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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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.