Thousands of diners trooped to the World Street Food Jamboree in Bonifacio Global City on April 20-25 to have a taste of curated stuff from vendors and hawkers in Asia and the United States.
While some of these “street food” are not usually found in hawker stalls, they were made with local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, befitting the theme “Comforting Flavors of Home.”
It’s the first time the World Street Food Jamboree was held outside Singapore, where it was established by chef KF Seetoh in 2013.
It wasn’t always a smooth affair. The turnout was so huge that gates had to be closed at peak hours to control the crowd, a disappointment to many, especially those who traveled from as far as Cebu.
People lined up for hours to get inside the tented venue on the corner of 9th Avenue and Federacion Drive, and not everyone was accommodated.
But it was for everyone’s safety, explained Javier Hernandez, assistant vice president for commercial business group of Ayala Land, which cosponsored the event with Makansutra, Seetoh’s street food village in Singapore.
Each dish was sold from P150-P350, and some diners ranted online (#wsfc2016 on Instagram and Twitter) that the price was too steep for a medium-size plate. Javier said the vendors priced their own dishes, and the recipes called for authentic ingredients that had to be shipped to Manila.
But the good part: Diners lined up for modern Filipino food, there was feel-good music performed by homegrown acts Up Dharma Down and Adinkra Lumads, free cooking demos, and an overall festive vibe.
At the end of the five-day fest, it still came down to food and its ability to draw people together. Here’s Lifestyle’s Top 12 picks at the World Street Food Jamboree:
1 Lechon with truffle rice by Pepita’s Kitchen, Philippines. Chef Dedet de la Fuente’s best-selling roast pig has crispy skin and succulent meat, with no jiggly fat. It is stuffed with truffle oil-infused rice, and comes with a spicy sauce made of crushed siling labuyo.
2Bali BBQ ribs by Warung Sunset, Indonesia. This wood-fired baby-back ribs, also known as iga bakar, is marinated in spices, sambal and kecap manis, a sweet soy sauce that gives the ribs a dark, caramelized coating.
3Sinuglaw salad from Mindanao. Chef Clinton Gregorio of Davao City gives the classic appetizer a twist by serving the cubed grilled pork belly and GenSan tuna kinilaw (ceviche) over green mango slices, cucumber, tomato and salted egg—a refreshing summer snack.
4 Seafood tempura with three dips by Keng Eng Kee, Singapore. Everything’s deep-fried, but we love it: crunchy soft-shell crab, calamari and eggplant dipped in chili-crab sauce, black pepper dip and creamy salted egg yolk sauce.
5Satay beehoon with barbecue sticks by Alhambra Padang Satay Stall, Singapore. Sweet-spicy rice noodles topped with rich peanut sauce, a prawn, and two sticks of smoky chicken barbecue.
6Pasta Bicolandia, Bicol Region. Chef Andhie Nacion’s creamy pasta has spicy gata sauce mixed with crumbled Guinobatan longganisa, garlic and malunggay leaves.
7Penang Laksa by Wan Dao Tou, Malaysia. Rice noodles swimming in sweet-sour mackerel broth flavored with fragrant lemongrass, tamarind, blue ginger and hae ko (sweet prawn paste), a comforting spicy soup.
8Kiniing-Inapoy Binungen, from Northern Luzon. Chef Charlynne M. Buangan from Baguio made a sushi roll made of Cordillera sticky mountain rice, kiniing or smoked pork, and strips of cucumber, scrambled egg and lettuce; served with chili-mansi dip.
9Banh Xeo crispy seafood pancake from Bahn Can 38, Vietnam. Thuloan Phan pours rice batter into shrimps and bean sprouts to make these mini savory pancakes cooked in traditional clay pots.
10 La Paz batchoy with guinamos, Visayas. Chef Dennis Jay Uy’s batchoy has firm noodles and tasty broth made by slow-cooking pork head, spleen, kidney and liver in low heat. He adds guinamos, a native shrimp bagoong for flavor.
11 Glazed squash pilipit and suman sa lihiya à la mode from South Luzon. Chef AR Ranido’s unique dessert has deep-fried pastry (made from pilipit, dessicated coconut and boiled squash) and suman sa lihiya from Mindoro, topped with vanilla ice cream and panocha—a blend of salted cashew from Palawan, coconut jam and kapeng barako chocolate sauce.
12 Chocolate Murtabak by Martabak Kota Barat, Indonesia. It’s a warm chocolate pie with a shallow molded pancake as “crust,” and crushed chocolates and sprinkles as toppings. One of the creators of this sweet snack is Gibran, son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.