Thursday, February 5, 2009

Singapore Day 2009 in London - Hampton Court Palace

After hearing about all the how mouthwatering the food back in Singapore is, you might like to find out for yourself. Over the weekend, SH and Joerup have kindly forwarded me the invitation to Singapore Day 2009, which is going to be held in Hampton Court Palace this year round.


Though I've not been to the previous one, I was told that though there will be stalls peddling a variety of sample dishes that Singaporeans (and many Malaysians) are so fond of. Needless to say, we would expect to pay a premium for a full meal. Then again, after being used to forking out an average of £10 for a regular meal in London, we can't really complain, can we?

That said, visitors would be required to register themselves for the event. Not only that, the registration process requires your full name, the industry that you are in and your work function before issuing you an e-ticket via email.

Very typically Singaporean, I would say. In fact, I find it oddly comforting that some poor chap will be collating this information, drawing them up into charts and figures for the purpose of statistical studies.

Well, for a taste of Singaporean cuisine, hop down to Singapore Day 2009 on 25th April. If done right, the food can taste heavenly. After all, what's the first thing that got your attention at the official poster?

Singapore Day 2009 - clarifications with event organizers

Singapore Day 2009 - mixed feelings
Singapore Day 2009 event photos

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FĂ«anor said...

hey man, i went to kiasu over the weekend. the food's not bad (they had a rather nice murtabak which i liked) and the staff was friendly enough, although they brought a starter after the main course, which puzzled the wife and me. i vaguely recalled you had mentioned this place before, but only now realise that you were deprecating it in comparison to bonda cafe. drat. should have gone to bonda instead, i guess.

C K said...

Oh no, don't get me wrong. The food over at Kiasu is fine and I'm glad that you like it. Just that I realized that it can easily replicated using Prima Taste.

Then again, the whole point of going out for a meal is to save the hassle of having to mess up one's kitchen, isn't it?

It just that the first time we've been to Kiasu, there was a long queue outside, which is a good sign. When we finally got it, there wasn't much service.

The second time round, we were the only ones there as it was during off peak period. Surprisingly, the service became really curt when it became known to the waiter that we were Singaporeans for some bizarre reason. Probably it just wasn't our day.

Bonda Cafe, on the other hand, has got this charm of a typical Malaysian eating shop. The food is not fantastic and cannot compare to Kiasu's in terms of finess and presentation. Then again, it's somewhere that you can sit for an entire afternoon with a cup of teh tarik, if you know what I mean.

SheR. said...

CK!!! See you there!
Dutchie are you going???

Dutchie said...

Sher, I'm trying to slip in - haha ! Reason being that I dont hv an NRIC anymore n I'm not sure if they will give hubby n I an e-ticket using my dutch passport.

Will keep u posted :-)

Dutchie said...

CK, any tips where we can stay near Hampton Court without burning a hole in our pockets ? Sorry, London tends to give us THAT idea ;-o

Hubby suggested that if we dont get the e-tickets, we can still make a nice trip out of it bec there's so much to do in London n of course we gonna lug tons of goodies out of Chinatown ;-)

drcrab said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention!! :)

I wonder though, what the issue is with the registration, and the bit that follows "If you register as a group or family, kindly attend the event as a group or family.
Please note that you will not be able to change the registration details after submission."

For goodness sake... are they worried about terrorism and things like that? or are they just being 'ngeow' (ie, typical sg behaviour)??

opps - I shouldn't be so critical - maybe I won't be allowed a ticket! doh. but honestly though, what if there are genuine reasons for not 'turning' up after getting a ticket (like illness, work commitments, other more important things that crop up suddenly?). Afterall we would have paid for the ticket, right - so it's not like they'll lose out?


Cashmere said...

Wow! I can't believe that there's such thing as Singapore Day over there.. Cool! :)

C K said...

Wait a minute, will you actually be flying here just for that day? :p

There's actually no need for you to be holding a S'porean passport to enter. In fact, I heard that there were more foreigners than S'poreans in past events.

