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Old Flavours, New Interpretations (I/II)

Mod-Sin creations by two Singaporean chefs that give Singapore cuisine a modern makeover.

TRES CHIC, DOUBLE-CONFIRM

When chef Teo Boon Chuan of catering company Preparazzi was tasked with creating a spread of canapes representative of the signature and familiar flavours of Singapore, his imagination got fired up. The Singapore PR originally from Malaysia had spent much of his formative years in the Lion City, and now calls it home with his family of four.

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Curried chickpea on crispy prata waffles offer a different spin on local favourites.

Drawing inspiration from the food of his childhood, and similar flavours that were comforting and familiar to the guests of the French fashion house which had organised the event in celebration of SG50, he came up with bite-sized items such as a Salmon Croquette with Laksa Aioli, and Chicken “Ramly” Burger Miniatures.

Familiar childhood flavours are given a modern spin in this dish of salmon croquettes with laksa aioli.

Familiar childhood flavours are given a modern spin in this dish of salmon croquettes with laksa aioli.

NESTING INSTINCTS

It might look like a macaron, but this Kaya And Butter dish (below) contains no egg whites, nor any flour for the matter. Instead, the “shells” are constructed completely from homemade kaya. Its modern interpretation is a fitting start to an experimental meal at Labyrinth, with dishes big on the element of surprise visually, yet redolent of comforting local flavours.
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Think curry rice is sloppy? Han’s interpretation of his favourite dish mimics a forest. It’s made with red quinoa, and finished with a curry sauce to form a curry quinoa risotto. The “grass” is coriander sponge, and the nest and twigs are potatoes.

“I personally feel that Singapore cuisine is no longer just hawker food,” says Han Li Guang, chef-owner of Labyrinth. “Our cuisine can be defined as a melting pot of cultures influenced by countries from around Asia and, in recent times, Europe and America. Even if you look at local hawker food, our cuisine is driven by fresh Asian herbs and spices, and it’s very inspiring to work with such unique produce.”
Inspired by the iconic Singapore breakfast of kaya, butter and toast,  this moderni nterpretation with “shells” is made from kaya and rich housemade butter seasoned with fleur de sel.

Inspired by the iconic Singapore breakfast of kaya, butter and toast, this modern interpretation with “shells” is made from kaya and rich housemade butter seasoned with fleur de sel.

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This article continues in Part II.