Christmas is a time when there’s lots of food and get-together parties. Most of you will be enjoying classic Christmas staples like roast turkey and honey-glazed gammon to sweet treats like Christmas pudding and fruit cakes. If you want to feast on Christmas a little differently this time, head down to Folklore for a hearty heritage Eurasian blowout — the folks here takes the festive season earnestly and also to a whole new level.
Expect nothing but delicious age-old traditional Eurasian dishes that are made with love and notably presented by what Chef Damian D’Silva reminisces about his family meals for yuletide celebrations.
At Folklore, Chef Damian believes that food has to be cooked right, where nothing is rushed and everything from the preparation of ingredients to the cooking of the dish should be done the traditional way, allowing his guests to savour how things were done in the past, which can be seen, tasted and felt in each of his creations.
This festive season from 14th to 31st December 2018, slow things down and enjoy a family meal at Folklore with lesser-known heritage dishes from Chef Damian’s grandfather’s repertoire as well as some of the nostalgic dishes that were showcased in past celebratory menus.
Available for dine-in and takeaway, the Folklore festive menu features SEVEN enduring Eurasian dishes namely; White Debal, Eurasian Pork Vindaloo, Dry Mutton Curry, Feng, Bolu Cocu, Sugee Cake and Eurasian Christmas Pie — all celebrating jolly flavours of the decades.
WHITE DEBAL (Dine-in $42++ / Takeaway $45 nett) — FESTIVE MENU
Debal, also known as Curry Devil, is a traditional Eurasian must-have stew dish at Chef Damian’s family meals during Christmas and Boxing Day. The fiery-looking dish made of chicken and housemade anchar are cooked with rempah, vinegar and mustard seed for hours and it gives a distinctly sweet, tangy and spicy flavour all in one. Chef Damian also added dehydrated vegetables into the dish that have cured for at least 5 to 7 days.
You might scowl at $42 price tag on the humble-looking plate of white debal, but considering the massive amount of time and work that goes behind making the dish as delicious as possible, it will be all worth it!
DRY MUTTON CURRY (Dine-in $42++ / Takeaway $45 nett) — FESTIVE MENU
A lip-smacking mutton curry dish prepared in Indian-style is teaming with a mix of dry and wet spices that increases the palatability of this familial Eurasian dish. Some of the complementing ingredients and spices include cumin, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, dried chilli and candlenut.
You probably don’t notice the spiciness just by looking at the dish. The heat is there as it blends in with the dry curry and mutton, which will start tinkering your senses when you devour it — all in a good way.
EURASIAN PORK VINDALOO (Dine-in $35++ / Takeaway $38 nett) — FESTIVE MENU
Telling you the story about this dish might create a crashing bore to read, but the truth is that Vindaloo is a traditional Goan dish that features an extraordinary blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures way back into the 15th centuries.
Traditionally prepared with the use of pork ribs, Chef Damian follows his grandfather’s rendition and uses bone-in pork chops dry-rubbed with cumin and mustard seeds, then cooked in a blend of spices such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, vinegar, dry chillies and a splash of brandy.
It is said that the Da’ Silva family would eat this dish with their hands and rubbing the sauce onto their rice. Food tastes better when you eat it with your hands (and family) — but you can eat them with a cutlery set, of course.
FENG (Dine-in $30++ / Takeaway $32 nett) — FESTIVE MENU
Another staple of the Eurasian trademark dishes, Feng is a traditional European curry dish that has been localised by early settlers from the Malayan community. This unique pig offal dish is made from every part of the diced pig that starts from its head, ears, cheeks, jowl and tongue, to its heart, liver, intestines, stomach, kidney and pork belly.
Very few Eurasian chefs will attempt to cook this heritage dish as the cleaning process alone is awfully tedious and time consuming. Chef Damian takes up the challenge, starts cleaning each part of the pig separately, dicing the parts to precise 0.7cm cube, and then massage them with 18-spices curry powder before setting them to cook with a flavorful stock, vinegar and other fried ingredients like nutmegs, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, shallots, young and old ginger. The whole preparation and cooking process takes at least two days.
The elaborate dish requires a lot of attention and isn’t anything quite like risotto, but surprisingly it satisfied my need for some creamy goodness. Probably not the most popular choice on the menu, as it takes guts to uncover and taste this rare Eurasian delicacy. Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right — just go for it, I think you won’t regret!
SAMBAL JULIANA WITH FRIED BRINJAL (DINE-IN $16++) — ALA CARTE MENU
Beyond the festive offerings, other noteworthy mainstays on a la carte menu include the Sambal Juliana with Fried Brinjal and Beef Brisket Semur. The former is an ensemble of mainly shrimps and brinjal cooked in sambal titek with sugar, lime juice and salt which adds a sweet, sour and spicy taste to your palate.
BEEF BRISKET SEMUR (DINE-IN $28++) — ALA CARTE MENU
Typically an Indonesian braised dish, Chef Damian’s adaptation of the Javanese beef stew features primal beef brisket, cut potatoes and a blend of spices cooked in a rich and flavourful Semur gravy, made of Indonesian sweet soy sauce and other harmonious ingredients such as onions, garlic and shallots — best served with rice.
BOLU COCU (DINE-IN $8++ per slice) — FESTIVE MENU
For desserts, Folklore presents a rare Eurasian treat Bolu Cocu, which is akin to the local snack Kueh Bahulu. Using modern techniques and baking tools like a brass dome-shaped mold, Chef Damian recreates the traditional Coconut cake with grated coconut, sugar, eggs, white flour and baking powder, including aromatic spices like cinnamon, star anise, cloves and nutmeg. The result: a soft and fluffy cake with a bright coconuty flavour that’s not overpowering and goes really well with a cup of coffee or tea.
SUGEE CAKE (Dine-in $10++ for 3 slices / Takeaway $54 nett for 1kg) — FESTIVE MENU
A returning favourite — the classic Eurasian Sugee Cake is home made with reputable Golden Churn butter, plain flour, diced almond, almond meal, semolina and eggs. Chef Damian brushes the Sugee cake with brandy everyday for a week, before it can be eaten and ensures it soaks up enough residual sweetness from the dissipating alcohol to create the perfectly right taste. In other words, even the desserts take days to make and it will rule your life completely when you eat it!
The other festive treat on the Christmas table (image not featured) include the freshly baked Eurasian Christmas Pie ($30++) is filled with generous amounts of scrumptious chicken, meat balls, pork sausages, potatoes and carrots, topped with a buttery puff pastry baked to a golden brown perfection.
Folklore’s Christmas menu will be available for both lunch and dinner from 14th to 31st of December 2018. Festive meal takeaways are available with an advance booking of FIVE working days (last day to order is 25 December). Takeaways are available for all items, except Eurasian Christmas Pie and Bolu Cocu.
Location: Destination Singapore Beach Road, 700 Beach Road, Level Two, Singapore 199598
Tel: +65 6679 2900 / 9021 9700
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9.30pm