The city’s heritage food is a rich culinary mish-mash of cuisines from the West and “local flavours from Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicities”. And that, is what Damian D’Silva, now Chef-Owner at recently-opened Kin, is fighting to save.
But one industry observer says that high prices make it tough to do so. Singapore ambassador of the World Food Trade Association Lionel Chee points out that “mostly due to costs from extra cleaning at hawker centres and disruptions with imports, Singapore’s hawker stall holders have to swap original ingredients and flavours”.
This, means the food Singaporeans used to eat could soon disappear.
Already, he adds, Peranakan cuisine today has replaced native spices with curry powders. And dishes such as fried Hokkien mee have left out pork slices or squid, both typically found in traditional recipes.