World Street Food Congress: Survivial Tips

So yesterday, I braved the crowds at World Street Food Congress 2016 (WSFC), and here’s what happened.


I had some work to do in Makati and finished by 2:45 pm, so I thought I’d pass by BGC on the way home to get takeout from the jamboree.  This was what it looked like when I arrived:


I totally forgot that opening time was 4pm!  There were already a handful of people in line waiting to get in, but I wasn’t gonna stand out there in the heat for an hour.  I decided to kill time at Central Square and have a salad to tide me over.

By 3:55pm, I was back at WSFC and there was a loooong line outside the venue.


They opened the doors a few minutes past 4.  This is what it looked like by the time I got in.


4I quickly lined up at the first stall that caught my eye, Alhambra’s Padang Satay, to try their satay beehon.


It’s a simple dish of rice noodles in satay (peanut) sauce, topped with kangkong, tofu, and seafood, with two sticks of satay on the side.


My next stop was Cherry Sua’a Carrot Cake just a few stalls over.  Cherry Sua is a second-generation master hawker, and described as a “street food rock star” from Singapore.


Note that in Singapore, radish cakes are called “carrot cakes” and there are no actual carrots in them.  Anyway, Cherry Sua’s carrot cakes are really good, and I’m so glad I decided to get two orders!  Somebody ahead of me in line ordered 10!  Don’t forget to ask for lots of chili.


I wanted to line up for Hoy Tod from Thailand next, but the line had gotten too long.  I decided to look for Cinnamon Snail, an award-winning vegan food truck concept originally from New York.


I tried Cinnamon Snail’s Tofu Bao, made with smoked chili-grilled tofu, kimchi, pickled basil, and sambal Klerk cream.  It was good but nothing wow, I honestly think that a lot of our local food purveyors make far better versions 🙂


Of course I ordered food to take home so the husband and kiddos could try too.


Thinking of checking out World Street Food Congress for yourself?  Here are some survival tips that I also posted on Instagram:


  • Wear loose cotton clothing and bring your own water and fan, as you’ll be in line a LONG TIME and it is HOT AF.
  • Wear sunglasses because the venue is really dusty.  I had some dust blow into my eye while waiting in line — not fun.
  • The people doing the actual cooking/serving are the same people behind the food concept in their home country.  It’s interesting to read their story on the boards displayed in each stall.
  • Don’t show up hungry, or you might kill someone.  It took me 1.5 hours to get food from 3 stalls, and I gave up after that.
  • Servings are small for what they charge.
  • To maximize your time, pick your food vendor/s carefully and order multiples of each dish if you are hungry.
  • It’s best to go as a group so you can divide and conquer.
  • Take out containers are available, but bring your own bag to carry them.
  • Cash payment only.
  • There is an open parking lot dedicated to event goers (P60 to park).
  • And if you’re not sure where in BGC the event is, just type in “World Street Food Congress” in Waze and you’ll be there in no time.
  • The event venue isn’t an ideal one.  It’s on an empty lot surrounded by construction sites, so it was very dusty.  I wouldn’t go back.  That said, I’m still glad I got to go, and I hope they have a second run next year.  Maybe along C1 Park or High Street ala Gourmand Market so we don’t have to suffer so much next time?


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