World Street Food Congress: Survivial Tips

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

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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:

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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

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

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  • 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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WSFCongress.com

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