In fact, I suspect, the event is meant for as a showcase for Singaporean cuisine than a treat for S'poreans.

Hey, you going to come down specially just for this as well? I'm not so sure about Hampton Court Palace area. Also, I don't think there's a limitation on the number of e-tickets issued. So no worries about that.

HAHA... that's why I was saying. That's really 'uniquely' Singaporean... even the registration process is an unique experience. When I was asking my Londoner colleagues to attend it, they were mentioning that they feel as if they were registering for some license of sort.

One thing though, there's no need for you to pay for the ticket. Once registered, there'll be a bar code sent to your email address.

I don't supposed you're going to come down to London for this, would you? :)

Joerup said...

Cool! Great to see all the buzz that's going around! Totally hate the registration part but hey, the chance to get some food, not to be missed! Heehee... Will b planning to stay there over the weekend since I have never been to surrey!

EastCoastLife said...

How nice to have Singapore food brought to you in London! Take photos when you are there! I want to see what they offer and which hawkers went there.

jakill said...

Yeah. That satay looks good. Reminds me of turning off the Changi road for a stopover at the Katong stalls and some great nosh on the way somewhere back in the 60s. Don't suppose the stalls are still there now.

Martin in Bulgaria said...

I mustr seem really strange for you to have an event like this in a different country from your own. Do you think it is geared for expats like yourself or for promotion of Singapore as a toursit destination?

I can't imagine for one minute a British exhibition in Bulgaria!!

drcrab said...

well that's good then that we need not pay (it's not the money, it's just that I can't predict so far in advance my baby's mood!)..! :)

see you there then...?!

Jenny Fletcher said...

For those who asked about accommodation. Travelodge is one of the UK's cheapest hotel chains, there are convenient ones at Kingston-on-Thames, Chessington/Tolworth and Leatherhead, all of which are a short car journey from Hampton Court. From the Kingston-on-Thames or Chessington/Tolworth ones, you can get a bus to Hampton Court.
I'm just wondering why this event was billed as London at all since it's quite a long way out! I grew up in the area and know it well!
You could also look at the area between Hampton Court and Heathrow as there are quite a few bus services that run that way.
I have visited S'pore and loved the variety of food on offer especially street food. If the tickets are indeed free, then I might drive up from Portsmouth just for fun and maybe to meet some other bloggers! It's barely an hour's drive for me.

Dutchie said...

@ Jenny Fletcher,

Thanks for those priceless tips on lodgings n bus service :-)

@ CK,

As a showcase for Sg, it's still a great idea ! Would hv been perfect if they could package it - discount SQ flight from Schiphol to Heathrow, lodgings n of course 2 for the price of 1 on the wide range of Prima Taste ;-) Yes, yes, I'm asking too much but I'm hoping the organiser is reading this n decides to give some of us a little hand *wink, wink*.

Last year an old chum invited me (I didnt go)to Sg Day at Bryant Park, New York. She drove with other Sg'reans from Canada !!! It was a long queue for the meagre helpings of food. The fun was to meet fellow countrymen n see a little of NYC as well.

Side track a bit - the M'sian Embassy at The Hague hosts numerous bake sale kind of fest (on Royal birthdays) for their small cozy community. The womenfolk has the task of providing the yummy food(saved on caterer lah !). Too bad they hv gender segregation n proper dress code.

In Washington DC, the Sg Embassy invites Sg'reans to lunch on National Day - how abt that eh ?

I'm still waiting for somthing like that to happen in NL *sigh* There is only a Consulate here however :-/

Depending on hubby's overseas schedule, I will try my best to be there !

SheR. said...

Yes! I have to meet up with so many of you that I met over the net. And I need to get my cake dec supplies from London and of course my food ingredients!!!! No Chinatown here.. so I can only wish for events like this to make up an excuse to travel!! My fiance is going. He loves SG food! Hahah...

A group of us are planning shared accommodation. Send me an email at I can share with you the details once we get them! :)

Dutchie said...

Thanks Sher ! Shared accommodation is a good idea.

