Frannywanny goes to the Singapore Food Festival 2010

A food lover will always be a food lover.

No matter where we go, Paul and I make it a point that we get to have a wonderful gastronomic adventure in our trips here and abroad. Luck must have been on our side as we just recently found out that the Singapore Food Festival will happen just around the same time that we're there. Of course, this was immediately included in our itinerary.

It has been drizzling all day but it didn't stop us from taking the MRT all the way to Clarke Quay in order to check the festival out. From the station, it was a short walk crossing Swissotel Merchant Court and soon you'll see the Singapore River with lots of small stalls selling shirts and other retail items.

The Clarke Quay Food Street was located along the Read Bridge. It wasn't difficult to locate this as all we had to do was to follow the steady stream of people going in one direction.

After going around each and every stall, we decided to buy our very own Kopi Tiam card with $20 credits. This marked the start of our Singapore Food Festival Adventure.

This year's theme centered on the different Chinese Dialects and their respective specialties. There's really something for every visitor here as there's a wide array of desserts, noodles, meat products and dimsum! Our goal was to maximize our $20 card and see what were the food items that we can buy with it.

First stop: Hainanese Chicken Balls ($7.20)

We've had quite a number of Hainanese Chicken Rice for the past 4 days and this added a twist to our favorite Singaporean dish. Serving the same steamed white chicken and the three signature sauces that we love so much, the rice was most sticky and molded into a ball which we felt made it easier to eat.

Second stop: Mix Satay ($5)

If there's one Southeast Asian dish that we both love, then this must be the Satay. One order had 6 sticks which comprised of a mix of beef and lamb. While the one that we had in the Makansutra Gluttons Bay was juicier, this particular version was good enough. The peanut sauce was less chunkier yet we love the well-mixed sweet-salty combination.

Third stop: Carrot Cake ($3)

One way to find out what are the must-tries in a festival, just look for the stall with the longest line and more often than not you won't get disappointed. After noticing that the stall selling Carrot Cake continues to have a long line the entire evening, we knew that we also have to patiently wait in line to taste this ourselves. The stall owner was very friendly and we noticed that after asking us if we are from the Philippines, they added in more slices to our delight. We normally add some tomato ketchup to our carrot cake but since there was none available, we just had it plain.

No wonder people were lining up for it as the carrot cake was perfect! It was soft and fluffy and you can still bite into the crunchy chunks of the carrot cake. Not fond of carrots? Don't worry as this does not have a slightest hint of carrot, the taste was perfectly masked it actually tastes like our local radish cake. It was also delightful to watch them prepare the Carrot cake as they quickly cook one batch after the other using a huge black skillet pan that looks like a paella pan. How I wish we bought more to bring back to our hotel with us.

We were almost full and we still have $4.80 credits left. We then agreed to just buy a couple of snacks to enjoy later in the evening.

Fourth stop: Popiah ($1.80)

My first taste of Popiah was pretty disastrous. After which I never found the enthusiasm to try it again. Thanks to Paul for his continuous prodding and encouragement we got an plate of Popiah that seems to also be a best-seller in the festival.

Popiah is like our local Fresh Lumpia that's filled with veggies and wrapped in fresh lumpia wrapper. In contrast to the fresh lumpia, it is served minus the sweet sticky sauce. Nonetheless the veggie filling was very delicious that there's really no need for the sauce.

Fifth stop: Chinatown Tan's Tutu ($2)

This is an interesting Fookien dessert made of rice flour and sweet shredded desiccated coconut as filling. The stall owner was kind enough to suggest that we get a combination of two tutus with coconut and another with nuts. We ordered four bite size pieces to share. Paul liked the peanut version while I prefer the Coconut Tutu which has a crunch in every bite.

Sixth and final stop: Ha Kao ($1)

We were down to our last dollar and I went with my favorite shrimp dimsum called Ha Kao. One plump piece of shrimp ha kaw is good for $1. This was actually the best dimsum that I've tasted during our entire stay in Singapore. Not even our hotel breakfast buffet could match up to this.

Leaving the Food Festival happy and satisfied, we walked along the Singapore River hand-in-hand while checking out the different products for sale. This was definitely a wonderful experience and we plan to go back again next year for the Food Festival 2011.

The Singapore Food Festival ran from July 9 to July 28 in various locations around Singapore.

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