National Day is just a few weeks away, and if you’re thinking of celebrating in true Singaporean fashion (read: by eating and drinking away) there’s certainly no shortage of options around the country.
This month, restaurants are paying homage to Singapore’s vast gastronomic scene. These celebratory menus range from mod-Sin inspirations to simple tributes of traditional recipes enjoyed at home. Flavours and dishes from around Southeast Asia, which have left lasting impressions on Singapore’s culinary history, take the stage as well.
Here’s where to indulge and celebrate, the patriotic way.
Ding Dong’s chef Miller Mai is collaborating with finalists from MasterChef Singapore for a five-course dinner, featuring dishes inspired by their favourite childhood eats. MasterChef winner Zander Ng whips up his take on otah-otah: a seafood custard with coconut sauce and kaffir lime gel. Finalists Aaron Wong and Genevieve Lee are also contributing a sanshui chicken-inspired terrine and a roasted duck dish.
For National Day, chef Sam Leong is taking a leaf or two from his mother’s cookbook for a special five-course menu. The restaurant will be serving up a few of Mdm Pit Yoke Eng’s well-loved dishes such as soups, kampung chicken and steamed marble goby with vegetables. The Home Cooking Recipes menu is for two diners but would be enjoyed best with a party of four for a more communal affair.
The Halia introduces a list of English classics with local spins. There is the Chilli Crab Cottage Pie which sees a layer of mash potato and a spicy chilli crab filling underneath. Fish and Chips comes topped with curried pea puree, seaweed fries and a sambal aioli for dipping. For dessert is the Tropical Trifle, a refreshing combination of coconut custard, guava jelly and cardamom chantilly.
Le Binchotan pays homage to the familiar flavours of Southeast Asia that are now ingrained in Singapore’ diverse culinary scene. Chef Jeremmy Chiam offers a modern take on rendang with Australian beef cheek and a load of local spices such as galangal, ginger and lemongrass. There’s also a sweet tribute to ice cream sandwiches. Corn & Toast is Chiam’s version of the treat with French toast and Japanese corn ice cream.
Mitzo’s National Day set menu is a luxurious fusion of Cantonese and local flavours. For starters, chef Nicky Ng goes for spring rolls stuffed with scallops as well as spicy chicken ‘otah’ with lotus root. Bak kut teh here is done the traditional way, cooked with abalone. For mains, diners are treated to cheese-baked lobster topped with chilli.
Contemporary European restaurant Tablescape goes for a playful spin on hawker fare. Expect items like chilli crab mousse served in an ice cream cone, chicken rice arancini and pan-seared seabass served with a laksa reduction. There’s also pandan souffle for dessert, inspired by pandan chiffon cakes.
For National Day, TWG offers an elegant modern European menu which sees popular local flavours in dishes. The main course is a fusilli pasta dish with pan-seared tiger prawns and cuttlefish, tossed in an Earl Grey-infused oil and a creamy, salted egg sauce. Savour this dish with TWG’s Singapore Surprise Tea.
Yàn reintroduces its locally-inspired dim sum bites for National Day. The lunch-only menu has selections like bak kut teh-filled xiao long bao dumplings and spring rolls with deep-fried mutton satay. Chilli crab comes in delightful pan-fried buns for mess-free dining. Look out for the lotus leaf-wrapped dumpling which is stuffed with sticky rice and Hainanese-style steamed chicken.