While Japan and Korea food fairs might be commonplace, this is the first time I’m hearing about a Taiwan Food Fair in Singapore. Held between 1-14 July 2013, Parkway Parade will be playing host to nearly 30 stalls (based on my estimate) selling a variety of Taiwanese food, such as Xiao Long Baos (小籠包), Stew Pork Baos (扣肉包), Oyster Omelette, Oyster Mee Sua, Fried Chicken Cutlet, Spicy Fish Balls, Taiwan Sausages, Taiwanese Rice Dumplings (肉粽), Pineapple Cakes, Sun Cakes, Taiwan Vinegar etc.
In addition, several entertaining activities will also be ongoing on the stage area during weekend afternoons, such as Taiwanese traditional dances, puppet shows, kite making, as well as cooking demostrations by Taiwanese Chef Ho Tien Tsai of Copthorne Kings Hotel.
Since I live relatively close to Parkway Parade, I accepted an invitation down to check out the food fair held at the mall’s basement atrium. I was down rather early on 6th July (Saturday) and most of the stalls were just opening then but when the crowd started streaming in, it started to feel like an indoor night market.
The gf accompanied me for the food fair and made a short video snippet of what to expect there.
Walked past a vendor selling mochis, durian pancakes and durian cakes. The durian pancakes were the bomb, whose filling we believe to be made with the highly acclaimed and robust tasting Mao Shan Wang (猫山王) durians.
There was a stall specializing in braised pork (扣肉), selling items such as braised pork bao, braised pork bee hoon, braised pork cheong fan and braised pork with glutinous rice. The braised pork bao was better than what is usually found outside and I quite liked the cheong fan as well since it goes unexpectedly well with the pork.
Sampled some Xiao Long Baos and Meat Baos from one of the stalls but sadly, I think these were frozen prepackaged ones meant for quick fixes at home.
The best thing of this food fair was the Taiwan Fried Chicken Cutlet and Fried Mushrooms, which I find tastier (especially the honey glazed fried chicken) than what is available at the numerous chains of Taiwan Street Snacks in Singapore.
There’s a stall selling duck crepes and oyster omelette too. The Taiwanese oyster omelette is quite different from the oyster omelette (蠔煎) that we get at our local hawker centres, as it uses a lot more starch. Personally, I still prefer our local version.
Taiwan street food is never complete without the oyster mee sua. There’s a few stalls selling this here and the one I got was decent.
I ordered the meat ball soup from the same stall I got my oyster mee sua. I had mentally prepared myself before drinking the soup since most of the time, it’s turns out to be just MSG solution but the soup here was actually not that salty and I could taste the radish that had been simmering in the base. The meat balls were quite tasty and springy too.
There was an interesting keropok (called pong pong 饼) stall as well, which was selling “healthy” keropok because the keropok is not fried nor is any MSG or oil used. Instead, the keropok in its powder form is put into a machine, which applies pressure and heat for about 10 seconds and out pops a keropok with a “pong” sound. It’s quite interesting to watch the machine at work so there’s usually a crowd around. The keropok comes in flavours such as cheese, curry, spring onion, prawn etc and I really couldn’t tell that it wasn’t fried when eating the samples.
Had a go at the Basil Pork Sausages and Bacon wrapped Cheese Sausages as I was leaving the fair. The latter was really good and I didn’t expect the bacon to actually be so crisp.
Ultimately, is the food fair worth dropping by for? Not having been to Taiwan before, I can’t attest to the authenticity of the food but I noticed there were a few stalls selling prepackaged food items from Taiwan so if you are a hardcore Taiwan fan and want to get your hands on some Taiwan mochi or fresh seaweed from Taiwan, this might just be worth your while. Staying true to the ideals of street food, prices were reasonable too, with most of the food items being sold in the range of $3-$5.
All food expenses were sponsored by Parkway Parade. Special thanks to Parkway Parade for the invitation.