An Affordable Little Local Christmas Feast!
By Tim Wee
December 23, 2013
Ok, so you broke the bank getting presents for all your family and friends. And, you have just realised that you still have that pesky Christmas lunch or dinner on the cards. While we previously shared with you some fancy Christmas eats, we know that they might now be a little out of range now. With the exorbitant festive prices slapped on by local restaurants, now is the time to panic as desperation takes control of you.
Feeling the monetary blues of your impending Christmas meal?
Photos sourced from toxylicious.blogspot.sg and SAFRA
Or is it?
There is no reason why you can’t have a decent Christmas dinner without spending a small fortune. After all, Singapore is home to the most affordable culinary fare, the hawker centre. So with our readily available hawker cuisine near our doorsteps (not to mention that the fact that they will be open during the holidays), let us draw up a uniquely Singaporean version of the quintessential Christmas meal!
So, unleash the scrooge in you and still feast like a king with our alternative Christmas culinary delights.
If the Grinch can enjoy an affordable Christmas feast, so can you!
Photos sourced from unorthodoxepicure.com and thehpalliance.org
Hainanese Chicken Rice over Turkey
Hainanese chickens pack more of a punch than the cumbersome Christmas turkey!
Photos sourced from aromacookery.com and shewearsmanyhats.com
While most Singaporeans are likely to go crazy over the festive “big bird”, a 5 kg turkey can be a real pain in the neck. Not only does it require time consuming preparations, but the enormous creature is likely to bust your Christmas spending through the roof!
Hence, why not fall back on the old and trusty clucking goodness that is our Hainanese Chicken Rice! The fragrant braised or roasted chicken shares the same melt-in-your mouth succulent flesh as well as the crisp indulgent skin. While you might be missing out on that chestnut turkey stuffing, take comfort in the fact that it is a loss that your taste buds will barely notice with the option of gizzards and liver. Plus, who need wimpy flavoured cranberry sauce when you got the full on sensory excitement of ginger chilli sauce. Best part is, it is most likely to cost a mere fraction of the cost of that overpriced roasted turkey!
Local Roasted Meats over Honey Baked Ham
Indulgent local roasts that deeply satisfies at a fraction of the cost of a traditional Christmas ham
Photos sourced from sgfoodonfoot.com and hdwallpapersinn.com
Yes, the Christmas ham is a permanent fixture on any Christmas table. Requiring meticulous preparation, the ability to create the smoky sweet meat is a testament to the chef’s sublime culinary skills.
Having said that, a similarly high level of culinary mastery is also required to create the roast meat duo of char siew and roast pork belly. The unnaturally red glazed lean char siew boast a charred honeyed flavour which definitely packs fewer calories than its Western counterpart. But if you are dying to go all out, then throw in the crispy treat that is our local roast pork belly for that extra bite this festive season!
Pandan Swiss Roll over Chocolate Log Cake
The sweet pandan taste of childhood trumps chocolate log anyday!
Photos sourced from fong-kitchen-journal.blogspot.sg and modular4kc.com
Christmas is a time for sentimentalism and relieving sweet memories (how else do you explain parents playing old Nat King Cole and Mariah Carey tunes). After pigging out on all those savoury Christmas fare, it is a custom to end off the meal with an old favourite, the chocolate log cake. However with impending worldwide shortage of cocoa beans, we go back in time and search for a viable alternative.
A beloved childhood snack, we believe that we have hit the green sweet spot in the form of the pandan swiss roll. Available at any neighbourhood bakery, we remember the nostalgic goodness that only whipped cream in a rolled up pandan sponge cake can provide. The aromatic pandan ensures a sweet dessert ending without the overkill of the chocolate log. What’s more, it is so affordable that it puts the chocolate log cake to shame.
Kueh Lapis over Candy Canes
Candy canes pales in comparison to the nine layers of Technicolor goodness that is kueh lapis!
Photos sourced from ngbrothers.com.sg and candyblog.com
Finally as you kick back with your loved ones after your Christmas meal, you might be tempted to reach for those peppermint candy canes for a little glucose rush. While the colourful treats do bring a great deal of sugary comfort, we find it vulgar to be forking out close to twenty bucks for a box of these Christmassy treats.
So, why not retain that Technicolor goodness with the easy-on-the-wallet option of kueh lapis. The rainbow coloured gelatinous snack is the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea. Sure to be a hit with the younglings, they can easily be sourced from stores such as Chinta Manis (one of our latest additions at SAFRA Mount Faber).
As such, we hope that you and your loved ones enjoy your festive Christmas feast!
From all of us at SAFRA, we wish you all a Merry Christmas!