I won’t be around for the Longest Peranakan Buffet slated on July 26, 2009 but I was lucky enough to get a preview of selected dishes when Swissotel Merchant Court invited me and Chinese media from the Zhongshan Broadcast and TV station. The Peranakan dishes served to us were Bakwan Kepiting (Minced Pork & Crab Meat Balls Soup), Kankong Lemak with Sweet Potato (Water Convolvulus in Coconut Gravy), Kueh Pie Tee, Sambal Udang (Sambal Prawns) and Kueh Dadar.
To give you an idea of the event, here is the press release given to me by Swissotel Merchant Court. The list of Peranakan dishes is listed below too. You won’t want to miss this.
The 16th annual Singapore Food Festival returns with a Peranakan theme this year, highlighting the rich Straits Chinese heritage and its unique Nonya cuisine. Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore participating as the Official Hotel, will be hosting the Longest Peranakan Buffet at the closing ceremony on Read Bridge at Clarke Quay.
Swissôtel Merchant Court will be presenting the ultimate Peranakan indulgence of the Singapore Food Festival 2009 – the Longest Peranakan Buffet, a gastronomic Nonya affair. A finale to the ten day-long Festival, the Longest Peranakan Buffet will be held only on July 26th – the last day of the Festival – on Read Bridge at Clarke Quay from 5pm to 10pm.
Seeking inspiration from the Tok Panjang (long-table dining style of the Peranakans) the buffet line will feature 100 dishes laid out into an extended buffet spread. Food connoisseurs can expect to be treated to a bountiful variety of popular Nonya dishes like Udang Nanas (Prawns in Pineapple Gravy), Itek Tim (Salted Mustard Duck Soup), Tauhu Masak Titek (Spicy Bean Curds with Salted Fish), Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken in Black Nut Stew), Ikan Masam Manis (Nonya Sweet & Sour Fish) and sumptuous Nonya Kueh desserts.
Rainer Tenius, General Manager of Swissôtel Merchant Court, Singapore comments, “We are privileged to be the Official Hotel of this year’s Singapore Food Festival and to present the Longest Peranakan Buffet, which will no doubt be a festival highlight. Our famed Ellenborough Market Café has been serving superior Nonya cuisine for over a decade and has since become synonymous with Nonya cuisine in Singapore. This event is an excellent platform for us to introduce even more people to the delights of Nonya cuisine while reinforcing Singapore’s position as a food paradise.”
Nonya Chef Shirley Tay
Swissôtel Merchant Court’s specialty Nonya Chef Shirley Tay adds, “As a Peranakan, I am so excited at this opportunity to prepare and share my heritage and cuisine. Preparing Peranakan food involves a lot of passion and hard work; every dish is prepared from scratch, starting with the rempah, spices that form the soul of the dish. I believe Nonya food is quite impossible to resist!”
Since its inauguration in 1994 by Singapore Tourism Board, the Singapore Food Festival has established itself as a key national event, offering a host of local cuisines as well as insights into Singapore’s food culture and heritage. This year, the focus of the Festival is on Nonya cuisine, delicacies from the minority ethnic group of the Straits Chinese, the Peranakans. The usual month-long event will only be held for ten days this year, starting from 17 July 2009.
Executive Chef Andy Yeo
Amidst the various festivities of the Festival held throughout the island, Swissôtel Merchant Court will have two stalls along the Food Street. The Food Street will operate daily from 17 to 25 July on Read Bridge at Clarke Quay, serving a range of exquisite Nonya delicacies.
Swissôtel Merchant Court’s Nonya Chef Shirley Tay, will also be giving an exclusive culinary display on Tuesday, 21 July at the STB Auditorium, from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm. At S$88.00 per person, Swissôtel Merchant Court signature dishes such as Ikan Chilli Garam, Nonya Mee and Deep Fried Cempedak will be demonstrated. For reservations, please call 6255 1037 or email .firstname.lastname@example.org
Feast under the stars at the Longest Peranakan Buffet for $35 nett per adult and $22 nett per child (aged 4 – 11 years old). Tickets are available for sale at Ellenborough Market Café, Swissôtel Merchant Court, 20 Merchant Road from 1 to 23 July, between 12pm and 8pm daily. For enquiries, please call 6239 1848 or email email@example.com.
And to tempt you some more, here are a few photos of the Peranakan dishes (click to enlarge image)
Assorted Nonya Kuehs
Ayam Buah Keluak
Durian Pengat – I love Durian. This is just divine!
Ikan Masam Manis
Kueh Pie Tee- I love this too. Everything is just so delicious.
Nonya Chap Chye
Note that the photos above are copyright to Swissotel Merchant Court.