Old is new at chef Damian D'Silva's Restaurant Kin
Restaurant Kin is famous for its classic Singaporean menu, and it has now been updated.
A new menu of "old" fare may be an oxymoron, but thank goodness chef Damian D'Silva has a huge enough vault of dishes from his past that a lot of us may not have tasted before.
This round, he continues to mine his heritage - Eurasian on his father's side, Peranakan on his mother's.
These are dishes his family and neighbours served when he was growing up.
They provide a sense of comfort that no fancy frou frou "foreign" dish can replicate. And for the happiness it provides, I hope chef D'Silva does not run out of recipes.
The new "old" dishes he has are great for communal dining, with lots of rice.
When Eurasians celebrate, the food is almost always top-notch, and the Pork Knuckle Debal ($68) is no exception.
This is one his paternal grandfather would make on Boxing Day with Christmas leftovers, with a rempah of shallots, onions, ginger and dried chilli.
Chef D'Silva's version has smoked pork knuckle, which adds depth to the spicy stew.
Keep an eye on your rice consumption though because the stew demands it.
It is easy to dismiss the Daging Sambal Hijau ($42) because it is a common enough dish.
But Kin keeps the mild heat of the sambal hijau - a green chilli sambal made with candlenuts and shallots - and adds a touch of creaminess.
The beef is marinated in cumin, coriander and fennel, and the aromatic dish is best in small portions.
Although there is much to love at Kin, the Ayam Kalasan ($38) is not a hit with me.
The chicken is simmered in coconut water with aromatics until the liquid is absorbed, then deep-fried before serving.
While the meat is tender, it does not stray too far from chicken you find at some hawker stalls.
This version is elevated because of the plating, but for me, the calories quota is better spent on other dishes.
If you make it to Kin before Easter, order the Beef Murtabak ($22), an annual Easter treat that Chef D'Silva would eat after Good Friday Mass.
Essentially, it is ground beef wrapped in a crepe - a combination that makes me wish this was a permanent fixture.
The crepe is made with egg, while the beef is cooked with aromatics including star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. You can just imagine the aroma.
The dish is available from tomorrow till April 4.
Usually, I skip desserts. But at Kin, they are a must.
The Kueh Platter ($25) is a selection of homemade desserts, which is satisfying.
But make sure to order the Kueh Kosui ($12) if you just want one dessert. This classic melt-in-your-mouth treat will leave you smiling - definitely a happy ending worth paying for.