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Category Archives: Festivals

SINGAPORE DAY 2011

Chris and I were super excited when we heard about Singapore Day coming to Shanghai. They were flying in the top chefs from famous hawker stalls around Singapore for the event – I mean, how much more awesome can that be?!?! We were salivating in anticipation leading up to the day.. so eager to have a wonderful day out in the park, letting Hunter get some sunshine and air, and eating ourselves silly. Did I mention THE FOOD WOULD BE FREE?? A food fair with free food……. I quiver.

When the day rocked round, I was dismayed that it was soooo dreary and cold :( Considering the whole week was sunny and gorgeous, it was so disappointing that only on that day was it crap weather! Determined, we still rugged ourselves up and headed out to Singapore Day.

The bad weather obviously didn’t keep the Singaporeans away because the place was PACKED with thousands of people! I was actually pretty shocked at the sheer numbers. We could barely see green grass, and found a spot to sit squished up amongst 52351278 other people. I sat down and huddled up in the cold, then Hunter decided he was hungry and so I had to pull him out of the (warm) stroller and breastfeed him – right there out in the cold, with tons of people around me! Man. It was rather surreal.

At the same time, Chris was attempting to brave the queues. Every stall had a 45 min queue. And what do you get at the end of it? A small bowl/plate of food, waaaay too small to fill one person. We were assuming we could eat at EVERY stall, and believe me we have the appetites too, but we ended up only eating from ONE stall because we just couldn’t handle the wait any longer. We ended up with Wee Nam Kee chicken rice which, on the plus side, the guy gave Chris a really big portion (Chris was one of the only foreigners there, so he was quite the novelty!).. but on the down side, the chicken wasn’t very nice (though the rice was freakin’ fantastic).

I felt like CRYING because I had been dreaming about my luscious Singaporean food for WEEKS leading up to the day! I wanted to eat everything and anything, but the queues were just insane, and it was just freezing out there. It was so disappointing :(

Funny story though – when Chris was queuing, he really sticks out since pretty much 99.9% of people there are of Asian descent. Almost everyone was either Singaporean, or the China wife of a Singaporean guy. Chris was one of the very very very rare Caucasians there, so it was very easy to spot him in the crowd, heh. Anyway, the Singaporean guy queuing behind him said “Are you sure you’re Singaporean???” to Chris, to which he replied “Ya, of course!! I am so kiasu I’m already planning to send my son to RI.” (a school in Singapore). The guy laughed and said “Oh I’m not even planning that far ahead, haha!”

We didn’t stay for long because it was just too crowded, too cold, and too little food. I don’t think the event was planned very well because 1) they either need to seriously increase the number of stalls or 2) limit the number of attendees to perhaps first 1,000 that RSVP. We left, disappointed.

A cold and dreary Singapore Day

Packed to the rafters *shudder*

The magical queues that never ended. Well, for 45 mins anyway!

Cute goody bag!

 
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Posted by on 23 April 2011 (Sat) in Festivals, Uncategorized

 

INTERNATIONAL FAMILY FOOD FESTIVAL

Our friend’s daughter’s school was hosting a International Family Food Festival on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, so we all trooped on over to check it out. Let me just say, these International Schools sure do things in style!! To me, a food festival held by a school means a few little stands with some snacks, and kids running everywhere. But nope, this was HUGE event with bouncy castles, rodeo bull riding, face painting, etc, etc.

And the food – OH MY. Because it’s an international school, each country grouped together and had a stall selling their country’s yummiest food. I was impressed with how authentic the food was, and the really reasonable prices. Best of all, all the profits went to charity! Such a breath of fresh air compared to the many overpriced food festivals with zero money going to charity.

We ate, and ate, and ate. I simply COULD NOT take photos of all the food we ate.. because of the variety we bought and also because I was far more interested in stuffing it all into my mouth ;) We had a grand ‘ol time soaking in the warm sun and chilling out, enjoying a lazy Sunday out. It was lovely for Hunter to be outdoors too, though he spent most of the time snoozing in his Bugaboo, lol!

Us enjoying the terrific weather

Lots of open space for the kids to run around in

Just one of the areas of the festival, it was BIG!

