I HAVEN’T visited Singapore since 2008 and, after getting used to going back and forth to Singapore every year before that, I must admit that I miss the Lion City – and I miss its uniquely flavorful cuisine that effectively marries Chinese, Malay and Indian flavors. Hainanese Chicken Rice, Laksa, Char Keow Teow, Popiah, Chili Crab, Oyster Omelette… I miss all these delicious Singaporean fares, but, luckily, there are certain places in the metro where you can go to savor some of these. But you cannot find them all in one place.
Well, now, you and I can have our fill of delicious and authentic Singaporean dishes via Epicurean Singaporean: A Food Festival, which is ongoing at Makati Shangri-La Hotel’s Circles Event Café until this Saturday (August 10, 2013). Makati Shangri-La Hotel, through its partner airline. Cebu Pacific Air, has “flown in” guest chefs from Traders Hotel Singapore, Sous Chef Tan Kheng Boon and Assistant Sous Chef Ricky Young Soon Khiong, to whip up an epicurean feast of traditional Singaporean dishes specifically for the food promotion.
So expect to have a taste of Popiah (Singaporean version of fresh Chinese lumpia), Laksa (spicy curry noodle soup with prawns), Mee Goreng (spicy fried noodles), Hokkien Mee (seafood noodles with bean sprouts), Char Keow Teow (stir-fried noodles with meat and soy sauce), Rojak (fresh fruits, beancurd and prawns served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce), Singapore Chicken Rice (the ever popular Hainanese steamed chicken with three dipping sauces, chicken rice and chicken soup), Fish Head Curry (fish head cooked into a spicy curry soup-y dish), Chili Crab (Singapore’s iconic signature dish of fresh crab cooked in chili sauce), and Oyster Omelette (fried oyster pancake), and other Singaporean treats.
I got a chance to sample a number of these dishes last week with Makati Shangri-La’s director of communications Lesley Tan and communications manager Mica Cordero. My hands-down favorites were the Laksa, Popiah and Singapore Chicken Rice. The Singapore Chicken Rice had a particularly beautiful presentation, with the Hainanese Chicken laid out nicely in the bowl area of a rectangular Wave design plate, and balls of Chicken Rice nicely scooped with a large ice cream scooper onto the flat part of the plate.We capped the lovely Singaporean lunch with Singaporean desserts, Pulut Hitam (black glutinous rice, cooked like champorado), Pisang (fried bananas) and Coconut Ice Cream in a chocolate cup.
This Singaporean treat is available at Circles Event Café for lunch at Php1,460+++ from Mondays to Saturdays, and for dinner at Php1,735+++ from Sundays to Thursdays and at Php1,950+++ on Fridays and Saturdays.
For diners who are also very enthusiastic about cooking, there will be an exclusive cooking demo on Wednesday (August 7, 2013), where the guest Singaporean chefs will be sharing various cooking techniques in cooking delectable Singaporean dishes. It’s on Wednesday, so you can still catch it.
Also, as a special treat for those dining in groups, a group of 4 will be entitled to a raffle ticket for a chance to win a roundtrip ticket for 2 to Singapore care of Cebu Pacific Air and accommodations at Traders Hotel Singapore or Shangri-La Singapore. The raffle draw is slated on August 12, 2013, and will be conducted in the presence of a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) representative.
(Makati Shangri-La Hotel is located at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Makati Ave. in Makati City. For more information on Epicurean Singaporean or to book a table, call Restaurant Reservations at 813-8888, email firstname.lastname@example.org or reserve online through www.bitly.com/circles8.)