Cover Chef Damian D'Silva

The local chef’s new space will open on December 10 and will offer an extensive menu of his signature heritage dishes and forgotten recipes

You could say that Singaporean chef Damian D’Silva has made it his life’s mission to champion heritage cuisine—from his now-shuttered stalls in Bedok and Holland Grove to previous ventures such as Folklore and Restaurant Kin. While the latter had to close when Mandala Club took over the Straits Clan space this year, D’Silva continued feeding our appetites for his delicious cooking with his three-month takeout concept, Damian’s Cookhouse, while planning for his next move.

The wait is finally over as his new concept, Rempapa, will open on December 10 at Paya Lebar Quarter. Its name is taken from the word rempah (Malay for spice paste) and papa, which is a tribute to the chef’s reputation as the custodian of Singaporean food. It’s an all-day dining concept where he’ll be serving his own brand of ‘Singapore New Heritage Cuisine’, showcasing the country’s rich culinary legacy but made more relevant to all generations. As D’Silva puts it: “If our heritage and the cuisine it embraces is forgotten, it will forever be lost.”

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FEAST APLENTY

The extensive menu encompasses the flavours of Chinese, Peranakan, Eurasian, Indian and Malay cuisines, and features the classic recipes of his culinary influences such as his pop, grandma and aunty Zainab. From these, you’ll get the likes of sambal udang, babi pongteh, debal chicken with roasted pork and Hakka fried pork.

There are also the ‘new’ old heritage recipes that D’Silva will be serving for the first time, among which are the fried Nyonya fish cake, Sri Lankan chicken curry and tomato, and lamb leg rendang.

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NEW RENDITIONS

Of course, there are offerings that have been reimagined to cater to the younger guests; the pork chop curry rice is the perfect example. Inspired by their love for the pork katsu-don, D’Silva coats the pork with hand-pounded cream crackers as per the classic Hainanese recipe before it’s deep-fried. It’s served with a rich curry made with a concoction of herbs and spices, and topped with radish pickles for an acerbic kick.

Another standout is the chicken curry, a more toned down version of the traditional curry dish cooked using Malaysian and Eurasian curry powder mixes, rempah, coconut water, ginger and lemongrass.

D’Silva is also offering an immersive experience through the Chef’s Menu, a heritage feast that changes according to seasons and is only available in the private room (for up to 10 guests).

The slew of offerings—from breakfast, lunch and dinner—is D'Silva's way of ensuring that the heritage cuisine lives on and is appreciated by food lovers of all generations.


Rempapa | 2 Paya Lebar Road, 01-01/02/03 Park Place Residences at PLQ, S(409053) | 9459 1603 | papa@rempapa.sg

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