With its gleaming skyscrapers, modern urban landscape and tech-savvy population, Singapore looks every inch the bustling metropolis. Save for the few farms tucked away in its far corners, the country also seems to be the last place one would expect to find locally-grown produce.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that it’s possible to forage for food here in our little red dot. This was recently demonstrated at a collaborative dinner by Tin Hill Social executive chef Michael Lewis and Australian chef Elijah Holland, which featured produce they gathered within a 51km radius of Tin Hill Social’s location in Turf City. Held over the past weekend, the five-course dinner showcased ingredients such as blue pea flower and Malay ginger obtained from places like Bukit Timah and Changi.
“When you can respect an environment and sustainably pick your food source from it, free of pesticides or chemicals, it really tells a story that something is being done right,” says Holland, who was the Head Forager for Noma earlier this year, when it held a pop-up restaurant in Sydney, Australia. With his help, we’ve put together a guide to 5 food items one can easily find around Singapore. Time to kickstart your foraging adventure.
Known for its eye-popping blue shade, the blue pea flower can be sourced in abundance from Bukit Timah. The flowers are edible and often used as a natural dye for foods such as rice. For instance, the Malay dish Nasi Kerabu — which comprises a mix of spices, herbs and vegetables — features blue rice coloured by this lovely plant.
(Photo credit: Sihan Lee)