05 Jul 2012

Food - Must Eats -

Singapore Food Festival 2012

This year's food festival opens next week with seafood galore for the inhabitants of this once-upon-a-time fishing village! We raise the nets to check out this year's catch!

Tan Meng Chuan

Take the Bait of Fresh Fishes and Ideas!


Can you imagine your nasi lemak without ikan bilis? Or rojak without hei kor? Or laksa without… Well, you get the picture. Seafood is critical and indispensible in our culinary culture.

Inspired by Singapore’s historical roots as “Temasek” or “Sea Town”, the 19th edition of the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) pays homage to the fish in the sea. For ten days, from 13 to 22 July 2012, eat to your bellies’ delight as SFF will once again offer an exciting line up of popular must-haves and fresh creations.

Laksa (Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

A Platter of Offerings

While we leave you to discover what assortment of appetising, tasty, yummy food SFF has to offer, one must-try dish we recommend, is the SFF Seafood Platter. It is a specially created set comprising stir-fried live Geoduck with asparagus in XO sauce, crisp-fried prawns tossed in salted egg yolk, deep-fried Coral trout in Nyonya style, Supreme Seafood Fried Rice and a choice of either Chilli Crab or Creamy Butter Crab. If the sound of the dish hasn’t made your mouth water, the pictures will.

The SFF Seafood Platter makes for a worthwhile sampling.

(Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

Bigger Space, Longer Hours, More Variety

The organisers are bumping up the scale of this year’s SFF. The SFF Village moves from its traditional spot at Read Bridge, Clarke Quay to the Waterfront Promenade. The Village will be twice the size of previous years’, and house up to 50 stalls under one roof. Also, due to SFF’s sheer popularity, operating hours will be extended from 4pm – 10pm, to 11am – 11pm.

The food spread at this year’s festival is also geographically evident. The SFF Village is not going to be the only site to flock to enjoy the festivities. ‘Precincts’ have been set up involving numerous restaurants in Kampong Glam, Little India and along the Singapore River.  Establishments at Sentosa, Harbourfront and Mount Faber have also come on board as Festival participants.


How can anyone miss out on all these?

(Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

Learn as You Eat

Injecting an educational element to the SFF, the distinctive culinary heritage of various ethnic groups are showcased through a host of activities – food trails, treasure hunts, excursions, story-telling, cooking masterclasses, cruises and more. With such an overwhelming menu of food and activities, I’m already feeling quite lost at sea because I wouldn’t know where to begin!

However one activity did catch my eye – the Culinary Adventure to Jurong Fishery Port, Singapore’s version of Japan’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market. This is where, at the break of dawn, fish mongers from all over the island gather to jostle for the best fish.

On this adventure, a chef will take participants around the Port and dispense advice on how to pick the freshest catch. The tour will end with a freshly-prepared seafood breakfast.

Fishy business is brisk at the break of dawn at Jurong Fishery Port.

(Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

Fishing for Fresh Ideas

It’s not just the ingredients that will be fresh. Every year, SFF tries to push the boundaries and break new ground. Apparently not satisfied by its entry into the Guinness Book of Records last year for setting the longest dining table, the chefs at Little India are at it again. This time, they will attempt to ‘tackle’ the challenge of serving up 2012 Curry Fish Heads at one dinner sitting. That’s going to be a lot of Curry Fish Heads.

Serving up 2012 Curry Fish Heads! Can they do it?

(Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

For the first time at the SFF Village, there will also be live fire cooking. Visitors can watch the chefs use different cooking techniques as they cook right before your eyes. So bring your pens and note books to jot down cooking inspirations as the chefs display their culinary prowess.

Watch, learn and eat!

(Photo credits: Singapore Food Festival 2012)

With so much food to eat and things to do, I’m getting ready for a sea-faring experience that tantalises the senses and tingles the mind. 

By Tan Meng Chuan

More information about Singapore Food Festival 2012 can be found at


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