Chef Damian D’Silva
Celebrating its first anniversary this year, Folklore continues to warm the hearts and stomachs of diners, and share Singapore’s heritage food tales by introducing more family recipes from Chef Damian D’Silva.
Chef Damian serves up dishes close to his heart – precious family recipes passed down for generations; some of which are adapted from neighbours and family friends. Each is cooked ‘the old way’: from scratch without shortcuts or compromise, and with lots of soul.
The new menu introduces diners to a wider repertoire of heritage dishes from the Peranakan, Eurasian, Malay and Chinese kitchens. The arduous preparation of ingredients has made a rarity of many of these dishes. At Folklore, Chef Damian insists on using age-old, time intensive techniques to yield deep and soulful flavours.
Prawn Sambal with Petai
Introducing Prawn Sambal with Petai, a family recipe of fragrant and piquant sambal cooked with prawns and royal beans. This is Chef Damian’s all-time favourite recipe passed down by his grandmother, who used to make it regularly for the family, as Petai was highly regarded for its nutritional values. The pungent petai is cooked with Peranakan spice paste – rempah, and fresh prawns, this flavourful dish pairs perfectly with steamed rice.
Sotong Masak Sambal Belado
Sotong Masak Sambal Belado, a recipe close to Aunty Zainab’s heart – a dear family friend from Indonesia. The dish features fresh squid cooked in fiery sambal made with tomatoes, chilies, lime and lemon basil leaves. Belado is a spicy, flavourful and nuanced chili paste. It is made from freshly grounded chili slow-cooked for long hours till they are beautifully caramelised into a rich, luscious and intense chilli paste. Tomatoes are then slow-cooked into the paste, and squids are added before serving for a quick wok-fry. The sweetness from the squid makes the overall dish irresistible.
Ikan Assam Surani
Ikan Assam Surani is a dish of baby threadfin cooked in a mild sweet and sour gravy of a grounded paste of turmeric, shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and chilies. The meticulous slicing of garlic, shallots, and chilies to specific sizes has been taken over by machines in modern times, thus hardly prepared the traditional way by Peranakans of today. Chef Damian insists on continuing this practice.
Ambiler Kacang with Belly Pork
Ambiler Kacang with Belly Pork – a Eurasian dish with Malay influences, ambiler means whetting the appetite in Kristang. This mouthwatering mildly-spiced paste is made from a myriad of spices usually used in Eurasian curries. Tamarind liquid is added to lift the overall flavour with a tangy note, making it moreish.
Opor Ayam is a rich and flavourful hearty dish originated from Indonesia. The poultry is cooked with a non-spicy blend of wet spices, together with ground cumin and coriander, and enriched with coconut milk before served.
An all-time favourite, Sayur Lodeh – classic vegetable Malay dish cooked in a blend of wet spices with young jackfruit, beancurd, tempeh and seasonal sukun. Sukun, or breadfruit, is a tropical fruit grown in South Asia and Oceania islands. The seedless fruit, rare to find in today’s local market, complements the timeless dish with a creamy and savoury palate.
Chef Damian is re-introducing some of his well-received dishes that were showcased in the past celebratory menus. Debal or ‘Curry Devil’ – the Eurasian spicy stew made from pork ribs, ham and bacon bones, cooked long hours over the stove with rempah, mustard and vinegar. And, Curry Capitang, a Eurasian dish of chicken cooked in a sweltering paste of dried chilies, shallots, lemongrass, galanghal, shrimp paste, garlic and lime juice.
Bakwan Kepiting or crab meat balls soup
Diners can also look forward to the soulful Bakwan Kepiting or crab meat balls soup, where fresh crab meat is mixed with minced pork and prawn, rolled into the shape of coins, then cooked in prawn and pork stock.
Itek Teem, an appetising duck broth brewed to perfection with salted vegetables, ginger, garlic, sour plum and tomatoes.
Peranakan Chap Chye
The refreshed menu also features some mainstays such as Peranakan Chap Chye, a particularly tasty dish of the Chef’s Peranakan grandmother, made with pork and prawn stock, and braised until the medley of ingredients has fully absorbed all the flavours of cooking.
Sambal Buah Keluak
Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice, a laborious dish where the pulp of the buah keluak nut is extracted by hand one at a time, with the sambal and minced pork taking two h ours to co ok. The flavoursome paste is then wok-fried with rice and 4 angled beans before being topped with a fried egg.
Singgang, a long-lost Eurasian dish of wolf herring, is meticulously de-boned and cooked in a non-spicy paste.
A champion to preserve the local culinary tradition and inspire the next generation to embrace and care about Singapore heritage food, Chef Damian hopes the rejuvenated menu brings forth heartwarming food memories and the basic joy of enjoying food with loved ones.
Destination Singapore Beach Road
700 Beach Road, Level 2
T. +65 6679 2900 / +65 9021 9700
Monday–Sunday: Lunch: 12.00 pm – 2.30 pm (Last order 2.15 pm) Dinner: 6.00 pm – 9.30 pm (Last order 9.15 pm)
Inside seating: 80 seats
Outside seating: 20 seats