3 Tips to Cut Your Food Catering Cost

Buffet Culinary Food Meal | Chilli Manis

Planning for large social gatherings or business events can be both exciting and stressful, especially when food is involved because people love to eat but the type of food catered can affect your budget.

Between all the diverse tastes and special diets, it can be overwhelming as you have to consider a variety of aspects from the catering menu, beverage selection, equipment, and any food-related logistics for your event – all of which can affect your catering cost.

Even if you have a limited budget for the event, you don’t want to skimp too much on your food catering as it’s one of the most remembered parts of any event.

In this article, we will share three tips on how to cut food catering costs to help you get the most out of your budget along with some food catering ideas that you can select from Chilli Manis.

Tip 1: Discuss your budget with the food caterer

Food catering services in Singapore usually have peak and off-peak seasons, which can be of great advantage when you’re planning for a large gathering or business event. This is because the cost of hiring a professional food caterer tend to be highest during peak seasons such as the holidays or vacation months.

Organising your event during the off-peak seasons will give you room to discuss your budget with various food caterers since there will be stiff competition on which food catering company can offer the best services within your budget. Besides, they can suggest alternatives that lower costs and give the best value for your money.

Tip 2: Avoid serving plated meals

Serving plated meals for your business event or social gathering is by far the priciest of all catering styles. While it may make your event look fancy and luxurious, it can add a financial burden because of the amount of effort it takes to pull this serving style off. You will also need to hire extra waiting staff to serve food to your guests at their allocated stations.

Instead of serving plated meals, you can opt for alternatives such as food stations or buffet style catering. Not only will you be able to serve local favourites to your guests, but you also get to save money by doing this at a fraction of the cost.

Tip 3: Serve seasonal comfort foods

Offering seasonal foods during your social gathering or business event will usually cost less than opting for out of season foods. This is simply because vendors factor in other expenses such as procurement cost, transportation fees, and value-added taxes in reselling out of season foods.

Rather than introducing out of season foods that may not be suitable for your gathering or event, serving seasonal comfort foods will ensure that each of your guests has a memorable time during the event. Besides, you get to reduce food wastage.

With these three tips, you can certainly host a gathering, be it small or large, formal or informal with less hassle at a lower cost. Moving forward, let’s take a look at the food catering ideas available at Chilli Manis.

Food Catering Ideas and Cost

As one of the food catering services in Singapore, we offer a diverse range of menu options to cater for any style of event or gathering at affordable rates. For large social gatherings or business events involving more than 20 people, we have several menu categories that can meet your catering needs and requirements:

Executive Bento

As the name suggests, meals under this menu category are packed in disposable microwavable containers for convenience and easy distribution, making them ideal for small corporate events or business lunches.

There are four types of bento meals offered under this category with the first being Peranakan Box – Classic Nonya which costs $10 per box while the Premium Bento costs $10.50 per set. If you want more variation, the Luxe Bento offers eight menu selections at $12.50 per set while the Ultimate Bento has seven menu selections at $15.50 per set.

Full Buffet

Under this menu category, the meals offered can be curated to fit your budget or impress your guests during special celebrations like birthdays, weddings, and housewarming parties. Ranging from Asian Delights Buffet to Peranakan Signatures and International Buffets, each menu selection comes in 8 to 13 different courses starting from $14 per pax.

High Tea/Cocktail

There’s a common perception that you have to serve full-course meals during special events. While it’s a general suggestion, high tea or cocktail party has become more common, making it the perfect food catering idea for a small housewarming party or just to catch up with your family friends.

With two types of menu selection – Light Tea Reception and Deluxe Tea Reception – that comes in 3 to 10 different courses starting from $4 per pax, you can still host a high tea at a lower cost.

Seminar Packages

Aside from catering for social gatherings and small business events, we also cater for large events like seminars, training sessions, and workshops. Choose from our Full Day or Half Day menu selection with rates starting from $21 per pax.

Looking for the right food catering service for your gathering or event in Singapore?

Choosing a food catering service for your event is not as easy as it looks. Every gathering or event is different so you want to make sure that your caterer can meet your needs and requirements.

The best caterer can balance the quality as well as the presentation of the food while delivering the best value for your money. When you choose a food catering service from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and side menu items to choose from.As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the best food catering service in Singapore. Keen to try our food catering service? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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High Tea Catering Singapore For Company’s Annual Dinner

High Tea Catering | Chilli Manis

While family meals or dinners are often flexible and can come in many different shapes and sizes, company annual dinners require a completely different set of planning involved.

