HungryGoWhere Presents Eat-lections 2015
By Nina Syahira
February 3, 2015
Earlier this month, HungryGoWhere launched their first ever Eat-lections, Singapore’s largest people’s choice F&B awards. It features 26 awards across five categories; restaurants, hawkers, drinks, occasions and an overall best.
The website provides an array of easily accessible information for anything food related, including 20,000 business listings, editorial articles, over 100,000 user reviews and over 550 restaurant choices for online reservations in Singapore.
“HungryGoWhere Eat-lections is all about getting the people who live here and who are deeply passionate about food, to crown their favourite food and drink spots across the island,” said Mr Matthew Whittingham, the CEO of HungryGoWhere.
Food lovers can vote for their favourites on the website, including local food like roti prata, chicken rice as well as foreign delicacies like Japanese food. They can also nominate places that are not yet listed. Voting is currently still open and will end on 9 February 2015.
Etna is a recognised Italian restaurant that’s nestled between eateries along Duxton Road. At the event, we were treated to an exclusive mouth-watering menu that took us on a food journey through the streets of Sicily without leaving the dining table.
They served a delicious first round of appetisers that included home cured Salmon with asparagus, stracciatella cheese, mullet bottarga in Champagne dressing as well as fresh Burrata cheese from Andria with a 36-month-old S. Daniele ham Rocket salad and Pachino cherry tomatoes; a double main course of traditional burnt grain Orecchiette with fresh pachino cherry tomatoes, pine nuts and smoked ricotta as well as linguine with crab meat in lobster sauce; and a beautiful dessert pairing of Sicilian lemon tart with Italian meringue and their Bronte Pistachio tiramisu house specialty.
It is no wonder why they were elected in the Top 3 for the Italian food category of Eat-lections.
A fellow foodie himself, Mr Whittingham adores local dishes like bak kut teh and Katong laksa as well as spicy Thai, Italian and UK cuisine that he loves to cook at home. His current specialty in the kitchen is the Thai Massaman curry.
So we sat down for a quick chat with Mr Whittingham about last year’s food trends and how they would fare now as well as to predict upcoming trends in Singapore.
“Cafes were a big trend last year. I think about 200 cafes were opened but not all of them survived. Pop-up restaurants are still big. I think In-N-Out was here twice and 4XFOUR with Darren Chen brought in Michelin star chefs into Singapore last November. Gordon Ramsay is also opening a restaurant here soon so that might be the signal for other huge international chefs to follow which will definitely put Singapore on the map as a great dining destination.”
Despite the growing attraction from overseas, Singapore is not at all shy of its own F&B talents.
“From what we have seen, I don’t think hawkers are ‘endangered’. There’s a new generation of young people doing things like ‘Tip Top Curry Puffs’. Food centres like Maxwell are the focus of the local community and have become a big part of everyone’s lives so I hope to see more exciting things happen for hawker stalls this new year.”
Besides good food, knowing where to get healthier options is also important but Mr Whittingham feels that Singapore isn’t quite there yet.
“The Health Board is increasingly doing quite a lot of work to encourage where to go to find good healthy food. I think it would be great to see more variety of really healthy things to eat.”
Wong Hoong An, co-founder of HungryGoWhere, was also at the event and suggested a couple of places for this.
“There’s MUNCH salad and also a Peranakan restaurant called Whole Earth (on Peck Seah Street) that’s purely vegetarian and really good.”
With Valentine’s Day approaching, we also asked Mr Whittingham to recommend a few places to impress your date.
“I think you can’t go wrong with somewhere up high or with a great view like Zafferano or Equinox. But I actually quite like local neighbourhood places that are a little more intimate and cosy like Fleur De Sel which is a really great North French restaurant in Tras Street.”
So if you’d like to see your favourite eating spots get awarded at the Eat-lections this year, be sure to cast your vote before 9 February 2015!