Returning for its 28th edition, the Singapore Food Festival is back with a bang. Conducted in a hybrid format for the first time ever, the food-focused festival combines activities in Singapore with virtual masterclasses designed for food fanatics tuning in from different parts of the world.
The event will be held over three weekends from 27 August to 12 September 2021.
For Malaysians, the real-life foodie events in Singapore are not possible, but there are plenty of masterclasses to look forward to (18 in total), especially as some of Singapore’s brightest culinary stars will be sharing recipes and culinary tips and tricks.
The free masterclasses can be viewed live on SFF’s Facebook page and even the paid masterclasses will be available to watch 24 hours after they have been streamed.
So what is there to look forward to on the masterclass front? Plenty!
For instance, you could learn how to make classic Singaporean dishes like chilli crabs – with a unique twist. On 3 September at 5pm, chef Pang of Sichuan Alley will be teaching viewers how to make the singularly unique mala chilli crab noodles. Mala essentially translates to ‘tongue-numbing’ so expect to discover how to totally jazz up your next home-cooked crab meal!
On 10 September, take a virtual culinary trip to Sri Lanka and Singapore’s spice routes with Kotuwa’s acclaimed chef Rishi Naleendra, who will be highlighting his recipe for devilled prawn curry.
On 11 September, explore the art of bread-making with Tigerlily Patisserie’s famed chef Maxine Ooi, who will be introducing a unique babka loaf stuffed with rempah-infused buah keluak!
Perhaps the best thing about this year’s SFF – for Malaysians at least – is the collaboration between SFF and Malaysian experiential food entity Tiffin, in line with the ‘Tiffin at Home’ campaign. The link-up presents three collaborative menus that showcase the culinary results when some of Singapore and Malaysia’s starriest culinary mavens come together.
Some of the collaborations to look forward to include: Chocha Food Store in the Klang Valley x Laut (Singapore), which will happen between 9 to 12 September and is priced at RM200 for 2 pax and popular local progressive Japanese eatery Kikubari x Noka by Tippling Club (Singapore), taking place between 16 to 18 September and priced at RM350 for 2 pax. Pre-orders are necessary to secure deliveries of meals from these collaborations.
Perhaps the most illustrious match-up and the most highly anticipated one of this collaborative series is the Dewakan x Meta four-hands meal. Dewakan is a Kuala Lumpur restaurant helmed by Darren Teoh that is the only Malaysian restaurant ever to have placed in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking. Meta, on the other is helmed by chef Sun Kim and is a respected one-Michelin starred eatery in Singapore.
Delivery of the six-course meal, priced at RM585 and prepared by these fertile culinary minds is scheduled for 2 to 5 September and pre-orders will close on 31 August 2021.
Sun Kim and Teoh previously did a four-hands dinner together at Meta in 2018 and Sun says he and Teoh became closer after that.
“We were supposed to have a collaboration with Dewakan this year at Meta, but due to the Covid-19, this was not possible. So when the opportunity came up to do a collaboration whilst being in different countries, I thought it was a great idea,” says Sun Kim.
Sun says part of the challenges the two encountered in putting together this cross-country collaboration was ensuring they got their dishes perfect, a process which took a few tries to perfect. Additionally, there were some sourcing issues, as Sun says the ingredients that were available in Malaysia were not necessarily readily available in Singapore.
The result of all that hard work is evident from the get-go. Some of the highlights from the meal include the duck tongue and jicama manduguk, which is essentially braised duck tongues and jicama dumplings served in a tangy smoked duck broth. The dumplings are plump, rotund little morsels that are also not claggy, while the soup is delightful – a clear pool of liquid that seems deceptively simple but delivers a multi-dimensional experience.
Perhaps the centrepiece of the entire meal is the percik lamb ribs, which are roasted in a charcoal oven and served with a selom salad. The ribs are unspeakably good, the sort of fall-off-the-bone tenderness which requires minimal mastication and allows for maximum pleasure. The percik flavours really come through here as do the char and smokiness from the roasting. This is a meal that is simply as good as it gets.
Putting together this multi-course meal also involves a little bit of adventure on the part of the diner, as there is some re-heating, boiling and assembly required.
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