In fact, it is one of the biggest events that a company organizes yearly regardless if it’s a family-run SME or a corporate organisation. That’s why company annual dinners require a different approach compared to other types of social dining events.

Often, a company annual dinner is held to celebrate an achievement or to provide a place for guests to mingle after a major celebration. For this reason, everything from the menu to the table settings must be planned to fit the mission and vision of the company.

As you prepare to organize a company annual dinner, use these tips to make sure that everything is in place. You can even find that sometimes, the best annual dinner can even be a simple event that can be catered by one of the best high tea catering Singapore has to offer!

High Tea Catering in Singapore: Guide To The Perfect Company Or Corporate Dinner 

1. Start Planning As  Early As You Can

With a corporate or company dinner event, it is best to begin planning as soon as possible. This helps to give you an extra cushion for times when you have to wait for someone’s approval on aspects of the event. You may also have to wait for items such as napkins to be printed with the company logo so it’s ideal to have time to work with your vendor’s schedules.

2. Plan Your Budget First & Carefully 


A well-planned company dinner starts with a well-planned budget. Once you’ve set a comfortable budget for the company event, it will ensure that the rest of the process of making the event happen fits entirely into what your budget allows, simplifying the event-planning process.

3. Finalise The Guest Count Ahead Of Time 


Forget estimating the number of guests – find out for sure who’s attending the dinner, and who isn’t. This can really help with planning seating and ensuring there is enough food to go around. Keep in mind that while you can give your guests time and the ability to change their attendance, it’s always best to make plans for slightly more people than you are expecting to show up.

4. Align The Venue’s Plans With The Theme 

The dinner decorations, menu, and layout all set the atmosphere for the event. Find out if the annual dinner should be a more formal or casual event. You should also know what the main focus of the event is to help plan the menu. For instance, small-scale, informal company dinners call for bite-sized appetizers that guests can nibble on as they chat, while formal dinners will require more focus on foods that are served at the table.

5. Plan the Menu in Advance 


The food is one of the main highlights at an annual dinner, and good caterers will always take care of everything you can think of. This includes giving you the choice of a suitable menu that has all your dietary requirements checked, and is ready to provide the choices you need to make all parties happy! Make menu planning a priority at the beginning of your planning sessions so that you have time to make corrections as needed.

6. Finalise The Dress Code And Seating Arrangements 


Now comes the final details, and they are just as important! Give your guests a heads-up on what to wear for the company annual dinner to be ready for it stylishly! Next, ensure your seating arrangements follow certain etiquette roles if it’s a formal dining event, such as having important guests be seated to the right of the host. Otherwise, having a planned table seating arrangement will ensure your company dinner runs smoothly.

Looking For The Right Caterer For Your Company Dinner In Singapore? 

Choosing the caterer for your company’s annual dinner is not as easy as it looks.

Every company annual dinner is different, and you want to make sure that all of your plans reflect your company’s culture, mission, and overall theme of the event. While it takes some extra planning, making sure that this event goes well pays off to make all the employees happy!

In fact, the best caterer can balance the quality as well as the presentation of the food while delivering the best bang for your budget! When you order a high tea catering from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and small menu items to choose from.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic high tea catering to all in Singapore. Keen to try our High Tea catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Event Catering

Buffet Caterer | Chilli Manis Catering

When it comes to planning an event, the food served during the event itself is often an item that is high on the priority list. Why? Because people love to eat! It’s a well-known fact that delicious food brings people together, and good food always results in happy guests!

However, if you’re planning or managing an event for the first time, you’ll know that food and food catering isn’t a simple outsourcing task and is much more complicated than it seems.

In this article, we’ll go through a few Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to event catering and where you can find catering services from one of the best high tea catering in Singapore has to offer.


What you should definitely do when it comes to event catering?

  • Do work out your budget carefully  

Your event hinges on your ability to budget properly. Before you attempt to start planning, work out exactly what you’re setting aside when it comes to food for your event. This includes catering hire, waste disposal, transport and accommodation. The specific details will be unique to your event. The goal is to work out exactly what each item will cost and prioritise the essentials.

Don’t be tempted to splash the cash on any impressive “extras” if the necessities are not already in place and accounted for. This is the best way of ensuring your event does not run over budget.

