Thursday, April 29, 2010

FHA (Food & Hotel Asia) Singapore Expo 2010

It's the end of the month already and nearly half of the year is approaching; truly, so many things are happening in a breeze! I recently attended Asia's largest food and hospitality event - Food & Hotel Asia 2010 - the Singapore Expo last week. This was my second time to go to this event. It's usually slated every 2 years in Singapore. From what I've seen and noted, indeed FHA remains to be the biggest expo in this part of the world (that is with comparison to the ones being held in the Philippines, Thailand, Hongkong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea). With at least 5 halls dedicated to food & beverage, that's more than enough tool to intrigue and delight any food enthusiast. So, where is the food industry heading?
In terms of trends and product concepts, it predominantly speaks of the same things we've known and heard of a few years ago. If I would narrow them down, most exhibit halls talk about health & wellness and indulgence.
Like these mueslis with different functionalities.

And this BLOX health drink that claims to provide "good feeling" inside-out.

Likewise, this non-alcohol cocktail drink stirred some curiosity in me. The taste is acceptable and the fruit flavors are nice.
Talk about going organic, this is the counter part in meat. "Bred free-range pork".

A sauce that is made with Budweiser beer, I don't know if this will complement the meat above.

In the snacks category, apparently new snacking options are emerging in the market. Apart from the usual potato chips and curls, there's now the flavored-dried-seaweed, bread inspired snack base and natural dried fruits and vegetables.





In the dominating food category - indulgence, chocolates lead the product line. Propositions varies on origin (belgian etc.), flavor, convenience and overall experience. Time honored recipes which are typical in baked goods are also in demand.

My favorite grabs from the expo, free culinary and wine magazines!

All in all, it was the kind of food expo those in the food manufacturing business should definitely pay a visit. It's a good venue to know what the rest of the neighbouring countries are up to in as far as commercial food products are concerned. It may not be that rich and complete in ideas and concepts to explore (may vary from year to year I guess depending on exhibitors) but sufficient enough to entice a curious appetite. For those who were not able to catch this year's event, you'll have to wait for the next one in 2012.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ice Kachang and Ice Cendol...the Halo-Halo of Singapore


With the weather increasingly getting hotter and hotter in some parts of Asia (especially the Philippines and Singapore), I'm sure most of us would like to indulge into cold drinks and desserts to chill us a bit. In the Philippines, this is the perfect time for the most common and well loved sweet desserts or snacks - Halo-Halo. While I'm missing my favorite mix of this sweetened shaved ice and glazed fruits, I'm delighted to find an alternative here in Singapore.


Ice Kachang and Ice Cendol are among the popular choices for Singapore's own version. Ice Kachang has sweet corn and red mongo beans as major ingredients whereas Ice Cendol has green gelatin -noodle like strands, coconut milk and red mongo beans. Both are sweet and refreshing. But I still missed the richness of our Halo-Halo back home, especially that of Razon's or Kabigting's in Pampanga.

Ice Kachang and Ice Cendol...the Halo-Halo of Singapore


With the weather increasingly getting hotter and hotter in some parts of Asia (especially the Philippines and Singapore), I'm sure most of us would like to indulge into cold drinks and desserts to chill us a bit. In the Philippines, this is the perfect time for the most common and well loved sweet desserts or snacks - Halo-Halo. While I'm missing my favorite mix of this sweetened shaved ice and glazed fruits, I'm delighted to find an alternative here in Singapore.


Ice Kachang and Ice Cendol are among the popular choices for Singapore's own version. Ice Kachang has sweet corn and red mongo beans as major ingredients whereas Ice Cendol has green gelatin -noodle like strands, coconut milk and red mongo beans. Both are sweet and refreshing. But I still missed the richness of our Halo-Halo back home, especially that of Razon's or Kabigting's in Pampanga.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Food & Travel Magazine

Say hello to my new found reading companion - Food & Travel magazine. This is my first time to encounter a "non-glossy" magazine (which I'm assuming is more earth friendly?). Except for the odd smell of the paper, it's relatively ok because it feels like you're browsing through a book. Content wise, it's richly filled with interesting reads on asian cuisines and food culture. There are also recipes and restaurant recommendations that are intriguingly nice to try. I hope the monthly editions would be consistent in offering good quality reads.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ju Shin Jung Korean BBQ Restaurant

Together with some colleagues at work, we visited a Korean restaurant in Pasir Panjang for a quest to a good tasting Beef Galbisal. It's a grilled dish that's typically non-marinated and uses boneless meat. Thus, it's pure beef taste to be had. What always fascinates me about Korean dining is the literally numerous side dishes and appetizers being served. It seemed like the table is always not enough to hold everything all at the same time. This is the real definition of bounty!

There's nothing so special about Beef Galbisal in as far as the profile of the dish is concerned. It's pretty straightforward - beef meat. Needless to say, the quality of the beef meat is key for this grilled dish. I would still prefer the Beef Bulgogi though a hundred times over.

