August may not be the most exciting month for most (hello, school), but there are more than enough events and pop-ups, like Stranger Things – The Encounter: Singapore, Films At The Fort, and the Singapore Night Festival, to keep us occupied.
If you’re the sort who enjoys hitting up food fairs over the weekend, this is your sign to visit FUSE Makan 2023, a food, retail & entertainment exhibition that’ll be held at Marina Bay Sands from 18 to 20 August 2023.
Visitors will get to browse and savour innovative products from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan, with over 60 exihibitors showcasing culinary creations, trendy retail offerings, and even art & crafts workshops.
Not sure where to begin? Here are some of the more noteworthy vendors to check out:
If you’re a fellow Indian food lover, the popular chain restaurant Bikanervala an assortment of street food ranging from Samosa (S$3.50) to Veg Pulao + Chhole (S$12), mixed rice with a spicy and aromatic Indian chickpea curry.
I particularly enjoyed the Pav Bhaji (S$11), thick vegetable curry cooked in a tomato gravy, and served with a soft, slightly toasted bread roll.
Afterwards, pay Chai O’ Clock a visit for their Dutch Baby Prata and “TikTok-viral” Pani Puri, which is probably one of my favourite street snacks to introduce friends to!
You’ll probably see many visitors walking around with plastic cups of mala hotpot from vendors like No Time Hot Pot. Go for the Mala or Tomato No Time Mini Anyhow (S$6.80), that’s chock full of ingredients like smashed pork ball and shabu shabu, crispy tau pok, broccoli, and black fungus.
The folks behind Bishoku and Kobashi have teamed up to showcase an exciting array of grilled cheese sauces, skewers, and sourdough bakes.
Dive right into the Mentaiko Tamago & Ikura on Stick (S$6), as well as the Loaded Tater Tots, a messy yet glorious affair of spicy guacamole, nacho cheese, bacon, and onion ranch.
And of course, you definitely cannot leave without trying one of Kobashi’s sweet and savoury Sourdo’nuts (from S$5.50) — you won’t go wrong with crowd favourite flavours like Nutty Rocher, Mentai Egg Mayo, and Charcoal Mao Shan Wang.
There are also several Muslim-owned vendors to check out, like Khayra’s Kitchen for Corn Dogs and Lekor (S$6); Roti John LehLeh for Roti John (from S$10) with hearty fillings like Masala Chicken and Red Rendang; and Don’s Oven for assorted Creme Brulee (from S$8.90).
If you can never pass up on freshly baked confections, Tartzan Bakery sells exquisite tarts crafted with premium Lescure AOP French butter. We highly recommend the Yuzu Lemon and Hojicha Kinako, a hojicha lover’s dream come true.
Another super popular dessert vendor to look out for is Cassia Canelés, a speciality bakery selling canelés (from S$5 for a large) in locally-inspired flavours like Orh Nee and Kaya Toast.
Wash everything down with booze like Tiger Soju and Archipelago Brewery craft beers from the amusingly named “Tak Halal” corner, because there’s always time for a lil’ drink!
After all that feasting, you’ll want to hit up some of the retail booths offering apparel (including trendy streetwear and matching couple fits) and accessories.
There’ll even be over a dozen vendors that have been specially flown in from Thailand just for FUSE Makan 2023.
Don’t leave without trying your hand at fun activities like claw machines, themed photo areas, and craft workshops by Flower Mansion and Artlette Art Studio.
Jelly Podtraits, a “photobooth” that dispenses hand-drawn caricatures from S$10 by Jelly Caricature, is not to be missed. However, given that self-photo studios and photobooth concepts are all the rage these days, you might have to brave the queues!
But if you are unable to get a slot, there are plenty of cute photo areas dotted around the convention hall.
Last but not least, those feeling a lil’ lost about matters of the heart, work, or just life in general can head over to Auralogick for a tarot reading, with prices starting from S$34 for a 10 minute session.
There’s so much to do, eat, try, and buy at FUSE Makan 2023, so why not start making plans for this weekend (or even tonight)?
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Photos by Marcus Leong