As the first chef to kick off 67 Pall Mall Singapore’s Resident Chef Series in 2024, Chef Damian D’Silva of Rempapa has masterfully woven a tapestry of Singapore’s diverse culinary heritage.
Embracing elements from Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan, and Eurasian kitchens, Chef Damian’s residency from January to March promises an immersive experience that goes beyond the palate.
The Resident Chef Series at 67 Pall Mall serves as a unique platform for Singapore-based culinary talents to showcase their prowess, and Chef Damian’s arrival has elevated this gastronomic journey to new heights.
A recent recipient of the prestigious La Liste Artisan & Authenticity Award 2024, Chef Damian D’Silva’s dedication to preserving and elevating heritage cuisine in Singapore is evident in every dish.
The January menu offers a delectable selection of dishes that echo Chef Damian’s culinary roots. The Babi Masak Gragoh, a disappearing Malaccan dish, showcases the intricate blend of Chinese and Malay influences in a slow-cooked pork belly infused with fermented krill, garlic, blue ginger, and red rice yeast.
Each bite tells a story of heritage, a narrative beautifully captured in the flavours. Easily one of the most moreish dishes in the line-up, this is the perfect accompaniment to generously drape over your rice.
The Kerabu Ikan Tenggiri, a refreshing salad with mackerel, calamansi, sand ginger, salted egg, char-grilled calamansi skin, and peanuts, transports diners to special occasions as Chef Damian’s rendition mirrors his Grandad’s presentation. This dish might not grab your attention initially, but you’ll quickly discover that you can’t resist indulging in it.
Sotong Masak Hitam, a Peranakan, Malay, and Indonesian delicacy, features cuttlefish slow-braised in a rempah blend, resulting in a tender cuttlefish immersed in a fragrant, velvety sauce. The Ayam Bakar, marinated in a blend of fenugreek, lemongrass, and other spices, is cooked over low fire and finished on a charcoal grill, embodying the essence of Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine.
Lamb Gulai, rooted in Indonesian and Malay heritage with a significant Indian influence, sees lamb cooked to fork-tender perfection in a coconut curry of spices and fresh coconut milk. I don’t usually eat lamb so I only had a little of this and found that it didn’t taste gamey and was extremely tender to bite into. This dish was also well-loved by my other dining companions from the media.
One cannot overlook Ngoh Hiang, a Teochew delicacy with velvety yam, water chestnuts, and crisp-fried shallots alongside pork, prawns, pork liver, and dried mushrooms. This labour-intensive dish, handed down by Chef Damian’s Grandad, is a testament to the meticulous preparation of ingredients and precise execution.
Beyond the exquisite menu, Chef Damian’s residency also includes exclusive masterclasses, allowing club members to embark on epicurean explorations, pairing his Singapore heritage cuisine with the extensive wine collection at 67 Pall Mall.
In February, Chef Damian’s culinary treasures expand, featuring dishes like Pork and Pineapple Curry, Singgang Mangger, Debal with chicken, roast pork and pickles, Oxtail Semur, Sambal Juliana with Brinjal, and Jiu Hu Char. Each dish is a celebration not only of the region’s cultural tapestry but also of Chef Damian’s own culinary memories and experiences.
Chef Damian D’Silva’s residency at 67 Pall Mall will continue till March 2024. 67 Pall Mall is located at 1 Scotts Road, #27-00, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. Call 6797 6727 or email [email protected] for membership enquiries.