World Street Food Congress 2013
Feast on these street food masters iconic flavours, from 10 cities worldwide, at the World Street Food Jamboree from 5pm 31st May to 9th June 2013 at F1 Pit Building and Paddock.
Organised by Makansutra, World Street Congress is the first of its kind in the world to connect and open up fresh ideas and thought leadership to structure new opportunities in this massive street food culture and industry. It showcases the richness and vibrancy of the street food scene around the world through a ten-day celebration of this well loved gastro culture. So get ready your stomach to feast!
The World Street Food Congress has 3 components: The World Street Food Dialogue, The World Street Food Jamboree, The World Street Food Awards.
Last Sunday, we visited The World Street Food Jamboree which gathers 37 hawker masters from 10 street food cities. Expect famous street food icons from Indonesia, China to America. Top hawkers from host nation Singapore are also be there. Here are some dishes we tried:
Most of the highly recommended must-try dish at this Jamboree is the Seafood Tostada. At the coast of Ensenada, there is Sabina Bandera Gonzalez and her family dishing out fresh ceviche and salsa. La Guerrerense is recognized by the Newsweek as one of the “101 best places to eat in the world” featured in Travel+Leisure magazine and favourited by many renowned chefs in America and a favourite of CNN’s Parts Unknown host Anthony Bourdain. Her Tostada (flat bread made with corn flour), comes juicy with fresh seafood (squid, scallop and crab meat), and top with her homemade salsa.
Being a hainanese, I definitely love to try 海南粉 (Hai Nan Fen) which is one signature of Hai Nan. 海亚 (Hai Ya) is said to be the spot for the most authentic Hai Nan Fen. They began as a humble stall by the street of Hai Kou (Hai Nan’s capital city) two decades ago, and have worked their way to household name status. This bowl of thin rice noodles is flavoured with a soya gravy, top with beef jerky, bean sprouts, preserved mustard greens and crackers for some crunch. Kind of reminded me of our beef noodles with thick bee hoon.
We were intrigued by the stall’s name – Peoples’ Pig and decided to give it a try. Chef Cliff Allen who has worked alongside James Beard’s winning restaurant is known for his handcrafted grilled meats. His Porchetta is an Italian style pulled pork wrapped in pork belly and roasted to perfection. To cut off the sinful fat, this sandwich comes with arugula and/or coriander dressed with fresh lemon squeeze and served on ciabata rolls. I am not a fan of fatty pork belly, but certainly love the tangy sauce that accompanied it!
We missed the Penang Rojak we had while we did Malaysian Food Trail with Johor Kaki a while back. So we decided to try Ah Chye, who has been a mobile hawker for over 40 years and Penang Rojak is all he knows. He operates at up to 10 places a week on his motorcycle food cart and is a regular at major pasar malams (mobile night markets) in Penang. The edge here is the use of sliced and very crispy little pieces of yu tiao (dough fritters) plus a moreish and complex hae ko (prawn paste) from Penang that has seven ingredients added for oomph. Yet, Ah Chye says the most important element in his fruit rojak is his crushed roasted peanuts which he is very generous with. Oh, and I love the thick prawn sauce!
Kerak Telor is Jakarta’s iconic street food and has become a rare Batavian (Jakarta natives) treat nowadays. The team has traveled around Jakarta to find the remaining Kerak Telor vendors, and I am glad it is available at this congress. The Kerak Telor is crispy glutinous rice pan toasted frittata with Serundeng (spicy, savoury and sweet toasted grated coconut), dried shrimp and fried onion. Every order is carefully made a la minute over charcoal to ensure perfect crispiness.
Banh Khot (seafood rice cake) and Banh Xeo (crispy seafood pancake) are the staple of coastal Vietnam, made with rice flour, top with fresh seafood and served with three different types of sauces: braised fish sauce, anchovy sauce, and fish sauce. Ms Loan’s Phan Rang 38 had earned awards and acknowledgment from Vietnamese gastronomy magazines. To make the perfect porous rice cake, which they do over charcoal fire in Vietnam, rice grains are soaked for hours before grinding it with mortar. They are very fussy about the rice flour they use!
Narayan Swamy from Karnataka, India, was an assistant cook at a local hotel before he became a hawker selling this wildly popular dish – Chicken 65 – about 12 years ago. Some say “65” refers to the number of days of marination, others say it is the amount of spices that the dish contains and the plausible being, that it’s the 65th item on the menu of the restaurant that created it. One thing is for sure: this Chicken 65, a spicy deep-fried chicken with coconut chutney from Chennai, is another hot favourite.
Our dessert was Nam Bo Sticky Rice Banana (Chuoi Nuong). The owner of Nam Bo, Mrs Ngo, was an architectural professional. She started selling Chuoi Nuong (banana sticky rice) to tide things through after having her first child and she continued to do. To make Chuoi Nuong, glutinous rice is first infused with coconut water, wrapped around a sweet banana and bundled up with banana leaves. The bundle is then toasted over charcoal fire until it crisps on the outside with the caramelized banana filling. The sweet coconut milk and toasted sesame seeds completes the masterpiece.
There are so many choices for you to choose and it is definitely impossible to eat all of them (unless you have a super big group and intend to stay there for lunch and dinner). So here are 3 tips to maximise your indulgence:
- Plan your makan. Do you intend to have a big feast or small bites? For us, we want to try as many international street food as possible, so we didn’t touch on any local stalls (you can eat them in Singapore anyway).
- Eat with your friends/family. Have as much people come with you as possible so that you guys can try a variety of items. Once you have the list on what to eat, divide the work out and let each of them queue and buy from the stalls.
- Bring enough money! This is most important lah. You have $20 worth of coupons to eat but you want to try a lot more, so bring enough cash to buy the coupons!
That’s it, have fun and CHIAK AH!
World Street Food Congress 2013
Date: 31 May – 9 June 2013
Venue: F1 Pit Building and Paddock
Opening hours: 11am till 10pm daily
Admission fee to Jamboree: S$28 which include S$20 worth of food coupons, access to all demonstrations and music performances. Street food items are priced from S$6 upwards. Children age 6 and under may enter for free.
UPDATE: From today till Friday, $8 entry fee waived if you come to the entrance and say “Patricia’s Guest”.