Local Picks: Must-Try Dishes at 2014 Singapore Food Festival

Local Picks: Must-Try Dishes at 2014 Singapore Food Festival

Prepare your stomachs! The 2014 Singapore Food Festival is coming up and you wouldn’t want to miss these yummy delights!

It’s time to indulge the foodie in you at the 2014 Singapore Food Festival! This year’s theme is “A Walk Down Memory Lane“, and a plethora of local dishes that celebrate Singapore’s rich food history will be featured from July 11 to 20. Six events will make up the festival: the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast, Nyonya Mobile, ION Orchard Local Food Trail, South East Sliders @ ION Orchard, BBQ by the Beach, and Suvai 2014.

However, with Singaporean food being as diverse as it is, are you at a loss as to where to start at the festival? Don’t worry, we’re here to help – here’s a list of local favourites you should definitely feast on at each event while at the 2014 Singapore Food Festival!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls

Singapore Chicken Rice
Image credits: http://bit.ly/TOgn3F

Served everywhere from school canteens to fancy restaurants, Hainanese Chicken Rice is often considered as Singapore’s national dish. Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls, however, are a little more rare locally, and this dish will be one of the highlights at the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast, which will take place at Chinatown Food Street between July 11-20.

The oily, fragrant steamed rice is shaped into balls and of course, served alongside the carefully-cooked-till-tender chicken. This alternate version of the famous national dish is definitely a must-try – make your way down to Chinatown Food Street and get this into your tummy!

Hokkien Rickshaw Noodles

Singapore Hokkien Rickshaw Noodles
Image credits: http://bit.ly/TEfPwP

Hokkien Rickshaw Noodles (拉车面 in Chinese, which directly translates to pull-vehicle-noodles) were named after the rickshaw pullers that ate it as a staple – a cheap but nourishing meal, it provided fuel for the rickshaw pullers making their livelihoods on the streets of old Singapore. Made up of yellow noodles stewed in pork broth, the soup is thick and flavourful, and this dish has been described as a soupier version of Fried Hokkien Mee.

Hokkien Rickshaw Noodles can be said to be a relic of the past, with only a handful of hawker stalls in Singapore still selling it today. You should definitely take the chance to get a taste of Hokkien culture with a bowl of these noodles at the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast!

Other dishes available at this event include Teochew Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts, Hakka Yong Tau Fu, Hokkien Kong Bak Pau and more.

Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast
Date and Time: July 11 – 20, 11am – 11pm
Location: Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street
Pricing: Free admission, pay for purchases

Buah Keluak Ice Cream

Singapore Buah Keluak Ice Cream
Image credits: http://bit.ly/1iXcJQL

A special creation by Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut, Buah Keluak Ice Cream is a twist on traditional Nyonya dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak. The buah keluak nut, a key ingredient in Ayam Buah Keluak, is grinded into a paste and blended with luxury Valrhona chocolate to create the ice cream. The ball of Buah Keluak Ice Cream is then laid on a bed of sea-salt caramel, chocolate crumble and chili flakes, with a topping of milk chocolate foam.

Don’t miss the chance to taste this original and adventurous dish, presented for the first time on the Nyonya Mobile which will be travelling around Singapore between July 12-17!

Ayam Pong Teh (Nyonya Chicken and Potato Stew)

Singapore Ayam Pong Teh
Image credits: http://bit.ly/1lVxXxT

Ayam Pong Teh is a classic Peranakan dish – made up of chicken and potatoes braised in fermented soybean paste, it is relatively easy to prepare, and is thus a constant feature on the dinner tables of Peranakan families. This dish is fragrant and savoury, and for those looking for an old-school cuisine, Ayam Pong Teh will be something you should try!

Catch the Nyonya Mobile around the island at places like AMK Hub and Vivocity – besides these two dishes, Nyonya Chicken Satay, Beef Buah Keluak and other Peranakan food will also be available for sampling!

