Showing posts with label Singapore Food Festival 2010. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singapore Food Festival 2010. Show all posts

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast

10 days of the Singapore Food Festival 2010 event with Clarke Quay Food Street functioning 9 days at Clarke Quay Read Bridge has marked it's ending with this Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast that is held on 25 July 2010 .

During that day, the food street market is transformed into a Chinese Dialect Heritage Buffets with 5 buffet lines that consists over 100 varieties of yummy dialect food. And some of which we might not even get to eat it often or in Singapore too.

Gim Tim (click HERE for details) provides all the Hokkien Dialect Cuisines for this year Food Festival Heritage Feast where you can find some of the famous dishes such as:- Fish Maw Potage, Hokkien Yam Rice, Tau Kua Bun, Fried Tapioca Flour Noodles etc.

Cantonese love soup despite on whether sweet or savory soup and "Six Variety Herbal Soup - 六味汤" is one of those they have must have.

Teochew Cuisines from Chu Yi Kitchen Pte Ltd (Click HERE for details) where you get to taste all kind of Teochew cuisines.

Some examples of Teochew Cuisine are:- Deep-fried Prawn Roll (ngoh hiang), Omelette with Cai Por, Braised Pig Trotters, Fried Bee Hoon with Pork Strips and etc.

Hainanese Cuisines from Yeh Lai Siang (Click HERE for details) where you get to taste some local and Malaysian style Hainanese cuisines. Above are some of the cuisines and snack available during the buffet:- Hainan Yan Fen, San Jiao Guo, Chicken Intestine Fried with Pineapple, Curry and etc.

According to mum, grandpa whom is a Hainanese used to make this "Bo Luo Fen" for them during her childhood time. So while eating this dish, it does brings back lot of her childhood memories. The salted mustard green and peanuts add extra flavour and crunch to this simple noodle dish. Wonder can I replicate this dish at home for mum.......

Kew Gardens contributes all the Hakka cuisines and snacks where they also have a little setup on their stall demonstrating the making of traditional Hakka Abacus seeds.

Some examples of Hakka Cuisine are:- Mei Cai Kou Rou, Hakka Carrot Balls(they have braised and deep-fried, two types), Black Bean Kueh, Yong Tau Foo, Soon Kueh and etc.

Tai Jin Hai Seafood in-charge of the Cantonese cuisines where you can find all sort of sweet and savory items such as Egg Tarts, Yam Cake, Dumplings, Sweet & Sour Fish, Luo Han Zou and etc.

This pot of Pig Trotters with Vinegar was our favourite. It taste great where you can just drink the soup itself which is not over power by the black vinegar. Most of us take seconding helping for this dish.

After getting the food, guests can sit around the area provided at the end of the buffet line whereby they can enjoy the yummy cuisines and at the listens to those 50s - 60s oldies songs. Posted by Picasa

Many thanks to Marcus Wong, Word Of Mouth Communications Pte Ltd and Singapore Food Festival for hosting this event.

Sunday 18 July 2010

Official Opening of Singapore Food Festival & Clarke Quay Food Street

Finally the official opening of this year Singapore Food Festival (SFF) was held concurrently together with the Clarke Quay Food Street from 16 July - 24 July 2010. Come let us embark on a mouth-watering journey on this year Singapore Chinese Dialects Heritage Food to stimulate your senses for an unforgettable experience.

But before you enter into the food street to start off your feast, remember to get a SFF Kopitiam stored value dining card from the cashier counter at either side of the entrance at a minimum of S$10.00 value. This stored value card will allows you to enjoy fast and convenient transactions at all the 30 participating stalls at the Clarke Quay Food Street. And remember, "CASH" payment are not allow at the Food Street so do get ready this card before you step in to avoid any inconveniences.

Due to the Opening Ceremony today, there is this long table with a few plates of similar items that symbolised the different Dialect groups and their culture. Eg. The beancurd represent the Hakka yong tau foo, the mee suah represent Hokkien, Fishball for Teochew, Wanton for Cantonese and Beef for Hainanese.

