What We Need to Know about the Asia Best Sommelier Competition  


For restaurant patrons, a sommelier is a familiar sight and a welcome company in terms of choosing which food is best with a specific wine or spirit. Sommelier is a French word which refers to a court official in-charge of transporting supplies. In modern times, a sommelier is much more than that.


Sommeliers are expected to have wide and deep knowledge about pairing and suggesting wines to patrons. It does not end there because they also train restaurant staffs and the culinary team to provide the customers with the best tasting experience.

To some, it is an easy job but it is the other way for like any profession, a sommelier need to study and be certified. There is even an established contest that gives honour to the best sommeliers – the Asia Best Sommelier Competition in French Wines 2015. It was held at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia early in December.

The event was organized by Sopexa in collaboration with Sommelier Association of Malaysia and reinforced by French Ministry of Agriculture. The contest is all about searching the region’s best sommelier. This contest was part of Sopexa and French Ministry of Agriculture’s re-launching of international sommelier completion that started in 1980.

The organizers saw that Asia is one of the fastest growing market for wines therefore the contest. The top honour was Jungmin An from South Korea and part of the SPC Group food service division followed by Alan Au Kok Hoong from Singapore and part of Iggy’s. The second place was claimed by Po-Ting Luo from Taiwan and part of Temple Restaurant Beijing.                asia-best-sommelier

Food Holidays worth Celebrating

Here in Singapore, we celebrate everything. This is just to show appreciation to the world. We celebrate Chinese New Year, Valentines, Easter, Independence, Mid-autumn, Halloween, Christmas and many more. We also celebrate birthdays, promotions and weddings. Indeed there are a lot of things worth celebrating every day. Singaporeans are excited to celebrate during holidays especially in the face of delicious foods.


Speaking of foods and holidays, do you know that there is such thing as special food holidays? There is also a special day for your favourite foods. Here are some food holidays that you should keep track:

  • International Bacon Day: The United States spearheaded this International Bacon Day but Singaporeans can choose to imbibe it. Almost all people love bacon. It is tasty but let it be known that it is not a healthy breakfast meal. International Bacon Day is celebrated every August 30.
  • International Coffee Day: Coffee is like the universal drink. Wherever you are, coffee remains to be a staple drink. If you love Starbucks or Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, you can drop by and have your sip. The International Coffee Day is celebrated every October 1.
  • International Hamburger Day: Singaporeans also love burgers. Most hamburger restaurants celebrate International Hamburger Day and they offer insane discounts. You should know that the International Hamburger Day is celebrated every May 28.

NoGarlicNoOnions-International Burger Day-2014

  • National Pizza Day: Italian or not, everybody loves pizza. The National Pizza Day is celebrated every February 9. You can eat in a pizza restaurant or you can simply have it delivered right at your doorway.
  • National Ice Cream Day: Ice cream is the best refreshment during hot days (or even cold ones, if you prefer it). The National Ice Cream Day is celebrated every December 13 or 3rd Sunday of July. Kids and the kids at heart specifically love this holiday.
  • National Chocolates Day: Who will miss the chocolates? The National Chocolates Day is celebrated every November 29.
  • International Cake Day: If you are in for a sugar overload, you can always look forward to the International Cake Day. This holiday is celebrated every July 20.

To others, these holidays mean nothing but for food enthusiasts, the holidays hold meaning and they are worth celebrating. If you feel like celebrating, there is nothing wrong with that. You can either go to famous restaurants specializing in that specific food or you can make it personally.

If you share these foods to your friends and family, you will surely have a good time. So, what are you waiting for? Celebrate now and know the difference.



The Singaporean Wanton Mee

Since there are a lot of restaurants, food stalls and food houses in Singapore, it is evident that there are also plenty of dishes served here. This includes main meals, desserts and more. In fact, one of the most favorite dishes in the country is the Wanton Mee. It is served whether dry or in soup.


Globally, Wanton Mee has different versions. These are the Malaysian, Hong Kong as well as the hometown Singaporean version. The Hong Kong serving is typically dished up in soup that is enriched with the soft and delicious meat of pork and prawns. Its noodles are rapidly lightened so that it will produce a nice texture. A great Hong Kong Wanton Mee are mostly found in many Cantonese eating places and should have a little crispy noodles that is filled with different ingredients like black fungus, pork and prawns.

