Saturday night and I’m flying el solo. I kind of like this once in a while, to take my own time and wander along Southbank and you know, eat like five courses of modern Singaporean food on my own. Thank goodness they were itsy bitsy courses, a part of Singapore Tourism’s new campaign to introduce the wonders of Singaporean food to one and all.
Singapore Takeout is basically one big road trip on steroids. One shipping container, 9 countries in 9 months. 9 Singaporean chefs paired with 9 teams of local chefs. And a butt load of delicious food.
Their first stop was Londontown, setting up shop in Southbank and challenging a mantra that my parents have been hammering into me since I was half a foot tall – that nothing in life is free. Well guess what? This event is, believe it or not, FREE. You queue, you get tickets for two courses and you get your food. What’s the catch? Absolutely nudda.
I thought this was a completely bizarre concept but you know, what better way to share the wonders of the cuisine with anyone who wanted to try… and even more impressively, I give massive kudos to the event management team who (a) kept the crowds calm and happy (b) provided spacious seating areas and (c) made sure they didn’t run out of food. Basically, the total opposite of the awful Malaysia Night at Trafalgar Square. Which wasn’t even free.
Kudos also goes to Chef Janice Wong, leased from Singapore’s 2am:dessertbar to head up the London leg of the road trip. If I didn’t feel like a failure before, I sure did when I met Janice. At ahem, twenty-something years old, she’s young enough to be my little sister and has achieved more than I can even imagine. And she’s so teeny and so very awesome!
Janice’s dessert bar is super successful in Singapore as she pushes the boundaries of modernism and creativity. She’s got her cook book in the wings, she’s setting up a “lab” to foster development amongst future chefs and she created for this event the tastiest and prettiest morsels of Singaporean inspired dishes I’ve seen in a while:
yu sheng citrus salad, a modern twist on the traditional tangy fish carpaccio
lemongrass infused laska dumplings with noodles
You can’t really see it here but in this laksa soup is a tiny piece of edible paper, inscribed with one of Janice’s own poems. Amaze.
chilli chocolate corals
The chilli chocolate coral kind of blew my mind a little bit, totally reminiscent of something Heston would do at The Fat Duck. I’m not even going to pretend like I remember how this was made, but there’s liquid nitrogen involved, resulting in chilli laced chocolate mousse looking like a piece of coral, served in a pot of chocolate dirt. Really, wow.
blood orange snowball, encased in an ice kachang bowl
popcorn nostalgia, sweet & salty popcorn ice cream served with yuzu parfait
Oh and up top is a tiny taste of kaya custard toffee cake, handed out to the waiting queues. Maybe that’s their secret to keeping everyone happy 🙂
Janice prepared a different menu each day of this three day event and I wished I had the time to go every day. But alas, no and sadly the event ended tonight. But! London is the first stop so if you’re any where else around the world, check out their agenda:
- London (9 – 11 Jun 2011)
- Paris (30 Jun – 2 Jul 2011)
- Moscow (15 – 17 Jul 2011)
- New York (16 – 18 Sep 2011)
- Hong Kong (10 – 12 Nov 2011)
- Shanghai (1 – 3 Dec 2011)
- Delhi (13 – 15 Jan 2012)
- Dubai (19 – 20 Feb 2012)
- Sydney (30 Mar – 1 Apr 2012)
Sydney guys, see you on 30 March 😉
Singapore Takeout also showcased other great Singaporean brands… like Tiger beer! I managed to sneak away with a press bag full of goodies and check out my dinner tonight. Hehe…
With that in my belly and brownies baking in the oven, I can’t complain about an evening el solo, can I?