Nyonya Mobile
Date and Time: July 12 – 17, time varies
Location: varies – check the Singapore Food Festival website for schedule
Pricing: Free

Chilli Crab

Image credits: http://bit.ly/1mefH2j

One of the best and most famous Singaporean culinary inventions, Chilli Crab was named in a list of most delicious foods compiled by CNN in 2011. Crabs are stir-fried in a semi-thick sauce that is sweet yet savoury due to its base being a mix of chilli and tomato sauces, and toasted buns (man tou, 馒头) are also often served together. Chilli Crab is frequently advised as a must-try for tourists in Singapore, and it will also be one of the highlights of the ION Orchard Local Food Trail between July 11-20!

Kaya Toast

Singapore Kaya Toast
Image credits: http://bit.ly/1vEoPi1

The quintessential Singaporean breakfast food, Kaya Toast is (obviously) kaya served on toast, sometimes with margarine or butter added. Kaya is a sweet spread made of coconut milk, eggs and sugar, and is highly popular locally. For a more simple snack, Kaya Toast is definitely what you should look to try at the festival this year!

This local food trail brings together various popular Singaporean food – besides Chilli Crab and Kaya Toast, you can look forward to sampling Bak Kwa, Bak Kut Teh, Teh Tahrik, and more!

ION Orchard Local Food Trail
Date and Time: July 11 – 20, Monday to Friday, 11am
Location: ION Orchard
Pricing: Free, but pre-registration is required

Lim Peh Slider

2014 Singapore Food Festival Lim Peh Slider
Image credits: http://bit.ly/1xkIM06

Isn’t that an eye-catching and uniquely Singaporean name? The Lim Peh Slider is a radical concept dish by chef Damian D Silva, who is seeking to preserve the heritage of ethnic food while making them appealing for the younger generation.

Shredded Beef Rendang is mixed with pickles, lettuce, cheese and caramelised onions, and packed into a pastry pocket – truly a fusion between East and West, traditional and modern. Visit South East Sliders @ ION Orchard to find out how this fusion dish tastes like!

South East Sliders @ ION Orchard
Date and Time: July 11 – 20, 10am – 10pm
Location: ION Orchard
Pricing: $7

BBQ Sambal Stingray and Squid

2014 Singapore Food Festival Sambal Stingray
Image credits: http://bit.ly/1t0muSn
2014 Singapore Food Festival Sambal Squid
Image credits: http://bit.ly/TEfPwP

Salivating yet? For those not afraid of spicy food, BBQ Sambal Stingray and Squid at the BBQ by the Beach in Sentosa are classic Singaporean fare not to be missed. Sambal is a spicy paste made from chilli peppers and a variety of other ingredients including shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and sugar. When paired with the tender grilled meat of stingray or with fresh, chewy squid, you get a mouth-watering dish that is difficult to resist!

At BBQ by the Beach, enjoy various courses of BBQ food on special sand sculpted tables and chairs while watching the sunset and enjoying fire-twirling performances – doesn’t that sound exciting?

BBQ by the Beach
Date and Time: July 11, 12, 18 & 19, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Location: Palawan Beach, Sentosa
Pricing: Adult $79 – $99 / Child $29 – $39 (age 3-10 yrs old), online reservation required

Grilled Roulade Prata

2014 Singapore Food Festival Prata
Image credits: http://bit.ly/TEfPwP

The highlight of Suvai 2014 is the Grilled Roulade Prata, which is basically grilled prata that is stuffed with minced mutton. Compared to the traditional way of preparing prata – cooked on a hotplate with oil – the prata in the Grilled Roulade Prata is rolled and grilled to make it both healthier and more modern. For lovers of prata, this is something that you should put on your list of must-try food!

At Suvai 2014, besides having delicious Indian cuisine to feast upon, there will also be a spice exhibition, live music performances, and cooking demonstrations held by the chefs – grab your tickets before they all get snapped up!

Suvai 2014
Date and Time: July 17 (6pm – 11pm); July 18 – 20, (12pm – 11pm)
Location: Little India, opposite Serangoon Plaza.
Pricing: $18 for an all day pass inclusive of $10 Suvai dollars and access to master classes and hands-on classes. Free admission for children 12 and below.

Why not plan a staycation around the food festival this year? Check out TripZilla’s travel deals in Singapore!

About Author

Jessie Koh

Despite her terrible sense of direction, Jessie enjoys exploring (and getting lost) in new cities on foot. A pop culture junkie who spends much of her time catching up with music, television shows and movies, she relishes the opportunity to visit locations read in books and seen on screen.


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