I’ve heard of Makanmania since the days when Weizhen was studying at Cornell. It seemed like a cool idea, an annual food fair kind of thing featuring Singaporean hawker delights…prepared by the Singaporean student community.
I got to attend Cornell SSA’s Makanmania yesterday. The menu was pretty impressive though the quality varied quite a bit. We heard rumours that the SSA had to order a lot of Prima Taste packs from Washington, so there were some complaints that the standard has dropped since days of yore when students actually cooked the dishes from scratch.
The grad students prepared Roti John, Beef Rendang and Bo Bo Cha Cha. Chicken Rice got the most votes, with Kaya Toast a close second (by people’s votes). Personally, I thought the Mee Siam was pretty good.
We had ‘Singapore Currency’ to spend at the various stalls. Tiny colour-photocopied SGD with ‘specimen’ stamped across. Oh, and the SSA had gotten posters and door-gifts shipped over from STB (Singapore Tourism Board) which were actually quite nice. Like a true-blue kiasu Singaporean, I grabbed as many posters as I could once they announced we could take them. Not for myself of cos… I figured I’d take some stuff for the UTMSSA. If they don’t want them, they can always throw it away. Heh heh.
It wasn’t just makan at the event. The SSA provided entertainment too! There was an undergrad who played a piece from Chopin on the grand piano, and several other students took turns performing on stage too. They were all pretty good. For the last act, which was a pop song by JJ Lin, they had not just a pianist accompanying, but also an electric guitarist and a drummer (a girl to boot).Â I thought it was nice that they managed to get so many of the Singaporean student community involved in the event. The SSA is about 150 strong… which is a decent enough number, though a big drop from a few years back.
It was fun. I didn’t have a tremendous time, maybe cos I didn’t know anybody there (aside from Zibin and the few friends he introduced me to), but hey, makan is always fun!