World Street Food Congress 2016

The World Street Food Jamboree 2016 Experience

When it was announced that the World Street Food Congress will be held here in Manila, my Facebook feed literally exploded with people sharing the news. Of course, as a couple who loves trying out different kinds of food, we wouldn’t want to pass up the World Street Food Jamboree. And despite all of the negative remarks that we heard about the said food affair i.e. very long queues, having not enough food for the people etc., it didn’t deter us from experiencing it for ourselves.

World Street Food Jamboree 2016

 

World Street Food Jamboree 2016

The World Street Food Jamboree 2016 was held for the first time in Manila, Philippines from April 21-24. We arrived around 4PM so we didn’t suffer from the long lines that people were talking about.

 

Upon entering the area, the first thing that greeted us on the side were the jamboree’s commandments and map. The commandments when followed make the festivity more enjoyable. We specifically liked and applied the “Kill Boredom” command which led to a good fruition. I’ll talk more about that later. Meanwhile, the jamboree map is both equally helpful to those who have made prior food plans, and those who need to meet up with someone.

World Street Food Jamboree 2016 Commandments

World Street Food Jamboree 2016 Map

You’ll notice that they have a Security & First Aid Station. I hope no one had to go here because of stolen items or high blood pressure from eating lechon (roasted pig).

 

World Street Food Jamboree 2016Seeing the booths, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Is this really a world street food congress?” I haven’t been to the previous World Street Food Jamboree. However, I’m pretty sure that the “World” should mean that they will offer various kinds of food from different parts of the world. It wasn’t the case here as the only cuisines that we saw there were mostly from South East Asia. No Japanese, Mexican, European, African street food and many more folks. Well, since I haven’t tried out Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indonesian cuisines yet, I didn’t mind this as much. It would still have been more awesome if they did include street food from other regions.

The other thing that I noticed was how pricey the food is. Prices starts at PhP 200 (or USD 4.279) and can go all the way up to PhP 400 (or USD 8.56). Isn’t this a little too much for a street food? This may be overlooked if the food is truly worth it. After all, we’re aiming for all things reasonable.

 

THE FOOD

The first thing we ordered was the WAN DAO TOU ASSAM LAKSA (PhP 250/ USD 5.35) from Penang, Malaysia.

Penang Laksa - World Street Food

Penang Laksa

I chose this in a heartbeat because I was craving for laksa for so long. The street food is “thick rice noodles served in a sharp, tangy, sweet and spicy flaked mackerel broth with sweet prawn paste with a lovely accent of lemongrass and blue ginger.” This is very different from the laksa I’m accustomed to as its soup base is not coconut milk. Yes, I’m used to eating Singaporean laksa. As Me-An has been to Malaysia, she explained to me that Malaysia’s laksa typically uses tamarind as its soup base.

 

Penang Laksa ReactionThe hotness of the laksa was tolerable at first. It eventually escalated wherein I could no longer bear it as seen in the photo. The tamarind blend indeed gives it a sour kick, but it’s not enough to neutralize the spiciness of the chili peppers they’ve put. For its price, I personally think this is not reasonable for those who not into sour and spicy food. Its serving is pretty small too.

 

Next up on our list is SATAY BEEHOON (PhP 250/ USD USD 5.35) also from Malaysia despite the Singaporean Chinese roots.

Satay Beehoon

Satay Beehoon

Satay Beehoon

The street food is a serving of “soft slurpy noodle blanched and bathed in rich, peanutty satay sauce topped with seafood, greens, tofu and sticks of satay.” Even if I only got to try a few street food from the jamboree, this will have to be my top pick. This is a much better deal for me compared to our previous food which has the same price. It does not only have a bigger serving, but it’s more delicious as well. The skewered chicken mixes well both with the glass noodles and the yummy satay sauce. And the seafood adds a sweet flavor on the entire meal. Overall, we really dig this reasonable food and we recommend you to try it if you find yourself in Malaysia.

The last, but not the least on our list, is CHURROS SUNDAE (PhP 200/ USD 4.279) from Portland, USA.

Churros Sundae

 

To be honest, we already have churros here in Manila. And it’s not exactly unique as Me-An has tried Street Churros in South Korea which offer the same concept. It is just one of the longest lines in the place that piqued our interest to try it.

Churros Sundae
Churros Sundae

This street food is  “churros (fried-dough pastry) served with Vanilla ice-cream drizzled with either chocolate, strawberry or caramel sauce and topped with nuts and sprinkles.” However, what we exactly tried is churros topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinklers. There may be nothing too special about it, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. It is actually delicious that we finished it in just a few minutes. For its price per order, it’s on point with what is being offered.

 

On Killing Boredom

As mentioned earlier, we followed the “Kill Boredom” commandment. We chatted with people we were stuck with in lines and we met @chezkuhh and @dendersalea

World Street Food Congress 2016

They eventually introduced us to their friends who shared a table with us and, little did we know, we’ll be meeting another set of people through them.

Yogo and Cream New Friends
Yes, share a table and gain new friends. We met @21likesthis and @christianfreo.

 

World Street Food Jamboree

There are other dishes in the food affair that we would love to try like the Sticky Rice Banana (“Nam Bo“). However due to budget and time constraints, we weren’t able to try it. It’s really best to come here as a group or go there several times.

Sticky Rice Banana (Nam Bo)This one is the Sticky Rice Banana (“Nam Bo“) that we also wanted to try. It’s banana coated with sticky rice and wrapped with banana leaves to grill over charcoal fire. The dessert is slathered afterwards with coconut-based milk and sprinkled with toasted nuts.