01 Kok Kee Wanton Noodle (国记云吞面) @ Lavender Food Square (Large)

On the other hand, Singaporean and the Malaysian style are almost similar in preparation. Wanton Mee is served with small dumplings, green leafy vegetables and some cuts of Char Siew (grilled pork). Char Siew plays a significant role in Wanton Mee because it is the one the gives the flavor of the said dish.

Most of the time, the Singaporean version of the dish is usually dry and has deep-fried dumplings that you will surely love. In different food stalls in the city, there are variations of the sauce of Wanton Mee. Normally, it is a combination of sesame oil, tomato sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce. However, it will always depend on how the food houses prepare the taste of Wanton Mee’s sauce.



Satay – A Must-try Singaporean Dish

Like many dishes in Singapore, Satay is also one of the foods in the country must be tried by every tourists. It is a dish that is made from grilled meat of pork, fish, beef and many more. Satay is not only a famous food in Singapore but also in the entire Southeast Asia.


Indonesia is said to be the land of Satay; however, because there are a lot of people who go from different countries to another, it is believed that it spread all throughout Southeastern part of the continent. The countries include Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Philippines and many more.

For some Singaporean restaurants, chicken or pork Satay is the most popular. However, tofu and beef satay are also served. On the other hand, the dish is very easy to prepare. You just have to marinate the meat after slicing it into thin strips (usually, bite-size pieces). You can add spices and herbs to make it more flavorful.


After soaking it to the different spices, the next thing to do is put its meat in to the wooden sticks for grilling preparation. Actually, you can even prepare satay on your own place. You will just need a charcoal and a grilling stool. Traditionally, Satay is a dish that is usually served with sauce that is made of sweet and spicy peanut sauce and not of peanut butter.

Indeed! Satay is a dish that must not be forgotten during your Singapore visit. Although it is sold in other Southeast Asian countries, still, the Satay in Singapore has different and delectable taste.



Otak-Otak: The Brain Food

In many regions in Southeast Asia, otak-otak is a word that means brain. However, the food otak-otak is not made up of brains. Typically, this is a dish that has the delectable combinationo of fish meat and different seasonings. Otak-otak is also one of the famous dishes in the entire Southeast Asia.


Why is it called Otak-otak? Actually, this is an exotic dish but once you’ll taste it, for sure, you will never regret it. However, there are a lot of people who are curious not just its taste but also where the name otak-otak was derived. The food otak-otak was called by its name because of its mushroom-like and cottony soft texture. That’s how simple it is.

Otak-otak is traditionally served in a freshly cut banana leaf (you can also use coconut leaf as a substitute). The natural preparation of this exotic food is grilled in a medium heat flamed charcoal. However, in some countries around the globe it has been sold in canned of frozen form. As mentioned above, otak-otak is made up of fish meat. But nowadays, it can be replaced by prawn meat, crab meat and other aquatic foods.


Actually, otak-otak is a dish that can be paired with rice most especially fried rice. However, it is best consumed as a snack. For those who want to try otak-otak, you can find it somewhere around the street of Singapore. Actually, it is always present in every food stall in the metro and it is best for all.


Rojak – Traditional Singapore dish

Rojak is one cuisine that is usually found at the beautiful cities and towns of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. This food is a combination of vegetables and fruits. The term “Rojak” is a Malay word that means mixture. In Singapore, there are two different servings of Rojak. These are served in Chinese and Malay style. However, they have almost the same ingredients that is used.


These are finely crushed or pulvurized peanuts, beansprouts, tau pok (deep-fried soybean cake), greens, you tiao (long strip fried flour) cucumber, pineapple and prawn paste sauce. On the other hand, Indian cuisines also produced their own style of Rojak which are made up of the same elements but is it only added with red flavoring and spices.


Indian Rojak is mostly sold in Indian stalls that scattered around the vibrant city of Singapore. Most of the time, people can choose what companents will they put from their Rojak – this includes fishcakes, potatoes, octopus,  prawns and a lot more. Since it is a popular food in Singpaore, you can see Rojak everywhere. Thus, this will not give you much disturbance.

Yet again, this is a popular dish in Singapore, so finding a rojak stall near you won’t be too much of a hassle. While it can be found literally everywhere in the city, there are still great places to go to eat this traditional dish of Singapore. At the Orchard Road, you can see many restaurants like Strait Kitchen.