Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 Preview

Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 Preview




This was an invited media preview. The content here is sponsored, but I was not paid to write this.
Some images are courtesy of Ultimate Hawker Fest, Miss Tam Chiak, The Silver Chef, and SG Food On Foot.

On 22nd November 2014, the Ultimate Hawker Fest returns! Now into its 3rd year, the iconic 1 day event has gathered more than 20 chefs to volunteer their culinary talents for a good cause. The Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 will focus on Singapore’s Hawker Heritage, as part of Singapore’s Jubilee SG50 celebrations, and proceeds from the event will go towards the supporting the over 32,000 beneficiaries of TOUCH Community Services.

This year, the Ultimate Hawker Fest will be held at Suntec Convention Centre Halls 401 & 402, from 11am to 5pm. While the 1st and 2nd Ultimate Hawker Fest held in 2012 and 2013 were curated by reowned Singapore food blogger Dr. Leslie Tay of iEatiShootiPost, the Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 is being curated by reowned Singapore food bloggers Maureen Ow of Miss Tam Chiak, Ian Low of The Silver Chef, and Derrick Tan of SG Food On Foot.

TOUCH Community Services Executive Director, Mr. James Tan, says, "There is much to reminisce of Singapore’s Hawker heritage. We believe that it is important to mark SG50 by celebrating the contributions of those in the culinary sector." As such, the Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 will showcase the best of Singapore’s hawker culture in 3 food zones.

Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 Banner, Credits Source

The Ultimate Original Recipe zone honours the heritage of pioneer generation hawkers through stalls helmed by chefs from the second, third and fourth generations of pioneers. The Ultimate Pursuit of Happiness zone features budding chefs and hawkers who have been driven by their passion for food to leave jobs in other sectors to join the culinary industry. The Ultimate Ingredients zone, will showcase traditional fare made with the finest ingredients to create ‘ultimate’ versions of the original dish.

I'm particularly excited about meeting and sampling some of the food from our Heritage Hawkers, as well as knowing that the proceeds will go towards charity, and helping the needy. Here are some I'm looking forward to!

Executive Chef and Restaurant Home co-founder Tan Yong Hua, whom I met when I visited Restaurant Home, will showcase his signature Lychee Wood Roasted Duck Rice, where every slice of juicy duck meat is infused with the delicate aroma and flavour of imported lychee wood.

Lychee Wood Roasted Duck Rice (SGD $20) – by Restaurant Home

Restaurant Home – Chef Tan Yong Hua

I consider the White Carrot Cake / Carrot Cake White from Chey Sua Carrot Cake, at Block 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #02-30, to be among the best in Singapore. This is because owners Shirley Tay & Grace Tay hand make their own carrot cake, then gently steam it. They fry the top till very crisp, but the bottom is still soft, making for an excellent contrast in texture, with a full eggy goodness.

Traditional White Carrot Cake (SGD $5) – by Chey Sua Carrot Cake

Chey Sua Carrot Cake Owner – Shirley Tay & Grace Tay

Singapore's Crocodile King Tony Tee, the retired owner of Singapore King Crocodile at Block 51 Old Airport Road #01-134, returns specially for this year’s Ultimate Hawker Fest! Low in fat and high in protein, the combination of crocodile meat and Crocodile King’s nutritious herbal soup is the perfect choice for the adventurous and health conscious foodie.

Herbs used may include red dates, dried snow fungus, dried fish maw, button mushrooms, a blend of Chinese wines wu jia pi (五加皮) and shao xing (紹興), wolfberries, astragalus membranaceus root / běi qí (北芪), codonopsis lanceolata root / dāng shēn (当参), dioscorea opposita / Chinese yam / huái shān (淮山), polygonatum odoratum / scented Solomon's seal / yù zhú (玉竹), Northern Chinese almond / běi xìng (北杏), or Southern Chinese almond / nán xìng (南杏). Saltwater crocodile meat sourced from sustainable farms are used, and cuts of the crocodile used may include crocodile tail meat, crocodile loin, and crocodile tail fin. The herbs and meat are slow cooked for over 6 hours!