 

We just like to commend one of those who endured the very long lines of the World Street Food Jamboree, but still remained patient – Mr. Lorenzo Espiritu. We learned from him that some people intentionally cut the lines and senior citizens were given priority so he ends up being further from his turn. He still waited for his turn despite these issues.Lorenzo Espiritu

 

As people prefer going at night to avoid the summer heat, it is truly at nighttime that we heard several complaints due to the long lines. We noticed also when we were about to go home that the lines were almost about to cover the whole area outside.

Long Lines on World Street Food

 

Reasonable or not?

Overall, I personally think that Manila’s first World Street Food Jamboree is organized, but needs more variety in terms of food offering. If you’re well traveled like Me-An, you won’t find this reasonable because of the food’s prices. There is also the fact that the bottled water being sold is priced at PhP 50/ USD 1.069. Thus, some people may find it better eating at restaurants.

On the other hand, if you’re less traveled like me and a foodie too, you’ll find this event reasonable. This is because I get to try street food from other countries whilst staying in my home country. The prices can also be justified with the free entrance to the event and the expense in setting up the stalls ex. putting up open kitchens. Lastly, the jamboree is also a great place to meet fellow foodies.

New friends of Yogo and Cream

18 Responses to “The World Street Food Jamboree 2016 Experience”

  1. Thanks for the comprehensive post. I liked how you described not just the food but the overall experience as well. I really wanted to go to this, but we’re based all the way in Subic 🙁 glad I was able to live vicariously through you! :p Reading your post though, I’m not as bummed that I missed it. The food is a tad bit overpriced for my taste. And I get a little bit impatient with lines so I don’t think I would have enjoyed the event as much. I am sorry I missed that churros sundae though- it looks awesome!!

    Reply
  2. Surely a lot of food lovers enjoyed the event. Long lines, though, may frustrate and irrate me considering that there will be four kids joining the line with me who are all equally excited to have a sample of all those delicious food.

    Reply
  3. The yogo and cream looks the best. I love desserts and that is just yummy! You describe the event very well. It’s too bad that it’s so far from me but it’s cool to see how it is “on the other side of the world” and taste a little bit of the experience through your eyes!

    Reply
  4. ooooh!! Jian Cayla Salazar runner-up for Ms Earth 2015 🙂 Pretty!!

    Anyway, It’s too bad that there were only a few stalls and not much food from other countries there in the event. I hope the next Jamboree they organize will have more international street food. I also like the idea of meeting other foodies while lining up especially when you bump into beauty queens 😛

    Reply
  5. I would absolutely love to go to this! Seriously, it is like a dream come true! I love that you ate these exotic dishes and then end with churros which are some of the best desserts ever! It looks like a blast! I am glad that you were able to go and taste the different cuisines even if they weren’t your favorites! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Reading about your experience with the laksa reminded me of my trip to Malaysia. I had to catch an early boat that connected with a very early bus, from an island. I didn’t have time for breakfast, so when the bus stopped after a few hours, I went in the first restaurant and put a lot of food in my plate. When I tried to eat it… oh my god, it was the most spicy food I have ever had. My mouth was in pain but I was so hungry that I had to eat it, haha.
    But back to your article, I love street food festivals. I can’t wait for the one that will take place in summer, in my town. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Waaah, makes me hungry right now. Especially that “churros”! Seems you really enjoyed your day eating new delicacies! I’ll be waiting for next year’s streetfood jamboree!

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  8. hmm, I find it too pricey for P200.00. With that amount, you should be sitting comfortably in an air-conditioned restaurant, while waiting for your order.

    Reply
  9. Ahh, I finally read a post on this! I’ve been curious about it since I heard it but none of my FB friends seem to have gone. I hope they’ll make it a better eperience in the future.

    Reply
  10. I think Metro Manila already has a lot of varieties of dishes that going to a food fair like this makes … not much sense considering the food were expensive. Besides, one can only eat so much. Still, there must be people who appreciated it.

    Reply
  11. Street Food. 250 Pesos? I can’t comprehend it, although I do get the fact that when you count the little things, like getting visas done, and ingredients not native here, then maybe it is worth 250 pesos. I am not well traveled yet, but even if I am a true blue foodie, I really couldn’t set aside w hole day and almost night just to try out these dishes, simply because I’ve also got kids to take care of and a few other responsibilities… So thanks so much for giving me a sneak peek on what I had missed on, and I wish that I can travel soon enough so I may taste some of what you had that fateful day… Or maybe they’ll redo this festival on a much grander scale? 🙂

    Reply
  12. That would be MY thing , does it say 4 days long ? OMG , 4 days yummie on a raw ! Unfortunately I can’t work out the prices in euro . I like these kind of fairs , here in Spain there is a lot similar going on , I can so enjoy the atmosphere and all these lovely smells coming from every corner . Nice post , thanks for telling about !

    Reply
  13. Haha i love the 10 jamboree commandments 🙂 Despite the prices, i think the concept is great as get to try so many different dishes from different places in the world. Not as good as travelling to those places, but an awesome thing for sure! You can also meet cool people there, so that’s also a plus!

    Reply
  14. Woah! A paradise for all foodies. How I wished I was able to attend even just a day. Kaso busy at work and too far from BGC. Next time, hopefully! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Oh you were there! I am dying to go there as it’s just near my workplace but my workload wont let me. So sad to know that there are few food varieties on the jamboree. But, I still think the food you tried are good. “LOOKS GOOD” e. hehehe

    Reply
  16. Mouth watering, lip smacking and inducing Pavlovian syndrome.Wow, what an experience.Too exciting to be missed.Kudos for the content posted here.

    Reply

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