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Flavours of the World

From Japanese fine dining in Singapore to a Cambodian dish popular in Vietnam, food does unite the world!

Words: Wilson Ng

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival celebrates its 21st anniversary this year, having started back in 1993 with a modest programme of just 12 events by Peter Clemenger. This year, the event sees the inclusion of over 200 events in the city’s labyrinthine network of restaurants and laneways for 17 days. Kicking off on the first day of March with the iconic ‘Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch’, the festival continues until March 17 with many celebrations that include Put Victoria on Your Table: Cellar Door and Artisan Market, Langham Melbourne Masterclass and, Regional Closing Weekend: 20 Regional World’s Longest Lunches. www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au

IGA World’s Longest Lunch. Image: Daniel Mahon

Juan Valdez Coffee Beans

Named after Colombia’s long time coffee icon, Juan Valdez® Coffee beans are now available in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Juan Valdez is 100% Colombian coffee with a 60-year pedigree in the coffee industry, representing more than 500,000 coffee growers in Colombia. Available at many coffee parlours in both cities, the brew is extracted from premium 100 percent Arabica beans chosen for their bean size, aroma and quality.


Ki-sho Comes to Singapore

Tucked away in a lush corner along Scotts Road, Ki-sho is a quiet, two-storey establishment that has just enriched Singapore culinary scene. Showcasing a repertoire of Japan’s fi nest Kyoto cuisine and set in a peaceful garden, the architecture of the restaurant and Chef Hamamoto’s culinary creations hark back to the glory of the Meiji period. With a selection of three Omakase set menus, patrons can enjoy the dining experience at a 10-seater pine timber sushi bar, or request a private entertainment room on the upper level. Ki-sho also features a sake room with over 50 labels of traditional and seasonal sake on display, specially imported from Japan to complement the ever-changing menu designed by Chef Hamamoto. www.scotts29.com



Cheap & Tasty in HK

Fancy dining in a Michelin One-Starred Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong without spending a bomb? Try Tim Ho Wan at Kwong Wa Mongkok, located minutes from Mongkok MTR station, Ladies Market and Fa Yuen Sports Shoe street. Spot this outlet easily with the long queue waiting to get in. But get there early. Waiting time can take more than two hours! Must-try here include the famous char siew pao, (baked instead of steamed) and cheong fun (rice rolls) with barbequed pork. Other sure winners are the steamed shrimp dumpling and the Portuguese sauce beancurd rolls. Prices start from USD2 for a plate of dim sum, similar to what you’d pay at a street stall. Tim Ho Wan is at 2-8 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon and its new branch is at Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall).



Samsung Omnipro

Samsung recently unveiled the Samsung OmniPro convection microwave oven (CP1395EST), which boasts the OmniSense™ technology. This technology detects weight and humidity levels of food to automatically calculate and adjust the cooking mode and time settings, ensuring that meals are cooked to perfection. Additionally, the Samsung OmniPro’s multi-function capacity to cook, roast, bake, grill and steam enables users to prepare delicious and healthy meals every time. www.samsung.com



Hash Made Yummy

Skip that boring hash browns you make for breakfast and have a blast experimenting with this new snack from SIMPLOT. Made from US potatoes free from colouring, flavouring and preservatives, these morsels can be deep-fried and toasted as well. So versatile is the popcorn potato, it easily lends itself as a party finger food. Try this simple recipe or make your own topping! 


6 tablespoon cooking oil

2 big onions, finely chopped

400g minced meat

575g Bolognese pasta sauce

Salt and sugar to taste

1 500g-pack SIMPLOT Popcorn Hash Brown 

Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions until soft. Add in meat and cook until it is browned. Add pasta sauce and cook till mixture thickens. Season to taste. Fry SIMPLOT Popcorn Hash Brown as per instruction on the packaging. Serve together with Bolognese sauce.

Num Banh Choc

Originally from Cambodia and now gaining a foothold in South Vietnam as well, num banh choc is a fish and rice noodle soup dish. A popular breakfast meal in Cambodia, the dish is flavoured with prahok, a fermented fish paste that is common in Cambodian cuisine. The meal is a delicious and satisfying way to start the day. The coconut milk-based broth is light and tasty while the addition of fresh rice noodles, sliced banana blossom flower, cucumber and cabbage, topped off with prahok makes it a complete meal. Slivers of fish meat, fish head and innards provide the protein.