Food Trends We’re Looking Forward to in 2018
Admit it, you all are waiting for the next food trend that’s going to take Singapore by storm. Back in the 90's, we were hit by the bubble tea wave, then in the 2000’s, it was the Rotiboy craze. In the last few years, we saw the classic ondeh-ondeh being adapted into every possible dessert form – cakes, cupcakes, tarts and even churros. Last year, Nasi Lemak made headlines when McDonald’s rode trendy wave and created the Nasi Lemak burger along with a few local flavoured desserts which were already in trend by local cafes and bakeries. Not forgetting Malaysia’s Nasi Lemak costume designed specially for its Miss Universe costume.
This year, halalfoodhunt.com takes a look at the possible food trends for 2018 in a bid to dictate what’s cool and what’s not in the food scene.
1. More traditional flavoured desserts
While the world can never get tired of ondeh-ondeh cakes and cupcakes, we feel that there are many other traditional Malay kuihs that need more loving. Serawa durian cakes are now a norm at bakeries like Julie’s Bakes, Teh Tarik cupcakes are ever popular by home bakeries alike. This year, we’re guessing the highly popular Bubur Pulut Hitam which is available at every wedding you go to each weekend will be the next trendy flavour this year.
Brothers In Fine Food successfully reimagined the Bubur Pulut Hitam as a plated dessert last year. It was served as a pudding with a scoop of coconut ice cream, topped with crunchy spiced cookie crumbs. Sure, we do love cakes but we’re looking forward to more interpretations of local kuihs as other forms of desserts!
2. More jiggly steamed cakes
With Le Castella opening two more outlets across the island, more and more specialised jiggly steamed cake bakeries have sprung on our tiny island. It is immensely captivating to see videos after videos of the cakes being turned over while still fresh out of the oven. The bouncy jiggles and steam coming out from the cakes will instantly make you run to the nearest Le Castella outlet to get a box of cake for yourself.
Be warned though, the cakes taste really simple unless you get the cheese or chocolate ones but for some reason, its lightness and fluffy texture will tempt you to finish the entire box yourself. We’re not ready to say goodbye to this jigglypuff of a cake, so sit tight as we await more brands selling the castella cakes!
3. Pokemon Go’s time is over, but not Poke Bowls!
For the uninformed, poke is a raw fish salad served as appetisers. Increasingly though, poke bowls are served with generous servings of salads and grains which make them a very filling healthy lunch or dinner. To cater to a wider demand, poke bowl shops such as Dosirak have expanded their menu to include meat, chicken and seared tuna since raw fish isn’t everyone’s bowl of poke.
We definitely are looking forward to a variety of choices for halal poke bowls to try, especially with all the war against diabetes campaigns spamming our news feed. Besides, anything that’s rice free is considered healthy, am I right?
4. Urban farmed veggies
Singapore’s city landscape makes is difficult for sustainable farming to happen locally, but more and more young homeowners are picking up gardening to produce their own homegrown fruits and vegetables. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to grow your pot of basil, mint and pandan leaves instead of purchasing them from the supermarket. Since it’s nearly impossible to start a farm to table restaurant here in Singapore, be kind to the environment by growing your own veggies, or support your neighbourhood vegetable auntie or uncle at the wet market.
5. Plant-based protein
A tad slow on following this trend, but more Singaporeans are opting to go meatless even when dining out. More restaurants are catering to this growing group of consumers who prefer a vegetarian burger, or simply non-meat pasta meal. Plant-based proteins, such as legumes and beans like chickpeas, are gaining popularity in the kitchen at home. It will take a while before cafes and restaurants in Singapore begin to actually provide more than just a dish or two that is completely meat free, but by the looks of it, consumers are increasingly picky with their food.
We are excited to see you catch on the food trends of 2018! Tag us on Instagram at @halalfoodhunt if you do see yourself riding on the trendy wave.