This article originally appeared on Vulcan Post.
As a foodie nation, we all know there’s no better way to catch up with family and friends than over steaming plates of char kway teow or nasi lemak. And #simisaialsosg50 fishcakes aside, our long-awaited jubilee celebrations offer the perfect excuse for us to stuff ourselves full with the taste of home.
But of course, this might be easier said than done for the cooking noobs among us (god knows you can’t whip up a fried egg without burning it, let alone cai fan or curry) and those who want to beat the hawker centre crowds (everyone and their grandmas are going to be out in force during the National Day long weekend). If the previous sentence made you nod your head in agreement, here’re some unusual ways in which you can get the best of local cuisine this SG50.
1. My Singapore Food
My Singapore Food is the ultimate online cookbook for true-blue Singaporean cuisine. Launched on Saturday (1 August) in celebration of SG50, the website hosts a unique repertoire of home-cooked recipes contributed by Singaporeans from all walks of life — from Ah Mas sharing their fiercely-guarded family recipes to celebrity chefs divulging their signature dishes. To remind us of the rich heritage of our local food, each step-by-step video tutorial comes complete with heartwarming personal stories from their contributor.
As you might already have guessed, MSF’s SG50 project will boast fifty delicious recipes in total — ten are already available, and eight new recipes will be released each month between August and December. A sneak peek at their droolworthy list of August dishes reveals beloved meals like Green Chili Sambal Prawns, Hakka Pancake Roll, as well as Gado Gado, an Indonesian salad dedicated to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Vulcan Post previously interviewed Karen Nah, the passionate founder behind MSF, to find out more about the inspiration behind her project, and this is what she had to say:
“Having home-cooked meals is becoming so rare that it is almost a big affair each time it happens. I felt that this was not right, especially for Singaporeans, a nation of food lovers… Home-cooked food preserves some of the most important memories that make up a big part of Singaporeans. They are food that we were fed with, grew up with and found comfort in.”
Forget fireworks or military parades — there’s arguably no finer way for you to celebrate SG50 than by trying your hand at a few uniquely Singaporean dishes. And for those of us who can’t cook for nuts, Karen confidently states that “with some simple preparation, even an amateur cook will be able to dish up the family’s favourite.” Or better yet, ask your ah ma over for some intergenerational bonding — once she gets the hang of video tutorials, she can thoroughly own you in the kitchen.
If you’d like to pamper your tastebuds with local cuisine but prefer to leave the cooking to the professionals, hawker.today can save you the trouble of stepping out of your house. Another up-and-coming local startup we’ve previously covered, hawker.today is an app that promises to deliver fresh, piping hot hawker food to your doorstep.
It’s essentially an e-hawker centre that’s upped its convenience game, allowing you to satisfy your craving for BBQ chicken wings from Newton Food Centre or prata from Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata stall in Joo Chiat without the hassle of travelling or jostling with the crowds.
Hawker.today hasn’t officially launched, but if you can’t wait to enjoy that plate of char kway teow from the comfort of your home, you can do so via their closed beta test. The beta phase will commence in the second week of August and run for four weeks, with 14 Vulcan Post readers to be selected for participation each week.
Of these 14, 7 will receive a $10 voucher for your meal, while the other 7 will receive 5 x $10 vouchers each. Sounds too good to be true, but all you have to do is complete the following steps:
- Sign up for hawker.today’s beta test through the hawker.today website or this link
- Indicate Vulcan Post in answer to the question “Where did you hear of hawker’s invite-only closed beta?” and note this promo code: vcphkr
With eateries, hotels and attractions all jumping on board the SG50 festivities, we definitely won’t be at a loss for entertainment in the month ahead. But if you’re looking for something with a uniquely local flavour — literally — here’s one party you shouldn’t miss: #SgEatWithUs’ food carnivals, which combine homemade treats like popiah with a stunning view at Marina Bay’s Waterfront Promenade.
Even if you’ve never attended their activities, local foodies might find #SgEatWithUs vaguely familiar — it’s a ground-up movement which kicked off Singapore’s first-ever home-cooked food carnival late last year. Since then, they’ve been organising a myriad of tasting events to bring home-cooked goodness to Singaporeans. Like My Singapore Food, the #SgEatWithUs initiative hopes to deepen our appreciation of local food, and the vibrant heritage they’re steeped in.
We are a nation renowned for our food obsession, after all — there’re few better ways to celebrate our Golden Jubilee than by paying tribute to our local food legacies. If the growling of your hungry stomach has convinced you, you can find more details on “#SgEatWithUs Celebrates By The Bay” here.