World Street Food Congress 2013

The World Street Food Congress has been ongoing since last week. Tomorrow marks its last day so I found time today to make a trip down. The first shock I received was that the event is held outdoors. Good god, the heat was absolutely sweltering. Imagine the stall keepers cooped up in their tiny kitchen stalls for 12 hours every day. Or even the ushers who have to be on their feet all day in the heat showing people around, peddling the coupons/ vouchers too. Witnessing this, my beerfest dilemma instantly solved. Was previously deciding between a Sunday afternoon chillax beerfest, or a Saturday night hardcore beerfest. Blame it on the weather, I’m going hardcore.

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There were talks, workshops, and performances at this congress, if you should be interested. Not me, I went purely for the 37 street food stalls. Pay $20 for entry, fully redeemable in food vouchers.

We started off with a Hainan Fen from China, which is like thick bee hoon, with beef, nuts and veg. It is served cold, and is a good appetiser to get started with.

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Next we had a seafood tostada from Mexico! This was so good! A nacho chip topped with prawns, squid, avocado and chili. But $10 for one is just too much to pay.

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Next we had a Banh Khot and Banh Xeo from Vietnam. This stall had the longest queue of all. We waited about half an hour before we got to order. That is pretty damn long! It’s worth it though, for at $9, you get piping hot seafood pancake individually prepared on the spot. Super yummy!

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We thought we should round it up with dessert; kue pancong and kue pukis from Indonesia. And then Sticky Banana + Glutinous Rice from Vietnam.

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Overall we felt that it was a good theme for a food fair. And while we had some good food, overall the standard was below average. We also wished there were more fried street snacks, like grilled squid, or fried items on a stick. Honestly I am quite disappointed with the event, partly because the marketing was so good that my expectations were kinda sky high.

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Ramen Bar Suzuki @ Circular Road

It’s funny because when we reached Ramen Bar Suzuki at 5.30, it wasn’t open for dinner yet. We decided to take a walk around Boat Quay to while away the half hour. During which we talked about what enthusiastic customers we were, being the first to arrive, even before the shutters went up.

You would imagine our shock when we returned from our stroll at 6.05pm, and found the restaurant FULL. Is it a coincidence that everybody decided on an early dinner at Ramen Bar Suzuki on that day. Or is it just damn good food here. We’ll see.

I later realized the crowd was due to the fact that there is a special dinner menu everyday. There are four dishes on it limited to 10 bowls per day. I believe that most people went early to snap up these specials. I didn’t know about it before, so I’m really lucky we went for an early dinner.

There are five different ramen on the main menu, the pure white (normal), jet black (mild), cardinal red (spicy), emerald green (basil and cheese) and sakura pink (prawn flav).
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However since we were such early birds, we went for the specials instead. I got a spicy dipping ramen and GT got a Tonkatsu ramen with fish powder.

You are free to customize your order and ingredients. From the texture, to the taste, to the oiliness and toppings. You can choose how you like your ramen. I went for normal everything – because I wasn’t sure of their standard yet and didn’t want to make a bad choice.
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So on every table there is free flow hard boiled eggs provided. It’s a good starter for when you’re waiting for the ramen.20130527-181524.jpg

The condiments that come along, including free flow hojicha.20130527-181540.jpg

Boyfriend peeling eggs for you, not included.20130527-181553.jpg

Cabbage with dressing, also free flow. They put it at the counter so you have to get this yourself. Rice is also free flow and at the counter for self service.20130527-181609.jpg

GT’s tonkatsu ramen with fish powder which he liked, but commented that it was fishy. It is fish powder after all..20130527-181622.jpg

I was very pleased with my dipping ramen! Firstly because I loved the noodle, it isn’t the typical yellow noodle but a thick white noodle. I prefer this ramen type 100 times more. The dip was spicy and salty, very shiok to eat. There’s pork, and other toppings inside the dip too, so it was definitely filling. You can ask the staff to “weaken” the dip if you wish to drink it as soup.20130527-181631.jpg

Business is clearly booming for Ramen Bar Suzuki, they will be opening a second outlet next month! This is definitely one of the better ramen places in Singapore, and you should definitely check it out at least once. Loving all the freebies as well.

(We spent $20 per person)

While on our stroll, I fell in love with the up-and-coming boat quay/ north canal/ circular rd area. It is still a charpalang of dingy pubs, seafood restaurants and fast food for the CBD folks. But we spotted many new cafes and bars there that I am definitely going back to check out.

1) The Spiffy Dapper – bar.
2) The Communal – a bistro specializing in food for sharing.
3) Homebodies – coffee shop by Smitten.

Ramen Bar Suzuki
61 Circular Road
#01-01