The other day I received an invitation to attend the Opening Cocktail Party of the ten day long Singaporean Food Festival “Singapore Surprise”, currently on at Spectra, The Leela Ambience Gurgaon till the 23rd of Oct 2016.
Just the name Singapore was enough to evoke memories of the sweet and tangy Singapore Chilli Crab that I had tried many years back at one of Singapore’s numerous Hawker Centres or open air food courts which define Singaporean food culture so well.
In fact when I read that two of Singapore’s hawker stalls, Chen Hon Meng’s “Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles” and “Hill Street Tai Hua Pork Noodle” had been awarded one Michelin Star, I was hardly surprised as Singapore has the most delicious and hygienic street food in the world. And the Michelin guide just validated what the world has known all along. These are probably the cheapest Michelin starred eateries that you will find anywhere in the world.
So impressed was I with this island nation’s lively culinary scene, predominantly Chinese with influences from Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and several others nations and a true reflection of its multi-ethnic culture, that I promised myself I would revisit very soon.
However this did not happen though the craving and longing for Singaporean culinary delights resurfaced from time to time whenever the country’s name was mentioned.
Finally this particular food craving got addressed not by catching a flight to Singapore, but by going to Spectra, The Leela Ambience Gurgaon where a Singaporean food festival is currently going on.
To make the experience as an authentic as possible Michel Koopman, the General Manager of The Leela Ambience Gurgaon has invited three acclaimed chefs from The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Richard Ng, Kelvin Wong and Kevin Wong Soon Wah and their star mixologist Naveen Balakrishnan, to prepare about 20-25 dishes along with classic drinks like “Singapore Sling”.
Three of the four Singaporean dishes that were included in the 2015 list of “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods” are part of Singapore Surprise at Spectra. These are Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chilli Crab and Singaporean Laksa, which is a little different from the Penang or Malaysian Laska as it has more coconut and is slightly sweeter.
The other quintessential dishes which dominate Singaporean cuisine featured at the Food Festival at Spectra are Rojak (a salad of fruits, fried dough, bean sprouts, cucumber topped off with crushed peanuts), Char Kuey Teow (sweet smokey and sinful stir-fried rice cake strips with prawns & Chinese sausage), Sambal Stingray, Chicken Satay (the Singaporean version has more turmeric than the Thai one), the popular Prawn Kueh Pie Tee (bite size crispy pastry shell filled with a delicious fragrant mix of prawns and other condiments) , Nasi Lemak and many other delicacies.
The chefs from The Fullerton Hotel Singapore are assisted by the triumvirate of The Leela Ambience kitchen also called “The Three Musketeers of Leela”, Executive Chef Neeraj Rawoot, Executive Pastry Chef Anurag Bhartwal and Malaysian Master Chef Anthony Tuh Yit Yu.
There are lucky draws and exciting prizes to be won sponsored by The Leela Ambience Gurgaon, The Fullerton Hotel, Singapore Airlines & Vistara.
If you wish to contribute to a noble cause then there is a Charity Dinner at The Royal Ballroom at The Leela on 20thOct 2016 where a five-course dinner is paired with classic Singaporean cocktails along with Chardonnay, Chablis and Italian sparkling wine.
So go ahead and indulge your taste buds like I did at “Singapore Surprise”
By : Lavina Kharkwal
For more information on Singaporean Lunch & Dinner Buffet please call 01244771255 or email at fnb.marketing.com