer something crispier to bite, perhaps you would like to have some Hainanese Pork Chop which is well season and taste equally great with the chicken rice balls.

After all the savory food, let’s hop over to Madam Ho Lily’s Dragon Beard Candy Stall to sample some of her traditional candies. Madam Ho is one of the few traditional Chinese Food artistes who not only sell traditional Chinese food, she has also improved on their tastes and presentation resulting to her food craft being very much sought after.

At this year SFF 2010, she has launch the first time ever in Singapore, crispy “Dragon Beard Candies - 龙须糖 “. These are roughly thumb-sized nuggets that consisted of hundred bits of groundnuts wrapped within thousands of fine malt threads. These very fine threads of malt are constantly dipped into a big tub of icing flour thus giving it the appearance and consistency of a fine white beard that is no difference from the beard of the mystical Chinese Dragon. The strands of the dragon bear candy symbolise longevity.

If you are interested in this snack, you can check out at Madam Ho’s shop at:-
Sim Lim Square
1 Rochor Canal Road

These are some of the food that I have sample during the event and I am sure during the Singapore Food Festive 2010 event held from 16 - 25 July 2010 there will be even more varieties of dialect cuisines available to satisfy our sight and taste buds. So stay tune for more updates on the next post on upcoming events in connection with the SFF 2010 or you can find out more information on their official site HERE. Posted by Picasa

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