Indonesia is a land of rich culture, heritage and food. It combines the best of two worlds – think the bustling, hectic city of Jakarta, and the serene beauty of Yogyakarta, all within the same nation.
A country’s food is a reflection of it’s people, and Indonesian cuisine is a smorgasbord of flavour, spice, and ingredients that are native to the country known as the Emerald of the Equator.
Not all of us can fly to Indonesia just to sample delicious Indonesian cuisine, but visiting the Indonesia Food Festival (IFF) at Novotel Clarke Quay this week is the next best thing. Here are 10 reasons why you should stop by this year!
1. You get to try legit Indonesian cuisine right here in Singapore
Nasi Goreng Kampung
We’ve got plenty of restaurants serving up Indonesian fare here in Singapore, with Ayam Penyet stores aplenty in Lucky Plaza alone. But authentic Indonesian cuisine is more than that. If that’s what you crave, the IFF will treat you to old favorites like nasi goreng kampung and satay, as well as intriguing dishes you probably wouldn’t see out of Indonesia.
2. …and sample dishes you’ve never even heard before
If you’re an adventurous foodie who loves trying new dishes, peering at the menu for IFF would get you excited. Serabi bandung, a fluffy coconut pancake? Asinan Jakarta, a pickled vegetable and fruit dish? Nasi Kuning Yogyakarta, a mountain of yellow rice with side dishes? These dishes sound so delicious, I never even knew I craved for them until now.
3. You’ll get to sample the cooking of a MasterChef head judge
If you’ve ever wanted to have a famous chef cook for you, the IFF is where you can check that off your list. Chef Vindex Tengker, the Executive Chef of the luxurious Dharmawangsa hotel in Jakarta and President of the Jakarta Association of Culinary Professionals, as well as Head Judge on MasterChef Indonesia, will be whipping up his specialties at IFF.
With dishes like Soto Betawi (Indonesian creamy beef soup), Ayam Betutu (Baked whole chicken with thousand spices wrapped in banana leaf) and Ikan Masak Woku (Smoked Stingray served in turmeric herb sauce), you win a scrumptious treat prepared by a top-tier chef and bragging rights, too.
4. Have your eyes opened to Indonesian culinary traditions
Just as how we’re probably the only nation to mix Soya Milk with Grass Jelly, certain culinary combinations are just uniquely Indonesian. With more than 1,100 different ethnic groups that call Indonesia their home, the variety of dishes and flavors is mind boggling.
Food is a reflection of a country’s heritage, and whether or not you’ve traveled to Indonesia, you’ll get to learn about the country. For example, Klappertaart (young coconut pudding) is a Dutch-influenced dessert that looks like a cross between a pudding and a kueh, harkening back to the colonial era.
5. Satisfy your sweet tooth with traditional Indonesian desserts
I’m not sure what comes to mind when we talk about Indonesian desserts, but at IFF, the desserts are both beautiful and delicious. Take a day off from the froyo and waffles, and end your meal with yummy treats like Nagasari (steamed rice flour with banana) and Ketan Srikaya (Pandan custard with sticky rice). I’m drooling just thinking about it.
6. Experience Indonesia without breaking the bank
Have a taste of truly authentic Indonesian cuisine without having to fork out cash for airfare and accommodation! At just $58++ for adults, you get to sample only the best of what Indonesia has to offer. One bite and you’ll have a taste of Bali or Jakarta, without even having to leave the country!
7. Tuck into a buffet spread with something for everyone
This is just part of the dessert selection.
Whether you like chicken or fish, spicy or sweet, you’ll be spoilt for choice at IFF. With over 30 dishes available, you’ll be bound to find something that suits your tastes. Additionally, with cuisine from all parts of Indonesia, you’ll be in for a riot of flavours that are a real treat for the tastebuds. Here’s a tip – come with an empty tummy!
8. It’s so accessible – you have no excuse to not pig out
IFF is held at Novotel Singapore, right smack in the middle of Clarke Quay. The hotel is only about a 10 minute walk away from Clarke Quay MRT Station, which makes getting there a breeze. Furthermore, how often do you get to have an experience in Clarke Quay that does not involve bars, clubs and entertainment centre?
While you’re at it, here’re other things you can check out along the Singapore River!
9. Feast and stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay in Indonesia itself
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to visit and enjoy the real Indonesia. Dine at IFF, and stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay at the Novotel Bali Nusa Dua. The Novotel Bali Nusa Dua comes with luxurious rooms, a lagoon-style pool and plenty of great facilities. But there is so much to do and see in Bali, you’ll probably be out in the Balinese sunshine all the time.
And when you do, this list of 50 things to do in Bali will come in handy – from dolphin-watching to checking out an abandoned airplane.
10. …and fly business class on your way home!
Sometimes, the true test of a holiday is how you feel when you board the plane back home. Do you feel dreary or rejuvenated? As if a free trip to Bali isn’t good enough already, flying business class will be the cherry on top!
In addition to possibly winning a stay at Novotel Bali Nusa Dua, you’ll get business-class return tickets on Garuda Airlines. Talk about a neat ending to a trip to remember.
Get your taste of Indonesia now!
The Indonesia Food Festival is happening at the Novotel Clarke Quay from 21st Oct – 14th Nov 2015. Held at The Square Restaurant, you can enjoy Indonesian delights in the comfort of a classy hotel restaurant for a memorable night out.
Call 6433 8790 or visit Novotel Singapore’s website to make your reservation to avoid disappointment. Go forth and indulge! Seize the opportunity and experience Indonesian cuisine like never before.
This post was brought to you by the Indonesian Food Festival 2015.