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Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore Celebrates “Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter” With Young Hawkers

September 18, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

As part of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s commitment towards preserving Singapore’s hawker heritage, the hotel will stage a unique promotion, “Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter,” at The Line on 21 and 28 September 2013.

BandungNine young hawkers from six famous eateries will present local hawker dishes at The Line to enable guests to experience Singapore’s hawker food culture and highlight the new generation of hawkers.  Educational fringe activities include a photo exhibition depicting old hawkers, an autograph session by Mr. Sinma DaShow, author of “Not For Sale – Singapore’s Remaining Heritage Street Food Vendors,” as well as a talk by Mr. Daniel Wang, Singapore’s former Commissioner of Public Health/Director-General of Public Health, about the history of hawker centres in Singapore.

The hawker food culture is closely associated with Singapore’s multi-ethnic history.  Origins of hawker food date back to the days when early immigrants from China, India and the Malay Archipelago brought with them the cuisines from their homeland, which evolved over time to incorporate the local influence.  Early immigrants hawked these dishes on the streets as part of their livelihood.  As Singapore developed, street hawkers were relocated to sanitised hawker centres built by the government to maintain a hygienic environment.  These iconic traditional hawker dishes flourished as more hawker centres were set up over the years and eventually became an integral part of Singapore’s food culture.

The inaugural “Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter” at The Line embraces this distinctive fried prawn noodleSingapore food culture and adds variety to restaurant’s 16 theatre kitchens.  In addition to the array of crustacean favourites, freshly shucked oysters, sashimi and a variety of cuisines, traditional hawker dishes prepared by young hawkers from six famous local eateries will be available for diners, all within one sitting.

Mr. Habib Mohamed from Habib’s Rojak will serve an assortment of six common Indian rojak ingredients, including his top-selling coconut fritters, fried bean curd, potato, cuttlefish, fish cake and vadai, in a colourful platter and topped with onions, green chillies and cucumber that go perfectly with the delicious red Indian rojak sauce.  The sauce, made with peanuts, chillies, pineapple and tamarind powder, combines sweetness, spiciness with a hint of sourness.

Milo DinosaurMr. Daniel Lee and Ms. Joanne Ng, the husband and wife team from Ru Ji Kitchen, will serve handmade fish balls and giant fish cakes that go perfectly with their noodles and homemade chilli sauce.  Mr. Lionel Lim, the second generation of the well-known Rong Cheng Bak Kut Teh, will prepare the clear peppery Teochew-Style Pork Rib Soup.  Mr. Terence Chee of the Xiao Di Fried Prawn Noodle stall will serve flavourful yellow noodles and rice noodles seeped in rich prawn broth and then fried with eggs, bean sprouts, squids, prawns, pork belly strips, pork lard and chives.

Popiah and kueh pie tee lovers can view the entire preparation process by the second and third generation hawkers from the famous Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie shop.  Dainty kueh pie tee cups made using the same popiah dough is a specialty of this shop, which started in 1938.  Generous servings of shredded turnip, carrots, bean sprouts, homemade exotic fruit sauce, eggs, minced garlic and prawns top the kueh pie tee cups and popiah.  The popiah-making demonstrations start with third-generation hawker, Mr. Michael Ker, preparing paper-thin sheets of the skin on a hot stove and is followed by his aunts – second generation hawkers, Ms. Zita Quek and Ms. Victoria Quek – wrapping popiah before the dish is served on the plate.

On 28 September 2013, relive the nostalgic days of having kaya toast using the traditional charcoal grill.  Mr. Melvin Soh of Toast Hut will be at The Line’s alfresco area for the demonstration.  Diners can enjoy this breakfast favourite of toasted white bread slathered with kaya (coconut jam) and indian rojak habib mohamedhomemade butter.

Popular local beverages will be served to complement the dinner buffet.  Signature hawker drinks, such as Milo Dinosaur, Teh Tarik, Kopi Tarik, Bandung and Grass Jelly with Soya Bean Milk will be distributed in glass mugs or takeaway clear plastic bags akin to those found in local beverage stalls.

Milo Dinosaur is a drink invented in Singapore and commonly served in glass mugs at coffee shops.  It is made using Milo, a chocolate malt drink, served with ice and generous servings of Milo powder sprinkled on top.

Commonly found in local coffee shops, teh tarik is a popular black tea made with condensed milk.  This hot Indian milk tea, unique to Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore and Malaysia, derives its name from the repeated tossing from one mug to another with artistic theatrics to create the thick froth.  The tossing also helps mix the condensed milk in the tea.  Kopi Tarik is roasted coffee prepared in a similar way.

Guests can revisit the good old days of kacang puteh sold from a pushcart.  “Kacang” refers to nuts, beans or peas and “puteh” means white in Malay language.  In the old days of Singapore, kacang puteh was commonly seen outside cinemas, schools or along the streets.  The Line replicates the bak_kut_teh_lionel_limexperience with its own blend of kacang puteh wrapped in paper cones.

In conjunction with the “Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter” promotion, there will be a photo exhibition of old hawkers in Singapore.  This photo exhibition is an extract of the book “Not For Sale – Singapore’s Remaining Heritage Street Food Vendors,” which is a compilation of stories and photos from more than 300 old hawkers from 105 hawker centres in Singapore.

The trio of Mr. Sinma Da Show, 41, and Ms Jernnine Pang, 33, both children of hawkers and founders of local cooking school California Sushi Academy, as well as photographer Mr. Jimmy Yong, took two and a half years to complete the documentation of this heritage.

The public will have the opportunity to meet Mr. Sinma DaShow and Mr. Jimmy Yong during the autograph session and purchase copies of the book.  This project, which was launched on 18 July 2013, is partially funded by National Heritage Board in conjunction with Singapore Heritage Fest 2013.

To bring guests on an educational journey on the evolution of Singapore’s hawker history, a special guest speaker, Mr. Daniel Wang, Singapore’s former Commissioner of Public Health/Director-General of Public Health who oversaw the establishment of hawker centres in the 1980s to improve hygiene standards, will share his personal experience at The Line.  Mr. Wang recently spoke about the same topic at the World Street Food Congress in June 2013.  The public is welcome to join these sessions at The Line on 21 and 28 September 2013 from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

“Hawker Heritage – The Next Chapter” is available during dinner buffet at The Line on 21 and 28 September 2013 only.  Dinner buffet is from 6:00 to 10: 30 p.m., and is priced at $78 per adult and at $36 per child.

Prices are subject to service charge and prevailing government charges.

For reservations and enquiries, please call Dining Reservations at 6213 4398 or e-mail dining.sls@shangri-la.com.

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