Let's walk through some of the stalls in this year Singapore Chinese Dialects Feast at Clarke Quay Food Street.

Near to the right side of the main entrance are some delicious traditional Hainanese dishes and snack such as Chicken Rice, Chicken Curry, Pork Chop and etc. All these items look so heart warming as it reminds me some of my mother's family traditional Hainanese cuisines.

Talk about Cantonese delight, Dim Sum is always one of the good choice to start off with. I am sure these traditional Cantonese delight such as Cha Siew Bao, Har Gao and Siew Mai can be also found in some western countries too.

If you want something more different from the above dim sum, perhaps you can try out some of these Hokkien and Cantonese delight by Gim Tim. Above is their signature Traditional Hokkien Fried Topical Roll - 招牌大茨粉 which I have review in another SFF post (click HERE). Whereas on the second photo is their Cantonese snack known as Steam Glutinous Rice Roll - 糯米卷. This is a special dim sum dish whereby the seasoned glutinous rice is wrapped with a white skin that is similar to "Bao" skin which is soft and fluffy.

Ngoh Hiang Prawn Cracker is some kind of assorted deep-fried snacks that you can pick from the choice of items such as fishball, cuttlefish, sausage, prawn or fish roll, prawn fitter and etc. These deep-fried items are often served with some sweet/spicy dipping sauce with crushed peanuts.

Lim Hai Sheng Carrot Cake is one of the stalls that is always surrounded by people queuing to get their famous fried carrot cake. Although this dish might look simple with just steam carrot cake fried together with beaten eggs and salted turnip but you must really give it a try which will makes you crave for more. You can read more about this stall at another SFF review post. (click HERE)

I saw a lot of people eating this snack along the way while I venture the stalls. When I asked around, some of the folks told me that this is a Must Try item as they actually prepared the freshly made Popiah skin on the spot at the Food Street.

Without hesitate, I went over to the stall and ordered these Popiah and Kueh Pie Tee. I must admit that those recommendations are good because the ingredients are very fresh and the taste of the filling is very fragrant and with the right amount of seasonings.

Tian Jin Hai, Teochew stall caught my attention with their traditional Fried Black Olive Rice instead of the Cold Crab. This is not the usual fried rice that we used to order from local Cze Cha stall. The fried rice sold here is fried with black olive which makes the rice infused with a special fragrance and taste.

Kew Gardens offered some of their traditional Hakka dishes such as Chicken with Wine Lees - 红糟鸡, Abacus Seeds - 算盘子, Soon Kueh - 笋粿 which is made of yam instead of the normal white soon kueh skin. Other than the above-mentioned, I also discovered the Hakka Black Bean Kueh - 黑豆糕 which I had never seen my in-laws whom are Hakka prepared in any occasions before.

Other than local Chinese Dialect food, you can also find some Malay or Indian food stalls around selling their traditional satay, otah, biryani, curry, and etc.

If you prefer something sweet, perhaps you can try the Four Seasons Durian stall where you can get some durian products such as durian cream puffs, durian tarts, durian kueh and etc.

These are some of the yummy food that are available at the Food Street market. But we are quite disappointed that there actually isn't any dessert stall around except some ice-cream from Four Season Durian and cheng teng from Gim Tim.

The beautiful night view of the Food Street together with the crowds that are busying with the choice of food to buy and also tried to sample as many as possible on those delicious food.

You can also sit along some open air cafe to enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or drinks and look at the beautiful view of the Clarke Quay river after the feast at the Food Market.

If not you can take a walk along the Street Market to pick up some clothing or stuffs which you might be fancy of. Teochew Hand Puppets show is also available the Central's River Promenade from 8:00 - 8:30pm and 9:00 - 9:30pm from 16 - 25 July 2010.