We bought lots of goodies from the Australian stall :P

And of course, Chris couldn’t resist buying a pavlova!

Polish food!! My first time. Pork schnitzel with dumpings & bacon. Yum.

Malaysian nasi lemak. ZOMG this was fab. Nearly fainted.

German donuts! Tres yummy. Also liked the alcohol-free beer… tasty.

Hunter all snuggled up

Basking in the sunshine

Completely random, but back home doing tummy-time

 
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Posted by on 13 April 2011 (Wed) in Festivals, Food, Uncategorized

 

THE CUISINE FESTIVAL 2009

On a lovely warm day, we headed off to the The Cuisine Festival. We were pleasantly surprised that people were really well-behaved (no crazy shouting, pushing & shoving) and that there weren’t actually that many people there. But then we realised, it was fairly empty because of one key reason:

It was appallingly expensive. There’s no other way to put it. At 120元 per person, the price really hurts since we paid for 4 people. At food festivals that have paid-entry in Australia, we ALWAYS get loads of free samples – basically enough to fill you for a meal. It was not the case here. Unbelievably, we had to pay more for the food, and there was little/no samples. In fact, a lot of the dishes were really expensive (for a tiny amount) and it was only the wonderful steak that was incredible value for money.

Frankly, I felt the prices gave us all a real sour taste (not good since it’s a food festival, haha), and MANY people there felt the same and were complaining too. Don’t even get me started on the hilarious 500元 for their ‘Premium lunch’ (btw, you can get a full fine-dining buffet + all-you-can-drink champagne in expensive hotels for under 400元) or their 150元 ‘VIP area’ that just had teeny glasses of wine and a few little canapes. The organisers should have had the brains and foresight to charge the 120元 entry fee, which is fine, but give back 120元 in food vouchers that you can redeem right there-and-then at the food stalls.

Now THAT would have made the festival a SUCCESS!

Fortunately, they day was nice, and people were polite. The stall holders were great – very friendly and we enjoyed the great food served there, plus discovered a few new restaurants that we want to check out later.

Worn that day:
Louis Vuitton bandeau (worn as headband)
He Qi crystal earrings
“I’m Blogging This” tee
Levi’s denim shorts
Sketchers shoes
Miu Miu lambskin bag

The 2009 Cuisine Festival

Outside the huge building

Lovely outdoor area to chill out during the festival

‘sup, blog readers? :)

Insanely luscious pork ribs…. *drools*

I HAS RIBS!!

Beer + ribs = perfection

Totally cute pic :)

Buying tacos, beer, and more food…

Gobbling some Polish dumplings

Checking out the ice creams

Food makes me happy

Waiting for our steaks to cook

180g fillet steak for 48元 (US$7) and it was freakin’ perfection!

I finished my steak :(

Checking out HoF’s delectable goodies. Their orange chocolate cake was luscioussss

Guess the scarecrow?

Mio Miko, a new-ish Belgium chocolate cafe. We must go!

Pretty ceiling

Having a big Croque Monsieur (it was really good), and the nice French guy there
gave me a glass of free wine. So lovely!! It was delish :)

Eating at the Meridien hotel’s stand

Yummy Rhubarb pie from the Hyatt hotel

I look dubious, but I LOVED this alcoholic yoghurt schnapps drink, bought a whole bottle for myself!

 
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Posted by on 9 November 2009 (Mon) in Festivals, Food, Food reviews, Uncategorized

 

TAIWAN FOOD FESTIVAL

Our very first food festival in Shanghai – the Taiwan Food Festival! Considering it was just a few minutes walk from our place, it was not hard to miss ;) The odd thing was, instead of being on the massive main street of Nanjing Road, it was on the side street that runs just off it. More like a tiny lane, actually. Tres strange because it meant that it became like a bloody feeding trough, thanks to the throngs of people everywhere. I STILL haven’t gotten used to the sheer number of people in the City – throngs of people around me usually isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s made worse when they’re the pushy shovey type that have NO clue how to say “excuse me please” or “sorry”. Friggin’ hell….

