If you’ve been to Singapore’s version of Shilin Night Market over the last two weekends, you would know one thing:
It was fully packed to the brim.
Indeed, one can’t help but compare the queues to Taiwan’s own infamous lines, with perhaps just one exception;
Singapore, incredibly, actually had even longer lines.
But here’s the thing
Just how crowded was Shilin Night Market in the space of those six days?
50,000 visitors? 100,000 visitors?
Nope, not quite. For as the event organisers have announced…
It was as many as a whopping 500,000 visitors.
The first-ever, largest Shilin Singapore was held over two weekends, 19 – 21 April, 26 – 28 April 2019, and it supposedly drew a total of over 500,000 people to its atmospheric festival.
Now, that’s a lot.
During the event, visitors were treated to a spectacular and immersive night market experience on local shores, with Taiwanese live band performances, Insta-worthy installations and traditional lanterns livening up the festivities.
Street food straight from Taiwan, of course, wasn’t excluded.
Incidentally, the opening day was a sell-out for Chiak Liang, Tiefunwan Rice & Fries (Braised Pork), Monki, Taiwan Sausages, HotStar and E Mo Ji Pai. Hotstar, in particular, really raked in the dough, with a record-breaking sale of 1,300 Taiwanese chicken cutlets in one day and an average of 1,000 pieces per day.
But was it really worth it?
Shilin Singapore might’ve experienced its overwhelming share of visitors, but that also begets one question:
Was it worth the queuing and whatnot?
Because according to my charismatic colleague who’s apparently rather old but still want to act young, the bulk of food outlets at the premise were ones you could find at any shopping mall.
That’s hardly something you’ll want to wait hours on end for, do you?
But on the other hand, the prominent few stalls that didn’t hail from Singapore did seem promising, as this Food King video by Night Owl Cinematics proved.
And while some of the Taiwan concepts were undertaken by Singaporeans for this event, their glowing reviews suggested that the quality of food might be every bit as sumptuous as their original counterparts.
Nubbad, nubbad at all!
Unfortunately, if you missed this edition of Shilin Singapore, we’re not sure whether there’s another one coming. Though considering how Artbox has had sequels since its original run, we would say that there’s definitely a plausible chance of a Shilin Singapore comeback.
What you can be sure of, however, is that the event organisers will be bringing more creative (International ones, if Shilin’s a benchmark) concepts to Singapore, a notion that overseas-starved Singaporeans will surely cheer to.
“We are greatly encouraged by the positive turnout and support from our visitors over the past two weekends, which wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing vendors and partners. We look forward to continuing to rejuvenate the creative retail scene in Singapore as we aim to bring bigger, better and more dynamic experiential concepts to the local audience,” said Mr Kent Teo, Co-Founder and CEO of Invade.
And while we’ve no idea when it’s gonna come, we can always keep our fingers crossed.
And hope that the queues will be less rabak this time, though that’s probably harder than asking for snow in Singapore.
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