  • Do plan your schedule well in advance  

One of the first rules of smooth event planning is to make a schedule at the beginning of the event as soon as you have worked out your budget.

The best event planners put schedules together for every event they run, and this includes selecting and planning the food catering aspect of the event well in advance.

This can keep you calm and organised, and ensures you have some essential room to manoeuvre and come up with alternative solutions if anything doesn’t go to plan.

  • Do communicate clearly  

There are so many people involved in event planning that it is important to keep communication channels open between all of them.

This is especially true with your food caterer for your event. You will be responsible for liaising with your team, the venue, caterers, providers of equipment and your guests.

  • Do let the catering staff do their jobs

The catering staff knows what they are doing. If you have preferences for the staff, let them know ahead of time and not at the event. Typically the catering staff is more than willing to accommodate certain requests, but also keep in mind that this is their job and they work the way they do for a reason.

What you shouldn’t do when it comes to event catering?

  • Don’t change things last minute


Once you finalize everything with your caterer, stick to the plan. It’s hard for caterers to adjust once they have placed orders and are preparing for an event. Last-minute changes can create unneeded stress and confusion, such as adding people to the guest count once the number has been confirmed.


The majority of the time, a caterer will plan for a few extra guests, but having a large number of unaccounted people is not something a caterer is prepared for. Keeping the number consistent makes life easier not only for you and your guests but also for the caterer.

  • Don’t give the caterer an unrealistic timeframe to prepare for the event


Plan ahead. It takes time for the caterer to order food and schedule staff to work at an event. If you need a caterer ASAP, you may not be able to get exactly what you want. Also, please remember to give the caterer enough time to set up prior to the event start. There’s nothing worse than having a set-up taking place as guests arrive.

  • Assume every caterer can serve alcohol


If you would like alcohol served at your event, make sure your caterer is licensed to do so. It is easy to forget that not every catering company is permitted to serve alcohol, so double-checking is always a good idea.

Looking For The Right Caterer For High Tea Or Afternoon Tea In Singapore?  

Choosing the caterer for your Afternoon Tea or High Tea session is not as easy as it looks.

The best caterer can balance the quality as well as the presentation of the food while delivering the best bang for your budget!

When you order an afternoon tea or high tea catering Singapore from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and small menu items to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable Afternoon Tea or High Tea session.As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic Afternoon Tea to all in Singapore. Keen to try our Afternoon Tea or High Tea catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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Tips for Setting & Arranging a Perfect Buffet Table

arranging buffet table

If you’re throwing a part, mini gathering or just a small occasion, it’s always a good idea to consider a mini buffet to make things easier for both you and your guests!

However, no matter how convenient buffets are, they are also a few shortcomings. This includes people bunching up, messiness when it comes to self-serving food as well as the infamous long buffet line!

With a few simple tips, you can avoid these common pitfalls when it comes to buffets and ensures your mini buffet catering style gathering or catering is a success!

Here are a few essential tips on how to maintain an efficient yet high-quality buffet table line:

Tip 1 : Plates at the start of the table, cutlery & napkins in the end

As one of the most fundamental, yet important top to set up a buffet line, this allows your guest to have their hands available and free to hold their plates and take their food safely without the risk of spilling and dropping.

Tip 2 : Is your serving container suitable for the food?

For example – will your noodles need to be served in a soup bowl, or will a shallow plate be sufficient? This is key to avoid waste, mess and too many plates to clean after.

You should also consider the positioning of your food items. Dishes earlier in the line will be finished earlier, and the food items later down in the buffet line will last longer.

Tip 3 : Make space for a centrepiece decoration

Buffet tables aren’t just for food – it’s an excellent way to set the theme and feel of your mini gathering! Hence, attractive decorations can make or break your party, and the center of your buffet table is often the best place for this!

Tip 4 : Separate drinks from food

This is why you’ll often see drinks at a separate station from the food table at buffets. Drinks also often make its surrounding items wet as they are often chilled, and will not be great to be in proximity with hot and fresh food

You should also regularly clean your drink stations as they are notorious for spills and mess! Keeping that area clean by consistently wiping it down will make a major difference.

Tip 5 : Provide ample food disposal bins and trash cans

This is where stylish bins come in handy. With a higher number of these, your guests will have no issues disposing of their leftovers such as bones, skin and leftover gravy.

Be sure to use leak-proof bins or bags to contain the mess! These bins should be far away from the food but close enough for guests to spot and utilize.

