From London to Singapore as street food comes to the UAE with Eat The World DXB from February 23rd to the 25th at Burj Park. The food trucks are on their way and Suzanne gets the stories behind the food and the cooks bringing us interesting ingredients and innovative dishes.
Singapore street food brings together the diversity of the island with Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine and Mod Sin (modern Singaporian) which blends culture and ingredients making for a special journey with the taste buds and senses.
From chicken rice to black pepper crab to laksa and nasi lemak you can grab great tasting food from the hawker centres and coffee shops, eat with the locals, and discover dishes you have never come across before.
My first stop was Revolution Coffee to meet Singaporean celebrity Chef Shen Tam who will be making us her version of the sharwarma when arrives in Dubai with Eat The World DXB. Known for her nasi lemak (which means rich rice) it makes for a fine breakfast.
A traditional dish of rice cooked in coconut milk, as in Malay culture you wouldn’t have used dairy, Chef Shen has added her own mix as you can see from the Revolution menu with fried anchovies to add saltiness and crunch and the chili paste rich with a coffee blend adding flavour.
You will be sure to be entertained at this year’s Eat The World DXB by Chef Bjorn Shen who is described as having a rebellious streak. He is a local pioneer of ‘dude-food’ and is chef ambassador for the United Nations project ‘Recipes for Change’ and resident staff columnist for Time Out Singapore. He is also author of the cookbook ‘Artichoke – Recipes and Stories from Singapore’s Most Rebellious Kitchen’. Artichoke is a Middle Eastern inspired 100 seater café/restaurant. In 2015 Bjorn opened Bird Bird serving great food and his milk tea slushes. That’s where I met him and tried his Rhuppleberry Softie Pie, like a cobbler with a milo soft ice-cream with kanafi, rhubarb, apple and strawberries.
He also got me to taste his Durian Softie Pie, I could smell if before I saw it…the beautiful burnt white chocolate, almond cookies crust and salted palm sugar caramel could not disguise the fustiness of the durian which is definitely an acquired taste but for many it is loved. Not me. Some food outlets ban it from their premises because of the smell, some keep it in separate fridges. Some will pay upwards of $40. SD for it! It takes all sorts I suppose.
I explore Singapore by night and get an idea of the food scene along the river with loads and loads of restaurants and learn a little about the history.
The Singapore river weaves through the city with a vibrant restaurant scene. One of the areas is Clarke’s Quay where you can eat fresh fish and enjoy the atmosphere.
It’s Chinese New Year, Year of the Rooster!
The morning takes me to China Town Complex to seek out the hawker centres and street food.
While in the Hawker Centre I saw dim sum being made.
Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Popiah has been in the Quek family for seventy years making the finest authentic popiah skins and keeping with tradition of families rolling their skins together adding fillings of fresh vegetables or prawns. See this video (below) of one of the family members making the skins on a hot plate. Made of wheat flour, water and salt it makes for springy handmade soft popiah. People come for miles in Singapore to buy their popiah from here. You will get the chance also in February with Eat The World DXB.
With Ms Vickey at Kway Guan Juat Joo Chiat eating fresh popiah.
From frolling popiah I headed to Timbre+, a cool young hangout with food trucks and stalls. There I met with Douglas who shared his passion for the Fish Ball Story, his grandmother’s recipe.
It’s nearly time for me to leave but I had to head to Hawker Chan’s Michelin starred walk in and sit down restaurant in Chinatown and look who I find in line queuing for the chicken and rice but Philip and Fabio, the organisers of Eat The World DXB.