The 2nd edition of Delhi’s Singapore Food Festival was a bubbling cauldron of rich culinary delights
Long transits can double as fab food jaunts for aficionados at sprawling airports and when the halt in question is at the famed Changi airport, the options are aplenty. Amid many kiosks, where wafts of bakery give in to the strong aroma of fish sauce, the sight of the curry puff lends a familiar feeling as though twining with the semi-circular keema samosa or a dry fruit gujiya, pinched perfectly along the sides.
On one such long layover in 2015, my tryst with Singapore cuisine began at Changi airport. But little did I know that my journey would begin and end with these fried curry puffs only to be washed down with a sugary glass of the signature boba or bubble tea. The crispness of the crust combined with the filling of spicy chicken laced in a tangy thick curry meant umami-cum-homestyle food feels.
Cut to 2022, the second edition of the Singapore Food Festival in India that marks the celebration of the country’s rich culinary fabric made my heart flutter with gastronomic delight. This festival was held between August 27 and September 11 this year, across DLF Malls in Delhi and Park Hyatt in Chennai, was curated for gourmets to sample the diverse culinary heritage of Singapore. You will see a plenty of Southeast Asian influences what with vadais, laksa, satay, Som Tam and nasi goreng just to name a few. This translated to sumptuous and exclusive menus with innovative and modern twists at the Singapore Tourism Board’s partner restaurants at the mall and hotel.
Singapore Food Festival is an annual island-wide affair. By introducing this culinary event to India, in addition to 12 more countries, this festival aims to extend the rich food culture of Singapore across the globe.
So, at DLF Promenade nostalgia hit hard the moment I stepped into the main atrium of the mall and laid my eyes on the boba tea kiosk by Fat Tiger. After happily sipping and chewing on the strawberry-flavoured bubble tea I stopped for a photo-op set just next to the kiosk.
The eight participating restaurants at the Singapore Food Festival included Le Cantine, Mamagoto, SAZ, Andreas Bistro and Café Delhi Heights in DLF Promenade, Cha Shi in DLF Emporio, MKT in DLF The Chanakya and Mai Bao in DLF Avenue, Saket.
While the Andreas Bistro served the cottony steamed bao, the classic Singapore chili sauce tossed with chicken or tofu and the iconic Singapore street-side Hainanese chicken rice was equally appealing.
However, Café Delhi Heights was pleasantly surprised with lovely laksa, succulent satay, crunchy and fresh Som Tam salad, and the yummiest mocktail version of the Singapore Sling.
The steamed spring rolls at Mamagoto gave tough competition to the aromatic curry laksa at Saz and Le Cantine’s juicy chicken satay, spicy street wontons, and delicious Singapore peanut noodles. Cha Shi and MKT restaurants in DLF Emporio and The Chanakya curated mouth-watering Singaporean menus with iconic dishes like nasi lemak (coconut-scented rice and condiments), Singapore fried rice, Khaw-Teow chicken and prawn as well as cocktails like the Spicy Mango Mule, Ocean Paradise, and Jasmine Sour.
However, what stood out symbolically at each eatery was a strong culinary legacy of a nation that speaks of its generous legacy of inclusion and diversity, one dish (and drink) at a time! Take a look at how Singapore, which imports the majority of its food, plans to build a sustainable food paradise!
Media credits: Lubna Salim and @visit_singapore
Lubna Salim is a lifestyle journalist and editor-turned marketing and communications professional. She has 11 years of experience with leading Indian media houses, where she headed the production of Sunday lifestyle magazines like Graphiti, The Telegraph newspaper in Kolkata, and Brunch, Hindustan Times. Lubna has interviewed some of the world’s top chefs like Nigella Lawson, Gary Mehigan, Heston Blumenthal, Marco Pierre White, and more! She now independently writes on food, travel, fitness, fashion, and more for digital and print publications!