My friend Sheryl and I decided to brave the crowds and headed to the World Streetfood Congress 2015’s Jamboree Food Spread for lunch today.
Over 20 stalls from mostly Asia (with a few Angmo offerings like German sausages and a food truck from Austin) dish up street food from around the world. Prices range from $4.50 to about $14. Seems reasonable but portions were woefully tiny.
Queues for certain stalls were really long, especially for the Truffle lechon diva, (pork with truffle rice) from Pepita’s Kitchen (The Philippines). The stall stopped taking orders for an hour when we tried to join the queue at 230pm; we heard the back orders needed 2 hours to clear. A pity, cos we were really tempted by the sight of a pig roasting on a spit.
Here’s what we managed to buy after queuing for almost an hour.
Singapore: Har Cheong Kai with sweet potato fries ($5) Hong Kong Street Chun Kee
This was actually one of the more reasonably priced items. 2 mid wings coated in an uber crunchy batter that stayed crisp even when we ate it an hour after we bought it. Better than the average prawn paste chicken that you get from the usual zichar stall. Good even without the sweet Chilli dip. The sweet potato fries (frozen instant ones) are nothing to shout about and go predictably limp after a while.
Austin, Texas: Chicken Inasal Taco with Fried Chicken Skin from East Side King ($9)
We queued the longest for this dish, the only stall selling from a food truck. It is by East Side King, a group of Asian-inspired street food restaurants and food trucks in Austin, Texas, founded by Chef Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya in 2009. Some of you may recognize Chef Paul from Top Chef S9.
According to the World Streetfood Congress website, “Chicken Inasal Taco with Fried Chicken Skin
Chicken Inasal is a dish commonly found in the Philippines that is essentially chicken marinated in a mixture of lime, pepper and vinegar grilled over charcoal fire. Evolving it to suit American’s taste buds, his Chicken Inasal is served here in a taco with fried chicken skin.”
We like the mix of sour, spicy flavors and the grilled chicken was thankfully tender enough. You basically get one soft taco cut into 2, filled with the meats and condiments. Pretty enjoyable but we wish it’s bigger! Here’s my half of it:
Thailand: Hoy tord ($10) from Hoy Tord Chao Lay
We waited 20 min for this one, cos they can fry up several portions at a go on their giant flat frying pan.
It’s basically Chinese-style Or Lua except you get to choose from 2 versions: Oyster or Seafood Omelette. Our Seafood one came with four slices of squid rings, 2 prawns and a small piece of crab stick, smothered with a watery batter that fries into a lovely crispy pancake. This is plopped on top of a small portion of fried towgay (bean sprouts). The seafood is fresh, the towgay crunchy and yes, it’s sinfully oily. But we ate every last bit. This heritage dish with at least 40 years of history is worth the wait and calories.
Malaysia: Apom from Penang Apom Manis ($4.50 for 3)
These are thin Indian-style pancakes, sold from a humble street food cart back home in Penang. A scoop of batter is swirled around a little wok, the edges left to crisp up nicely while a little pool of batter in the middle cooks to a soft spongy finish.
These babies are light, easy to eat and make a nice dessert. For a little indulgence, we’ll eat this with ice cream and a drizzle of Gula Melaka! There’s a pleasing mild coconut fragrance even when you eat it plain. Eat it ASAP cos the crispy edges soften in no time — ours wilted within minutes.
Overall, we enjoyed the 4 dishes we bought though they left us half full. We could have queued for more but it was pushing 3pm and we were too hungry to queue so, nah. We came home and filled up on potato chips.
The event ends tomorrow 12 April so you still have a chance to catch it. So, was it worth the trip? Okay lah. We enjoyed what we ordered. Go in a bigger group to share the food and spread out the queueing. Just make sure you have plenty of patience.
Where: Open Field opposite Parco Bugis, Tan Quee Lan Street
8 April (5pm to 11pm),
9 April (5pm to 11pm),
10 April (4pm to 11pm),
11 April (1pm to 11pm),
12 April (1pm to 11pm)
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