Lastly for all the Media and invited guests, each of us get to take home a very traditional and unique 8 Treasures Box - 八宝盒 from Mandarin Oriental Hotel as a gift. It consists of some traditional sweet candy treat such as malt sugar, candied lotus, candied melon and etc. Posted by Picasa

So if you love to eat all these dialect dishes, do drop by the Food Street from today till 25th July with some friends or family to sample some or all of these delicious cuisine. And if you are interested on the Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast on 25 July 2010 where there are more than 100 over dishes served. You can drop by this website (HERE) to book your tickets online.

Clarke Quay Food Street
Date: 16 July to 24 July
Time: 4pm to 11pm
Venue: Clarke Quay Read Bridge
Pricing: Payment via Singapore Food Festival Souvenir Card
Official Website:

p/s: For more photos on the SFF Food Street, you can click on this link (HERE) at Cuisine Paradise Facebook Fan Page.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Keng Eng Kee Seafood

For this year Singapore Food Festival, if you want to have a more fulfilling and enriching event, perhaps you can consider to attend some cooking classes from the "Makansutra SFF Culinary Master Classes". In this classes you will be able to learn the best-kept secrets from some well-known Singaporean Chinese Dialects dishes and as well on how to prepare and cook those dishes.

The Master Classes also give you an insight into the culinary culture of some of these mulit-award winners, which inlcude the Makansutra Street Food Masters and Legends Awards. You can at the same time discover interesting cooking tips from choosing the right ingredients to whipping up a delectable Singapore Chinese Dialect dish.

Yesterday evening I am so excited to visit one of the Chef, Mr Liew Choy who is one of the 4 chefs conducting the "Hands-On Master Classes" for the Mankansutra SFF Culinary Master Classes event. During this Hands-On session, the participants will be visiting a local wet market to learn on how to pick out the right and fresh ingredients to be used in Chef Liew’s class. And the dishes that will be featured in his class are:- Ming Zhu Roll, Marmite Crab, Steam Kampung Chicken with Ginger Sauce. In this reivew, I will be sharing their signature dish, “Ming Zhu Roll - 明珠卷” too.

Chef Liew has being working in the line for about 38 years since his Father-in-law generation and I noticed that he always put on a very genuine and friendly smile when the customers or his staffs approached him. And from our conversation, he reveal to me that out of all the dishes that he has concoct over the past years, his favourite dish is actually something simple and yet full of addicting flavour, “Cuttlefish with KangKong - 鱿鱼应菜”.

Since "Cuttlefish With Kangkong - 鱿鱼应菜" is one of Chef Liew's favourite dish, we definitely give this a try. Just like what he told us, the sauce is kind of sweet and spicy (but not really hot) and infused with crushed peanuts and sesame fragrant. Honestly, this is a delicious dish with that crunch and "Q" texture of fresh cuttlefish which goes pretty well with steam rice or even blanch bee hoon.

From Jiamin, Chef Liew's daughter, "Prawn Roll (Hay Chor) - 虾枣" is one of their hot selling items too. And we are so in time to witness the staffs preparing, rolling and steaming their special homemade Prawn Roll, which is an extra knowledge for me. Their Prawn Roll consists of ingredients such as:- minced meat, prawn, water chestnut, carrot and etc that wrap with beancurd skin. It is steamed till cooked before deep-fried with coated batter. There is a special sweet and fragrant taste in it, do give it a shot for small plate @ S$8.00 for about 10 – 12 pieces.

月光河粉 or translated as Moonlight Hor Fun..... is such a lovely name for this "Fried Hor Fun" dish. The speciality of this dish is customer has to stir the raw egg into the fried rice noodles mixture while served in order to use the heat of the noodle dish to cook the raw egg. According to Jiamin by mixing the raw egg into the fried noodle, it actually give this dish a smooth and delicious taste. Readers, if you do try this dish, bewared that there are actually deep-fried pork lard in it to give this dish it's unique traditional taste. But if you prefer something healthier, you can always ask the chef to omit the pork lard on special request too.

