Algerian Ecuadorian Events German Indian Salvadoran Taiwanese

Surrey Fusion Festival 2019 – Multicultural Food Event

July 25, 2019
A birds-eye view of the tents at Surrey's Fusion Festival

2 days. 50 countries. Thousands of people. Concerts and performances throughout. And the opportunity to gorge on foods from regions as far-flung as Kazakhstan and Togo. You bet your milky buns Surrey Eats was all over Fusion Festival to bring you the incredible edible action!

Surrey Fusion Festival crowds
Surrey Fusion Festival 2019

The crowds were as diverse as the tents, everybody soaking up the 31 degree sun and enjoying the vibrant cultures that make Surrey such an exciting place to live, work and play.


Algerian sweets including Maple nuts and crusted dates
Algerian Sweets

We started the festivities with a sample from the friendly family at the Algerian tent. They were offering healthy sweets like fruit-and-pistachio-crusted dates and maple-candied nuts. Both were sublime but…

A merguez hot dog covered in sauces with a side of fries and a side salad. It's on a paper plate set on a blue patterned tablecloth. Photo taken at Surrey Fusion Festival.
Algerian Merguez

THIS was where Algeria really shined. I think the Algerian Merguez ($8) was my favourite food item from the entire Fusion Festival. This “sandwich” was made up of natural lamb sausage sheathed in lambskin for your pleasure, loaded with fragrant cumin and smothered in a mixture of spicy Algerian sauce and thyme-and-basil Mediterranean sauce with a hidden underbelly of cooked onion and garlic tucked under the sausage.

Quite possibly the best hot dog I’ve ever had, the creators of this delicacy used to run Fez on Robson St. and continue to supply their merguez to high-end restaurants in the city. They’re currently trying to get these lamb-skinned wonders into Costco, so keep an eye out and both fingers crossed!


Craig from Surrey Eats holding a black tea with pearls. It has a purple straw.
Black Tea with Pearls

I was badly in need of a pick-me-upper and a cool down, so what better way to satisfy my urges than with some of Taiwan’s finest bubble tea! Although as is often the case I forgot to ask for Half Sweet. The Black Tea with Pearls was $5.

5 pieces of deep fried stinky tofu with hotsauce and pickled cabbage on a plate at Surrey Fusion Festival
Deep Fried Stinky Tofu

And I guess with these I forgot to ask for Full Stink. The Deep Fried Stinky Tofu ($6) didn’t give me the usual throat-punch of sweaty sock taste I was looking for, in fact the pickled cabbage salad was stinkier than the tofu. Give this a pass next year, they’ve obviously dumbed down the recipe for Surrey Fusion Festival, perhaps so as to not overwhelm the other tents with their deliciously repugnant stench.

Taiwanese wheelcakes cooking at Surrey Fusion Festival 2019

Craig wisely passed on the stinky tofu but wanted to try these Wheelcakes (3 for $5) which were new to both of us.

Breaking open a wheelcake to reveal the Oreo cookie filling
Oreo Wheelcake

We had custard, Oreo, and Nutella. Craig scarfed all the custard before I got to try but I will say the Nutella was pretty delish. The fluffy pancake covering kept the creamy Nutella nice and warm inside even though we saved it for last. The Oreo was soft not crunchy. I’m not a big fan of Oreos but I prefer this to the cookie for sure.

El Salvador

A chicken tamale served on a banana leaf with hotsauce and cabbage salad
Chicken Tamale

Next on our Fusion Festival rounds was the El Salvador tent run by the folks at El Cocal catering. Craig chose the Chicken Tamale ($5). There was just no way to make this look pretty, sorry guys! Smears of brown hotsauce, clumpy curtido (cabbage salad), and a squished up tamale were served up on a banana leaf.

There was a big chunk or two of chicken inside the tamale, chunky potato, chickpeas, and olives WITH PITS! C’mon guys, are you inviting a lawsuit? How about a heads up, we definitely weren’t expecting that in a soft tamale!

A pupusa with hotsauce and cabbage salad
Traditional Pupusa

I was excited to try the Traditional Pupusa ($6) after hearing how polarizing the main ingredient is. Loroco flower is apparently quite perfume-y, and I heard that people really love it or hate it. Also it’s supposedly quite hard to come by in Canada so I jumped at the opportunity.

Unfortunately they either didn’t use enough or got their hands on a bad batch because there was definitely nothing offensive about this pupusa, I could only taste the cheese and didn’t detect even a hint of fragrance.

Corn on the cob covered with hotsauce and parmesan, from the El Salvador tent at Surrey Fusion Festival
Elotes Locos

The Elotes Locos ($5) was a step up from the last two rather bland offerings. The sweet succulent corn was a great showcase for El Cocal’s homemade hotsauce and the butter and parmesan brought the salt. Perfect eats for the hot summer weather of Surrey Fusion Festival.


A top-down shot of a plate of mangos covered with salt and chili powder on a red tablecloth at Fusion Festival
Mangos Locos

We’re just getting totally cray cray today with all this “loco” business. If you thought the corn was crazy wait til you see what these vatos do with a mango. Chili powder, salt, and lemon juice. Yup, call the ambulance and bring out the straitjackets. Actually Mangos Locos ($6) is quite popular across Latin America and with good reason. The flavours blend seamlessly together to create a well-rounded taste experience.

I get this every year, but just remember to watch out when you turn to leave the tent with your plate of insanity… The mangoes are slippery and the ground in front of the tent was littered with casualties. CRAAAAZY!!


