What do these places have in common?
While they are all fantastic holiday locations, another thing that links them is that they have all been visited by the Singapore Takeout extravaganza. Singapore Takeout is a mobile pop-up kitchen that is touring the globe to showcase Singaporean food and food products. The final stop on this tour was Sydney, and I was invited to attend. I was flown up to Sydney, accommodated at the Sebel Pier One and ate food from the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants number 27th ranked Iggy's with head chef Ignatius Chan. It was a surreal food dream, but one that I could totally relive forever. The only thing that could have made it better was if Jessica Alba was my date for the dinner, but that's another dream.
Singapore Takeout is an initiative of SPICE, Singapore International Culinary Exchange. It is a collaborative between International Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and SPRING Singapore. The aim is to promote Singapore as a culinary heaven and a perfect destination for any food lover.
At the Singapore Takeout event, I got to meet many other wonderful food bloggers, including my food blog inspiration, Helen, whose food blog was the first one I took inspiration from. I also caught up with Penny and Simon. I finally got to meet other food bloggers who I've admired in Suze, Simon and Thang. I even found out that Thang was the creator of SBS PopAsia, one of my favourite TV shows. Lastly, I got to meet new bloggers in The Food Pornographer, Christina, Tina and Minh.
The chatty group of food bloggers listened to the very funny Ignatius explain about Singaporean food and his own cooking style and passion. Ignatius also explained a bit about the menu he was cooking for us, comprising of classic dishes with a modern interpretation. We were going to watch a demonstration of the Nasi Lemak being cooked, but due to the mobile kitchen not having adequate cooking facilities, we watched a beautiful video of Singapore instead.
The meal started with the Nasi Lemak in question, which was a deconstructed dish. It was quite nice.
A Sushi dish followed which was inspired by Tetsuya. Instead of using rice, a meringue was used, which was interesting and good.
A Cold Capellini was extremely refreshing and left my palette wanting more.
Beef Cheeks with vegetables was really comforting and good.
The re-interpreted Kaya Toast with a brioche base and teh terik ice cream was excellent and my favourite item of the night.
While the food was nice, the Singaporean food message may have been pushed with even more impact. The addition of Ignatius to the event was obviously an impressive addition and he was extremely funny, but I think his food was a little bit compromised with the mobile kitchen. The event was a bit lost between trying to showcase Ignatius' high end food and capturing the essence of Singapore. I think a beautiful Nasi Lemak or Chili Crab being cooked in front of us so we can see and smell the wonderful ingredients and then eat it, would have had a stronger impact.
Overall, I would still be interested in going to Singapore again as I know how good the food is. I would recommend you check out the various websites and plan your own holiday there. I had a fantastic time at the Singapore Takeout, and in wonderful Sydney.
While my trip to Sydney was only short, I still managed to squeeze a bit more into it. On day 2, the wonderful Simon was kind enough to show myself and Christina around the Sydney Fish Markets. We ogled all the fresh seafood and took lots of photos, experimenting with subjects, composition and lighting.
Despite it being breakfast time, we all wanted to try the super fresh oysters, so settled on trying 4 varieties. They were really different but good.
After our market tour, Christina went to meet her friend while Simon and I dropped by Cre Asion for some absolutely amazing macarons. The 8 flavours I got were Lychee, Guava, Peanut Butter, Hoji Tea, Roasted Soybean, Caramel, White truffle hazelnut, pistachio. I loved every flavour but was most surprised by how good the truffle hazelnut combo was and the excellent pistachio. I don't think I've tried a better pistachio anywhere, except maybe Laduree in Paris. The textures on the macarons were a tad crunchy for my liking but after the second day, they were perfect.
The last pit stop was the famous Cafe Ish, where Christina rejoined us for lunch. We both had the famous Crab Omelette, which I did think was expensive when I saw it on the menu. But once I tasted it, it was worth every single cent. It was an utterly awesome dish, with crispy soft shell crab nested inside an egg omelette with soft avocado and a great sauce.
That concluded an amazing trip where I quickly got to see a bit of beautiful Sydney, attend Singapore Takeout and meet Ignatius Chan, met a lot of wonderful food bloggers and eat heaps of wonderful food.
Thanks to Frank PR for the invitation and SPICE for my flights and accommodation.