[SAVOUR 2016]: Reasons why it's worth a visit

Reasons why its worth paying a visit to SAVOUR 2016?

I would say, because of Fried Chicken. Hallelujah. Or maybe complimentary entry to festival grounds? hmph... if that isn't reason enough to warrant a visit, we'll just have to dive a little deeper.

First things first, to make sure we're on the same page, patrons of last year Savour 2015 (you can read my wrap-up here) would have noticed that premises have been severely downsized. No, it's not because officiates have lower budgets but because they've decided to space it out over 3 sessions throughout the year to pique the interest of gourmands and specific target groups; in which I share a strong affinity with the second group of 'outcasts'.

The 2016 SAVOUR calendar looks a little something like this
SAVOUR Gourmet: 12 - 15 May
SAVOUR Wines: 8 - 11 Sept
SAVOUR Christmas: 17 - 20 Nov
so hold your horses and head down to this food festival to support young local talent as well as make your rounds of the Jason's Gourmet Market, featuring some of the best Alaskan seafood, Iberico pork, famous Waitrose products, a stunning olive bar, and the much coveted cheese room perfect for cosying up to your partner, as you binge on red wine cheese, and finally, finish off your meal with Hokkaido Lavendar-flavored Ice Cream.

If you're looking for more solid grub, venture out into the sweltering heat; The Gourmet Village this year has a strong emphasis on local talent; shining the spotlight on homegrown talents such as Jonathan Lee and Bjorn Shen from Team Artichoke, Han Liguang from Labyrinth and Allen Tan and Tyler Lai from Team Saveur Art; just to name a few. 10 stalls, 30 different dishes to choose from, and prices starting at an affordable $6 with a cap of $12 - the wallet situation is starting to look a lot more affable this year in comparison to the whopping $18 price tags I encountered the last session.


Just to rock the boat a little, we've got a Guest Celebrity Chef team to spice up the local driven food scene. Alvin Leung of 3 Michelin Starred fame for his ostentatious venture Bo Innovation in Hong Kong has partnered up with protege Eric Chong from Toronto-based restaurant R&D. Expect a knock-out version of R&D's Fried Chicken ($6) dredged through a mind-numbing 12 spice and drizzled with Gong Bo sauce or tuck into a comforting Laksa Seafood Chow Mein ($12) pimped up with laksa lobster sauce.

When you've had enough of the sticky humidity, venture inside to explore the Gourmet Market. Some of the highlights being the Alaskan seafood bar brought in courtesy of The Alaska Guys who were recently featured on The Deadliest Catch! Known for producing the world's largest export of sustainable seafood, the guys prides themselves in sourcing fish and crustaceans of the best provenance, urging customers to "avoid the sketchy stuff" where fish in captivity aren't sustained on a natural diet hence the enhanced flavors. Meet and greet the lovely chaps over at the bistro and tuck into Creole Crab cakes, poached Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and well as Cod Fish tacos.

Venture a little bit to the right and you'll find a beguiling array of 21 Oysters from 8 different countries on display. From Canadian pacific oysters to Irish bay oysters, there is something to fit the palate of any oyster aficionado and fret not, with the expertise of the staff at hand who are more than willing to impart valuable knowledge on the characteristics of the various oysters; you're in safe hands with any selection you make. This year, they have even stocked up a rare import of gallagher oysters, bred for 3 years in spring water, these plump Irish oysters are super prized in the market.

For the meat lovers, the meat display is as desirable as it is swoon worthy. Choose from an array of meats such as the Miyazaki A4 yakiniku and have them grilled a la minute to succulent perfection.

Don't miss out on the exclusive Iberico Char Siew platter, available only with the purchase of the SAVOUR experience pack or the Iberico Tonkatsu  Loin topped with saucy radish to cut through its silken richness.

Note to self, you might want to save space for the mind boggling selection of olives and other delicatessen options at the Olive Bar. The truffle stuffed Sicilian olives are absolutely to-die-for.

Scoot on over to the Gourmet Market Cheese Room afterwards to nibble on a mind-blowing selection of over 200 cheeses. As explained by the manager on duty, the emphasis is on aged cheese this year, hence you know where your tooth picks are intended for. Make sure to pull over at the gaudy looking red wine cheese, steeped and matured in Cabernet sauvignon, it's exterior takes on an ominous purple stain which imparts an earthy richness to it's complex profile.

For dessert, we would strongly advise the Hokkaido Lavender-Flavored Ice Cream indoors or the refreshing Jelly Cup ($6) from Team Artichoke - a genial combination of Rosewater jelly, watermelon salad and Lime Sorbet to a refreshing end to the meal. 

Note that this year, in partnership with DBS, a champion home-grown culinary superstar will be crowned! SAVOUR fans will have a big say in determining the final winner so get cracking with your votes. Simply post a photo on Instagram with the special hashtags found on the menu pages and in the front of the booths or you could also drop your votes physically into the ballot boxes places outside your favourite restaurant, it's that easy!

Bayfront Avenue
(Next to Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Centre)
Dates: 12 - 15 May 2016

How to get there by MRT:
Take the Circle Line to Bayfront MRT station and take Exit A (Approximately 2mins walk)

Operating Hours:
12th (Thurs): 6 - 11pm
13th ( Fri): 6 - 11pm
14th ( Sat): 11am - 4pm; 6 - 11pm
15th (Sun): 11am - 7pm

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