Heritage in a Menu at Restaurant Kin

Head chef Damian D’Silva expands his repertoire of heritage dishes to include Chinese, Eurasian and Indonesian recipes as well as a selection of new cocktails.

Cuttlefish Kang Kong (Image courtesy of Kin)

Espousing a more inclusive showcase of heritage cuisine, the tireless head chef Damian D’Silva introduces a couple of new items to his menu. It’s an attempt to move away from Kin’s reputation as a place to go to for Peranakan cuisine – not to say that one cannot find authentic, laboriously prepared Peranakan fare here – with the addition of Indonesian, Eurasian and Chinese dishes.

His grandfather, or ‘Pop’ as he was called, was the household’s expert at Eurasian cooking and is the inspiration for dishes the likes of Cuttlefish Kang Kong and Daging Sambal Hijau. The latter sees beef marinated for a day in cumin, coriander and fennel then fried with a green chilli sambal, candlenuts and shallots.

Nangka Rendang (Image courtesy of Kin)

Aunty Zainab, a close friend of the family and home cook whose recipes have been used in previous menus, again offers up two dishes. There’s the Ayam Kalasan, a fragrant deep-fried chicken that has been simmered in coconut water and aromatics. The simmering liquid together with chillies, onions and candlenut is used to make a yellow sambal.

She’s also the author of Nangka Rendang, a recipe of jackfruit rendang that packs as much flavour as its meat counterpart but leaves none of that heaviness and jelak. The unripe fruit is braised for seven hours and seasoned with garam masala among other spices, which tells of its Indonesian origins.

Mugicha Highball (Image courtesy of Kin)
Chilli Padi (Image courtesy of Kin)

D’Silva’s Pork Knuckle Debal, a reddish stew flavoured with the richness and smokiness of roast pork and pork knuckle, also finds a permanent spot on the restaurant’s menu. Like most festive stews meant to clear the fridge of leftovers, the debal traditionally throws in all the Christmas cuts along with a rempah.

End the meal with the kueh platter that changes daily, depending on the whims of chef Gabriel Dominic who does only one job at the restaurant and is spectacular at it. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to try the Apom Berkuah we had; a rice flour pancake with coconut milk, gula melaka and yeast that’s served with a banana sauce (almost like a kaya) or, if you’re lucky, durian paste.

The Straits Clan beverage team has also taken the opportunity to include new concoctions in the cocktail menu such as a fiery tequila tipple called the Chilli Padi that has, what else, green and red bird’s eye chillies. We think you’ll probably want something to take the heat off instead; a Mugicha Highball made with barley kombucha, whisky and shiso might do a better job.

Kin is located at 31 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089845.

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Lu Yawen

Editor in chief

A free-spirited creature, she enjoys both the shiny and gritty things in life. She envisions a home by the ocean with weekly dive expeditions and art exhibitions.

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