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Restaurant Review: Gear Up For Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice & Other Singapore Heritage Dishes At Folklore

Finally, a restaurant that embodies all the flavours of Singapore

The perennial question that begs an answer: What exactly is a true culinary representation of Singapore?

Is it skewers of slightly charred chicken meat glistening in peanut sauce, or a bowl of fiery laksa broth, filled with springy prawns that break the surface with a gentle swirl of a single spoon? Perhaps it’s the spread of wok hey dishes that sums up the nation’s food scene, but what about the festival of spices from the likes of biryanis, chutneys and bowls of masala curry?

Shedding light on life’s mystery is Folklore.

Located at the spanking new hotel of Destination Singapore Beach road, the restaurant serves up an extensive range of delicious Singapore Heritage food that not only coaxes your taste buds to sing, but also tugs at the heartstrings with its nostalgic flavours. Here, you’d find a melting pot of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan and Eurasian cuisines that will set a Singaporean foodie’s heart aflutter.

But the extra pizzazz in the gastronomic offerings comes in the form of the Chef Damian D’Silva’s fiery passion for the craft. Growing up in a Peranakan and Eurasian household, Chef Damian revelled in the best of two culinary worlds during his childhood. This led to the ignition of his love for the culinary arts, which he has since groomed and harnessed to immortalise his elder’s age-old recipes at Folklore.

“I can’t possibly choose one,” the great chef replied earnestly, when asked which of the dishes is his favourite. “Everything you see here hold so much sentimental value to me.”

Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice ($22)

Pinpointing our favourite was challenging, but it eventually went to the Peranakan offering of Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice ($22). The rice dish sports a glorious shade of black, thanks to the flesh of the keluak, and reflects the delectable charred notes when cooked in a wok hey. The icing on top is a dollop of housemade sambal paste. Made of chillies, shallots, candlenuts, shrimp paste, bruised lemongrass and mince pork, the sambal is not for the faint-hearted as it does pack a fiery punch.

Strong contenders, interestingly enough, were vegetarian dishes of the 4 Angled Bean Salad ($12) and the Sambal Juliana with Fried Brinjal ($14). The former surprised us with its refreshing blend of 4 angled beans, green mango, ginger flower, mint, pineapple and kaffir lime leaves that was tossed till full-flavoured with lime juice and sambal belachan sauce. Elsewhere, the Eurasian Sambal Juliana boasts perfectly fried brinjals, touting crisp purple skin that cloaks one side of the luscious flesh.

Singang ($20)

Meaty offerings come in the form of Singang ($20), deboned wolf herring cooked in non-spicy paste, Babi Assam ($22) where belly pork was braised in a tamarind gravy till tender and then fried before serving, and Beef Cheek Rendang ($32) featuring gravy from 15 different herbs and spices. We’ll definitely be back for the Garang Assam (market price)!

(From Left) Kueh Kasui ($6) and Kuah Bengkah ($10)

And what better way to conclude one’s heritage tour with traditional sweets? The delights of Kueh Kasui ($6) and Kuah Bengkah  ($10) (served with coconut ice cream) satisfied every fiber of our beings, from the soft, jelly-like, flavourful gula melaka kueh to the baked tapico cakes that sports a charred surface.

This is home, truly.

Address: 700 Beach Road, S199598
Tel no.: 6679 2900, 9021 9700
Email: [email protected]
Operating hours:Lunch: 12.00pm to 2.30pm, Dinner: 6.00pm to 9.30pm