Singapore’s annual food festival leaves no doubt that this small nation is a formidable foodie’s haven. Whether it’s rustic fare or modern fusion, street food or a five-star feast, Singapore Food Festival delivers — and it bests itself every year.
Held at multiple destinations from July to August, the festival turns a keen eye not only on the food itself, but also on the country’s culinary heritage and the chefs that put Singapore’s homegrown delicacies on the global map.
2015’s food festival saw the return of Ellenborough market, a foodie’s staple which was destroyed in a fire in 1968. Recreated along Clark Quay’s Read Bridge, Ellenborough is the place to be for Teochew fare, a singular cuisine that originated from the Chaoshan region in Guangdong, China. Visitors can sample yam paste, crab, steamed pomfret, pork jelly, oyster omelettes, popiah (fresh spring roll), yusheng (raw fish salad), and an array of fishballs, fishcakes, and fish dumplings among the many hawker stalls.
Still more hawker stalls pop up for the Singapore Hawker Feast, unraveling many tasty treats from the city’s favorites. STREAT, a new event, features a curated selection of the best hawkers side-by-side with the country top chefs. For fine-dining, hungry visitors can turn to 12 heritage restaurants that use local produce to reinvent their choicest fare at Singapore Restaurant Month.
Chinatown’s food street is also a must on any itinerary. Innovation runs amok with street food turned fusion cuisine, moreso at the gala dinner which, in 2015, served kimchi roasted duck kueh pie tee and braised duck yam quinoa. Ardent fans of Indian cuisine have the Indian quarter’s own spin-off food fest, Suvai, the country’s first Indian gourmet festival.
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For a similar festival with an emphasis on food, visit Brunei’s Borneo Fruit Festival. For other festivals in the month of July, check out Malaysia’s Unesco World Heritage City Celebrations in Melaka; and Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival.