Singapore Favourite Food Village is back from 24 July to 2 August 2015 to celebrate the richness of Singapore’s culinary landscape through a variety of mouth-watering Singapore signature delights at Read Bridge, Clarke Quay.
Held in conjunction with the anchor food event, Singapore Food Festival, the Singapore Favourite Food Village is an annual 10-day local culinary festival organised by the Singapore Food & Beverage Alliance (SFBA) and supported by Singapore Tourism Board that celebrates and showcases Singapore’s rich and unique multicultural food heritage and pays homage to local culinary heroes all under one roof.
Date: 24 July to 2 August 2015
Time: 5pm to 11pm
Venue: Read Bridge, Clarke Quay
In celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, Singapore Favourite Food Village 2015 revives one of Singapore’s iconic and long-lost makan place – Ellenborough Market. If, like me, you weren’t born yet, you might not know that the 1800s – 1960s Ellenborough Market by the Singapore River was well-known for its fresh seafood and Teochew hawker fare, as many Teochews resided in that area. The market is also more affectionately known as ‘Xin Pat Sat’ or ‘Teochew Market’.
Taking ‘A Wok Down Memory Lane’ at Ellenborough Market will allow you to discover the stories behind the market nicknamed the ‘New Market’ and ‘Teochew Market’ and one of the authentic hawkers of the old Ellenborough Market along with other Teochew cuisine and local delights hawkers.
Top 10 Dishes to Look Out For
6 Traditional Teochew Food
- Teochew Fishball Noodles by Ming Fa Noodles House Pte Ltd
With 42 years of experience, the fishball noodles from Ming Fa Noodles House will definitely not disappoint. Founder Lim Chye Kang started the business along the old Ellenborough Market (Clarke Quay) in 1946 to earn a livelihood as a pushcart vendor. In the 1950s, Mr Lim Chye Kang opened its first roadside stall within the vicinity of the “Xin Pa Sat”. His son, Mr Lim Gek Meng, took over the family-run business and expanded Ming Fa’s food offerings in 1973.
Using the traditional recipe passed down from generations, Ming Fa’s fishballs are made daily with fish as the only main ingredient to retain its freshness and bounciness. Their menu has expanded to a variety of noodles such as minced pork noodles, chicken cutlet noodles, laksa and curry chicken.
- Teochew Steamed Pomfret with Preserved Soya Bean Sauce by Swissötel Merchant Court
Chef Jason’s (Swissötel Merchant Court) Steamed Pomfret dish is based on a recipe which he cooks regularly for his own family. Aside from selecting a fresh Silver Pomfret, Chef Jason flavours the fish with sour preserved plums, fresh shiitake mushrooms and slices of ginger, carrots and tomatoes. Chef Jason’s addition of succulent shiitake mushrooms to increase the dish’s savoury notes makes it enjoyable for diners of all ages. In true Teochew style, Chef Jason also serves the steamed fish with a dipping sauce of fermented soy bean paste.
- Cold Crab, Teochew Style by Swissötel Merchant Court
For the Teochew Cold Crab dish, Chef Jason (Swissötel Merchant Court) keeps very close to the original recipe of selecting live market-fresh crabs, steaming at a high temperature with a splash of Chinese Wine and then chilling the cooked crabs before serving it cold. A timeless classic such as this, Chef Jason believes, should be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
- Lao Fu Zi Char Kway Teow
Char Kway Teow is a noodle dish with humble beginnings. Originally invented as a low-cost yet energising meal for the labourers in Singapore, it was often sold by fishermen, farmers, and cockle gatherers, doubling up as char kway teow hawkers in the evening to supplement their income.
With its long history and traditional recipe, it is no surprise that Lao Fu Zi Char Kway Teow is an old name that almost everyone can identify with when it comes to a plate of hot piping plate of fried kway teow. Stir-fried in pork lard over very high heat with light and dark soy sauce, chilli, belachan, Chinese sausage slices, fish cake, cockles, bean sprouts, chopped Chinese chives and egg, this fragrant noodle dish will have you begging for more!
- Teochew Braised Duck by Mr Duck
Braised ducks or Lor Ark come in two different styles. While the Hokkien-style offers thick and sweet gravy, the Teochews specialize in making light and savoury ‘Lor Chap’ or braising sauce. The key to serving flavourful braised duck is in the braising sauce: a mixture of dark soy sauce, soya sauce, five spices powder.
Mr Duck’s braising sauce also consists of unique blend of herbs for a healthier recipe that can fit into everyone’s diet. The sauce has been well-liked by customers all these years and the traditional secret recipe has been passed on from its previous senior head chef to the next generation’s chefs.
The whole duck is then lightly pan-fried and stewed for hours in the braising sauce for a moist and tender texture. To ensure that the moisture of the duck meat is not lost, the art of chopping meat is also highly emphasized by traditional Teochew hawkers. Thin and wide slices of meat, accompanied by braised rice and soy sauce eggs, completes the hearty meal.
- Teochew Bak Kut Teh by Xiao Chen Gu Shi
Bak Kut Teh literally means ‘meat bone tea’ in English. In Singapore, there are two styles of cooking: the clear pepperish Teochew broth and the black herbal Hokkien version. Did you know that Bak Kut Teh does not contain tea as an ingredient despite its name? The ‘tea’ in the name actually refers to the accompanying pot of Chinese Oolong tea, which is believed to aid in digestion and to rid of the greasiness from this dish.
In the early days, Chinese coolies formed the early backbone of Singapore’s labour force and were engaged mainly in hard physical labour. After a hard day’s work, the Chinese coolies would gather and have a bowl of Bak Kut Teh as their staple meal to replenish lost energy.
Story of Chen (小陈故事) was inspired by the historical significance and presence of Bak Kut Teh roadside stalls and vendors along the Singapore River, and had then decided to open up a shop front with traditional fixtures and decor along the same vicinity to relive old times and the ‘birthplace’ of Bak Kut Teh.
4 Fusion Food
- Carrot Cake by Everything Foods
Fried carrot cake or Chai Tow Kway is traditionally a Teochew dim sum, made by mixing grated radish (white carrot), rice flour and water to form a paste which is then steamed in a rectangular pan. The resulting “carrot cake” is sliced into rectangular blocks, and then fried on a metal griddle till the outsides are crispy. The version served by Teochew hawkers are usually prepared by frying steamed carrot cake with preserved turnip, diced garlic, eggs, and fish sauce instead of soya sauce.
Invented by the Teochew Sisters, Candy and Jenny from Everything Foods, Carrot Cake with Salted Egg Sauce combines the traditional Teochew recipe with a modern twist. Simmered with fresh crabs, the salted egg sauce is then drizzled on their rendition of the Carrot Cake to give it a light crab fragrance. Other Carrot Cake flavours that Everything Foods will also be bringing to the crowd are Tom Yam, Sour Cream and Onion, Hot and Spicy and Barbecue.
- Truffle Wanton Noodles by Bee Kee
For the love of Wanton Noodles, Jo Ann, the founder of Bee Kee, was inspired to modernise Wonton Noodle with a special ingredient.
Known as Wanton Mee locally, there are two variants of this Cantonese noodle dish: wonton noodles served in steaming hot broth; or noodles served dry with seasoning and soup on a separate bowl. Traditionally, the wantons – which refer to dumplings in Cantonese – are boiled served with soup. However, in recent years fried wantons have emerged as a hot favourite amongst Singaporeans.
As Truffle Oil dishes have caused hype amongst the younger generation, Jo Ann decided to infuse it into their noodles. The Char Siew on the noodles is also torched aburi-style to caramelize the outside and the soft bone is braised overnight for the melt-in-the-mouth texture.
- Ondeh Ondeh Churros
Suyi and Jeremy started their first concept café, Churros Factory, in 2014 at I12 Katong Mall. Upon starting up their pop-up cafe, they came to notice that there was a high demand and a potential opportunity to further expand their humble start-up. Since then, they have placed focus on creating more unique flavours to suit the local taste.
Being situated at Katong, a vibrant Peranakan neighborhood, Jeremy and Suyi were inspired by the Peranakan culture and were inspired to create Ondeh Ondeh Churros, an East-meets-West recipe that eventually became their signature dish. The Ondeh Ondeh churros has since been a hit at their pop up stall and a sensational hype on both social and marketing media platforms.
The Ondeh Ondeh Churros replicates the look and feel of the Peranakan Kueh, Ondeh Ondeh. It is infused with Pandan flavour and paired with a gula melaka dip, topped with coconut shavings. Churros Factory aims to be globally recognised as the Singapore brand of Churros with various adapted recipes.
- Honey Hoisin Orange Glazed Pork Ribs
A modern take on the traditional Char Siew BBQ Pork Ribs, Fern & Kiwi fuses the western style with a dash of acidic flavour and the oriental method of roasting the ribs for a red glossy sheen that warrants a sweet glaze beneath.
Fern & Kiwi originated in Christchurch, New Zealand featuring the best New Zealand food. Within 24 years, they had set up 21 cafes all around Australia, and Singapore is one of the first overseas ventures. Highly raved since its opening, Fern & Kiwi proudly brings New Zealand food closer to Singaporeans and constantly innovates by whipping up fusion dishes to cater to the local palates.
For Your Entertainment
Apart from savouring the rustic flavours of traditional cuisine, learn a tip or two from the award-winning celebrity chef, Eric Low, while he showcases the authentic way of preparing Teochew Opera Porridge.
Live Cooking Demonstrations by the various Teochew chefs are available every weekend from 24 July to 2 August 2015.
As the name implies, this porridge was sold in street hawker stalls during the heyday of Teochew street operas. They would travel with the performing troupes around the island and business was brisk as good performing troupes could easily attract large audiences. This porridge made an ideal supper treat as each performance ended rather late close to midnight.
While feasting to your heart’s content, you will be entertained by the traditional Teochew Opera, Tok Tok Chiang, which is co-founded by local celebrity Nick Shen Wei Jun. Driven by his passion for Chinese Opera, Nick Shen founded Tok Tok Chiang in 2010 to reconnect youths with their cultural roots and keep the dying art of Chinese Opera alive. With refreshing elements such as magic tricks and bilingual performances, Tok Tok Chiang remains relevant by reaching out to people of different races in racially diverse Singapore.
Be entertained by the traditional Teochew Opera every weekend from 24 July to 2 August 2015 by Tok Tok Chiang and Nam Hwa Teochew Opera Troupe!
SFBA is giving away a pair of Weekday Dining Ellenborough Market Cafe Vouchers worth $48 each!
To stand a chance to win, simply share this post or this event on any social networking site (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/etc.) with the hashtag #SFFV15 and send an email with your Full Name (as per NRIC), NRIC No., Mobile No. and Email Address to email@example.com by 19 July 2015, 2359h.
Alternatively you can fill in this form:
A winner will be picked at random. Good luck! :D
The winner will be sent an email to collect the vouchers. Prize redemption will be at Information Counter at Singapore Favourite Food Village from 24 July to 2 August 2015, 5pm – 11pm daily.