By KF Seetoh - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016

The one word that echoed through all the organisers, chefs, presenters hawkers and customers at this year’s World Street Food Congress 2106 in Manila (20th -24th April), was “overwhelming”. Even the sponsors and presenters, Ayala Malls and the DOT (Department of Tourism) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) was taken by the response and had to frantically adjust to meet expectations. Try biting into these facts for starters:


Chef Duangporn from Bo.Lan Restaurant in Bangkok surprise the Dialogue participants with the simplicity of the tom yam noodles demonstration.


· 12,000 people turned up on day one on 20th April when the organisers only factored for half that amount. The gates opened at 4pm and by 6pm, 6000 had showed up. They had to turn people away and the gate and profusely apologise and promise to double up the next day (which they did), but 20 per cent more people showed up.


World Street Food Congress 16 sold out sign.. The dreaded sign no one in line wants to see at the Jamboree.
12000 people showed up on Day One of the Jamboree when 6000 was only catered for.


· By day three, three hawkers fell sick in their quest to please the never ending queues. They forgot to eat and had tummy problems. An Indonesian hawker developed swollen feet just standing all day to grill 350kg of Iga Bakar pork ribs.


· Both the container truck chillers were used to full capacity and 20 fridges were brought in to temporarily contain the excess orders of food supply.


This chocolate martabak markobar from Indonesia, was clearly a hit with the younger foodies in Manila.
Banh Xeo was one of the top hits at the Jamboree as Mdm Phan brought her own ancient claypot to bake these seafood pancakes


· Each hawker averaged anything from 600 orders per evening, some, like the Banana Sticky Rice or Cuoi Nuong from Vietnam and the Iga Bakar ribs from Indonesia served up over 1000 a night.


About 1000 of these Banana Sticky Rice or Cuoi Nuong were shifted a night by the Vietnamese team.
Hats off to the teams from Vietnam and Indonesia grilling their deliciousness under one roof.
An average of 300kg of pork ribs was used per night for the Indonesian Iga Bakar team from Bali.


· “We need a bigger version of this event next year” was the words of the Philippines Secretary of Tourism Mr Ramon Jiminez as saw the packed crowds when he visited the event on day on.


We let the pictures paint the mood, atmosphere, crowds and the deliciousness at this year’s World Street Food Congress in Bonifacio Global City, Manila (Federacion Drive and 9th Ave).