Feast and Form Magazine

Design, Food and People in Singapore, and a little from around the world

Design, Food and People in Singapore, and a little from around the world


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Singapore design, people, food

wohabeing – Turtle Chairs and Sampan Bathtubs

Singapore Furniture Designers

World-Class Forms that Breathe

Norwegian Presence

Wok Work

Art Deco Cocktails

Singapore Gin





Carol Kraal

At the Long Bar, Raffles Hotel Singapore


Carol Kraal


Published in Singapore, this

online magazine covers stories about

food, architecture and design mainly in

this city and a little from around the world


Carol Kraal


Feast And Form

Email: ckcarolkra@gmail.com

Published in Singapore annually by


While the Singapore Sling has been refreshed to suit modern palates, the gin-based cocktail retains its

century-old recipe that has remained unchanged from its creation in 1915 by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon.



Cover photo: The Big Dragon by designer

Jarrod Lim

© 2019 Feast And Form. All rights


Content may not be reproduced or copied

without permission. Feast And Form

publication tries to ensure that all

information is correct at the time of

publishing, but cannot be held responsible

for any errors or omissions. The views

expressed by the authors are not

necessarily those of the publisher.

The ritual of snacking on peanuts and chucking its shells anywhere you please continues.

Raffles Hotel Singapore, Long Bar is open from 11am to 11pm daily

Level 2, Raffles Arcade

1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673

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Editor's Page


Design People Food

THE BEAUTIFUL port city of my home country, Singapore, has a fascinating culture,

which has contributed to its status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design. But we

still have some way to go in reaching 'design capital' status like Paris or Berlin or

Tokyo. The journey getting there is exciting and humbling.

In this issue of FEAST AND FORM there is some focus on Norway and Norwegian

designers. I've always been fascinated by this Nordic country – drawn inexplicably

to a place I have never even set foot in. This may explain why: my brother just did a

DNA test and discovered that we have Norwegian blood. It goes way back to

medieval times when we were perhaps builders or farmers. So here, I pay homage

to my ancestors in Norway and to the country of my birth, Singapore.

5 Zaha Hadid Design Collection

9 Go Local – Singapore artisans

create Singapore things

19 Singapore Furniture Designers

23 Wohabeing – Turtle Chairs and

Sampan Bathtubs

31 CHANG Architects – Lucky


39 DP Architects – World-class Forms

that Breathe

47 Rebirth of Raffles – Raffles Hotel

Singapore's new look

53 Norwegian Presence – The Design

of Norway

63 Paula O'Callaghan – Singapore-based

Senior Associate at Hirsch Bedner

Associates creates beautiful ethnic


71 Sara Graav – Norwegian designer

based in Singapore loves minimalist


79 Domaas/Høgh – Young Norwegian


81 Jarrod Lim – Furniture designer

earns a working stint with Patricia

Urquiola in Milan

83 Belinda Low – The Mural Artist

87 Zichar Delights – Singapore street

food favourites

89 Wok Work – Achieve wok hei

95 Peranakan food – Culture Mix,

Spice Mix

101 North Wild Kitchen – American

Nevada Berg chronicles her farm life

and food adventures in rural Norway

107 Singapore Sling

109 Art Deco Cocktails in Art Deco


115 Homegrown Gin – Rojak Gin,

Chendol Gin, Brass Lion Gin and

Tanglin Gin

127 Basking in Bread – Dean

Brettschneider, CEO, Baker&Cook,

talks about bread and his personal


Design, food and people are my favourite topics to write about.

Carol Kraal

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Focus on Singapore and Norway

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When designing objects ZAHA HADID was never constrained by any given use or

spatial context during her life as architect and designer. Her Design Unit follows and

draws strength from this approach so that the collection has room to evolve without

compromising the integrity of the designs


My product designs and architecture have

always been connected; some of our earliest

projects were designs for products and

interiors. These design pieces are very

important to me and my team. They inspire our

creativity by providing an opportunity to

express our ideas through different scales and

through different media; an essential part of

our on-going design investigation.”

Zaha Hadid


Right: Hew Carafe £105; Hew

Tumbler set of 4 £88; Hew

Wine Glass set of 2 £80; Hew

Highball set of 4 £98

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Singapore designers



Singapore designers create Singapore things






1. SINGAPORE CHICKEN RICE MUG by Chalo, Enamel, S$17.90 – This mug with it's old school design depicts

one of Singapore's favourite cuisines: chicken rice. What is Singapore without its food and hawker centres?

2. CURRY PUFF CUSHION by Nom Nom, plush soft velboa with velvet and cotton filling, $34.90 – Curry puffs

are irresistable savoury snacks of pastry filled with meat curry or sardine fillings. Each culture – Malay, Indian and

Chinese – has their own style. Buy yourself a Curry Puff Cushion to cuddle while nibbling on your snack.

