Christmas is a significant occasion for Chef Damian and his paternal Eurasian family. During his childhood, it was one of his favourite holiday seasons where young Damian and his loved ones would stay over at his grandfather’s place for the annual yuletide celebrations.
His grandfather, and culinary mentor, would cook up a Eurasian festive storm, grand enough for a week of celebration and feasting with relatives, neighbours and friends. The elaborate fare featured a myriad of traditional Eurasian dishes, and most were specially prepared and enjoyed only during Christmas, marking the spirit of celebration at the D’Silva’s home.
“Granddad was such a great cook, and very hospitable. He would open his house during Christmas for friends, neighbours and relatives to come by to feast. Many would also bring along their friends as granddad was known and well-loved for his great culinary skills,” Chef Damian reminisced.
This festive season, from 14 to 31 December, Chef Damian will be showcasing some of his family traditions at Folklore, introducing lesser known heritage dishes from his grandfather’s repertoire, and serving up some of the well-received festive dishes that were showcased n past celebratory menus.
The festive menu presents seven time-honoured Eurasian dishes; available for dine-in and take away.
Presenting White Debal, Chef Damian’s family’s piquant rendition of the popular Eurasian stew commonly referred to as the Curry Devil. Traditionally made with an amalgamation of the leftover meats from the Christmas feasts, the white debal is a moreish marriage of chicken, mustard seeds, vinegar, spice paste and house-made pickles.
Whetting the appetite further is the Eurasian Pork Vindaloo, a traditional curry dish which originated from Goa. It is a mildly spicy meat stew with vinegar and granddad D’Silva would prepare this dish using bone-in pork chops, his blend of spice paste and vinegar.
Another cherished heritage dish is the fiery Dry Mutton Curry, a flavourful hearty stew prepared Indian style that packs a spicy punch. The mutton is cooked with a collection of dry spices like cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, pepper, and spice paste over long hours till the flavours of the spices are fully absorbed into the meat.
On a rare sweet indulgent note is the Bolu Cocu, bearing similar shape to the local snack kuih bahulu, a teatime cake perfumed with grated coconut and the ambrosial scent of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, baked in a brass dome-shaped mold.
Chef Damian shared, “In the early days, it was rare for families to own an oven. Therefore, granddad improvised by building a make-shift oven using a big empty biscuit tin, and charcoal to bake the bolu-cocu. The aroma emanating from the tin box was simply sublime.”
Making their glorious return are some all-time Christmas favourites, like Feng, a festive staple featuring assorted pig’s offal stewed with 18 different spices.
The freshly baked Eurasian Christmas Pie is filled with generous amounts of scrumptious chicken, meat balls, pork sausages, potatoes and carrots; topped with a buttery puff pastry baked to a golden brown perfection.
The celebrated Sugee Cake makes its anticipated re-appearance, and teases with its buttery rich, moist yet light and nutty crumb of almond meal.
Folklore’s Christmas menu will be available for lunch and dinner from 14 December to 31 December. Festive meal takeaways are available with an advance booking of 5 working days (last day to order is 25 December). Takeaways are available for all items except Eurasian Christmas Pie and Bolu Cocu.
Eurasian Christmas Menu 14 to 31 Dec 2018
White Debal Chicken and housemade achar cooked in rempah, vinegar, and mustard seed
Vindaloo Mildly spicy bone-in pork chop curry
Dry Mutton Curry Dry mutton curry prepared Indian style
Eurasian Christmas Pie Chicken, pork balls, pork sausages, carrots, potatoes cooked with mixed spices, topped with puff pastry
Feng Assortment of pig’s offal cooked in a blend of 18 spices
Bolu Cocu Coconut sponge cake
$8++ per slice
Sugee Cake $10++ for 3 slices
$54 nett (for 1 kg)
The restaurant will accept takeaway orders from 14 to 25 December with 5 days advance notice.
Destination Singapore Beach Road 700 Beach Road, Level 2 Singapore 199598
T. +65 6679 2900 / +65 9021 9700
Instagram: @folkloresg Facebook: folkloresg
Opening hours 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)