Monday, July 8, 2013

Food tasting invite - Taste of Taiwan 2013 (Food fair at Parkway Parade)

My blogger friend Y-Lyn was invited for a Food tasting event at Parkway and she brought me along to join in the fun. I had not been to Taiwan myself but I do like Taiwanese food from restaurants like Din Tai Fung and Asian Kitchen.

We attended a short briefing on the Taste of Taiwan food fair that occurs from 1 Jul - 14 Jul. Then we were given a Blogger pass for us to explore and sample food from the various food stalls at Basement 1.

Organized by Land Lease & Isetan

My pass

The scale of this food fair was smaller as compared to the Hokkaido fair currently happening at Tampines mall. We walked one round to get an idea of what's on offer before deciding which stall to sample our food.

There is a small stage where Celeb Chef Ho Tien Tsai will do a Live demo of different Taiwanese dishes during weekends (check the Program listing on the below photo). Its too bad that his timing didn't match our food tasting timing, I would've love to report on what's happening during the demo. I hope the organizers would arrange special meeting session with Celebs promoting the event, so that it can be featured on the social media.

I shall break down the food tasting to Recommended Stalls vs Not so recommend ones.

First up, the Recommended Stalls!

Bakery Cuisine
They sell a large variety of cakes & pastries. They provide free food sampling so we didn't need to ask for them. The cakes were very soft and fluffy, I liked! I have bought from this stall before at the Compass Point food fair organized by Cold Storage previously, their cakes won't disappoint!

Choco chip cakes

Blueberry & cheese cake

I'm asking my friend to help me buy this..

Chiffon cake (aka hokkaido cake), steamed cake & mochi

Taiwanese Street food
We sampled the 卤肉饭 from this was very yummy. The minced pork was well marinated and kinda melts in the mouth when consumed. The beancurd and egg were good too. Thumbs up!

扣肉饭 ingredients

卤肉饭 ingredients

Yum Yum!!

Other dishes available at this stall...we didn't wanna try too many from a single stall so we didn't sample these.

葱油饼, 韭菜盒子, 锅贴 & 蚵仔面线

Taiwanese Seaweed
There was a live demo on how to make use of the seaweed in home cooked food. It drew a small crowd of moms taking interest in the cooking demo. The seaweed omelette was very good! However, the Taiwanese lady there said it was their last two days at the fair, so they're probably gone by now.

Oiishi seaweed omelette

Steamed Buns
There are only two types available here, the Mini pork 包 and 小笼包. We sampled both, I liked the 小笼包 better. It has meat juice inside and skin is thin...cannot compare to the ones from Din Tai fung though.

Pork bao


Oyster Omelette
The Oyster omelette station was unmanned so we tried the Smoked duck wrap instead. It was pretty good, the duck meat was tasty and the sauce wasn't too sweet.

Smoked duck wrap

Taiwanese Sausages
I wondered about the authenticity of this stall. They used frozen sausages from packets that looks similar from supermarkets. The sausages didn't taste any different from those sold all over Singapore...however, the Bacon wrap sausage was very yummy albeit a little oily...the bacon was crispy and slightly salty which should go well with the hotdog buns.

Delish Bacon wrap sausage 

Master Mi crackers
This stall sells several variety of non-fried rice crackers (onion, cheese, curry & butter) and Prawn crackers. These crackers are all Pressure baked and 'explodes' every time one is produced...check out the video below.

Prawn crackers 

Rice crackers 

Look out for the 'explosion'! 

I absolutely loved the Prawn crackers here and bought 6 packets ($15 for 3 packs) back for own consumption...highly recommended healthy snack!

Now for the Not so recommend stalls..

House of Gua Bao
This stall looks exactly like the Westlake Kong bak bao kiosk at the Compass Point. They sell similar dishes too. I wondered about the authenticity of the so called 台湾刈包 that they are selling.

I asked to sample their 刈包 and Chee cheong fun. The 'Cat' lady at the stall only gave me a tiny tub of the chee cheong fun and a bite sized Kong bak for sampling. I enquired about the Bun but was rejected right away...oh well, we are not 'yao gui' anyway, I have tasted better Kong bak elsewhere...我才不稀罕呢!

Pics of portion served to paying customers..

Tiny tub CCF & Kong bak

Bite size = 1" x 1.5" x 3mm thick! 

To be fair, the Chee cheong fun is rather tasty, skin is thin and smooth...the sauce is a tad watery and tasted the same as normal Coffee shop CCF..nothing special! The Kong bak is not too bad by itself but w/o the bao, I can't say this is a good dish though. I wished the organizer had communicated to them better!

Taiwanese Popiah
I've seen this stall many times at Compass point food fair, it always has a long long queue so I never got to try this previously. The Compass point stall also sells rojak. This stall however, only sells one type of popiah...nothing else. The popiah skin is kinda thick and dry...not very nice IMO.

Skin is dry...

Other stalls that we saw but didn't try...

Pineapple cake & Sun biscuits

Taiwanese vinegar

Taiwanese fresh fruits, fruit jellies, grass jellies, tea etc.

Taiwanese Mochi

And the existence of some regular Pasar malam stalls...Lok Lok manned by Muslim staffs selling Tapioca kueh, sweet corn & sausages. Eastern rice dumpling. Traditional pastry stall (this one randomly appears at Compass point too!).

Overall, the food fair is not as impressive as the yearly Hokkaido fair (summer) & Kyushu fair (spring) that are also organised by Isetan. I feel that they have lack of variety and many not-so-authentic stalls manned by locals instead of Taiwanese. At the Hokkaido fair, I loved to hear the voices of Japanese shouting out their stall's specialties and welcome greetings...sets me in the mood to splurge immediately! Merchandise at the Hokkaido/Kyushu fair are very expensive yet it draws crowd and long queues at specialty stalls...the same cannot be said for this Taste of Taiwan food fair. If you read my post carefully, I mentioned Compass point a couple of times as this is not really the first Taiwan themed fair I've experienced and I tend to compare...they are really not much different! I will only recommend this to those that are staying nearby or if you happened to be in the vicinity.

Taste of Taiwan
Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road, Basement 1
Singapore 449269

Tel : 6344 1242

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