Sunday, October 09, 2016
Hainanese Food Fair 2016 海南美食节2016
Our annual Hainan Food Fair was held this afternoon at Tim Palace (SAFRA Toa Payoh) and we had an overwhelming response from the Hainanese community with 73 tables fully taken up.
Diners who attended the Hainan Food Fair last year raved about the food, so this year the organisers increase the number of tables to accommodate the large number of participants. My foodie friend Angie who was one of those who came for the Hainanese food last year, joined me for lunch today.
While waiting for the guest-of-honour Minister Tan Chuan Jin to arrive, we were both so hungry that we ate the braised groundnuts plus the ginger paste and Hainanese chicken chilli paste .... as we both didn't eat our breakfast. LOL Both the chilli and ginger paste were delicious. Angie said the chilli tasted like her Mom's.
The first dish that was served is the Chap Chye (Mixed Vegetables). Flavour wise it is good but the dish has been modified with additions of dried cuttlefish, Chinese sausage slices, dried beancurd skin, red chillies, green pepper and snow peas. It is not a Hainanese dish.
Second dish is Stuffed Fish Maw in clear chicken soup. There were bits of chestnuts in the pork stuffing.
Steamed chicken and Hainanese chicken rice was next. Everyone likes the chicken rice, each grain was flavourful and we could eat it on its own.
From then on, every dish went down hill..... the braised mutton, the stewed duck, the steamed fish, two noodle dishes and dessert - cheng tng is not a Hainanese dish, for goodness sake!
There were many senior citizens at this lunch, the steamed fish has too many bones. Fortunately there was no mishap.
The ladies at my table aimed for the braised pork trotter's melt-in-the-mouth skin for its collagen, the gravy is yummy. The traditional yi buah (outsourced to a Hainanese kueh maker) is good.
A disappointing meal and many of the dishes cannot be classified as Hainanese cuisine. I have been to Hainan island numerous times and tasted the well-known Hainanese dishes. I even learn from several elder Hainanese to cook authentic Hainanese dishes, these dishes are not acceptable even to a Teochew who is married to a Hainanese.
今年的海南美食节在珍辉阁举行, 菜色真令人失望。端上来的, 很多都不算是正宗的海南菜。不是已经变了样的, 就是改良版的或是模仿的。我邀请了一位美食家(福建人)来品尝海南菜, 除了鸡饭好吃的, 其他的菜色平平无奇, 不应该称为海南美食节。