Truffle here was recently invited along to preview a taste fest called 'Singapore Takeout'. Singapore Takeout is kind of like mobile food - except that the 'mobile' is a shipping container, the 'food' is Modern Singaporean cuisine, and it's free. It's an event showcasing the best of Singaporean cuisine in 9 cities around the world, including Paris, Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Dubai and Sydney. You can find dates for your city here.
The first stop is London (of course). Each city is treated to the delights of one Singapore chef working with one local hero. Londoners have Janice Wong - chef of the 2am Dessert Bar - and Peter Gordon. Peter Gordon needs no introduction in this city, but for the benefit of our international readers, he's a New Zealand-born fusion chef and entrepreneur who started off Notting Hill's Sugar Club, and who's now behind The Providores and Tapa Room in Marylebone, and new Covent Garden arrival Kopapa.
Janice Wong and Peter Gordon
The event ends at 8pm tonight, so I'm going to get to it!
Four cheese laksa penne
First up from Janice we had a four cheese laksa sauce with penne. This was delicious! Took me back to my days of Maggi noodles (curry flavour) with slices of cheddar cheese. But believe me, this was better.
Laksa - it doesn't even need to ply me with verse
Next from Janice was a traditional laksa with handmade tiger prawn dumplings. Laksa is a dish of white noodles with a rich sauce of coconut milk, ground chili, shrimp or fish paste, lemongrass and ground laksa leaf. The laksa leaf is widely used in South East Asian cuisine, and it has its own distinctive flavour (like the rain forest aroma of the pandan leaf). The result is milky gorgeousness and a chili elevation. Janice presents her laksa by laying over a sheet of concentrated, dehydrated laksa broth, with some of her favourite verse printed upon it.
Yu sheng citrus salad
Also from Janice was the yu sheng citrus salad. Yu sheng is traditionally a fish carpaccio salad eaten during Chinese New Year, when family gathers around a table and mixes the fish and vegetables together with their chopsticks. Janice's take on the classic featured cured tuna sashimi with herbs (foraged with the Noma team) and a crispy citrus cracker.
Green chili omelette with oyster
Before I head to desserts, here's Peter's first course: a green chili omelette with poached oyster, crab, mango, crispy shallots and coriander. It's a marriage of the hawker favourite of oyster omelette (or luak) with traditional Indian green chili omelettes. I loved this - it even had the tangy taste of the fish sauce that usually comes with oyster omelette. Nice one!
Pork belly and pineapple with Thai Jasmine rice
Next from Peter we had deep-fried pork belly and peanuts with rice, cucumber and chili-roasted pineapple. These Kiwis really know how to put stuff together. The pork and pineapple was evocative of Pacific cuisine, with the Thai Jasmine rice and cucumber being very Singaporean indeed.
A new way of looking at chendol
Peter's dessert was pandan ginger tapioca with sherry agar jelly, lychees, strawberries and almond coconut cream. (Peter's Twitter team recently complained that they couldn't get the names of his dishes into one tweet - I know what they mean!) The key ingredients to a chendol are coconut milk, palm sugar (which is all creamy, molasses deliciousness - made from the sap of coconut palms), and jelly. The fresh fruit and pandan tapioca pearls were beautiful and fresh complements, with the almond flakes providing toast and texture.
Dreaming of popcorn?
Janice's first dessert was Popcorn Nostalgia - a sweet and salty popcorn ice cream duo, served with yuzu parfait and salty caramel. It was garnished with dill flowers, which Janice had brought all the way from the Genting Highlands in Malaysia.
All dressed up
Finally, Janice presented a dense, sweet gula melaka pudding with kaya cream. I'm not sure this is on the Singapore Takeout menu. Sorry, you'll just have to fly to her 2am Dessert Bar for that!
You have two hours left. Now go!
Queen's Walk at the South Bank (between the National Theatre and Gabriel's Wharf)
The food is free (i.e., funded by the Singaporean taxpayer).