Kimchi Pancake is simply awesome! Hot and spicy, tasty and addicting just like the Kimchi soup. These are good choices for the lover of fiery foods.

Ginseng Chicken is a comforting dish to have. Light, creamy with a very subtle aftertaste of spices and herbs.

Pumpkin Soup - this is sooooo sweet. It can be regarded as a dessert rather than a soup appetizer.

Greens and lots and lots of greens! This is what is genuine of Korean Cuisine. It's such a healthy diet to take.
On the whole, what actually caught us from this Korean dining experience in Singapore is this.... We were just so amazed on the technology behind it.

video

Generally, this was a good first korean dining experience but certainly not the best yet. Food wise, I think there are still more in the menu to explore.

**Credits to Irene Chong for the photos and video


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Must See and Do in Singapore - Top Destinations & Sights

With a land property of 710.3 sq km and home to nearly 5 million people, Singapore is indeed one of the smallest nations in the world. But don't let its size deceive you because there are so much more to see and explore in this very diverse country. In fact, it could be for this reason that it is largely becoming a favorite tourist destination in Asia. After a good many travels to the lion city and then finally relocating, I must confess that I've started to appreciate the country even more. Now, I even have my personal list of the must visit places here. Some friends and relatives started asking me of this inquiry so I decided to come up with a reference that can be a traveler's guide as well. Herewith are my top picks worthy of a visit in the island city-state:


1. SENTOSA - this is the island that's truly a pride of Singapore. Visiting this place is a complete adventure to be had. Actually, a day is not enough to explore it completely. The choice of attractions will depend on the kind of adventure you like and the company you are with. Among the popular though are Underwaterworld, Songs of the Sea, Imbiah Look Out, Siloso and Palawan Beach and Butterfly Park. For the more daring ones, the Megazip Adventure Park awaits you.
2. RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA and 3. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE - these are the newly opened and hottest attractions in town. The buzz has it that RWS is in close competition now to the popularity of the famous shopping district - Orchard Rd. For the casino afficionados and for the thrill seekers, these are the fitting choices. RWS claims to offer a multi-resort experience however, it's not yet 100% completed at the moment.


4. JURONG BIRD PARK - I've never seen an aviary as diversed and colourful as Singapore's Jurong Bird Park. This is the place that is guaranteed to delight kids and kids at heart. I was really enchanted by this place.


5. SINGAPORE ZOO - the zoological garden that is known to be the best yet in the whole world. Refer to previous post here for our own account of the experience. This is 2 thumbs up for me.


6. NIGHT SAFARI - a one of a kind experience that's how I would best describe visiting this place. This is definitely must try!

7. SINGAPORE FLYER - the best way to indulge into a panoramic view of the entire city. Refer to previous post here for more.



8. CLARKE QUAY - the most popular wharf in Singapore to spend a much needed leisure treat. In the morning, it is home to a calming stroll and boat ride. In the evening, it transforms into a bustling hub for nightlife. The quay is teeming with interesting restaurants and bars. The famous Jumbo Seafood for a taste of the quintessential "chili crab" can be found here.





8. MERLION PARK - you've never been to SG if you never set foot and posed to this towering landmark. More so, the stunning view of the Esplanade and the fast rising Marina Sands (another new Casino Park) are more than enough reasons to be here.


10. CHINESE GARDEN - another appeasing sight to see. Refer to previous post here to know more.

With all these choices, now tell me, is Singapore really that small for a wandering tourist?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Seafood Noodle Hot Pot (Steamboat)

While I still couldn't get enough of the fun I had for hosting PPN last week, it's that time of the week again for it. This week's round up is being hosted by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast. I wonder what the pasta geniuses have brought at the table this time? As for me, I'm having something traditional, quick fix and in a way healthy. Among the first things that enticed me upon relocating to Singapore is the opulence of hotpot dishes. For a lot of reasons, it became a favorite dish at our new home. Primary to that, it's so easy to make and this is the kind of dish that actually gives you enough liberation in as far as cooking and ingredients to use are concerned. Also, it's a food for sharing ergo, great doses of laughters and stories can be thrown in while savoring it.


Making a hotpot can lead you to different options. You may have meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, herbs, spices all at the same time. The possibilities are literally endless. For this particular version, I used seafood and vegetables.
Seafood Noodle Hot Pot
Ingredients:
1 med sized onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic - chopped
1 1/2 tbsp julienne ginger
1 pc ikan bilis broth cubes
3 tbsps canola oil
250 g prawns
100 - 200 g scallops
squid balls (amount to your liking)
crabsticks (amount to your liking)
cabbage or any green leafy vegetables
1 small pack of enokitake mushrooms
chopped spring onion or coriander leaf for garnish
300 g udon noodles
4 - 5 cups of water
How to make:
In a metal pot, saute onion, garlic and ginger in canola oil until fragrant. Add in ikan bilis broth cubes and allow to melt. Add water and let it boil. Add in all seafood ingredients, mushroom and noodles. Simmer for 2 -3 minutes. Add leafy vegetables and spring onion / coriander. Stir well and serve immediately.