Chef-owner Damian D’Silva’s inaugural food festival takes place on February 18, with five guest chefs whipping up nostalgic local dishes

For Singaporean restaurant Rempapa’s first anniversary, chef-owner Damian D’Silva has invited some of the island’s top local chefs to launch the inaugural Heritage Food Festival on February 18. The participating chefs are Willin Low (the father of Mod-Sin cuisine); Annette Tan (private dining chef and veteran food writer); Pang Kok Keong (pâtissier and champion of Hakka cuisine); Vasunthara Ramasamy (MasterChef Singapore Season 2 contestant and private dining chef); and Jayce Ho (one of Singapore’s pitmasters).

“My collaborators hail from different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, embracing everything that makes us Singaporean—exactly what I advocate at Rempapa,” shares D’Silva. For the food festival, D’Silva and the five guest chefs will be preparing local dishes that are close to their hearts; these are steeped in tradition or personal memories, but are brought to the now with contemporary culinary techniques.

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Tatler Asia
Jayce Ho's smoked brisket
Above Jayce Ho's smoked brisket
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Pang Kok Keong's suan pan zi
Above Pang Kok Keong's suan pan zi

D’Silva adds that he wants diners to “enjoy a gamut of treats from family heirlooms and hawker fare to even ‘party’ food”, so he has curated a delectable menu which includes the likes of sambal stingray, chicken curry noodles and vegetarian kedondong salad.

Meanwhile, Low has reimagined the classic Hainanese pork satay with his iberico pork satay accompanied by a pineapple salsa dip, while Tan (who is Peranakan) expands the heritage feast with her kueh keledek and fried popiah. She shares: “I chose these to share another facet of our heritage cuisine, that we otherwise would not experience outside of our homes.”

Rounding off the spread are the suan pan zi (Hakka abacus seeds), the dish that kickstarted Keong’s Hakka journey; masala vadai and cashew nut vadai, nostalgic Indian street snacks prepared by Ramasamy; and smoked brisket marinated in Rempapa’s heritage secret rub and served in a panini with smoked cheese, courtesy of Ho.

The Heritage Food Festival takes place at Rempapa restaurant on February 18, 12pm to 9pm.