IF you love Singaporean food like I do and cannot find all your favorite Singaporean dishes prepared the authentic way in one restaurant in Manila, catch the Singaporean food promotion taking place at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria’s Seven Corners.
Ongoing at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant until March 13, 2016, Flavors of Singapore features Singaporean guest chef Chua Yew Hock, executive chef of Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. Chef Chua, who is backed by 30 years of culinary experience and has worked in the Philippines before, showcases a wide array of delicious dishes from the Lion City in menu cycles that change from day to day for the two-week run of the food promotion.
Dishes include Ngoh Hiang (five-spice meat roll), which is similar to the Chinese meat roll that is an intrinsic part of the unique cuisine which can only be found in Binondo Chinatown. Wrapped with tau-peh (beancurd skin), which is very crunchy when fried in hot oil, Ngoh Hiang is very crunchy on the outside yet tender and flavorful inside. The roll is sliced into segments.
Not to be missed is the Singaporean Laksa, a spicy noodle soup dish flavored with pandan and laksa leaves. Diners can have it prepared at the noodle station of Seven Corners and then ladle in as much laksa soup as desired. You cannot say you’ve had Singaporean food if you haven’t tried the Laksa. But don’t worry, the heat level has been toned down to suit the Filipino palate, although it can be heightened should you want it Singapore style.
Another signature Singaporean dish that’s on the buffet table is Hainanese Chicken Rice. Since that station is interactive, you assemble your own dish by putting a generous amount of Hainanese Chicken (sliced and ready to eat) on your plate, scoop some Chicken Rice beside it, and eat it with ginger, soy and chili sauces in small condiments bowls. Chef Chua makes excellent Hainanese Chicken Rice!
Chicken Curry is also among the buffet selections. It’s curry at its best.
Don’t forget the Beef Rendang. It’s a dish that Singapore shares with its neighbor, Malaysia, and has a unique flavor and texture that only an authentic Rendang can offer. It’s tender to the bite.
For diners who like their food light and healthy, there’s the Singaporean Vegetable Stew, which is a version of Singapore’s Po-piah and the Chinese Fresh Lumpia that Filipinos are very familiar with. It’s a mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, green beans and tofu, stir-fried and simmered.
The Sambal Fish should also go well with the Filipino palate. It’s spicy but not too much, and the tomato-based sauce blends perfectly with the fish.
For Filipinos who love rice, there’s Nasi Goreng, a fried rice version that’s not just Singaporean but also Indonesian.
Since Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria’s Flavors of Singapore also gives diners a taste of its neighbor countries Malaysia and Indonesia’s specialties, as well, Gado Gado, an Indonesian salad, is on the buffet spread, too. It’s a platter of boiled eggs cut into wedges, fried tofu, boiled marble potatoes, and blanched green beans, carrots, beansprouts and cabbage.
Papadum (a bread or cracker of Indian origin) and Prawn Crackers (used often in Indonesian cuisine) also form part of the buffet spread, so with Achar (South Asian pickles similar to our own Filipino atchara) and Sambal Top Shell.
Also featured in the Flavors of Singapore promotion are Black Pepper Crab, Mutton Soup and Mee Rebus.
Singapore, though, is not wanting in desserts. Depending on the menu cycle, Flavors of Singapore offers Pandan Pancake with Coconut Filling, Pandan Chiffon Cake, Sago Pudding, and Bubur Cha Cha (a colorful and sweet rice cake).
And don’t forget the beverage that Singapore is truly proud of—Teh Tarik. It is “pulled tea” that the Singaporeans had long before the milk tea craze happened. Made of black tea, condensed milk and evaporated milk, Teh Tarik got its name from the process of “pulling” the tea drink as the mixture is poured back and forth between two vessels repeatedly from a height to thoroughly mix the tea and the milk and at the same time cool down the tea to the ideal drinking temperature. Pouring from a height also gives the beverage a nice frothy top.
As an added treat, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria’s Flavors of Singapore treats diners of Seven Corners who take part in the Singaporean culinary journey a chance to win a free trip to Singapore for two, with round-trip airline tickets provided by Cebu Pacific Air and 3-day, 2-night accommodations courtesy of Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium. Every Php2,000 worth of food and beverage ordered at Seven Corners from March 1 to 13, 2016, will entitle diners to one raffle coupon. The raffle draw is scheduled on March 15.
For inquiries or reservations, call 633-7222.
(Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria is located at Ortigas Ave. corner Asian Development Bank Ave., Quezon City.)