Looking For The Right Caterer For A Mini Buffet Catering In Singapore?

Choosing the caterer for the perfect mini buffet catering is never an easy task.

The best caterer can balance the quality as well as the presentation of the food while delivering the best bang for your budget!

When you order mini buffet catering from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and small menu items to choose from as well as the certified expertise of our crew to set up your gathering without you lifting a finger!

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic mini buffet catering to all in Singapore. Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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3 Interesting Facts About Peranakan Food

curry laksa peranakan food

How much do you know about Singapore’s famous Peranakan food?

In fact, Peranakan cuisine is a unique and popular item that’s been around for decades. It prides itself on its rich, mouth-watering flavours that hold an immense amount of history and tradition to it.

While it consists of a mixture of Malay, Chinese, and Southeast Asian influences, there are subtle nuances about Peranakan food that differentiates it from the rest. In this article, let’s find out more about the interesting facts about Peranakan food buffet catering and where to find the best Peranakan buffet caterer in Singapore!

1. Peranakan and Nyonya are not exactly the same

Firstly, Peranakan means “locally born and bred”. This comes from the fact that many Chinese immigrants got married to the local population after they immigrated from China.

This act of coming together thus resulted in the cultivation of a new and unique culture with their own set of traditional beliefs and customs. With that came along their own style of cuisine!

On the other hand, “Baba Nyonya” is a term used by the Peranakan Chinese in Malaysia. These are words inspired by the Indonesian language!

2. Peranakan food is truly one of a kind

Peranakan food has become a global phenomenon for good reason – no two Peranakan dishes are alike!

As we already know, Peranakan cuisine consists of a combination of Chinese and local Malay cooking methods and spices. This is exactly the reason as to why Peranakan dishes are so distinctive, as each dish has been created or invented based on the chef’s interpretation and choice of ingredients.

Take, for example, some signature must-have ingredients in Peranakan food include the likes of coconut milk, tamarind, and lemongrass. This is why Peranakan food is famous for having a myriad of different flavours and dishes as a result of the various different ingredients. There are of course countless others, as Peranakan cuisine is known for being highly flavourful in their own ways!

3. Peranakan food requires a long and tedious cooking process

Unlike many other foods out there such as fast food, Peranakan cuisine isn’t a one-pot-wonder dish that can be prepared as a simple weekday dinner meal.

In fact, Peranakan food is renowned for its meticulous and tedious preparation before the food is cooked!

This is usually done many hours beforehand. For example, the meat or seafood that is going to be cooked will be marinated hours before to make sure that the flavour is well absorbed. Small ingredients such as spices are not left out during this preparation process too. Peranakan food cooks often grind their herbs with a mortar and pestle to make sure that the food has a strong and distinct flavour.

Another testament to the complexity of preparing Peranakan food is the Kueh Lapis, a confection made up of multiple layers, symbolising the ladder or prosperity. It takes skill and time to prepare all those layers!

For Peranakan people, food had a religious significance, and many dishes were originally served only on holidays.

Looking For The Right Caterer For Peranakan Buffets In Singapore?

Choosing the best caterer for your Peranakan food buffet in Singapore is no easy matter.

The best caterer combines the quality of your food well while delivering the best bang for your budget!

When you order a Peranakan buffet from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and small menu items to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable buffer event! Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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Things You Should Know About Afternoon Tea And High Tea

afternoon tea

While many of us have heard of high tea, there is, in fact, another form of tea tradition called afternoon tea. They’re often used interchangeably as many believe that they’re the same! This is understandable due to both tea traditions being steeped in British tradition and history.

In this article, we’ll explore the basic differences between the two and how do you go about organising the best high tea you can find!

What Is The Difference Between Afternoon Tea And High Tea?

Afternoon Tea is a British tradition of sitting down for an afternoon treat of tea, sandwiches, scones, and cake. While the name Afternoon Tea suggests it’s served at noon, it is instead served around 4PM.

In fact, Afternoon Tea is the occasion for what most people know as high-tea – it involves things like elaborate socialisation, detailed decorations that often include lace or even delicate finger foods that are bite-sized. Today, as before, they’re considered more of a ladies’ social occasion than men’s

On the other hand, high tea was a working-class meal served on a high table at the end of the workday. For workers in the newly industrialized Britain, tea time had to wait until after work – hence, tea was generally served with heartier dishes which were substantially more than just tea and cakes. High Tea was given its name because it was traditionally served at higher dinner tables, not because it involves a higher class of people!

