Sentosa Grillfest 2023: Gastronomic grilled delights kickstart this year’s Sentosa Food Fest

Sun, sand, and smoked goodness; all found at Sentosa! The beachfront locale is bringing a gastronomic treat to visitors with their second edition of Sentosa Food Fest, which will be happening from 7 July to 17 September 2023.

The 10-week-long food festival is divided into three events — Sentosa GrillFest, Sentosa Restaurant Trail, and the Sentosa Food Truck Fiesta. Sentosa GrillFest kicks it all off at the Siloso Beachfront every Friday to Sunday from 7 July to 30 July, offering a seaside barbecue spread for visitors to experience! 

This year’s Sentosa GrillFest is set to be the biggest edition yet, with 35 F&B establishments being featured. For its first day, we check out what great treats await visitors.

Fan Favourites 

As you step off the Sentosa Express train at the Beach Station, the huge Grillfest signages beckon you to follow along to experience the barbeque bonanza. Once you pass the Skyline Luge, you’ll enter the Fan Favourites zone, with various stalls lining the pathway further beyond.

Sentosa Grillfest 2023: Fan Favourite Zone
The Fan Favourites zone appears when you first enter Sentosa Grillfest

As the name suggests, the Fan Favourites zone brings back familiar options from the previous editions of Sentosa Grillfest. One is the creatively named DAMN (Dry Aged Meats & Needs), offering highlights like Dry Aged Beef Cubes and their Dry Aged Beef Burger.

But the zone has more up its sleeves. There was also Fatty Grill by Homeground Grill and Bar, which had an incredible Charcoal Grilled Seabass Butterfly with Signature Garlic Chilli that was served with a side of grilled onions. Meanwhile, Sentosa’s own Arbora Hilltop Garden & Bistro also makes an appearance at Grillfest, serving up twists on local delights like Lobster Hokkien Noodles and Bamboo Nasi Lemak with Chicken.

We could not resist getting some items from Wild Tide’s seafood menu, particularly their Unagi Kabayaki Skewers, which were topped off with fresh Uni. The soft, fresh meat of the Unagi was sweet and tasty, proving to be an excellent get from the Fan Favourites zone — be sure to try it yourself!

Sentosa Grillfest 2023: Unagi Kabayaki Skewers
Wild Tide’s Unagi Kabayaki Skewers

You can also grab drinks and desserts from the various stalls to accompany the main dishes. We highly recommend Wild Tide’s Yokuzana Yuzu Float, a mocktail mix of Sprite, Yuzu Sorbet, and some mint leaves that was very refreshing with each sip. Otherwise, you can opt for Tutto Gelato And Cocktails’ many gelato options with exciting flavours like the 4AM Pizza Dough.

International Delights

While burgers and skewers are items that we are very familiar with, Sentosa Grillfest brings something extra this year to broaden our palettes a little. As part of the new International Delights zone, visitors can check smoke-infused offerings from countries that only a few people have tried.

South African cuisine is on the menu, courtesy of the South African Shisa Nyama stall located right when you exit the Emerald Pavilion. It is headed up by Pitso Chauke, a self-made chef and restaurateur eager to showcase his curated South African BBQ menu, Braai, back in South Africa.

He can be seen whipping up some Boerewors — thick South African sausages  — alongside some onions at the grill. Pitso also passes along some Chakalaka, a spicy tomato bean relish served with steamed bread (also known as Dombolo), for us to try. It served as a refreshing palate cleanser after indulging in the meaty mains.

Besides South Africa, Egypt is also on the Sentosa Grillfest map. Huras brings authentic Egyptian food to visitors, offering their signature hawawshi  (Egyptian stuffed pita). You can choose between several different meat choices like chicken, beef, and lamb, or even opt for a mix.

Sentosa Grillfest 2023: hawawshi
Huras’ hawawshi is chock full of delicious meat like lamb

Closer to home, there are also options from South Korea and Taiwan. Hanok Kimchi serves fresh traditional cabbage kimchi with Wagyu ribeye beef cubes, as well as kimchi bibim guksu and tteokbokki on the menu. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Ning Xia Road Night Market stall has Flame-Grilled Cubed Beef and Charcoal-Grilled Sauce-Marinated Battered Giant Squid.

So if you’re missing food from your travels, Sentosa Grillfest has you covered with its varied options!

Grill By The Beach

Finally, there is nothing better than having some grilled food against the backdrop of the beautiful seascape. That’s what the Grill By The Beach zone is all about, with grill masters filling your tummies around the Siloso Beach area.

Once you grab your grilled delights, you can settle down at one of the conveniently located seating tables and take in the stunning view of the crashing waves from the beach as you chow down on your food under the fairy lights.

Sentosa Grillfest 2023: Seating Area
Stuff yourself full while enjoying the view at the seating area

But perhaps that won’t be the only view that catches your eye. Along the beach, several stalls have installed contraptions to creatively cook their meat. For instance, the Sentosa Golf Club stall has a unique spinning grill that cooks their beef, lamb, and pork belly ribs above a bed of charcoal — which I’m told can reach a heat temperature of 300°C!

When it is cooked, the chefs at the stall deftly chop and slice the meat into finer portions for customers to enjoy. Alongside the ribs, Sentosa Golf Club offers salads (e.g. Singapura Salad) and salt/sauces (like Black Lava salt and Thai Herb sauce) to pair it with.

A more traditional but impressive grilling machine can be found at the end of the beach pathway in Sentosa Grillfest. Chua Jett Yong of Jett BBQ has specially imported a custom-built offset smoker from Texas to bring authentic Texan barbecue here at Sentosa. Such is his dedication to authenticity that even the logs used for the smoker are also from Texas!

The smoker is used to create his signature Texas Style Dino Beef Rib, made from 8-12 hours of smoking overnight. When you first get the beef ribs, you’ll notice that the exterior is near pitch-black. But do not be alarmed! It isn’t burnt at all. He reveals that it is all part of the chemical reaction that makes that appearance. Indeed, there was none of the bitter burnt taste, and the meat was incredibly soft and smokey. You can enjoy it with mashed potatoes or as a taco, mixed with lime-infused coleslaw. 

Sentosa Grillfest 2023: Texas Smoker
Jett BBQ has brought a specially imported smoker to ensure an authentic Texan barbecue

There is much more to find at the Grill By The Beach zone, with both the sight of the calming sea and the breeze from the ocean providing a great atmosphere to enjoy the grilled delicacies on offer. 

Has that got you hungry? Then head down to Sentosa from Friday to Sunday from now till 30 July to experience the delicious smoked and grilled food within the beach environment!

Sentosa Grillfest

Date: 7 to 30 July 2023 (Every Friday to Sunday)
Location: Siloso Beach, 10A Siloso Bch Walk, Singapore 099008
Price: Free Admission
Opening hours: 5pm to 10pm

For more on Sentosa Grillfest and Sentosa Food Fest, visit their Official Website! You can also get updated on the event by following Sentosa’s socials on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos by Brendan Tan of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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