After the 3 appetisers mentioned above let us start off with today's food sampling items. First to be served is their signature dish “Claypot Pig Liver - 姜葱炒猪肝”. In order to maintain the taste and texture of the pork liver in this dish, the chef must be able to control the heat well as claypot tends to get the pork liver cooked faster in its high temperature.

When this "Claypot Pig Liver - 姜葱炒猪肝" is served, the waitress will give the mixture a quick stir in front of the customer in order to prevent the pork liver for being over cooked or certain portion being stuck at the bottom of the pot. I was so delighted to be able to sample this dish because it has always being one of my favourite childhood dishes since young. Although this dish does not have those strong cooking wine taste compared to some other Cze Cha stalls, but it the traditional claypot cooking method definitely brings out another type of fragrant and taste in it.

Finally, here comes the long waiting "Ming Zhu Roll - 明珠卷" dish that is going to be featured in SFF 2010 Makansutra hands-on Master Class on Sunday, 18 July 2010. (Click HERE for more details) Chef Liew's wife shared with me that they actually prepared this Ming Zhu Roll a day ahead, keep in the fridge to further developed the taste before deep-frying it when customer request the order. The name “Ming Zhu Roll - 明珠卷” comes from actually the colour of the salted egg yolk, which reflects like moonlight on the shredded shittake mushroom. As you can see from the photo, there are other ingredients such as Prawn, Salted Egg Yolk, Ham, Parsley that are stuffed in the Beancurd bag (Tau Pok) and wrapped tightly using beancurd sheet.

This dish is sure to be their top "Signature" dish that is full of multi color, ingredients and flavour. Imagine biting into a mouthful of this crispy outer skin, which burst out that juicy and sweet inner filling with combination of ham, fruit, vegetable and seafood in it. A small serving of this dish comes with 6 individual pieces at S$9.00 which is just nice for 4 person to share with.

Chef Liew runs Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restaurant together with his family members, which make it a family business. Currently the main chef handling the kitchen will be his second son while Chef Liew will help out during most weekends or festive season where they are crowds. Keng Eng Kee occupied almost the entire coffee shop area at Block 124 and with another air-condition space directly opposite the shop which can act as a mini function room for private function. This area can hold about 48 - 60 people with 6 big round tables. This restaurant is always packed with people during Friday to weekends so is best to give them a call to make a reservation or dine during weekday to avoid the weekend crowds.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood Restuarant
Block 124, #01-136
Bukit Merah Lane 1 (Alexandra Village)
Singapore 150124
Telphone: 6272 1038
Handphone: 9748 7054

There are 4 Hands-On Master Classes which are availbe at Restaurant Assocation of Singapore (RAS) Kitchen on these timing:-

Sunday,18 July 2010
Time: 10:00am - 13:30pm, (Chef Liew's from Keng Eng Kee featuring Ming Zhu Roll and etc)
15:00pm - 18:30pm

Friday, 23 July 2010
Time: 18:00pm - 21:30pm

Sunday, 25 July 2010
Time: 10:00am 13:30pm

For more information and pricing on the classes above, please click HERE to direct to the SFF 2010 official website.Posted by Picasa

Monday 12 July 2010

Gim Tim Restaurant - Traditional Hokkien Dishes

Gim Tim Pte Ltd (Restaurants) or well known as “锦珍” started from a small HDB area restaurant in a corner located at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4. Gim Tim has grown into a group of 3 restaurants, serving exquisite cuisine with Hokkien, Szechuan and Cantonese dishes. And I believed most of us have a deep-impression of their mobile kitchen where Gim Tim has a mobile fleet that is specially fitted to cater for outdoor functions.

Same as Lim Hai Sheng’s Carrot Cake (Click HERE), Gim Tim is also one of the featured restaurants in Clarke Quay Food Street as well as the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast too. And out of the 3 restaurants that Gim Tim has in Singapore, only the branch that located at Ang Mio Kio Ave 4 served authentic Hokkien Heritage Dishes.