What Do You Usually Eat During Afternoon Tea?

Today, Afternoon Tea is no longer a ‘quick snack’ between meals. It’s a treat or a ritual that we choose to indulge in! Naturally, this will then involve food that are enjoyed leisurely than other forms of food while spending time in lovely tea rooms and having amazing conversations with friends and family.

A typical Afternoon Tea menu is light in nature but doesn’t miss out on flavours. Common appearances are scones, tarts, finger sandwiches, assorted pastries, muffins and much more! They’re also usually served with an assortment of jam, marmalade, clotted cream lemon curds, and herbed butter. In terms of presentation, they often come in a multi-tiered platform that’s a delight to both your eyes and tastebuds!

Lastly, the favourite teas for Afternoon Tea include black teas like Earl Grey as well as lighter teas like Chamomile and Mint.

Looking For The Right Caterer For High Tea Or Afternoon Tea In Singapore?

Choosing the caterer for your Afternoon Tea or High Tea session is not as easy as it looks.

The best caterer can balance the quality as well as the presentation of the food while delivering the best bang for your budget!

When you order an afternoon tea or high tea catering in Singapore from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes and small menu items to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable Afternoon Tea or High Tea session.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic Afternoon Tea to all in Singapore. Keen to try our Afternoon Tea or High Tea catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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Important Questions You Need To Ask Your Food Caterer

question for food caterer

Are you looking to plan for a mini gathering, office party or just for an important board meeting? When it comes to planning any form of gathering, it is widely known that the quality of food will make or break its success!

However, having a good caterer that serves good food with great service is much easier said than done. In fact, caterers that serve food below the expected standard can be very frustrating for any event planner, and can ruin the gathering itself!

In this article, we’ll explore a few tips on choosing the best food catering service in Singapore and the key questions you should be asking your caterer to make sure they’re the right caterer for the job.

3 Tips On Selecting The Best Caterer

Tip 1 – Find A Caterer With Experience

Not every caterer is perfect or every type of event – and a good caterer will openly inform you of this. More importantly, you should find a caterer that specializes in the gathering that you’re planning to ensure they have the right kind of experience for you.

For example, caterers that excel in catering for wedding banquets would probably not excel in office-type gatherings even with ample experience and reputation.

Hence, you should always be specific about the type of event you are planning, the type of food and the exact presentation you are expecting. Otherwise, you may end up selecting a caterer who simply isn’t a good fit for the type or style of your gathering.

Tip 2 – Find A Caterer With Local Reputation And References

Want to know more about a potential caterer, and what it’s like to work with them? Want to find out if they consistently deliver their promises for the events that they were hired for?

Here’s what you can do – ask them for a list of references and past clients! A good caterer will happily let you contact their past clients and let the quality of their catering speak for themselves.

Tip 3 – Find A Caterer That Cooks Your Food Freshly For Your Event

Lastly, you should be sure about the method of preparation and delivery of the food that will be served at your gathering.

This is a key element of any food catering service that you choose in Singapore as it will affect your budget and timeline significantly.

For example, the typically more affordable option would be to have your food cooked offsite and brought to your gathering space. However, if you prefer freshly-cooked and by-the-order catering services, you should have a solid idea on how the caterer will fulfill this type of service efficiently.

Questions You Must Ask Your Food Caterer

If you’d like to ensure your food caterer is suitable for your next gathering, here are a few key questions across the most important categories to ask.

Venue & Availability

  • Do you have our event date available?
  • Do you have any other obligations that day?
  • How will your staff balance multiple events that day (or weekend)?
  • Have you ever catered at our venue before?
  • Can you accomplish our vision at our venue?
  • What are your specific needs to be able to cater at our venue?
  • How much space will you need at the venue?
  • How much time will you need for set-up and clean-up at our venue?

Food & Drink

  • Do you have a static menu, or can you do a custom menu?
  • What are your most popular dishes?
  • Do you offer halal food ?
  • Do you charge a bulk fee or cost per person?
  • What is the difference between a plated meal, buffet, family-style, etc.?
  • Can you make kid’s meals?
  • Can you provide vendor meals?
  • Can you take care of various allergy/dietary requests?
  • Will food be made on-site or brought in?
  • When will you need final menu choices?
  • When will you need a final headcount?
  • Where do you source your food from?
  • Can/how will you handle last-minute requests?
  • What are the portion sizes?
  • What do you do with leftovers?
  • If not, will you provide cake cutting services?
  • Do you offer other desserts?
  • Can you provide bartending services?
  • If so, will we need to provide alcohol, or can you?
  • Are any non-alcoholic beverages included in the food costs?

