12 August 2017. There was plenty of buzz in the air at Resorts World Sentosa’s Malaysian Food Street as guests eagerly awaited the RWS Street Eats Showdown in which two RWS celebrity chefs, who specialise in western fine dining, competed against two overseas guest chefs in a cook-off of the latter’s specialty dishes.
The Showdown also marked the opening of RWS Street Eats – a smorgasbord of all your favourite Southeast Asian street food – that will continue on till 20 August 2017.
The RWS Street Eats Showdown was hosted by Singapore comedian Chua EnLai as The Noose’s well-loved Pornsak Sukhumvit who brought much laughter to the occasion.
Challenge 1: Phad Thai
In Round One, Chef Pongmorn from Bangkok’s Baan Phadthai, maintained a serious disposition of intense concentration throughout the Phad Thai cook-off against L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon’s Chef Hoja.
On the other hand, Chef Hoja cooked up a fusion variant of traditional Phad Thai whilst engaging in banter with host Chua EnLai.
The whiffs of culinary goodness got people off their seats. And for photos and videos too, of course.
When it comes to the taste test, members of the audience happily tuck into both versions of Phad Thai.
A couple in the audience, the Chongs said: “We know the taste, so psychologically, we think the first one is Phad Thai.”
Joyce, one of the 50 lucky pre-registered guests selected to judge the Showdown, commented on Chef Hoja’s dish: “This one is pretty special and different from the noodles I usually taste… if I’m going for something special I would prefer this one. But if I’m going for the traditional taste then I’ll go for Chef Pongmorn’s.”
The result? More votes for Chef Hoja’s “Phad Thai in Joël Robuchon style French dish”.
In the words of host Chua EnLai, “It’s totally Phad Thai-flavour pasta!”
Challenge 2: Bún Thịt Nướng (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodle)
Round Two saw CURATE’s Chef Halat challenging Chef Long from Hanoi’s Sen Tay Ho in cooking Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodles. Other than differences in styles, the chefs used equipment that they are more familiar with; Chef Halat used a western cauldron-shaped grilled while Chef Long had a traditional charcoal grill.
Along with his traditional Vietnamese recipe, Chef Long even brought a special fish sauce all the way from Vietnam to ensure members of the audience could get an authentic taste of Vietnam.
Throughout the Showdown, host Chua EnLai’s witty jokes and interaction with the audience kept the mood light-hearted.
You could practically see the conviction in their faces as members of the audience voted for their favourite dish.
Tan, a member of the audience, said, “I prefer the western one because it’s fusion and the taste is more intricate.”
Another in the audience, KK pointed out that he preferred Chef Long’s version of the dish because it had a more traditional taste to it.
The result? Chef Long’s traditional Vietnamese Grilled Pork Noodles won Round Two of the Street Eats Showdown.
The winners Chef Hoja and Chef Long each got a golden spatula (though we doubt they’d actually use such a huge one in the kitchen!).
After the Showdown, the audience got to feast on the 21 iconic Southeast Asian street dishes of RWS Street Eats. Lucky!
RWS Street Eats’s 21 dishes include some Malaysian Food Street crowd favourites like Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice.
From overseas, famous vendors are also temporarily taking over some stalls.
Foon Ta Lop from Bangkok’s Or Tor Kor market, for example, has brought its world famous Thai Papaya Salad to RWS.
And of course, Baan Phad Thai that Chef Pongmorn represented at the Showdown. Look at the queue!
Baan Phad Thai’s world-renown Phad Thai with crab.
Indonesia’s Kembang Goela is also here to spice up your life…
…with its West Sumatran version of Dendeng Balado (Dried Beef with Sambal).
Overall, the opening day of the event was a huge hit. But fret not if you weren’t there – you can still get these 21 Southeast Asian yummies at Malaysian Food Street, only till 20 August 2017.
GET A SLICE OF THE ACTION
RWS Street Eats
Date: 12 – 20 August 2017 (note: on 18 August 2017, event ends earlier at 5pm due to a private event)
Time: Weekdays 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thu) | Weekends 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sun)
Venue: Malaysian Food Street, RWS Waterfront, Level 1
Price: Admission is free, and dishes are priced from S$4 onwards.