Monday, September 11

Folklore, Destination Singapore Beach Road

Despite being Singaporean and once upon a time a food blogger, I'm woefully under-educated in the world of Peranakan foo-, I mean, cuisine. My knowledge of Peranakan or Nonya cuisine fall along the lines of kuehs, chap chye and curry chicken. Sacrileges, yeah? Well, not any longer.

Thanks for Chef Damian D'Silva, I have gained an appreciation for Peranakan food and at the end of the meal I was even wondering if there was a kind Peranakan who would teach me how to make all those dishes. HA, who am I kidding? I am probably too careless to carry out all that laborious work by myself. Oh well, at least I know where I can get my fix whenever those Peranakan pangs hit.

Created in 2001, the Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice is one of Chef D'Silva’s signature and it has quite the following. I love love love fried rice. I could eat it everyday if it didn’t go straight to my hips. I took a bit of the Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice and all I could think of was, What the devil is it this glorious hideous-looking mess? I can finally see why people call buah keluack "black gold.” Awesome wok hei, a solid knock-out.

The classic Ngoh Hiang (stuffed with water chestnuts, minced pork and prawns) is not unlike anything you would have tasted. Sure, its predictable but it is also crowd pleaser so don’t find your feelings.

The Babi Assam boasted soft fatty wobbly chunks of pork belly braised in sweet tangy tamarind sauce. I like how it wasn't slathered in sauce but caramelized and slick. Eating it would make you feel like you are cheating on your cardiologist. Shh, nobody needs to know.

The Peranakan Chap Chye was another game-changing dish. And by game-changing, I’m referring to the addition of sweet holy pork belly. The usual suspects cabbage., beancurd skin, tung hoon and black fungus gently braised in a pork and prawn stock until they have fully soaked in DAH flavours. Deceptively simple and a must-order.

Ayam Lemak Chilli Padi was one heck of a curry chicken dish. Fiery, aromatic and richly-spiced, it is a lot more complex than it appears. I knew I would pay for it later, but I couldn't help myself from slurping up the gravy.

Oxtail stew is one of those dishes I loved as a kid. But of course, I never had anything like this and I wish I could buy the gravy by the pack. Slow-cooked in more spices than I can count of remember, the oxtail itself yielded easily without losing any of its gelatinous texture. Another stellar dish.

Kueh Kosui has never been my favourite kueh. It always felt a little stodgy and insipid, unlike the cool kids kueh salat and ondeh ondeh. Of course, by now, you would have realised that Folklore does things a little differently here. The Kueh Kosui is commendably soft, with the grated coconut lending some textural contrast.

Another dessert we had was the Kueh Bengkah with vanilla ice cream. The tapioca cake is rather dense but paired with vanilla ice cream and gula melaka, this trio makes for a delightful treat.

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