4 unconventional dining experiences at the Singapore Food Festival, including a 5D movie and a meal where every dish is accompanied by dance

The Jimami Tofu 5D experience offers an activity that will engage all five human senses.
Jimami Tofu 5D Dining Experience/The Mem’s Servants: A Food & Dance Affair

In any society, people may clash due to their differing views on politics and other important issues. But when it comes to Singapore, there’s at least one important topic that unites the masses in joy and harmony – food.

In fact, Singaporeans are so passionate about food that there is an annual festival dedicated to celebrating it. This year, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) will be held from July 12 to 28.

Themed “Savour Singapore in Every Bite”, the 26th edition of the annual festival has already caught the attention of the nation’s foodies, with unique mash-ups such as Ippudo’s chilli crab and Ya Kun kaya toast-flavoured Pocky slated to be released.

Read also: From chilli crab Ippudo ramen to kaya toast Pocky: Here’s what to look out for at this year’s Singapore Food Festival

But these high-profile brand collaborations are not all that the food fest has to offer this year. As Business Insider found out, there will be events that offer more unconventional and unexpected experiences such as tasting food in a five-dimensional (5D) movie and dining in a top secret no-phones-allowed setting.

Here are our picks for foodies who prefer to have a one-of-a-kind food experience this SFF:

1. Jimami Tofu 5D Dining Experience

With its combination of all the five human senses – sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste – the Jimami Tofu 5D experience tops our list as this year’s most unique event.

“Jimami Tofu”, a Singaporean-Japanese award-winning film, tells the story of a Singaporean chef who falls in love with a Japanese food writer from Okinawa.

A seven-course meal comprising local Singaporean food and Okinawan cuisine is prepared on the spot while guests watch the movie.

Each dish is then served at the same time that it appears in the movie.

Jimami Tofu 5D Dining Experience

During a media preview of the Singapore Food Festival, I got to try out the film’s signature dish, Jimami tofu. It had a dense texture, unlike silken tofu, and was served with a fragrant sauce with a distinct peanut flavour.

It was delicious.
Business Insider / Rachel Tay

The movie will be screened on four days of the festival – July 19, 20, 26 and 27 – with each session lasting two hours long.

These are all the dishes you’ll get to see on screen and taste in person:

  • Char kway teow
  • Asa seaweed tempura with salt
  • Gin and tonic
  • An Okinawa bento with rafute (braised pork belly), goya chanpuru (a stir fry dish with bitter melon), mimiga (pork rars) and Japanese rice
  • Yuzu sorbet
  • Jimami tofu
  • Umukuji andagi (a Japanese sweet potato croquette)
  • Orange jelly with jasmine honey

Prices: S$85 (US$62) each, S$160 per pair

2. The Mem’s Servants: A Food & Dance Affair

Fancy a dinner and dance? Those who can’t tell their left foot from their right won’t have to worry as this five-course dining experience doesn’t require guests to have any sort of dancing experience.

Instead, the immersive dining experience curated by dancer Naomi Tan and chef Nixon Low will take guests through four interconnected rooms where dancers perform while diners are served their food.

The Mem’s Servants: A Food & Dance Affair

Taking place at a colonial house located near Mount Faber, the dishes will be accompanied by a contemporary dance performance that depicts the story of each dish.

The Mem’s Servants: A Food & Dance Affair

In a press release, the organisers of the event said that the experience, set in the 1920s, will cover “untold stories” of servants and their European masters who live in a colonial house.

Held from July 24 to 27, each dinner session will last two hours from 7.30pm to 9.30pm daily.

Prices: S$110 for adults, S$55 for children aged four to 10 years old

3. Open Air Film Club: Republic of Food

For something a little easier on the wallet, the Open Air Film Club’s screening of the movie “Republic of Food” will allow movie-goers to taste some of Singapore’s most popular foods under the night sky.

Written and directed by Singapore film-maker Kelvin Tong, “Republic of Food” tells a story of Singaporeans and their love for local food. The comedy stars Adrian Pang, Jeffrey Xu, and Malaysian actress Yann Yann Yeo.

Open Air Film Club: Republic of Food

Local favorites available include satay and barbecued chicken wings from well-known hawker centres including Lau Pa Sat and Newton Food Centre.

Open Air Film Club: Republic of Food

Curry puffs from Old Chang Kee and other types of snacks will also be served during the movie screening.

Open Air Film Club: Republic of Food

Held at The Hive at New Bridge Road, the screenings will happen on July 19 and 26 from 7pm to 9.30pm.

Price: Free admission with any purchase of a food coupon which costs S$12 and up

4. Advance Dining

Described as a “solitary and yet communal dining experience”, this collaboration between Telok Ayer Arts Club and artist collective duo The Picnic is a mystery waiting to be unravelled.

Aiwei Foo (left) and Wangxian Tan (right) collaborated with Telok Ayer Arts Club to organise a “curated dining experience”.
Advance Dining

The top secret dining programme and menu will be shared exclusively with diners only when they turn up for their session. Since no phones are allowed, guests won’t even be able to take pictures of their food to post on Instagram.

In a press release, the organisers said that the objective of the experience was “to focus only on being present in the moment to fully appreciate the key elements of food – such as its textures, flavour, aesthetic and process”.

The seven-course dining experience will be held on July 6, 13 and 20 at Telok Ayer Arts Club.

Two sessions will be held each day from 1pm to 4pm, and again from 7pm to 10pm.

Price: S$150.65

Bookings for all the experiences can be made through Klook.

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