Craig from Surrey Eats holds up half an Indo Mie Noodle Burrito and a package of Indo Mie Mi Goreng instant noodles
Indo Mie Noodle Burrito

CRAZY NOODLE BURRITO! Yeah if anything’s a little nuts it’s this Indo Mie Noodle Burrito ($5), courtesy of the folks at Surrey Fusion Festival’s Indonesia tent. It came with a free packet of instant noodles which was a nice touch. Chicken, purple cabbage and carrots, fried and fresh onion. Not as terrible as you might think, but nothing here that’s going to wow anyone either.


Alfajores, a cookie filled with dulce de leche and covered in coconut flakes from Uruguay at the Surrey Fusion Festival
Alfajores de Maicena

Alfajores de Maicena ($2) are a soft and crumbly buttery cookie made from corn starch and filled with dulce de leche and crusted with coconut. Super sweet but small, about three bites worth. Alfajores have a rich tradition dating back to 16th century Spain and come in a variety of styles, with Uruguay having a distinctly separate recipe from its honey, flour and almond-based Spanish counterpart.


A man cooking pork hocks at Surrey Fusion Festival 2019
Pork Hocks

The lineups just did not let up for the German tent and it’s rows upon rows of rotating pork hocks. No matter how many they served up they just could not keep up with the hordes of hog-loving Surrey Fusion Festival goers.

A half pork hock, chopped up and covered in mustard and barbecue sauce, with sauerkraut on the side
Half Hock

The Half Hock ($10) was definitely worth the wait though, and the golden brown glistening pork lit up and luminescent in the midday sun was the stuff of poetic reverie. We slathered ours up with mustard and barbecue sauce, which dripped down onto the hearty slice of multigrain bread hidden beneath. The sauerkraut was strong and pungent and this was probably the most filling meal and despite the price, possibly most bang for your buck at the fest.


Milky bun, a toasted doughnut filled with ice cream and covered in chocolate cookie sprinkles
Milky Bun

We had just enough time and tickets left for one last dessert at the Surrey Fusion Fest, so I picked this Milky Bun ($5) to go out with a bang. This disgustingly decadent dessert features a frosted donut sliced in half, dolloped with a scoop of ice cream in the middle (cookies and cream was recommended to me without a moment’s hesitation by the girl manning the tent), TOASTED and topped with even more sickly sweet toppings.

I chose cookie crumble to go with the theme and caramel drizzle to make the ice cream scoop in the center sundae-style. If you could freebase sugar this would be the feel I’m sure. If you dare to order this best to warn your friends in advance that you may be acting a little strange for the next couple hours…

And yes they use a special panini press to toast the doughnut without melting the ice cream. It’s called a Waring PreGel and the thought immediately crossed my mind that I NEED ONE OF THESE!! Unfortunately they retail for over $500 US.

If you’ve been following Surrey Eats lately you know what time it is, check out the pics below and see if you’ve been featured! Til next time Surrey.

  • Two Ugandans wearing Uganda shirts
  • Ukrainian women playing accordion and some type of fiddle thing
  • Surrey police stand in front of a seized vehicle
  • A smiling woman holds a whole pineapple drink with an umbrella in it
  • An African musical troupe performing at Surrey's Fusion Festival 2019
  • An Algerian women sits with her daughter while cutting sweets
  • Craig from Surrey Eats holds up a whole melon drink while wearing a Surrey Eats shirt
  • A native man dressed in colourful traditional garb
  • An Asian man brushing sauce on barbecue skewers at Fusion Fest
  • Momo dumplings at Surrey Fusion Festival
  • Craig from Surrey Eats sits in a cardboard Indian tuk tuk cutout
  • Traditional dancers from Indonesia holding fans and wearing brightly coloured outfits
  • James from Surrey Eats holding a whole pineapple drink
  • K'naan giving a thumbs up to the crowd at Surrey Fusion Fest
  • An elderly woman cooks pupusas and tamales at Surrey's Fusion Fest
  • Close-up of Matt from Surrey Eats eating stinky tofu
  • Khushi, Miss Greater Vancouver poses at the Fsuion Festival
  • A Pakistani man stands in front of a pile of barbecue meat holding up two fingers
  • Surrey Fusion Festival dessert
  • Matt from Surrey Eats stands with two stilt walkers at Fusion
  • Asian woman holding meat skewers at Surrey Fusion Festival
  • Man selling a slushie at Surrey Fusion Festival
  • Dessert at Surrey Fusion Festival
Author: Matt

Prior to joining the Surrey Eats crew, Matt's love of all things edible and passion for writing led him to long-running food blog Eat 'n About where he penned articles under the nom de plume Hitman Howdy for several years. Matt's also been published in various local magazines, and is an extremely adventurous eater who has dined on things that would make Anthony Bourdain blush. Matt enjoys the melting pot of international cuisine on offer in Surrey and hopes to help put his beloved stomping grounds on the map as a smorgasbord for food-lovers of all ethnicities. SURREY WHAT!!



Surrey, BC

Hi my name is Craig and welcome to my food blog! Join me and my crew as we eat our way around Surrey BC's local dining scene reviewing the hottest restaurants, covering all the latest food events and news, and uncovering plenty of hidden gems along the way. This site aims to be your one-stop shop for everything you need to navigate Surrey's cuisine like a foodie boss! While you're here why not follow us on social and get access to all sorts of deals, steals and giveaways: