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
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
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