Cover Heritage feast (Image: Kin)

The local culinary icon has partnered The Lo & Behold Group to establish Kin, which celebrates heritage cuisine in an upscale setting

After leaving Folklore, many wondered what chef Damian D'Silva was up to. Gourmands didn't have to wait too long when he announced he was opening Kin at Straits Clan. The restaurant, which still serves his signature heritage cuisine, is in partnership with The Lo & Behold Group.

1. A-team

Local chef Damian D’Silva’s mission has always been to take heritage cuisine to new heights, and for his latest project, he has teamed up with hospitality company, The Lo & Behold Group, to open Kin at private members’ club Straits Clan. His goal is to showcase Singapore’s rich culinary identity by recreating lost or forgotten recipes through time-honoured cooking methods. From sambals to rempahs, D’Silva makes everything from scratch, while ingredients and produce are sourced from local suppliers.

(Related: Singaporean Chef Damian D’Silva Ups His Game With New Restaurant Kin At Straits Clan)

2. Local champion

D’Silva’s life has always revolved around food, growing up with a grandfather, who was an expert in Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian dishes, and a grandmother who specialised in Peranakan cuisine. With a passion for cooking, he pursued a career in the kitchen and worked overseas to lay his foundations in European cooking. However, he realised that he wanted to prepare the heritage fare he grew up eating, so he returned to Singapore and established Soul Kitchen (2002–2005), Immigrants (2013–2015) and Folklore (2017–2019) restaurants.

(Related: What Do Michelin Guide Singapore’s Newly-Minted Chefs Think About Our Changing Fine Dining Scene?)

3. Heritage feast

The babi masak assam is a Peranakan dish that is getting more and more difficult to find outside of Peranakan households. D’Silva’s version features pork belly and ribs simmered until the meat is fall-apart tender, and is brimming with salted vegetables and piqued with Chinese mustard. Gulai, which originated in Indonesia, has many variations; the chef’s take sees the beef slow-cooked in a gravy similar to that of rendang, but enlivened with Indian spices. 

4. Inventive tipples

D’Silva believes that wine pairing is subjective, especially when it is matched with strong, robust flavours. Which is why the wine list at Kin focuses on varietals—the likes of chenin blanc, vouvray or rosé—that can hold their own when served with the dishes. There is also a selection of cocktails, such as the potent Gibette, which D’Silva’s grandfather used to make.

(Related: A Guide To Choosing The Right Stemware For Wine And Champagne)

5. Beautiful interiors

Kin’s location at the lobby of Straits Clan is apt, as it has become a venue that celebrates all things local. The Lo & Behold Group managing partner Wee Teng Wen explains: “The group’s mission has always been to create experiences that tell a unique Singaporean story… we’re incredibly honoured to support our leading local culinary icon, Damian, to really bring this appreciation to new heights.” 

Kin | 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, S(089845) | 6320 9180

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