Singapore’s “Melting Pot of Flavours” makes it ideal holiday destination for Middle East foodies

  • Fatafeat TV’s Chef Mohammad Orfali discovers hidden gems in Singaporean cuisine

Chef Mohammad Orfali, star of the Middle East’s leading food channel, Fatafeat, has extolled the virtues of Singapore as the destination for Muslim tourists who have a passion for food.

Chef Mohammad believes that Singapore’s melting pot of flavours, combining Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan influences, makes it a must-visit destination for any foodie. It is a city that those from the Arab world in particular, will appreciate for its history and authenticity of cuisine.

Recounting his experiences from a recent trip to Singapore with Fatafeat and the Singapore Tourism Board, Chef Mohammad said: “The vibrancy of the city is evident wherever you go and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the flavours and customs of cooking and creating in the kitchen.”

Singaporeans are passionate about food and the city has developed a dining scene steeped in heritage and tradition, yet imbued with a voracious appetite for innovation.  Renowned for one of the most distinctive street food cultures in the world, Singapore connects people to the hawker culture and local communities like nowhere else.

“The fish-head curry at Banana Leaf in Little India was the stand out dish of my trip,” said Chef Mohammad.  “I can still taste the combination of flavours, it was exquisite!”

Fish-head curry is one of the most famous Singaporean dishes, introduced to the country in the 1940s by Indian restaurateur Marian Jacob Gomez who created a South Indian-style delicacy catering specifically to Chinese tastes.

It is typically served in a claypot with the head of a red snapper stewed in Kerala-style curry with vegetables such as okra and eggplant.

Abdul Rahman Mohideen, Area Director MEA for the Singapore Tourism Board, said: “Singapore, well known as a popular and exciting city destination, is actively shaping a landscape of epicurean inventiveness and has established itself as a hotspot for culinary talents who push new boundaries in dining experiences. It has become a magnet for the world’s top food personalities including the likes of Chef Mohammad, with renowned chefs setting up outposts of their Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsey and Daniel Boulud.

“But one of the aspects that makes Singapore so unique is the hawker culture.  People of all ages, cultures, income brackets and religions descend upon these epicentres to sample Singaporean delicacies and the best street food in the world.  The combination of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Peranakan flavours mean there is a diversity of taste passions served to suit every palate.”

Nahla Elmallawany, Head of Content at Discovery Networks MENA, commented: “Fatafeat is all about bringing great inspiration into the homes and lives of passionate lovers of incredible dishes. As the Middle East’s leading food channel, we not only want to showcase the wonderful flavours of our region, but also broaden horizons in our insatiable quest for the delicious. Partnering with Singapore Tourism allows us to share the traditional aromatic dishes of Singapore, whilst also diversifing our content offering to our growing audience of foodies who are constantly seeking new inspirations in cuisine.”

Chef Mohammad added: “International interest is a fantastic draw but many ‘made in Singapore’ restaurateurs have also emerged to create today’s dining scene.  I am particularly excited to see the careers of Chefs Malcolm Lee, Damian d’Silva, and Eric Teo develop and grow.  They’re all offering an abundance of talent and continue to make a real difference to the Singaporean food scene.”

With multiple options for foodies to experience a Singapore kitchen first-hand, feeding a passion to experience creative and novel recipe ideas, Chef Mohammad recommends the chicken rice or chili crab as the best dishes to try make at home.

Chef Orfali’s culinary adventures in Singapore can be seen in six episodes, all uploaded to the Fatafeat YouTube Channel.

With a year-round calendar of food and beverage events, such as the Singapore Food Festival, World Gourmet Summit, and SAVOUR, there is always something to experience beyond brick and mortar restaurants for those who value innovative authenticity, and a true combination of modernity and history.

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