3. PERANAKAN HERITAGE PENDANT by Rumenn, Ceramic, 20mm diameter, $16.90 – The Peranakans or Straits

Chinese are known for their flamboyant designs and delicious cuisine. These pendants reflect the Peranakan

motif floor tiles found in their old pre-war houses throughout Singapore.

4.KOPI DABAO BAG by wheniwasfour, PVC, $19.90 – 'Kopi da bao' means 'coffee takeaway' at local

coffeeshops in Singapore. These are served in plastic bags with a straws sticking out. Each Kopi Dabao Bag

comes with pink and green straps. Also available in a 'Teh Dabao' (tea version).

5. SHOPHOUSE COASTERS by MemoryBoards, cork, $30 pack of 6 – Shophouses are vernacular buildings in the

Singapore architectural landscape built by immigrants from the 19th century. The shophouse consists of trade

space on the lower floor and residential living above. These coasters capture the culture and design with vibrant



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Singapore designers

LILING, co-founder and designer of wheniwasfour

Right: Good Morning Towel design mobile case

Good morning cotton towels are ubiquitous in Singapore homes, kopitiams and other eating spots.

You'll see Liling's Singapore-themed designs and products at the wheniwasfour website, Naiise

and other retail outlets across the city.

What is the main inspiration behind your designs?

Liling: It’s actually everywhere. From my own childhood memories to memories from our parents

and sometimes customers will give me ideas as well. Many of our Wheniwasfour products evoke

childhood memories of Singapore.

How do we get more Singaporeans to be interested in local design?

Singaporeans generally are quite interested in local design when the concept is something that

they can relate to. Like, for example, fancy gem cushions – these are things they eat when they are

young. When the idea or product is related to daily life, it manages to capture Singaporeans'


What is your favourite local food after a hard day at work designing stuff?

My mum’s home cooked food! I also like bak chor mee and chicken rice.

What is your favourite way of sketching ideas?

Pencil and notebook!

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Singapore designers


Coffee Table – A Purposeful Optical Illusion

The Primary Studio

A coffee table designed to be an exquisite illusion for the home, it appears as a

levitating lotus pond supported by a trio of intertwining stems. Each table is

unique, containing an arrangement of lotus leaves sourced from Southeast Asia.

Behaving like a giant plano-convex lens, Float creates some surprising optical and

visual effects.

Photo credit Lavendar Chang

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Singapore designers


Handmade in ceramic. Beautifully imperfect

Mud Rock is a ceramic studio based in Singapore founded by ceramics

artists, Ng Seok Har and Michelle Lim, who have been practising

ceramics professionally for over 10 years.

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Singapore culinary artisan


Visual, playful and delicious

These beautiful sticks of artisan chocolate resemble pastel crayons and

make perfect gifts for designers and artists. Flavours include dulce,

passionfruit, strawberry, grape, green mango, peppermint, orange and


Comes in Box of 8 (S$36) or 40 (&105). Includes chocolate crayons

(10g ea), silicon holders, 1 canvas, 2 pieces edible rice paper.

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Singapore designers

Constellation Collection


Velvet, steel, brass

Nathan Yong

Nathan Yong Design

A community of creative, savvy furniture designers recognise the demand for

high-quality, eco-friendly products that relate to the popularity of smaller

interior spaces. The Big Dragon above is by Jarrod Lim Design

I strive to make beautiful objects that have meaning

and purpose, and make production sense so that it

can be enjoyed by as many people as possible to

make life better.

What are young, modern home buyers in

Singapore looking for in furniture design?

Originality with good values.

How do you sketch your ideas?

Pen and sketchbook. I am computer illiterate.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at


Bak chor mee with tomato sauce.

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Singapore designers

Bruno Console

Acacia wood, brass

Yodeesa Stool

Wood, acrylic, steel valve screw

Julian Koh


Ivan Ho


Our products are mainly made of wood, and

Commune was founded with the idea that

sustainability has to underpin everything we do.

Many of my creations are centred around interesting

detailing and finishes–things that evoke a "pleasant


What are young, modern home buyers in

Singapore looking for in furniture design?

They are looking for pieces that fit comfortably within

the small living spaces typical of city life, without

compromising on function, good design and

reasonable price.

What are young, modern home buyers in

Singapore looking for in furniture design?

We tend to favour designs that are aesthetically

"cleaner" and, generally, with a lighter colour palate.

Hence Nordic designs are relatively well received by

young modern Singapore homebuyers.

How do you sketch your ideas?

I use a sketchpad and pencil before transferring these

ideas onto an iPad Pro.

How do you sketch your ideas?

A clutch pencil on recycled photocopy paper – which

I end up misplacing eventually.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at


Bak chor mee with tomato sauce.

What local food do you crave after a hard day at


Chicken rice.

