Prepare your appetites — and wallets — because the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is back from now till Sept 11.
Besides virtual masterclasses and tours around the island, one of the biggest draws for local foodies this year is probably the Festival Village at Bayfront Event Space.
We went down to check it out on its first day (Aug 31) and here's a rundown.
Tickets cost $15 per pax on weekdays and $20 per pax on weekends. You'll get $10 or $12 worth of credits respectively with each ticket.
The food festival features 14 contemporary food stalls and six heritage hawker food stalls, as well as a Hawker Heroes Collective section selling favourites such as Lim Bo Fruits Rojak and Ah Boon Handmade Fish Cake.
There's also beer and live music over at the Tiger Beer zone, a gourmet market and the Chef Arena, where you can get a nine-course dinner curated by renowned chefs (from $128 for weekend ticket holders as weekday slots are sold out).
Popular food truck Goodburger is also stationed there and even has a plant-based chilli crab burger that's exclusive to the event (more on that later).
While there's a good mix of traditional hawker fare and more innovative offerings, you definitely won't be enjoying hawker prices here.
For example, a bowl of noodles from Wang Ji Wanton Mee will set you back $10. Social enterprise My Nonna's also does a sundae-sized chendol dessert that costs $8.
It's for this reason that we found ourselves gravitating a little more to the contemporary choices and festival exclusives. If you're forking out the cash, might as well try the more unique food, right?
You might not be able to eat your way through the entire festival, but here are some of the stalls and items which caught our eye.
Staple By Qiji's laksa dumplings ($12 for four pieces)
Staple, the sister brand of the popular Qiji chain, specialises in Asian fusion food. For SFF, they're serving up some familiar items, such as their otah balls ($10 at SFF, $6 at their Northshore Plaza restaurant), as well as some interesting dishes such as chilli crab popiah ($12) and laksa dumplings ($12).
We particularly liked the laksa dumplings which came with a rich, flavourful broth and meaty fillings that were the perfect size. We might even travel all the way to Punggol for this if they make it a permanent menu item.
This is the only social enterprise at the festival and is one stall you should try if you want to support a good cause. My Nonna aims to provide training and jobs for the elderly and those who are disabled.
Their festival menu includes butterfly pea nasi lemak ($15) and chendol ($8).
Goodburger's chilli crab burger ($18)
This popular food truck, usually stationed at Coronation Plaza, is known for its plant-based burgers.
We decided to try its SFF-exclusive chilli crab burger ($18) and had no regrets. While the plant-based patty did taste a touch more like fish than crab, the sauce from the famous Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House was enough to make up for this.
Durian fans should definitely swing by this stall. You can expect unconventional takes on the King of Fruits, such as fermented musang king seafood curry ($18) served with sourdough bread, grilled durian (from $28, depending on weight of durian) and musang king mascarpone cheesecake ($12).
The Masses and Iko's crab meat kueh pie tee ($12)
On top of the traditional turnip filling, this dish comes topped off with a generous amount of shredded crab meat. The sweet, crunchy dish was a great starter and definitely whetted our appetites for the rest of the food we got.
We just wish it came with a few more kueh pie tee shells as we had quite a bit of turnip and crab meat left over.
Worth the visit?
@asiaone Here's your peek of SFF's Festival Village at Bayfront! Featuring a Marketplace, an Entertainment Stage and a Chef Arena, there are a ton of eats and good music to feast on! Or #SingaporeFoodFestival #VisitSingapore #PassionMadePossible #tiktoksg #fyp #Foodie #foodtiktok #foryoupage #sgtiktok #sgfoodie #sgfyp #sgfood ♬ GASLIGHT - INJI
If you're all about hunting for value-for-money eats, though, be warned that some stalls do have 'marked-up' versions of their regular menu items.
This will be the place for you if you're simply trying to have some good bites and a good time. The sheer variety of stalls and dishes available means this event is one that is not to be missed if you're a foodie.