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Preview: Singapore Food Festival 2018

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There is no way to think of Singapore without thinking of its incredible food scene. It’s no wonder then that the annual Singapore Food Festival (SFF) has now reached its 25th year, bigger and better than ever as it celebrates our diverse and delicious food culture this July.

Themed “Savour Singapore in Every Bite”, SFF 2018 will focus on our food heritage and explore just what ‘Singapore cuisine’ really means. With over 20 events and experiences taking place across multiple locations across the country  from 13th to 29th July, expect some of the most charming and inventive programmes set to highlight our local culinary talents as they showcase the beauty and importance of our local flavours, cultures and history.

Starting off SFF 2018 with a bang is anchor event STREAT, a two-day long outdoor affair at Empress Lawn and the biggest edition yet as they feature plenty of the nation’s best chefs and establishments cooking up a storm of locally-inspired dishes. Look out for chefs Emmanuel Stroobant and Haikal Johari (from Saint Pierre and Alma respectively, both one Michelin-starred) as they join forces for the first time ever to create a pop-up restaurant, with fusion dishes such as warm Canadian scallops with coconut, turmeric and laksa leaf oil, as well as beef short rib with black pepper, ginger and buah keluak. Other establishments setting up shop include Old Bibik Peranakan Kitchen, Morsels, Venue by Sebastian, Gayatri Restaurant and Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang, and for the first time ever, Asia’s #1 Bar, Manhattan Bar, will also be present to provide the tipples to complement the food. Local craft brewery Trouble Brewing will also be presenting a limited edition beer to celebrate the festival’s 25th anniversary, while guests can also sign up for culinary workshops and masterclasses, purchase local food-related souvenirs at STREAT’s retail popup and enjoy local entertainment acts each evening.

But SFF won’t just celebrate modernity; they’ll be going back to tradition and heritage as well with a number of exciting events. Celebrate one’s heritage with BACK TO BASICS – Savour your Heritage Kuehs (21st, 27th and 28th July) as local producers showcase their produce, how to grow and care for them, and how they are used in heritage confections. It’s a workshop in traditional kueh making, and visitors will even get to visit a kelong where mussels are farmed for kueh lemper. Weekends at Monniker features home chefs showcasing the latest trends in Singapore’s culinary scene as they reinvent the tradition with  locally-farmed ingredients, new techniques on hawker classics and traditional home recipes across three weekends. Meanwhile, also look out for the return of the 50 Cents Fest at Smith Street in Chinatown, as visitors are taken straight back to the 1930s and get a chance to try ethnic dishes from the past such as Kerabu Bee Hoon, Fish Molee and Enche Kabin for as low as 50 cents, while diners can also enjoy street entertainment acts such as Taxi Girl performances and traditional opera and a virtual reality installation.

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Being an arts website, we’re most taken with how SFF will be featuring not one but two performing arts events this year, with Ape Studio’s Makan Cosmopolitan and Project Plait’s A Samsui Love Story, as these two productions bring you themed dinners according to the plotlines of each production, allowing diners/audiences to fully immerse themselves in these food-themed performances and quite literally taste what the performers are creating or consuming.

There’s plenty more activities happening across the country as well during SFF 2018, from restaurant deals to cultural food tastings to grillfests. This July, set your senses alight with the 2018 Singapore Food Festival, and get to know our country’s heritage better than ever, with an open mouth and an open mind.

Singapore Food Festival 2018 takes place from 13th – 29th July across various venues. For the full list of activities, visit their website here

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