They say eating is a national pastime and food a national obsession in Singapore. Bringing to you the flavours of this South-East Asian cuisine is a Singaporean hawker’s festival at Blooms, The Intercontinental-Eros Hotel. “We have tried to bring the authentic flavours of Singaporean cuisine to the city. Two chefs, Dennis Foung and Chuan Seng have also been especially flown in for the purpose,” says senior chef, Rahul Rana.

The open area in front of the restaurant is converted into a food court with different hawker stalls to cook up your favourite dishes in minutes. The classic special ‘chilli crab’ served with the shell is crisp and spicy though a bit messy while eating. The oyster omelette cooked with an egg in ginger-garlic paste balances the spice of the crab with it’s original mild flavour.

When gorging on Singaporean cuisine, how can noodles be far behind? There is the popular ‘Laksa’, an authentic seafood soup based in coconut milk. Served with noodles, a choice of vegetables and ‘Quail’ egg on top, it is a complete meal in itself. Several other varieties like Cha Kuah Teow (flat rice noodles cooked with shrimp stock and vegetables), Hokkein Mee noodles (egg noodles) and Me Goreng (Singaporean hakka noodles) are also worth trying. However, if you like chicken, you can go for the clear noodles soup made in chicken stock.

The barbeque and grill is a dream for sea food lovers. Exotic varieties of fish like the Stingray, Sea bass and jumbo prawns are grilled just before you. Grilled to a perfect white, the Stingray is tough from the outside and soft within. The authentic Sambal sauce served with it proves to be the ideal accompaniment to add a little spice. The Indonesian ‘Satay’ or chicken and lamb kebabs served with the subtly sweet and tangy peanut sauce tantalize the senses while the roasted duck, which is soft and juicy, leaves you asking for more.

For those who are less adventurous, there is the Roti Prata. Said to have travelled from South India to the Southeast, it is almost like Malabar parantha and can be had with mutton or chicken rendang. Cooked with lemon grass and coconut milk, the rendang has light herbal aroma but not too much of spices. The other speciality in main course is the Hainanese Chicken rice. It has freshly roasted chicken pieces served along with a soup of chicken stock and rice boiled in coconut milk with miniscule shreds of chicken. The rice has a rich taste because of the slow cooking in coconut milk while the soup and sauces provide the spice.

Though most of the food is meat based, vegetarians could try the radish and carrot cake tossed in chilli garlic sauce or the Me Goreng noodles cooked with a lot of vegetables.

A meal of the authentic Singaporean food along with unlimited beer sitting in the capital would cost Rs.1,895 plus taxes for a person. The festival is on till 28th November’2009.

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