Before we start off with today’s Hokkien dishes, let’s take a look at who is behind the kitchen whipping out all these fabulous Dialect Heritage Cuisines. Chef Lai Yong Meng - 赖泳鸣大厨 is the Master Chef of this restaurant who leads his team of chefs and helpers in preparing these delicious cuisines that will be featured during this Friday 16 July – 25 July 2010 Food Street event.

Chef Lai has a very friendly personality and we really enjoy chatting with him during the food sampling session. Through the conversation we can sense his passion towards his customers and food that he prepares with his professional skill. He has spent more than 30 years of his life working as a chef in major Chinese Restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia. Chef Lai also holds a position as the Second Vice President of Society of Chinese Cuisine Chefs (Singapore).

Before I came to this food sampling event, I don't really familiar with what are the commonly traditional dishes that most Hokkien people loves to cook or order during their eat out. What I have in mind was only their famous Kong Bak Pau or Hokkien Mee. But today after the conversation with Chef Lai I actually learnt a lot through him from this event. Now let’s us take a look at the first Hokkien Heritage Cuisine which is “Fish Maw Soup - 福建鱼鳔羹”.

Take a closer look at the ingredients; it is really full of Fish Maw chunks, julienned carrots, mushroom and etc. The soup tasate more or less like shark's fin soup texture but without adding shark’s fin in it. I have tried a few Fish Maw soup in different restaurants previously and I find the one served at this restaurant really brings out it’s full flavour and some how or rather you might really think that you are eating the real shark’s fin. You can grab a bowl of this to sample it tasate at the coming Clarke Quay Food Street at affordable pricing too.

Here comes today’s “Special” Hokkien cuisine which is known as “Fried Tapioca Roll - 福建大茨粉”. Accordingly to Chef Lai, this is a very old traditional Hokkien cuisine that is hardly found in most of the Hokkien Restaurants these day. This dish is fried with some handmade Tapioca roll that is cut into roughly 0.5” by 2” long strips. At first glance you might think that it look quite similar to the Hakka Abacus Seeds but with rather long strips instead of seeds. Although this cuisine might not look appetizing due to it’s colour (seems black) but I can assure you that if you love spicy food, you will love this. The dish is fixed with Chef Lai self-made Chilli paste that taste similar like “Hae Bee Hiam” (consists of crispy-fried pounded dried shrimp, spices and chilli) and it definitely brings out the bland taste of the tapioca strips.

I am sure you are familiar with this black sauce "Hokkien Mee - 福建面" where you can get it from some of the Cze Cha Stalls in Singapore. Eating this dish at a restaurant and having it at the Cze Cha stall seems a bit different perhaps due to psychology thinking. The noodle used here is those flat yellow type of noodle, which is different from the usual yellow noodle that is found in other stalls.

This is a complimentary dish from Chef Lai, “Hokkien Hei Zor - 福建虾枣” which is also one of the featured dish that will be available at the Clarke Quay Food Street. Look at the display, this is my first time seeing "Hei Zor" served with Achar as side dish, interesting combination right!

Look at the inner section of the Hei Zor, this really taste different from our Teochew Ngoh Hiang. They used more on prawn, water chestnut and fatty pork as the main ingredients. You must not give this a missed during the food fair. According to Chef Lai, they might be selling this for S$1.50 a roll during the food street fair. So keep an eye on this....

Lastly I must thanks Mr Desmond Liap and his crews for their warm services during this food tasting session despite that they were all very busy with the on-going banquet during our visit. Thanks for making everything so smooth during the interview and food sampling too.

Gim Tim Restaurant at Ang Mo Kio Ave 4 has both indoor and outdoor dining area to smooth the crowds during weekends and festive seasons. If you are interested to try these Hokkien Dishes from Gim Tim, do drop by their stall at counter #21/22 at the Clarke Quay Food Street and Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast from 16 July - 25 July 2010. More information can be found HERE. Posted by Picasa

Gim Tim Restarant - 锦珍
Block 157, Ang Mo Kio Ave 4
Singapore 560157
Telephone: 6459 7766