Others

  • How many events have you done in the past?
  • Do you have photos of past events and references from past clients?
  • Do you provide linens, table settings, and accessories?
  • What colors and style options do you have for linens, table settings, and accessories?
  • If you don’t provide linens, table settings, etc., will you handle coordinating the rental?
  • Will your staff handle setting place cards and menus, if desired?
  • Do you have the proper catering license requirements, as well as liability insurance?
  • Will we need any special event permits? Will you obtain those?
  • Will there be an onsite coordinator on day-of? Can we meet them ahead of time?
  • Can you provide a copy of your standard contract?
  • What is the amount of the deposit due to hold our date, and when will the remainder be due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Do you offer a payment plan?

Looking For The Right Caterer For Your Next Gathering?

Choosing the right food for your mini gathering can be challenging but with the help of a local catering service, you won’t have to be troubled by the preparations.

When you order mini buffet catering services from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable and cosy gathering.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic cuisine to all in Singapore. Keen to try our mini buffet catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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Planning A Business Conference Lunch Menu: Choosing The Right Menu

For most of us working adults, it’s fair to say that lunch is part of the highlight of our working day. It’s a nice respite from the first half of work, and it’s a great time to catch up with your colleagues.

But imagine having to plan for lunch not just you and your colleagues, but potentially hundreds of other people – if that sounds like a stressful scenario, then planning for a business conference lunch is exactly that!

In the world of business meetings, conferences or conventions, it’s common to have speaker presentations and panels that are followed by networking sessions that happen during lunch.

This is the challenge for business conference lunch planners – how do you make sure the food and service from your caterer make your conference a success with all the right ingredients? Is the common mini buffet catering the right way to go?

In this article, we’ll explore the important things to consider when you’re planning a business conference lunch as well as the different lunch event options that you should consider when planning your conference!

4 Things To Consider When Planning A Business Conference Lunch

1. Follow the theme of the occasion

Whether it’s specified or not, every conference has a theme to it, whether it’s a formal business conference theme that’s meant for corporate presentations, or a networking-focused theme where your guests are encouraged to mix among each other.

Regardless, you’ll want your lunch conference to reflect upon the formality of the conference and inspire or stimulate conversation. This means choosing the right kind of food to be served, the right kind of service and the right kind of ambiance.

2. Know your guests and their requirements

You’ll need to know who is coming to your event. Get as much information about your guests as possible before you start making food arrangements to create as inclusive a menu as possible.

This includes details such as specific food requirements. By doing proper research and guest vetting ahead of time, you can get the jump on crafting an inclusive menu.

3. Coordinate your lunch menu with the timing of the event

Half the success of a business conference lunch is down to timing. This is important to take note of because the final menu and food you decide upon will have different time lengths to consume, and it will affect the overall flow of the event itself.

For example, western menus such as sandwiches and salads will be much faster to consume, while certain menus that include multiple dishes and longer serving times will take up more time ,

If you’d like a longer and slower-paced business conference lunch, you should choose a menu where your guests can comfortably find the time to sit around and chat in a fixed location.

Different Types Of Business Conference Lunch Menu Options

Deli Buffets

Deli buffets are popular at simpler business conference lunches for a good reason – they’re economical, easy to choose from and are generic crowd-pleasers!

A great example of a deli buffet menu might include finger foods that are easy to serve and consume, such as:

  • Salads such as mixed greens, fruit salads, potato salads
  • Finger-friendly foods such as chips and drips
  • Miniature sandwiches that are bite-sized
  • No-frills and no-mess desserts such as cupcakes or brownies

Box Lunches

If you’ve done your research and preparation right, box lunches are one of the most effective menu choices to serve your guests at a business conference lunch. Think bento sets or cafeteria lunches that have fixed food items that come pre-packed!

The reasons are simple – they are incredibly easy to be distributed to your guests, easy to consume and often easy to clean and dispose of.

However, you should ensure that the food that’s included in the box lunches meet the dietary requirements of most of your guests as they can’t pick and choose their food as compared to other lunch menu options.

Mini Buffet Catering

With appropriate preparation and planning, a mini buffet catering is the best option for formal conferences with the goal of impressing guests and ensuring the outcome of the conference is successful.

