Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Singapore Food Festival in July - Best Annual Events Singapore

 Singapore Food Festival image by Singapore Tourism Board
Malay satay 

July's Singapore Food Festival has meals and events for all ages and price ranges. Locals and tourists are welcome. What/When/Where/How much.

Singapore's World Gourmet Summit is the annual food festival foreigners are more likely to recognize. But the week-long Singapore Food Festival--next to run July 12 to 21, 2013--is actually more popular, supposedly attracting more than 400,000 participants each year. It features more family-friendly outdoor events and friendlier prices. Rather than Michelin-starred French and Italian chefs, the cooks here are all almost all local and even include some of the stellar street vendors.

Launched in 1994 by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) used to run for a month. The 20th edition will span nine days.

There are always events celebrating the cuisine of Singapore's three major ethnic groups--Chinese, Indians and Malays.  But there are also special themes each year, such as the foods of  Straits-Chinese or a Chinese dialect group.  The principal 2012 theme was seafood. 

Singapore Food Festival Hosts Guinness Fish-Head Cook-Off

Image of curried fish-head by Indian Restaurant Assn of Singapore

Competing at SFF: Indian fish-head curry

From 11 am to 11 pm every day during the 2012 festival, a seafood smorgasbord and cooking demonstrations were held at the Waterfront Promenade at Marina Bay on Bayfront Avenue (MRT stations: Bayfront or Raffles Place). On July 13 and 14 in Little India, the 2012 Guinness competition saw a group of local and foreign chefs attempting to create the world's largest meal of curried fish heads, using 2012 of them.  (No price mentioned for this outdoor feed but shouldn't be too pricey). There is always a  competition for a Guinness record.  

The eating contest returned in 2012, this time with seafood. There was also a chance to win a luxury cruise. You can download a map and schedule to all the 2012 festival events here.

Prices range all over the place. Observing some cooking demonstrations is free. Snack foods might be as low as S$2 (US$1.50).   A group of restaurants and food centers will offer set menus for reasonable prices (S$12-S$20 or about US$9-$16). Some events require reservations ahead of time, such as Violet Oon's July 16 cooking workshop and meal (S$150 per person) and the S$150 daily tour "behind the scenes at Jurong fishery port."

What I don't see on the festival website is any mention of vouchers for foreigners that can be exchanged for a particular dish at a particular restaurant. These used to be issued to foreigners  arriving at the airport. They might still exist; the festival website is a bit cluttered.

Usual dates: A week to ten days in July
2013 festival dates: July 12 - July 21
Locations: various
Prices: From free up to S$150 (US$118)

Copyright +Susan Cunningham. No republication without permission. Contact SoutheastAsiaTraveler @

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