I cant commit myself until mid April *sorry*. Am hoping hubby doesnt need to travel for his work in that time frame.

Looks like u r all geared up to take Chinatown by storm - haha. Me too btw.

C K said...

Thanks for forwarding the link. I assume that you'll be bringing a party over as well?

I've never been to Surrey as well but most likely to be heading back on the day itself. You know what? I'm really surprised that people are flying into London just to attend the event. The allure of food... hmm...

Will do. Look out for the post after Apr 25th! Is there any news about this back in S'pore?

Ah... it does isn't it? The best satay that I had in London was over at Colindale but it has closed down and I'm not sure where the stall ended up.

I think the event is to increase awareness of Singapore's existence. I mean, there are still quite a sizable portion of Britons who are not aware that Singapore is not part of China (or even Africa).

On the other hand, I don't think non-Britons are unaware of where the UK is given her high profile.

Sure! I'm be the guy who's going around taking photos with my phone while clutching some satay with my free hand. :)

Thanks Jenny! That was really helpful! I think there will be quite a crowd over at Hampton Court on that day.

Hope to see you there! Cheers!

Hey, having it as a 'package' is a great idea! But I'm not too sure about whether the S'pore High Commission over in London is up to that in terms of logistics and all. If you've been to London's High Commission, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Right, forgot about London's Chinatown. Though its nothing compared to the one over at New York, it's nevertheless quite adequately stocked.

See you there then!

ket said...

hello to blogger CK :-) not sure if its the same stall previously selling satay at Oriental City you are talking about, but the one I know has moved to Balls Pond Road at Islington, its called Puji Puji. I've been once and the satay is still good! They are the one who used to sell their satay outside the foodcourt area, as you walk into the shopping centre from the carpark.

another nice place for satay is Awana. the prices are on the high side, but there are 50% off total bill deals if you book through toptable. I've heard Satay house at paddington is pretty decent too...

but of course, hopefully the one at Singapore Day will be the best since its going to be free!

C K said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by.

YES!! I was referring to that satay stall that set up shop next to the multi-storey carpark just behind Oriental City. Not sure what's the name but will check out Puji Puji when I'm in that area. Thanks!

I've heard about Satay House but haven't tried it out. Heard the same about Awana as well. Argh... too much food and no time.

Hey, wait a minute. Are you sure the food over at S'pore Day's is going to be free?

ket said...


as far as I know, the food will be free. hence the need for people to register and the emphasis on those who have registered to please turn up. imagine the logistic nightmare if its an open event? I would expect lots of queues though, so be warned! :-)

LadyBanana said...

Seems a shame it's just for Singaporeans, might have been nice to sample some of the food myself!

C K said...

I'm sure they are just being cautious in their reply. If you're really keen to pop by, just get yourself registered and turn up on that day. I'm sure they'll never turn anyone away.

It's bad PR. :)

Little Miss Random said...

I may be wrong, but I believe the food that will be served at Singapore Day will be free, so there isn't any premium you should expect to pay.

At least, that's what I think I read!

C K said...

@Miss Random,
I heard it'll be free as well. A fellow S'porean commented on that in a related post. (The link to that is at the bottom of this post).

Well, see you there then. :)

Anonymous said...

Will do. Look out for the post after Apr 25th! Is there any news about this back in S'pore?"

Not long back from Sg.
I only found out about this event from the stickers inside taxi's there.
Nothing about it here in the UK.
I didn't see any other reference for it.
I had to google for any further details.

And I'm sure the food will be free.

BTW, what happened to the other Singapore Food Festival that happened in London before?

C K said...

It wasn't exactly a full fledged Singapore Day for a past few years. Organized by Tiger Beer, there were a couple of stalls pedalling Singapore hawker food that you can get for a mere fraction of the price back home.

Even so, the food was gone in just a couple of hours. A huge anti-climax.

I was thinking that perhaps a pink IC would get me some discount but no....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply, thats a bit of a disappointment...

From your post I've realised that the Chilli Crab day down in Brick Lane is what you're referring to...
What a shame.