Back for the 4th consecutive year, Singapore Food Festival (SFF) returns to Chinatown Food Street (CFS) to present their latest themed fiesta, The 50 Cents Fest! The 50 Cents Fest takes visitors back to the golden era of 1980s Singapore.
Happening on 29th and 30th July 2017, The 50 Cents Fest stays true to its name by serving a variety of heritage dishes at just 50 cents each! Come make a trip down memory lane and revisit some of Singapore’s most nostalgic eats through the heritage recipes prepared by local hawkers, play some old-school games and soak in some of the best 1980s sights and sounds!
Not to be missed are also the interactive 80s classic games and pastimes lined along CFS as well as its alleyways. The 50 Cents Fest promises non-stop fun for the young and old as they duel with friends on a game of hopscotch in the side alley, make a mushy song dedication through an old radio station, go biscuit shopping with family at the mama shop and singalong to live Xin Yao performances!
These dishes are a must-try!:
1. Paper Wrapped Chicken
A traditionally Cantonese dish, the technique of paper wrapping prevents the aroma and flavourful chicken essence from drying out, and keeps the moisture and flavour intact. The chicken maintains its juiciness, and each bite is an extremely satisfying delight!
2. Abacus Seed
One of the more commonly known Hakka dish, this is one item that stood out to me. Since young, my mother would always patiently prepare them in the traditional way. My siblings and I will join in the preparation and help to roll and round the pieces of yam balls and make the iconic ‘dimple them in the centre. For those who are not familiar, Hakkas were believed to be good with money, so they made the yam balls in such a way that they look like abacus, a tool that was used to calculate money.
3. Ah Balling (Tang Yuan)
This is one of my favourite Teochew dessert, the Ah Balling served at the 50 Cents Fest was enjoyable and reminiscent of the past. Each bowl comes with soft tang yuans which just melts effortlessly with each bite. The sweet peanut soup was warm and complemented the sweetness of the tang yuans perfectly. It reminds me of how my mother will always prepare them for the Winter Solstice festival yearly, so heartwarming indeed.
4. Ice Ball
For those who were born in the 1980s will definitely know this popular street dessert! Hand-moulded with finely shaved ice and drenched in coloured syrup for its addictive sweetness and vibrant colour. Typically eaten with just the hands, this dessert is often enjoyed by kids before they throw the leftover ice at one another!
5. Muah Chee
I had the opportunity to make my very own muah chee! It was fun but I realised that you would require precise techniques to cut the muah chee to beautiful pieces of little treats. The texture of the muah chee is spot on – being so soft yet not extremely sticky, and finally coated with fine fragrant peanut.
Overall, the 50 Cents Fest is an enjoyable event that is not to be missed. Perfect for the entire family, the event is a great opportunity to introduce some of our island’s nostalgic past to the younger generation. With National Day around the corner too, some of these local hawker fare will resonate well to experience the 1980s Singapore once again.
The 50 Cents Fest
Address: Smith Street, Chinatown Food Street, Singapore 058938 (Map)
Event dates: 29 July (12pm to 11pm) and 30 July (11am to 11pm)
With lots of love,
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