Fairprice Finest had a campaign recently where they asked expatriates to open up their homes, and kitchens, to cook for anyone who might be keen to try their cuisine. They included a couple from Germany, a trio of Italian friends, and a French chef.
Last night, the Husband and I were lucky to be hosted by Ayumi, a Japanese language teacher. Ayumi has been working here for 2 years, and her favourite local food is Hokkien Mee and she loves durian! Together with her friend Naomi, they whipped up several courses of Japanese goodness for us.
The menu included Chirashi Sushi, Pork Shabu Shabu and vegetable salad, Osuimono, and Chikuzenni. My favourite dish of the night was the Chikuzenni. Besides chicken as an ingredient, it also had bamboo shoot, lotus root, konnyaku, shitake mushrooms, and sweet potato. YUM. Apparently, the secret of the dish, is to put a piece of aluminum foil on the food while it is simmering. Something interesting I learnt last night in addition to where a top notch, affordable ramen shop is located! Ayumi learnt most of her cooking from her grandmother, and the food tasted homely and warm. I definitely could taste her labour of love.
My thoughts about the campaign? Innovative, and there is nothing Singaporeans are more passionate about than food, so this really hits the spot. True, the marketing team had a job to do, which is to promote the food that Fairprice has to offer, but that took a backseat, as the real highlight of the dinner was forging new friendships, and discovering new food. I spoke with Jeanie from Havas, and she hopes that this will continue even after the campaign, like minded people getting together for a meal. In fact, for the next campaign, she is thinking of the tables around, to get Singaporeans to cook for the expatriates instead! I’m not sure if I can be as brave and welcoming like Ayumi, cooking for a bunch of people I’ve never met before in my life, but one thing’s for sure, a date with Ayumi is soon in the works!