TL;DR – What will we start queuing for next?
Food trends come and go like sushi on a conveyor belt. Some trends make it big and stick around for a period of time, while others are like a “one-hit wonder” and die out in a matter of weeks (e.g: truffle-flavoured everything to all things salted egg yolk). However, these trends ain’t always bad for us foodie Singaporeans who love jumping on the trend-wagon. Well, mostly cause we get to eat, eat, eat and take Insta-worthy #foodporn shots.
Here are our picks on what foods will trend in 2017 – get your cameras ready!
1. Bowls, bowls and more bowls
Sweeping through our shores in 2016 was the oh-so-delicious poke bowl, healthy acai bowl, protein bowl, ninja bowl, smoothie bowl, Buddha bowl etc. These bowls are essentially a fresh, hearty and nutritious all-in-one meal filled with an assortment of textures and a burst of complex flavours tucked in between every mouthful.
The beauty of these bowls lies in the fact that the ingredients are prepared separately and then pieced together intricately by layers according to a set of rules that may be dependent on calories, colour, compatible flavours, special dietary requirements and so on. This year these bowls will very likely become an evolving, unwavering trend in both commercial and domestic kitchens from breakfast, lunch to dinner.
2. Faux Meat
So what exactly is faux meat? – It is not a realistic wax replica of your favourite piece of sirloin steak or a tofurkey-substitute for your next Thanksgiving meal, but “meat” that replaces animal protein with plant protein. The faux meat, which is the result of some super advanced high-tech scientific research, is made to look, smell and taste like beef — except that it is made entirely from plant-proteins. It browns, sizzles on the grill and even oozes fat when it is cooking and is so much more than just mashing some pumpkin and carrots into a patty.
But, why the sudden interest in faux meat? We’re guessing mostly cause of the advancement in nutrition science and the rapidly changing tastes of consumers. And, it looks like a promising replacement for animal meat in the future maybe?
2017 looks like the year that more chefs and culinary connoisseurs will turn up the heat more and also are adventurous with adding different kinds of spices in their dishes. Instead of going hard on the spiciness and chilies, which could make the dish barely palatable – think ‘spicy Korean noodles challenge’ and ‘spicy buffalo wings challenge’ – there may even be a cheeky play on the balance of spiciness and sweetness all-in-one dish or even a greater presence of ethnic-fusion dishes. Don’t be surprised if you get bold, spicy flavours in your next breakfast or brunch choice!
4. Vegetable & Fruit (domination!)
People are getting more health and diet conscious by the year, evident in the rise of the consumption of cold press juices, kale shakes, smoothie bowls, healthy fruit-infused water, protein water, kombucha etc. Also, kudos to inspiring chefs like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay for making use of their social media accounts to encourage home-cooks to be brave enough to whip up more vegetables dishes at home and by providing an extensive list of delectable vegetable-recipes available in print and online. Last year, low-carb vegetable substitute options like zoodles (zucchini noodles), cauliflower rice, sweet potato chips and kale chips even made its way to menus. What’s next? Vegetable yoghurt? Jackfruit burgers?
5. Hybrid-fusion Dishes
I am anticipating a spike in hybrid-fusion dishes this year, whether it may be in the form of a savoury snack, sweet-treat or a main course. The palates of Singaporeans have definitely become more sophisticated over the years with the exposure of new cuisines and flavours from all over the world. It’s so much more than just East meets West now, it has become the fusion of our local flavours in Eastern and Western cuisines.
2016 exposed us to rather bold, yet interesting food-combinations that may not have even crossed our minds – with the likes of the Ramen burger, Laksa Pasta, Orange Kaya Pisang Creme Brulee, Buah Keluah Ice Cream, Ondeh-ondeh Cupcake and the list goes on. May 2017 be a year of complete boldness and curiosity in the creation of new dishes, don’t play on the safe side!
(PS: With that being said, if anyone needs a second-opinion regarding the taste of your new fusion dish, I’m here for you!)