Herbal Crocodile Soup (SGD $15) – by Crocodile King

I have high regards for the artisinal, hand made fishballs and Fish Ball Noodles from Fishball Story, at 505 Beach Road #01-85. Young entrepreneur Douglas Ng has weathered the storms of starting his own hawker business, including long hours, low income, and little family time, and still persevered. His handmade, pure yellowtail fish balls without any flour have a soft and bouncy texture, while still being slightly firm. The mee pok is done al-dente, while a very shiok sambal and XO sauce. Combine both and you have an irresistible bowl of delight!

Fish Ball Noodles (SGD $10) – by Fishball Story

Fishball Story Owner – Douglas Ng

From The Prata Place, located at 1 Thong Soon Avenue, the owner, Guna, will be creating the ultimate fusion prata, a Prata with Poached Egg and Indian Hollandaise Sauce (SGD $10)! I'm looking forward to sampling the aromatic, buttery prata, topped with a runny egg yolk, and drizzled with Indian spiced hollandaise sauce... a fusion dish I have high expectations for!

The Prata Place Owner – Guna

Executive Chef of Ramada Hotel and Days Hotel Melvin Lim is serving up the Ultimate Ah Hood Burger (SGD $20 For 2), a savoury Kong Ba Bao with a decadent twist! Choose from 2 flavours, a grilled prime ribeye beef with black pepper sauce, or go fusion with a salted egg yolk lobster crab cake with homemade curry mayonnaise.

Ultimate Ah Hood Burger (SGD $20 For 2) – by Chef Melvin Lim, Ramada and Days Hotel Singapore

Ramada and Days Hotel Singapore – Chef Melvin Lim

You can't get more classic than Bak Kut Teh (White) / Bak Kut Teh with a Cup of Tea, from Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh, at Block 26 Sin Ming Lane #01-117. Owner Lionel Lim is serving their signature pork ribs, cooked till tender, in their signature light, clear soup (which was invented by them), served with you tiao / fried dough fritters. The Double Blossom Tea is from Pek Sin Choon, a blend which was created specially to appeal to younger Singaporeans.

Bak Kut Teh with a Cup of Tea (SGD $20) – by Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh

Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh Owner – Lionel Lim

The famous Kampong Chicken Rice / Chicken Rice, Roast Chicken, White Chicken / Boiled Chicken / Steamed Chicken from Tian Tian Chicken Rice, at 443 Joo Chiat Road or 1 Kadayanallur Street #01-10, is often considered the best Chicken Rice in Singapore. The skill of daughter & mother owners Loi Mui Yin & Foo Kui Lian has even gained praise from celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay. Specially reared, fully corn fed Anxin chicken that is 100 days old are used, resulting in a tender bite, with a slightly more intense, natural chicken flavour. Served with fluffy, buttery rice infused with chicken stock and a hint of garlic, so fragrant and yummy!

100 Days Anxin Kampong Chicken Rice (SGD $15) – by Tian Tian Chicken Rice

Toh Thye San Farm Owners – Alex Toh & Kenny Toh and Tian Tian Chicken Rice Owners – Loi Mui Yin & Foo Kui Lian

Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 will be held on 22nd November 2014, at Suntec Convention Centre Halls 401 & 402, from 11am to 5pm. Admission to Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 is free, but food has to be purchased using food coupons. These food coupons can be purchased online at https://www.ultimatehawkerfest.sg/. Food coupons purchased online can be collected at TOUCH Community Services main office in Block 162 Bukit Merah Central, #05-3545, Singapore 150162, or on the event day at Suntec Convention Centre Halls 401 & 402. Proceeds from Ultimate Hawker Fest 2014 will go towards supporting the services and programmes of TOUCH Community Services in meeting the needs of the disadvantaged.

TOUCH Community Services is a not-for-profit charitable organisation, dedicated to meeting the needs of children from low-income or single-parent families, youths at risk, needy families, people with special and healthcare needs, and the frail elderly. Through its network of 18 services, including an international arm, TOUCH is committed to serving people of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Each year, its programmes and services meet the needs of more than 28,000 clients and 211,000 service users. For more information on TOUCH, please visit http://www.touch.org.sg/.