Apart from that, it was fun checking out all the little stalls selling Taiwanese fare. I’m saying it’s authentic, but I’m pretty clueless about Taiwanese cuisine, so… ;) Was a lot of fun, but I do miss the gloriously sunny blue skies of Australia when we always went food-fairing… it’s a far cry from the jostling behaviour of the locals here, in a freezing, dreary winter. Hurry up, summer!!

The crowded Taiwainese Food Festival

There was a massive vat of fried noodles there, was so tempted but the queue was too long!

Uncooked noodles and meatballs on display

This completely WEIRD gelatinous sausage-looking thing with bumps all over ’em *shudders*

Whole grilled fish, which was so popular almost everyone was chomping down on one

Beef wrapped around green onions and grilled

Sugary goodies

BBQ squid

These amazing, amazing prawn tempura – the breadcrumb batter was incredible!

The light coloured rolls are sticky rice, and the pinky rolls are sausages

They slilt the sticky rice sausage apart, and pop the sausage on top. IT IS AWESOME.

A dessert with your chosen filling – we picked custard!

Some sort of sweet “melon pudding”. I THINK they said it was “moo” something,
what kinda melon is it?? Couldn’t figure it out from the taste either…

Guy pounding away with his big stick. Oh LMAO.

Uhhh.. *snigger*


You Are Apple Juice


You’re very likable and quite popular. It’s hard not to find something to love about you.
You are playful and fun. You try to bring levity to situations.

While you are entertaining, you’re not very hyper or mischievous.
You are laid back, low key, and even a bit sensitive.

 
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Posted by on 5 March 2009 (Thu) in Festivals, Food, Uncategorized

 

CHINESE LANTERN FESTIVAL @ YUYUAN GARDEN

It was annual Chinese Lantern Festival (aka Yuanxiao Festival) on Monday – a significant occasion to Chinese as it marks the final day of Chinese New Year (ie. the 15th day of the first lunar month). The full moon is high in the sky, and lanterns are everywhere. Importantly, people will eat yuanxiao, also known as tangyuan – small dumpling balls made of glutinous rice flour with sesame, ground peanuts, etc inside. We were served some as a complimentary dessert when we had dinner, to signify the Festival. They’re sweet and a delicious way to end a meal. Moreover, the word tuanyuan means ‘reunion’, so people eat them to denote union, harmony and happiness for the family. I love how China has so many meanings and stories for everything!

After dinner, we wandered around the ‘famous snack street’ that so happens to be right next to our service apartment. You can see just how brilliantly it was lit up. Yuyuan Garden has also been open for the week to celebrate Chinese Lantern Festival.. so of course we had to go in for a peek. It was crazy and jostling with people, but the atmosphere was alive and exciting, and the lights were absolutely gorgeous. Hundreds and thousands of silk lanterns were strewn all over the place, in this year’s “fairytale” theme. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve ever seen so many lights in my life!

Around Yuyuan Garden at dusk

At DaNiang Dumpling. Yes, Sydney’s chinatown has one of their branches, selling the same food!

Delicious ‘xiao long baos’

Another sort of steamed dumpling

Noodles in a milk broth and beef+veg

2 drinks we ordered randomly as we couldn’t read the Chinese words.
Turned out both were milky-type drinks!

Inside Yuyuan Garden. The mega ox to signify the Year Of The Ox

Beautiful hand-painted eggshells

Lanterns to signify each of the 12 animals

Meatballs bobbing away, with an OX SKULL in there???!! Please explain.

Everything was so bright, thanks to hundreds of lanterns

Gorgeous architecture

On the zigzag bridge looking at these massive decorated floats on the water

I had to use the bathroom. Walked in, and there was a trough in the ground and low partitions (ie. no walls/doors!)
Saw another lady and realised you just squat there, pee, and every few minutes water would come gushing down the trough to ‘flush’.
It was insane. Did I do it? Yep, I peed, and ran right outta there!!!! It was completely weird squatting and having people look at you.

Heading home…

 
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Posted by on 12 February 2009 (Thu) in Festivals, Living in... Shanghai, Uncategorized

 

Protected: CROWS NEST FAIR

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Posted by on 24 October 2008 (Fri) in Festivals, Food, Uncategorized

 

Protected: MALAYSIAN FESTIVAL 2008

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Posted by on 2 September 2008 (Tue) in Festivals, Food, Uncategorized