Will These 2019 SG Food Trends Stay Or Go?
STORY: Janelle Yong
29 December 2019
PHOTO: CHICHA SAN CHEN
Our foodie nation has had its share of popular foods this year, but all good things must end. Here’s what we think will happen to these food trends when the new year rolls around.
1. Impossible Burger
Vegan and vegetarian cuisine was in vogue this year, especially since the Impossible Burger finally made its way to Singapore. Boasting a plant-based “beef” patty that’s famous for its meat-like taste and texture, the Impossible Burger has been wowing foodies with its delicious and indistinguishable-from-real-meat flavour.
Verdict: Unfortunately, while Impossible Burger patties may taste like real meat, so does actual meat, which is still far cheaper at the moment. Unless prices drop drastically, only vegans, vegetarians and healthy eaters are likely to continue choosing Impossible meat once the hype dies down.
2. Bubble Tea
At this point, bubble tea might as well be crowned Singapore’s national drink. With several different bubble tea chains from international franchises like PlayMade to homegrown brands like LiHo, it’s clear that the demand for bubble tea remains alive and well.
In fact, Singapore’s love for bubble tea is so widespread that we’ve gone beyond simply drinking bubble tea to immersing ourselves in its essence through The Bubble Tea Factory, a multisensory bubble tea wonderland which has seen crowds of boba fans flocking to it since it launched in mid-October.
Verdict: Do you even need to ask? Bubble tea is eternal.
3. Burnt Cheesecake
On paper, it seems like a terrible idea. A deliberately charred cheesecake with no crust? Sounds neither edible nor Instagrammable. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it though; the contrast between the slightly bitter surface and the oozy, molten centre creates a divine burst of flavour that melts beautifully in your mouth.
Verdict: We don’t see this blowing up any more than it already has, but this unconventional cheesecake will probably become another well-loved cafe dessert.
This classic dish was once reserved for special occasions like reunion dinners, but not anymore. Nowadays, the growing presence of steamboat chain restaurants means you and your squad can go out for steamboat whenever the cravings hit.
Verdict: There’s no denying that steamboat is here to stay. However, just as it’s evolved from an atas meal to a casual one, the way that we enjoy steamboat will probably continue to change. Steamboat instant noodles next, perhaps?
And here’s the very food trend that overtook salted egg yolk as our latest craze. Sour, tangy and tongue-numbingly spicy, mala started out as a type of hot pot but soon branched out into mala xiang guo stalls in hawker centres, followed by every type of food conceivable. Mala-flavoured potato chips, mala instant noodles, mala fish skin, even mala cocktails… it won’t be long until mala desserts become the norm too.
Verdict: We might have found the next “bubble tea” of food trends.
6. White Rabbit
Having celebrated its 60th anniversary this year, this beloved sweet from our childhood has enjoyed a resurgence of attention from nostalgia-seekers. Case in point: Just last week, 7-Eleven began selling limited edition White Rabbit milk drinks imported from China. From White Rabbit bubble tea to soft serve and even a pop-up store with White Rabbit-scented perfumes and shampoos, it’s safe to say that Singaporeans have been happily following the White Rabbit all year long.
Verdict: In the long run, this sweet has had its ups and downs, but it’s ultimately survived the passage of time. Even if the White Rabbit fad dies down this time, it’ll definitely enjoy another comeback sometime soon.
7. Souffle Pancakes
Japanese souffle pancakes are known for their smooth and fluffy texture as well as the tall, wobbly stacks that they’re served in. Who wouldn’t want to eat a cloud for dessert?
Verdict: Delicious as these pancakes may be, there’s only so much sweet food one can take without overdosing on sugar. That said, with how photogenic they are, souffle pancakes will probably reign supreme on Instagram for a good long time.