“Name twenty of Singapore’s famous local dishes” – is the tagline of Singapore Favourite Food 2013.
After listing hot favourites such as Char Kway Teow, Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak, Chilli Crab, Nasi Lemak, Bak Kut Teh, are you able to name any more? This is where Singapore Favourite Food 2013 comes into play; as it brings together a carefully curated list of 20 different vendors.
Singapore Favourite Food 2013 follows the successful trail of food festivals in Singapore such as the recent Savour. This time round, we have a festival that celebrates our local cuisine that tug closer to our heart strings and truly what made us uniquely Singapore – Singapore Favourite Food 2013 happening on 12 July – 21 July 2013 at the Bayfront Avenue.
We were part of a a guided media food trail where we sampled some of Singapore’s most coveted hawker fare. Beware, pictures may cause uncontrollable salivating.
First up was Rojak. The stall we visited happens to be one of the oldest surviving Rojak stall in Singapore. Ri Ye Xiang Rojak has 48 years of history and has a special homemade prawn paste that brings customers back for more.
Verdict: Serving portion was just right. Homemade prawn paste was not overbearing, with a tinge of sweetness that is not overpowering. Pineapple was juicy with a burst of flavor that blends in well with the paste. However, dough sticks are slightly soft and old. Though there is no creativity in the ingredients used, this Rojak serves as a walk down memory lane for most of us with its endearing traditional-to-the-bone blend.
Rojak: 3.5/5, Chili Rojak: 3/5
Venue: 450 Clementi Avenue 3
Next up was Leng Kee BBQ at Bukit Timah. This BBQ stall is renowned for its oyster omelette, more commonly known as Orh luak. The Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre is a recently renovated food centre, access to the hawker food is via a staircase at the entrance. Leng Kee is on the second row of stalls to the left of this staircase when you come up. This successful store has two storefronts, you cannot miss it!
We had: Oyster Omelette, Chicken Wings, Satay
Verdict: Orh Luak in this store belongs to the more starchy type, though this lends credit to the texture, a larger quantity of eggs added can probably add more flavor to this dish. Oysters are scarce in our portion, however it had just the right amount of crispiness. The Orh Luak that we have come for, paled in comparison to the chicken wings that were freshly barbequed. The flavor of the marinade is not too strong such that it covers the taste of the chicken, there is a light smoky taste to these chicken wings, that can hardly be found nowadays. Truly a gem.
Oyster Omelette: 3/5, Satay: 3/5, Chicken Wings: 4/5
Venue: 116 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#02-127 Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre
Following that was Star Yong Kwang BBQ Seafood.They are supposedly famous for their Sambal Stingray but it did not really strike a chord with us due to the lackluster chili sauce. That said, the Cereal Prawn was simply mind-blowing with the succulent prawns adequately sprinkled with flakes of golden cereal. Maybe we are biased, because we love to bits anything related to cereal. On a side note, Mr Avocado (located in the same hawker centre); has the most lusciously blended milk-avocado concoction. Dubbed “liquid gold”, this avocado drink is something you would not want to miss out on.
What was most interesting about the visit is finding out that the owner’s son, now serving the army, will be helming the hawker store when he is ready to. Cooking since the tender age of 13, the young lad is probably one of the rare few from Generation Y who will be embarking on an unconventional career choice. Yes, there is hope – hawker vendors will no longer be a ‘lost profession’.
Sambal Stingray: 3/5, Cereal Prawn: 4.5/5
Venue: Alexandra Village Food Centre
120 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-04
Last stop – Jin Jin Hot/Cold desert! This store is possibly the most tech-savvy of the lot as they even have their own website. We tried Mount Fuji, Power Chendol, Red Ruby; and what stood out the most was Mount Fuji. Drizzled with red beans, condensed milk, and green tea flavoured syrup – this tasted like Starbuck’s Azuki Green Tea frappuccino but more icy, and in a more shiok portion.
Mount Fuji (4/5), Power Chendol (3/5), Red Ruby (3/5)
Venue: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah
#01-20 ABC Brickworks Food Centre
For more information of Singapore Favourite Food 2013, check out their website.
Date: 12 – 21 July 2013
Time: 11am – 11pm
Venue: Bayfront Avenue @ Marina Bay