Rojak chicken, anyone?
Surprising twists to Elsie's Kitchen's heritage recipes
Mr Reuben Ang, 29, the managing director of Elsie's Kitchen, has always been interested in food.
As a child, he often spent his free time helping out at the family business.
The first generation of the Ang family started operating the British Royal Air Force squadron canteens at Seletar, Tengah and Changi in 1954.
The second generation revived the business in 1986 and operated canteens at the National Institute of Education and the then Singapore Productivity Board.
It later ventured into events catering in 1990.
Mr Ang is part of the third generation being groomed to run the family business.
"Elsie's Kitchen is the culmination of the hard work of three generations fuelled by a shared passion for food," he says with a smile.
Today, he is spearheading Elsie's Kitchen's rebranding. Instead of sticking to the old, the company now aims to combine the traditional with the new by preserving heritage recipes, while introducing refreshing twists.
Elsie's Kitchen is well known for its classic dishes, including the popular laksa (above), kueh pie tee and Muar otah (below).
They are prepared based on handwritten recipes compiled in a notebook by one of the firm's late directors, Madam Irene Ang. She was part of the second generation of the family.
Being a cook herself, she saw the importance of preserving the culinary traditions within the family. This notebook and the mantle of leadership has since been passed down to Mr Ang's generation.
Inspired by the creativity in local zi char stalls and coffee shops, where hawkers often tweak their recipes, Mr Ang has been experimenting with the old dishes.
One of the newest offerings is the rojak chicken - a delectable blend of old and new where the meat is slathered in Penang rojak sauce and garnished with tropical fruits, ginger flowers and crushed peanuts.
"As a family passionate about food, every meal together becomes a chance to experience new flavours and experiment with new combinations," adds Mr Ang.
He explains that the change aims to "engage the future market of younger customers".
"Our new dishes will feature innovative variations of Singapore's classic food, keeping our customers' palates excited while retaining flavours familiar to them," says Mr Ang.