Here’s an exciting piece of news for all foodies! The very first Singapore Restaurant Month will be held from 1 July to 10 August 2015. Organised by Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), this inaugural event will be showcasing 50 reputable restaurant brands and their 50 unique gourmet creations.
In commemoration of Singapore’s 50th National Day, the talented chefs of the 50 participating restaurant brands have each been invited to creating a toothsome dish made with Singapore’s local produce. Seize this opportunity to savour these exclusive dishes that will be on the menu for a limited time only during Singapore Restaurant Month.
A LINE UP OF 50 DIVERSE RESTAURANT BRANDS
Singapore Restaurant Month’s line up of 50 restaurant brands boasts a variety of cuisines – Chinese, Indian, Malay, Japanese, Korean, American, Australian, European and more. The wide diversity reflects our cosmopolitan hometown’s seamless assimilation of many cultures into an ever-growing melting pot.
Seafood lovers will be thrilled to indulge in Mexican Café Iguana’s Pibil Pescadao in Red Chile Sauce (S$30++, inclusive of Iguana Lager or SG50 margarita), Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant’s Fried Baby Barramundi (market price – about S$18 / 500g) and Timbre’s Laksa Marinated Cripsy Barramundi on a bed of Bee Hoon Crackers (S$16++).
The fresh barramundi mentioned above was reared in Singapore’s Good Aquaculture Practice for Fish Farming (GAP-FF) certified farms.
HIGHLIGHT OF LOCAL HERITAGE RESTAURANTS
12 out of the 50 participating restaurant brands are heritage-listed for their various contributions to Singapore’s burgeoning dining landscape. Despite the many transient food fads, these traditional restaurants have stood true to their rich culinary history. They have persevered over the decades in serving authentic mouthwatering dishes and deserve special recognition for their relentless dedication.
The stalwart pioneers are Bee Heong Palace Restaurant, Beng Thin Hoon Kee Restaurant, Chin Lee Restaurant, Fatty Weng Restaurant, Gim Tim, Hua Yu Wee, Islamic Restaurant, Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant, Red Star Restaurant, Spring Court Restaurant, Westlake and Zi Yean Restaurant. Each establishment has been around for at least 30 years.
All heritage-listed restaurants dishes are available to the public from 17 July to 2 August 2015 in conjunction with Singapore Food Festival.
Noteworthy dishes by heritage restaurants include Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant’s Sauteed Bird’s Nest with Egg White (S$70) and Fatty Weng’s Crispy-fried Barramundi with Asparagus (S$16.80).
SUPPORTING OUR HOMEGROWN INGREDIENTS
More than 90% of the food consumed in Singapore is actually imported. While this may not come as a surprising fact since Singapore is an urbanized country, we should still strive to support our locally produced ingredients. By diversifying our food procurement methods, Singapore can avoid the setbacks of food shortages should any importations be disrupted for whatever reasons.
Homegrown produce is infinitely better in many ways. The minimal distance travelled to the kitchens mean significantly fresher ingredients and tastier meals. Environmental impacts are negligible and safety is guaranteed with the quality assurance schemes implemented by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
There are 200 food farms in Singapore; 3 hen layer farms, 50 vegetable farms and 130 fish farms. The three key local produces, namely fish (red marine tilapia, black marine tilapia, crimson red snapper, grey mullet, milk fish, mangrove red snapper etc), eggs and vegetables (cai xin, kai lan, sharp leaf bayam, butterhead lettuce, kow peck chye, kang kong, sweet potato leaves, xiao bai cai etc) are used in Singapore Restaurant Month’s specially created dishes.
Usage of homegrown ingredients however remains a tricky issue in this competitive food industry, with its primary barrier being its higher costs. Fortunately, the rise of discerning diners are gradually increasing and they are willing to pay more in order to support local farms and reduce carbon footprints.
RAS President Mr. Andrew Tjoe hopes that Singapore Restaurant Month will simultaneously encourage and educate both restaurants and customers the importance of supporting local ingredients. The end goal would be to convert restaurants to consider local produce in their future operations permanently.
CELEBRATION OF CULINARY CREATIVITY
Food has always been an indelible part of Singaporeans’ lives. The celebration of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee also marks the further advancement of Singapore’s gastronomy scene. Selected restaurants will be recreating local dishes with innovative twists.
Notable mentions include Portico’s 3 Grain Laksa Risotto with Homemade Pulau Ubin Seabass Fish Cake. The interesting fusion fish is part of a five-course S$50 SG50 menu.
Kuhlbarra, a local fish farm specialising in premium barramundi, also deserves a special mention. You can find barramundi by Kuhlbarra being served at several restaurants participating in Singapore Restaurant Month such as TungLok, Jumbo Seafood and Palm Beach Seafood.
Singapore Restaurant Month is held in Singapore from 1 July to 10 August 2015 and is organized by Restaurant Association of Singapore. It will be held in conjunction with Singapore Food Festival and is supported by Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board and Union Pay.
For more information, visit www.singaporerestaurantmonth.com.
This post is brought to you by the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS).