Folklore is about storytelling through food. It’s a tale of life shaped by the food one grew up with. It tells of the importance of passing on this culinary heritage in the most proper and authentic way, and of the basic joys of enjoying food as a shared gift to all people and cultures.
The man behind the vision is Chef Damian D’Silva; and like all compelling food tales, it begins in the family. Chef Damian’s childhood was steeped in great traditional home cooking, Eurasian on his father’s side, Peranakan on his mother’s. His passion and palate were lit watching age-old flavours and aromas slowly, and lovingly, coaxed out of handpicked ingredients using painstaking – what we call artisanal methods. Time is flavour, he learned.
Those early days in the family kitchen formed a picture in Chef Damian’s mind of what heritage food meant to him: it was firstly what people ate at home on a daily basis, not so much what they ate on the streets outside. It was domestic food.
In the Singapore context, that inevitably encompassed food from the five ethnic groups – Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan and Eurasian. So when we speak of ‘Singapore heritage food, we refer to a cuisine that is actually a multi-cuisine – five in one. Chef Damian likes to call this ‘organic fusion.’ Convinced of the bonding potential of heritage food, Chef Damian is a vocal advocate of culinary adverturism between the cultures in Singapore, as well as in tourist.
Which led Chef Damian to another insight, the importance of propagating tradition. Food not only forges communal ties; it is a repository of values and culture. Every dish holds a meaning, some significance, to the culture it belongs to. Every dish tells a ‘story’
As a fascinated boy in the house kitchen, Chef Damian would pester his elders, especially his doting grandma, with questions. And her replies would be cryptic, not because she was secretive, but because her generations was famously shoddy about ‘documenting’ what and how much went into dishes. The young Damian thus learned to observe whoever was at the stove with hawkish attention, becoming an expert in the most minute details. It also made him a determined documenter, hell-bent on ensuring that treasured recipes do not end up in the graves but live on safely. His granddad once asked Damian why he was busy preserving his recipes, and the boy replied, “So that when you die, I can still eat the food you cook.”
The passions, memories, emotions and dreams embodied in Chef Damian D’Silvaare what creates and drives Folklore. It is the story of Singapore told through one man’s journey.
Folklore is located within Destination Singapore Beach Road, a new hotel managed by the Park Hotel Group. Accessible and stylish; with friendly, efficient service; Destination Singapore Beach Road appeals to a wide clientele from business traveller to tourist. Similarly inclusive in spirit, Folklore welcomes guests with genuine, friendly, attentive service. It feels like being invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Only with much better food!
Folklore seats up to 100, and is open daily for lunch and dinner. There are 80 seats inside the restaurant and 20 outdoors.