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Whatever your foodie personality may be, The GREAT Food Festival happening from 21 to 24 September 2017 has got something for you. We were lucky enough to attend a media preview of the event and got to try out several of the chefs’ signature dishes. Here is this writer’s insider review of 5 exquisite dishes he thinks you should definitely try at TGFF next week.
*SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE END OF THIS POST!*
1. Duck Rice by Chef Stephen Zoisl
“It’s a very local dish. But having been in Singapore for 10 years, I made my own European version of it.” – Chef Zoisl (Chef’s Table)
Prepared using a combination of techniques and ingredients, Chef Zoisl’s rendition of Singapore’s Duck Rice has strong European influence but retains an unmistakable Asian flavour. The pulled duck is supple yet springy, made in a French style duck confit although guests may also add typical Singaporean condiments such as dark soy sauce and chili padi to their liking. According to Chef Ziosl, even the rice is special – of a very premium grade from Japan, rich in Vitamin B and actually helps consumers to lose weight after eating it!
2. Soufflated Farm Egg by Chef Benjamin Halat
“Everybody makes the poached egg… I wanted to bring it to a fine dining level and make it different.” – Chef Halat (CURATE)
By employing techniques typically used in making dessert soufflés on a savoury egg dish served with caviar, Chef Halat ingenuously keeps the egg fluffy and light on the palate – perfect for food festivals where you want to try as many dishes as possible.
The spinach espuma base, however, is what intrigued me the most. Chef Halat explained that it’s made of a spinach puree, brown butter and potato cream, kept in a sous vide machine at a precise 55 degrees Celcius because the chlorophyll in the spinach gets destroyed at 60 degrees Celcius. To that, Chef Halat added, “Cooking is all about science.”
3. Crispy Pork Lard Truffle La Mian by Chef Ricky Ng
“I’m from Hong Kong, and in the old days, Ju Yao Zha – you know, pork lard – was considered a rich man’s food because it’s very sinful. But we’ve made it healthier.” – Chef Ng (Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House)
Cooked in a mix of Chinese and Japanese styles so that they remain al dente, the noodles are tossed in a homemade soy sauce and pork lard oil before they are drizzled over with truffle oil. While truffle oil can get quite jelak at times, its taste is distinctive yet light in this dish, and served as the perfect finishing touch to elevate its already strong aroma (just be sure to mix it in well).
The cubes of pork lard are soft instead of crispy, and burst with flavour when you bite into them, making for an extremely satisfying dish. Although the dish is reminiscent of decadent hawker food, it truly – and miraculously – isn’t oily, somehow. This was definitely our table’s favourite dish for the night.
4. Satay Tender-Braised Beef Rendang by Chef Eugenia Ong
“Watching my mum cook, learning and tasting from a very young age helped a lot…It’s her recipe. All I did was to use premium products to bring it to a completely different level.” – Chef Ong (Table @ 7)
This Indonesian classic is undoubtedly on a different level from other Beef Rendang dishes out there. The spice-marinated Wagyu beef is so tender, you can almost feel its marble texture as it melts in your mouth. If you’re worried about the Rendang’s full-bodied flavour getting too overwhelming, the banana leaf-infused Jasmine Rice is an excellent complement that can help reset your palate after each mouthful.
5. Asian Sweet Delicacies by Chef Kenny Kong
“We try to find something unique to Singapore, something that is both sweet and spicy.” – Chef Kong (Sessions)
Although the idea of Chili Crab ice cream may sound really strange and daunting, Chef Kong’s impeccable taste in mixing sweet, spicy and sour flavours make Asian Sweet Delicacies and its Chili Crab ice cream centerpiece a very well-rounded dessert that cleanses the palate.
The best way to enjoy the dessert, according to Chef Kong, is to take a bit of everything in the pot (chocolate pancake, coconut shavings, caramelized pineapples and the chocolate lid) to balance out the spice of the Chili Crab ice cream. That way, you’ll get to hit all your different taste buds at once.
*SPECIAL ANNOUNCMENT* TGFF IS COMING TO YOU WITH FREE ICE CREAM!
To give you a taste of what sweet treats you can expect at The GREAT Food Festival, we’ll be giving out Chef Kenny Kong’s other unique creation, Iced Gula Melaka Mango Lollipop, for free over the next two days:
|14 September 2017 (12 – 2pm)||15 September 2017 (12 – 2pm)|
Do keep a lookout for our ice cream cart if you happen to be in the vicinity!
Don’t miss out on these mouthwatering delicacies!
The TGFF Experience Pack (S$78)
Includes S$35 TGFF credits (Star Chef Arena), S$10 TGFF credits (Rollin’ Sweet Times), goodie bag worth S$44.90, full-day parking worth S$28, plus all-day access to Celebrity Chef Auditorium for live demo sessions. TGFF credits are for food purchase.
Rollin’ Sweet Times Pass only (S$22)
Includes S$10 TGFF credits (Rollin’ Sweet Times), full-day parking worth S$28, plus all-day access to Celebrity Chef Auditorium for live demo sessions. TGFF credits are for food purchase. Valid for use on specified TGFF Event Date as purchased.
Members and UOB Cardholders enjoy 10% off.
The GREAT Food Festival (Introduction)
5 Chefs To Follow On Instagram & Meet In Person At ‘The GREAT Food Festival’
4 Chefs As Seen On Reality TV That You Can Meet At ‘The GREAT Food Festival’
10 Photogenic Desserts Definitely Worth The Calories
7 Things To Do At ‘The GREAT Food Festival’
5 Must-Try Dishes At The GREAT Food Festival
The GREAT Food Festival 2017 Highlights