The colonial era of the 1930s in Singapore sets the backdrop for this year’s The 50 Cents Fest (五毛钱美食荟萃), in its third year running, on 28 and 29 July 2018 at the 100-metre long Chinatown Food Street (牛车水美食街), located on Smith Street. Like its previous two instalments, the award-winning Fest, featuring more than 40 stalls and mobile vendors, promises a smorgasbord of close to 50 different delectable street eats, drinks, snacks and dessert items, with ethnic cuisines featured for the first time; as well as performances and activities that add to the ambience and atmosphere of the yesteryears that our food heritage is built on. Be prepared to be brought back in time through a range of gastronomical delights and immersive activities for all ages.
As part of the annual Singapore Food Festival in its 25thyear running, The 50 Cents Fest is jointly organized by the Select Group Pte Ltd and Chinatown Food Street. Last year, the event welcomed more than 81,500 Singaporeans and tourists over two days.
The draw and success of The 50 Cents Fest won the Gold for Arts and Culture/Entertainment in the Marketing Events Awards 2017.
From as little as a humble 50 cents to no more than S$3.00, fest-goers are able to indulge their taste buds in a gastronomical experience of the 1930s with an array of specially curated dishes, ranging from savouries to sweets and snacks; and everything in between, that either have origins or feature key ingredients and spices from the 1930s colonial period.
The ‘Must-Try’ food items at this year’s The 50 Cents Fest include:
A lightly spiced creamy fish curry dish with Indian and Portuguese origins.
A Peranakan style of Chinese rice vermicelli accompanied with a marinade of shallots, belacan, lime juice, ginger and toasted grated coconut.
One of the nation’s most iconic dish, pepper that is heavily infused in this dish was an important source of income for Singapore in 1930s.
An unconventional addition of butter to black coffee, rumoured to be an opium smoker’s choice of beverage to soothe their throats.
Early Portuguese immigrants enjoyed having banana fritters for breakfast. Street hawkers started to introduced their own take of this dish known as Pisang Goreng.
A dosa-like dish from South India, brought into Singapore by Indian immigrants, is an affordable meal for labourers back in the days.
“We are delighted with the positive feedback and immense support of The 50 Cents Fest by the public in the last two years. This year, we have even more exciting food offerings and programs for food and culture lovers alike”, said Ms Rae Ng, Senior Head of Marketing for Select Group.
To add to the authenticity of The 50 Cents Fest, heritage home-brand founded in 1930s, Tong Heng Bakery proudly presents a simple yet fragrant Egg Cookie (鸡蛋饼), along with their signature Walnut Cookie (小合桃) that is baked with the same traditional recipe since its inception in 1935. Also, Singapore’s oldest restaurant Spring Court presents a must-try item – their original Kong Bak Pau recipe that has been on sale since its inception in 1929. Spicing up this exciting food fest will be Anthony The Spice Maker, who has been manufacturing quality spices in Singapore since 1986.
Amidst the eating and more eating are performances and activities that aim to add to the entire atmosphere of festivity and spectacle, with the entire Chinatown Food Street decked in colourful neon-signs and décor reminiscent of the 1930s colonial era. Catch the 1930s Taxi Girls performances and sway to the beats of popular songs of the 1930s performed by local a capella group, 1023, on both days! For the true-blue nostalgia seekers, you can experience life back in the 30s with a haircut by a back-alley barber for just $2.00!
For the first time this year, fest-goers can “see” the daily street happenings in the 1930s with samsui women hard at work, opium smokers smoking at the alleys and sights of gambling dens through a free Augmented Reality (AR) experience.
In addition, do your part for the environment by recycling your trash at our recycling machines. The 50 Cents Fest 2018 will reward fest-goers with a little token for throwing their waste into designated recycling machines on-site.
Also, enjoy priority when you plan your journey! Download the Plus! App to make the best of your visit. You can plan your journey via the event map and information on the Plus! App, and access a digital card that entitles you to express entry at the attractions. Plus! App users enjoy priority entry to the AR 1930’s walkthrough and the alley barber haircut. Users can also be the first to get rewarded with old school snacks at the recycling vending machine.
You can also enjoy the convenience of QR Code payments as you scan to pay at The 50 Cents Fest with DBS PayLah!, DBS / POSB digibank and DBS iWealth®. What’s more, download PayLah! to get S$5 with promo code ‘STEADYLAH’. Download now: dbs.com.sg/dbspaylah
So mark your calendars and gather your family and friends to experience a gastronomical adventure into the 1930s, unlike any other. Don’t miss out this one-time opportunity to experience 1930s Colonial Singapore at this year’s The 50 Cents Fest!
The 50 Cents Fest
Venue: Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street, Singapore 058938
Date: 28th – 29th July 2018
Time: 11am to 11pm daily
Official Instagram Hashtag: #The50CentsFest
Official Website: http://www.chinatownfoodstreet.sg/the-50-cents-fest