Monday, 30 May 2011

Happy Vesak Family Day Funfair 2011

Following Sunny’s blog is an excellent way to get the latest information about vegetarian related event. Actually she has diligently updated the sidebar of her blog with various religious and health events. Personally I am more interested in the ones about food. Having missed the Vegetarian Food Fair at Ngee Ann City a few weeks ago, I made a mark on my calendar to make myself available for this one.

This event was meant to commemorate Vesak Family day. Being an event of Buddhist nature, a vegetarian food fair was included. Held on 29th May 2011 in the open field near Eunos MRT station, the fair was extremely crowded. Much to my delight, the booths were dominated by cooked food and snacks, which matched my agenda of the day.

The Food

Sri Lankan Vegetarian Food Set Meal, S$ 3.00

Disappointment was the first feeling that hit me, since I was expecting some exotic flavour from a cuisine that I hardly had any exposure to. As I recalled my Geography lesson from way back, I remembered that Sri Lanka is quite near to the southern part of India, which could explain the sense of familiarity I had. Notwithstanding the general similarity in flavour between this rice set and a typical South Indian dish, I had to admit that the curry-flavoured potatoes and chick peas were enjoyable enough. Concealed beneath the brown rice were a few thinly sliced bitter gourds. Being a salad dish, the gourds retained a significant amount of raw bitterness, only to be appreciated by fanatics of bitter gourd (me included).

In my opinion, the most interesting feature of this rice set was the jackfruit curry. If you had problem finding this side dish in the picture, I could understand. Initially I was reluctant to touch the brownish pile of what I thought was mock mutton and left it to the end. When I finally tried it, I was surprised by how it felt more like eating some fruits. During that time, I did not know this was jackfruit. Instead my mind was drawing a weird hypothesis that gluten would acquire a fruit-like texture when stewed too long. At that instance, my initial disappointment gave way to the curiosity of trying something for the very first time.

Jackfruit Curry

After I finished this delicious rice set, I returned to the booth of Mahakaruna Buddhist Society to enquire more about this interesting side dish. That was how I learnt that what I had eaten was actually jack fruit, not mock meat. Sensing my desire to take some pictures, the volunteer generously opened the lid for me to do so. He requested that I shot in an angle that did not show the oil. Sir, thank you for your kind gesture, but I still prefer to show my readers things as they were.

Almond Beancurd, S$ 1.00

Tapioca Kueh, S$ 2.00

Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh, S$ 2.00

These were some of the other items I had bought at the fair so as to use up my coupons. The almond bean curd dessert at the top, though had a rich almond taste, carried a hint of milk. Due to this experience I made it a point to ask the volunteers, especially those selling cakes, if eggs were used and I got quite a few positive answers. Then again it was unfair to accuse the organizer for misleading the public. After all, this was a vegetarian food fair, not a vegan food fair.


After exploring the entire food fair, I concluded that the Sri Lanka Vegetarian Set meal was the most value-for-money and best tasting item I had bought at the fair. Thinking back, I regretted not asking the volunteers if the society opened an eatery that sold similar food items.

A little improvement I would like to see is to have the coupons fully in smaller denomination, say S$1.00, to make payment easier. Other than that, I am certainly looking forward to such events in future.

Organizer:Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic
Venue:Eunos MRT open field
Date / Time:29 May 2011, 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Bus Service:-
MRT Station:Eunos


  1. Great review of the Vesak vegetarian fair of 2011. I was at the 2010, but sadly didn't get the chance to visit it in 2011. Quite sad, as I really wanted to try the burger that was being sold.

    By the way, Sunny is male, right? I am not 100% sure on this, but that's the impression I have. Sunny - Can you help us out on this!?

    Keep up the great work!


  2. I can understand how you feel since I missed the Vesak vegetarian food fair 2011 at Ngee Ann City as well. Fortunately for me, Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic decided to hold one, probably for fund-raising purposes.

    As for Sunny's gender, I wonder how I even come to the conclusion that Sunny is a female. Sunny, if you are reading this and you are actually a gentleman, I sincerely apologise for mistaking you for a female.

  3. Haha, gender isn't important in internet world:-P

    Yes, agreed that the Sri Lankan vegetarian set is the best value for money too and this is also the 1st time I tried their Jackfruit curry which the texture is so much like mutton with even tendon feel that I was surprised what it was initially.
    I guess if you are interested in learning the recipe, the volunteers would be willing to teach.
    I think the society (4 Kim Keat Cl, Singapore 328916,contact: 67451803) holds weekly Sat evening chanting/meditation sessions which they also serve Sri Lankan dinner buffet the few times I attended bf/aft my Indian trip 2 years ago...
    When Bhante is in Singapore, he is always enthusiastic to participate in such charity fair to play his part in charity and to introduce Sri Lankan culture :-)
    You should had bought their Sri Lankan Ginger biscuits@$1 per pack if you like ginger, strong ginger fragance that is great for coffee/tea break.:-)

  4. Sigh... What an anticlimatic conclusion to "What is Sunny's gender?" discussion. Then again who am I to judge? I don't reveal too much about myself either.

    I have never eaten mutton before because I am turned off by the smell. So I never get to know what the real McCoy taste like. After reading your comment, I find that dish even more interesting than before. Not only does jackfruit curry looks like mutton, the texture is similar too. This is the most creative meat mimicking method I have seen so far.

    I only remembered seeing ginger tea. Now that you mentioned about the biscuits, I should have spent a little more time at their booth. There were simply too many things to see that I was not surprised to miss out some of them. Still, I felt blessed to have at least tried their set meal. To tell you the truth, I bought it on a whim because I was really hungry and the booth was near the entrance. After I finished the food and regained my energy, I made a round at the fair and realised that the rest of the more filling type of food (laksa, tomato pasta, ...) were pretty generic compared to what I had. I remembered overhearing someone commenting that the laksa was quite ordinary. That was a good day for me I guess.

    Thanks for your detailed information. I am right about you being well-informed on such things.