Saturday, 23 April 2016

World Street Food Congress Jamboree WSFC16 in Manila BGC - Survival Guide

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Happening now (20 to 24 Apr 2016), the World Street Food Congress Jamboree at Bonifacio Global City in Manila, Philippines. The response since the opening day on 20 Apr was simply stunning. People in the Philippines love food! Wholeheartedly :-D

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Queues started to form at 3:00pm (one hour before the opening time at 4:00pm). The stalls were soon overwhelmed and everything was sold out by 9:00pm on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 (which were weekdays). The crowd is expected to be bigger on weekends when the Jamboree opens at 12:00 noon.

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It had been a jaw dropping eye opener on how Filipinos love street food and how welcoming they are to new tastes and flavours.

The Jamboree features 25 street food stalls hand picked by KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra and Creator of the World Street Food Congress. The street food chefs come India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, USA, Thailand, Singapore, and of course host country, the Philippines.

Come. Meet some of the international hawkers at the Jamboree :-D

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From Singapore, Ah Yau and wife Su May presents Hong Kong Street Chun Kee's famous har cheong gai burgers. It's pan seared buns wrapping pieces of boneless chicken marinated with savoury fermented prawn paste, coated with flavoursome batter and deep fried to a crisp outside while the inside is juicy sweet.

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Sheila from Singapore's Alhambra Padang Satay offers a unique Singaporean dish known as satay bee hoon. It's angel hair slender rice vermicelli smothered with a thick, smooth, sweet savoury, mildly spicy nutty peanut sauce made with 12 aromatic spices. The dish is served with sides of greens and sticks of satay (charcoal grilled marinaded meat on wooden skewers). Satay bee hoon is disappearing in Singapore as it is so tedious to make. So, don't miss it at the Jamboree :-D

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Cheeky Melvin Chew from Singapore presents Jin Ji kway chap. It's a traditional Singaporean style dish of Teochew braised duck and braised pork offal eaten with skinny squares of rice sheets in a savoury herbal soupy broth.

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Melvin's pork offal and ducks stewing in a deep pot of braising sauce made by blending soy sauce and herbs. Oh... that aroma from the raising steam as I leaned over to snap this picture. Drools. More on Jin Ji Kway Chap in Singapore <- click

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From the USA, ChurrosLocos' Churro Sundae presented by Daniel Huerta and Isabel Sanchez from Portland, Oregon. The traditional stubby Spanish flour dough snack is deep fried until a beautiful golden brown crisp. The Churro Sundae is served with vanilla ice cream crowned with your choice of toppings like crushed nuts, colourful sprinkles, and various sweet syrupy sauces.

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Hoy Tord or seafood omelet from Thailand is found literally at every street corner in Bangkok. The batter is a mix of tapioca flour, rice flour, lime and water. A splash of batter and eggs are fried on a sizzling iron griddle, then topped with seafood (squid and shrimp), coriander, spring onion, bean sprout and given a puff of spicy white pepper. The crispy eggy pancake is soft on the inside which is loaded with savoury sweet seafood flavours.

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Ms Phan Thi Thu Loan from the UNESCO city of Hoi An, Vietnam presents BánhCăn 38 stall's banh xeo - a light and crispy rice pancake with seafood. The little bite sized savoury pancakes are cooked the old fashioned way with small traditional clay pots and pans over wood fire.

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Sticky Rice Banana (Nam Bo) from Vietnam. Banana coated with sweet sticky rice and wrapped in banana leaves is grilled over charcoal fire. The aromatic sweet dessert is served slathered with an ivory hued coconut milk-based sauce which adds another layer of sweetness. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds gives the dessert a smokey nutty balance.

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Singapore sisters Shirley and Grace Tay present Chey Sua carrot cake. It's pillowy soft handmade carrot cakes diced and fried with scrambled eggs to a crisp outside like an eggy savoury fried carrot pan cake (not the sweet dessert as the name might suggest). This dish known as chai tow kway in Singapore is a popular breakfast and is rarely handmade today. Another Must Try. More on Chey Sua in Singapore <- click

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Chef Wayne from Keng Eng Kee (KEK) in Singapore. At the Jamboree, Wayne is serving a fried seafood platter with tempura squid, soft shell crab, and prawn with crispy eggplant. The fried seafood is eaten with three popular dips from Singapore - chili crab, black pepper and salted egg yolk sauces.

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From Indonesia, Sunset Warung with their claim to fame, the legendary Bali BBQ Ribs. In this picture is their BBQ chicken - makes me salivate just by looking at the sexy char and meaty juicy leg.

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Of course, any food festival in the Philippines would be incomplete without lechon, the iconic national dish. Pepita's Kitchen's stall "Lechon Diva" offers Spicy Paella Lechon. The crispy and juicy lechon is paired with truffle infused paella (rice).

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They have been grilling literally 1000s of satay over fiery charcoal non stop since 3:00pm until everything is sold out by 9:00pm, yet were so cheerful :-D Kudos to all the hard working hawker warriors who bring us such delicious food through their sweat and body aches.

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The Cinnamon Snail is a vegan food truck from the USA which won the Vendy Cup for the best food truck in New York City in 2014. At the Jamboree, Cinnamon Snail presents their grilled tofu buns stuffed with flavoursome kimchi, pickled basil, spicy smoked chili, and a squeeze of hot sambal oelek cream sauce. More on Cinnamon Snail in NYC  <- click

I was here for two evenings and there are still some interesting stalls which I didn't get to know or try :-(

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Speaking as a Jamboree veteran ;-p, conquering the World Street Congress Jamboree takes strategy :-D

You need manpower, the more the better. So, the first step is to assemble your eating force.

When you manage to get into the feeding fields, split up your platoon of men and women. First, establish a feeding post (table and chairs). Appoint one person to guard this precious feeding post. The rest split up into individuals and go join the queues solo on their respective missions. Don't forget to assign a soldier to go get water, soda and beer.

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After getting the food, the platoon re-assemble with the loot at the feeding post for the feast and fiesta :-D

Enjoy!

There is something about bonding over good food :-D

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Repeat until all the 25 stalls are conquered :-D

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Friends flew in from Cebu and conquered the World Street Food Congress Jamboree :-D

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Remember to check out the Street Food Demos when you are at the Jamboree.

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Flamboyant Chef Nick from Singapore's Lion City Group giving an entertaining demonstration on preparing Singapore style chili crab.

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Singapore chili crab, the island state's national dish.

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Harry Ang, founder of Lion City Group sharing the taste of Singapore with enthusiastic visitors at World Street Food Congress Jamboree.

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Filipinos are warm, welcoming people who also love food :-D

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Filipinos embrace international flavours wholeheartedly and are eager to hear the views of Makan Guru, KF Seetoh.

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The food is sold out every night ahead of closing time even though food output was doubled from the original plan.

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Come and experience the Jamboree, if you are in Manila from 20 to 24 Apr 2016 (opens at noon on Sat and Sun). Be early. Bring small change (food prices from P200+ to P400+). Come as a group and do take care of your personal belongings as overcrowding is expected. Dress light and casual. Bring a hat as it is very hot during the day. Be patient, be happy and happy eating :-D

For more on the World Street Food Congress 2016 <- click

Date : 20 - 24 Apr 2016

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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