In fact, showcasing a plethora of delicious dishes that your guests have the privilege to choose from is the best way to leave a lasting impression of an event. Luckily, you’re at the right place – Chilli Manis offers some of the best mini buffet catering services in Singapore!

Some of Chilli Manis’s signature mini buffet catering menus include:

  • International Mini Buffet
  • Peranakan Mini Buffet
  • Classic Mini Buffet

Looking For The Right Caterer For Your Business Conference Lunch?

Choosing the right food for your conference can be challenging, but with the help of an expert catering service, you won’t have to be troubled by the preparations!

When you order a mini buffet from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable conference.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic cuisine to all in Singapore. Keen to try our mini buffet catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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5 Peranakan dishes you have to try

Peranakan Dishes

Peranakan dishes, also known as Nonya cuisines are widely popular in the Southeast Asian region, especially in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Its unique and mouth-watering flavours go way back to when the Chinese emigrated to the region in the 15th century.

This allows for a blend of culture and tradition that ultimately influence their style of cooking. Along with rich food traditions, Peranakan dishes offer a taste of the region’s celebrated history. Before we dive deeper into the dishes, here’s a brief meaning of the terms associated with the Peranakan Chinese.

The Peranakan Chinese often refer to themselves as Baba-Nonya. The term Baba is the honorific for Straits-Chinese men. Initially borrowed by the Malays from the Hindustani language, it slowly became part of the common language. Meanwhile, the term Nonya refers to Straits-Chinese women. It was borrowed from the old Portuguese word for lady, donha.

As these terms gradually became part of the Peranakan’s identity, their cuisine too became a part of it with an array of dishes named after the term Nonya. If you haven’t tried any of the Peranakan cuisines in your lifetime, you’re missing out on one of the most unique food combination, one that’s tangy, spicy, herbal, and aromatic.

Bear in mind that no two dishes are the same as the cuisine varies according to town and region. The Nonya food that you get in Singapore may taste different from the ones you get in Malaysia or Indonesia. If you’re looking to try some of the Peranakan dishes but you’re not sure where to start, don’t fret. We’re here to help you out.

Here are the five dishes you should try for your first taste of Peranakan food.

1. Signature Kampong Dry Laksa

Normally, we have clear broth noodle soup with additional meat or seafood. The Peranakans however, have tweaked the recipe to create a dish, known as laksa, that’s not only beloved by Singaporeans but also Malaysians. This fusion dish is a result of the Peranakan’s innovative way to create a dish that’s tangy and spicy.

The dish is a blend of regional influence with coconut milk from Indonesia and Assam from Malaysia, which makes it a spicy and filling dish. As most of the laksa we know comes with gravy, Chilli Manis has switched up the recipe to create a Signature Kampong Dry Laksa. It’s worth a try if you haven’t tried dry laksa before.

2. Signature Ayam Buah Keluak

As one of the supreme Peranakan dishes, cooking the Ayam Buah Keluak is a tricky feat. The rich taste comes from the seeds of the kepayang tree, a tall tree that’s now a heritage in Singapore. Preparing the seeds can take more than a month as the seed is poisonous if uncooked.

The seeds undergo several processes to remove the hydrogen cyanide. Luckily, modern developments have made things easier and you can find ready-to-cook seeds at the market. Besides, you’ll need to simmer the chicken and kepayang seeds with tamarind and some spices to create a flavourful dish.

3. Udang Masak Nenas

This signature Peranakan dish is a must-try if you love eating foods that are sweet and sour. The sauce has a unique combination which results from the sheer sweetness and sourness of the tamarind and pineapple, pungency from the belacan (shrimp paste) along with the creaminess of the coconut milk and heat from the chillies.

These ingredients may seem incompatible with each other but can create a dish that’s both flavorful and tasty. It’s similar to the sweet and sour fish but has more flavours. If you haven’t tried this dish, you ought to give it a try. If you never try, you’ll never know.

4. Nonya Chap Chye with Mushroom

Chap chye is Hokkien for mixed vegetables. This dish is a simple stir-fried vegetable which originates from China. Along with the use of taucheo and prawn stock, the Peranakans have switched the dish up a notch to give it the spicy and flavourful taste.

The ingredients consist of sweet cabbage, cloud fungus, woodsy lily bud, tofu skin, and vermicelli. These ingredients then absorb the rich sauce flavours to give you a satisfying yet tasty vegetable dish.

