There must be something special about an event if it can run for as long as 3 decades. If you have not heard about York Hotel Singapore’s Penang Hawkers’ Fare, this might be a good year to check it out.
Held at York Hotel’s White Rose Café every year since 1986, the popular buffet features signature Penang street food selection. And this year, to celebrate it’s 30th anniversary, the hotel is adding new dishes to the buffet spread and offering exclusive cooking workshop.
The buffet that runs thrice annually now, features 12 stations serving specialties like Char Kway Teow, Penang Prawn Mee and tangy Penang Laksa. A new stall serving Pasembur – a Chinese-Indian style salad from Penang is the latest addition, giving loyal patrons more reasons to return.
To complete the experience, the café also added a new show kitchen, feasting your eyes with a la minute cooking and preparation of crisp Lor Bak and oyster omelette by various hawkers.
“We are proud that York Hotel’s Penang Hawkers’ Fare at White Rose Cafe is one of the longest-standing buffets in Singapore. We have planned some celebratory activities to thank all our customers for their continuous support as they have helped us achieve this milestone,” said Ms Jessie Tan, General Manager of York Hotel.
It’s a distinctive buffet that offers you a taste of Penang, a town in Malaysia known for its street food. So, if you are used to buffet with a huge spread, seafood and other decadent dishes, this is not for you.
Highlights at York Hotel’s Penang Hawkers’ Fare
The Penangite version of this dish comprises of thick rice noodles steeped in a tangy tamarind fish-based broth. Pineapple, cucumber Bunga kantan (torch ginger) and hae-ok (prawn paste) are added to give it a distinctive fragrance and taste.
Char Kway Teow
Unlike the local dish, Penang’s version uses thinner ‘kway teow’ rice noodes and lesser sweet dark soy sauce. The kway teow are tossed over high heat to impart smoky wok-hei.
Nasi Lemak with Nonya Chicken Kapitan
Fragrant nasi lemak rice is paired with a succulent Nonya chicken Kapitan; an adaptation of the dry-style chicken curry, besides the usual condiments of homemade sambal chilli and crispy ikan bilis.
The key to Penang Rojak is the rojak sauce mixture, which uses good quality hae-ko (prawn paste) and each hawker has his proprietary recipe. This salad usually includes diced cucumbers, refreshing jambu and pineapples.
Lor Bak (must-try)
This is our favourite dish from all the stations. Most Singaporeans refer to this dish as Wu Xiang (五香) but in Penang, this popular fried snack is called Lor Bak. This dish is a platter of five-spice meat rolls, prawn fritters and deep fried beancurd served with homemade chilli sauce and a thick soy-based sauce. These handmade meat rolls are juicy with a tender bite and full of flavour.
A new item added to the buffet this year, Pasembur is a salad comprising of shredded cucumbers and a variety of fritters. The salad is then dressed with special sauce made with sweet potatoes, crushed peanuts and chillies.
Ban Chang Kueh (must-try)
Another must-try is the crispy pancake. Made on the spot, these golden brown pancakes have crisp edges and a chewy soft interior. Wrapped inside is a wonderful medley of margarine, ground peanuts and sugar. Eat it hot!
Penang Hawker Cooking Workshop
If you are interested in learning how to make some of these street foods, you can sign up for the two exclusive cooking workshops planned on March 12 and 19. The hawkers share their closely-guarded recipes and you can pick up tips on creating the prawn broth from scratch, cooking Penang Laksa and master the trick to crispy Ban Chang Kueh at home. The cost for the secret? An affordable $12 sign-up fee and York Hotel will issue back a $12 dining voucher for dining at the White Rose Café. Limited seats are available for each session and registration for the workshops starts 29 Feb 2016. You can book a seat via email at [email protected] or call +65-6830-1156.
Penang Hawkers’ Fare 30th Anniversary
Date: March 11 to 27, 2016 September 2 to 18, 2016 December 16, 2016 to January 1, 2017
Time Lunch: 12pm to 2.30pm, Dinner: 6.30pm to 10pm
Prices: Weekdays – $29++ per adult, $20++ per child below 12, Weekends – $33++ per adult, $23++ per child below 12
Address: White Rose Café at York Hotel 21 Mount Elizabeth, S228516