5. Pulut Hitam with Coconut Milk

As one of the most popular desserts in this region and also for the high tea catering in Singapore, Pulut Hitam with Coconut Milk is a Peranakan dessert that shouldn’t be missed. Made of black glutinous rice and coconut milk, this equivalent of a rice porridge can relief your tastebuds after trying all the dishes above.

The glutinous rice is first sweetened with either palm sugar or rock sugar to give it a rich flavour. Depends on how you like to have it, you can also mix the coconut milk into the glutinous rice for a more creamy texture.


If you’re keen to try these dishes, Chilli Manis offers a catering service for you to try along with your family or friends.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic Peranakan cuisine to all in Singapore. You will savour nothing less than a delectable array of Peranakan fare. Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

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Exciting mini buffet ideas for the holidays

mini buffet ideas for holidays

The year-end holidays are always exciting as it marks the end of another year. However, everyone will remember this year as one of the toughest years due to the global pandemic. As we continue to stay home (possibly until early next year), what better way to end the year than hosting a small gathering with some of our closest family and friends?

A small gathering is still a gathering, considering how much time and effort it takes to organise one. What’s important is the company (people) and food. Given that we Singaporeans have a passion for eating, it’s no surprise that you will want to choose the right food to make the gathering a memorable one.

It can be challenging to choose the right food as the one question that we always ask ourselves when it’s time for lunch is “What to eat ah?”. With a variety of cuisines to choose from, how do you choose the right food that’s ideal for a cosy gathering?

If planning for a small gathering seems a handful, you can opt for a catering service by Chilli Manis.

Ahead, we’re sharing our food recommendations from our mini buffet in Singapore that’ll be just right for the holiday season.


Peranakan Mini Buffet

Signature Kampong Dry Laksa

This signature Peranakan dish is a blend of regional influence with coconut milk and assam, making it a spicy and tangy dish. It’s the ideal dish to introduce Peranakan flavours to your family or friends. That’s if they’ve never had the chance to try any Peranakan dishes.

Signature Ayam Buah Keluak

This iconic dish is significant of the Peranakan flavours for its unique cooking method due to the process needed to prepare the keluak nuts. Its spicy and savoury mix of spice-filled gravy along with pieces of chicken make it seem similar to the curry chicken but has more flavours than the latter.

Otah Wrapped with Banana Leaf

This mouth-watering blend of fish paste and spices is considered a local favourite as it packs a punch of delicious flavours wrapped in banana leaf. It’s one of the dishes that is fairly authentic to the Peranakan flavours – tangy, spicy, and aromatic.

Pulut Hitam with Coconut Milk

This luscious dessert is one that shouldn’t be missed to wrap up your small holiday gathering and perfect for a high-tea session. Made of black glutinous rice and coconut milk, this equivalent of a rice porridge can relief the tastebuds after eating all the spicy and tangy Peranakan dishes.


Classic Mini Buffet

Fragrant Thai Pineapple Rice

With rice being a staple of every Singaporean household, it’s no surprise that you’ll want this dish to be present at your small gathering. This dish is perfected with fresh pineapples for a taste that’s unique and bound to leave an impression on your family and friends.

Fish Fillet with Homemade Sambal

A classic dish that’s certainly loved by many, the fish fillet is deep-fried to crisp perfection. This dish goes well with our homemade sambal to give you a fiery yet tasty dining experience.

Homemade Chicken Ngoh Hiang

This nostalgic dish initially came from Eastern China and is mainly comprised of meat and vegetables. You can rest assured that our homemade Ngoh Hiang is made of chicken meat so that everyone can enjoy it. The making of this dish is similar to the Otah Wrapped with Banana Leaf except that it’s wrapped with bean curd skin.

Loh Han Vegetable with Black Fungus

When it comes to classic home-cooked dishes, the vegetable is a must-have on any dining table. Although it’s a typical mixed vegetable dish, a little green can add balance to any of the dishes above.


Choosing the right food for your mini gathering can be challenging but with the help of a local catering service, you won’t have to be troubled by the preparations.

When you order a mini buffet from Chilli Manis, you’ll have a variety of dishes to choose from. You can also mix and match your dishes for a memorable and cosy gathering.

As a halal-certified caterer, we seek to present the most authentic cuisine to all in Singapore. Keen to try our mini buffet catering services? Contact us at 6250 1112 or email sales@chillimanis.com.sg.

Read more

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