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Singapore designers



furniture and objects inspired by Southeast Asian nature and landscapes for

their furnishings brand:


THE TURTLE CHAIR is part of the Bintan Collection, which takes inspiration from the island

in the Riau Archipelago with its pristine white beaches and beautiful wildlife. The Turtle

series of chairs has legs reminiscent of turtle flippers.

The objects around us must draw together our cultural history, our sense of

place, and our contemporary needs, in doing so, they will be authentic and possess

their own unique beauty. We design our objects with care and thought – they need

to be meaningful – and of course, delightful.”

Bintan Collection – Chairs and Tables

Inspired by Bintan Island, which lies just a boat ride away from bustling Singapore,

with its white beaches and ancient forests, the collection features two series of

objects: the Turtle series and the Crab series. The Turtle series has legs reminiscent

of turtle flippers whereas the objects of the Crab series stand on elegant, thin metal

legs. Crab Round Table with Angler Lamp (above) comes in metallic black or silver.

Oli – Lighting

Oli is named after the Sanskrit word for the “glow of a lamp”. Inspired by ancient

Hindu and Buddhist sacred geometry and architecture, the contemporary modular

lighting system in hand-blown glass and bronze provides beautiful possibilities from a

single lamp glowing in the darkness to complex assemblages floating in space.

Corak Collection – Handmade Rugs

Asia is home to a rich tradition in textiles and patterns. This Collection was inspired

by nature and designed using new geometries, such as fractals and aperiodic tiling.

While the patterns are complex to create and dif cult to calculate, the eye easily

delights in the combination of repetition and difference in these patterns. The Corak

Collection was created in collaboration with The Rug Maker.

Named Ulu, Bintan, Sampan and Diaspora, each collection has a distinct personality and

style and encompasses a different combination of objects. These collections of furniture,

rugs, lights, bathware and tableware are designed by Wong and Hassell and developed with

collaboration partners that include Luzerne, Wewood and Apaiser.

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Singapore designers


Corak Collection

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Singapore designers

Ulu Collection

The Bukit in Bali is a wild landscape of cliffs and rugged savannah landscapes. Ulu

features these geographic characters for both the indoor and outdoor furniture, as

well as lamps, which were originally designed for a WOHA project in Uluwatu, Bali,

and have been adapted for this collection.

The Diaspora Collection – Lidded Tea Cups


This Collection was impassioned by the Chinese people, who, in search of their

fortune, have migrated to other regions for centuries. At Maison&Objet Paris, a

small preview of the full collection was shown in the form of the Chinese Tea Cup

and Saucer Set. The Diaspora Collection is made in collaboration with Luzerne.

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Singapore designers

Turtle 2-Seater Sofa – Body and legs: plywood; Cushions: leather

Above: Ulu Dining Chair – Frame: wood; Cushions: leather

Ulu Centric Dining Table – Table top and foot: wood

Below: Turtle Chair – Body and legs: plywood; Cushions: hand-block-printed cotton and leather

Compiled by Carol Kraal; Wong and Hassell portrait photograph by Amarinthine Photos.; styling

photographs by Periphery. All photographs courtesy of WOHA

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Singapore homes


CHANG Architects captures childhood memories and contemporary elegance in a

Joo Chiat conservation shophouse for modern residential living

A 1920s BOOKSHOP in Joo Chiat is re-created into a modern home for its owners

who grew up in the neighbourhood. They remember buying books, cassettes and

chewing gum from this shop called Lucky Book Store – a typical Singapore

shophouse with shop on the ground floor and living or storage space on the upper


Juxtaposing grown up sophistication and childhood nostalgia in a simple layout for

flexible usage, CHANG Architects brought back to life many of the original elements.

The tone and colour of the front facade was uncovered and preserved, likewise the

fading 'Lucky Book Store' signage on the front pillar. Old brick walls, timber rafters

and floor joists were restored and made leading statements to the space.

The generous use of timber and wood, concrete, brick and rustic stone aggregate for

the interior's finishing and furnishing along with charcoal-coloured elements bring

everything together in effective composition.

A double-volume dining space becomes the common, popular gathering space that

visually connects the ground floor and the upper level. A delightful view of the green

outdoors is framed through a pair of full-height timber sliding panels that opens out

to the central garden space with its breezes, and overlooks the new rear house

extension. This structure is made of rustic stone aggregate, which adds to the oldworld

charm of the project as well as its surrounding neighbourhood.

The project won Design of the Year 2013.

Facing page: The front facade. The multi-layered paint-coatings were carefully

removed to reveal its original tone and colour

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Singapore homes

Above: front shophouse living area. Progress through the house is always to the

side; left: view from the Reading Lounge of the Rear House

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Singapore homes

Top: view of mirrored bath room cubicles; below: kitchen dining area; facing page:

kitchen dining area in double volume space

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Singapore homes

A chat with CHANG YONG TER, founder and principal architect,

CHANG Architects

What Singapore vernacular architecture do you have a soft spot for?

The HDB (Housing & Development Board) dwelling.

While shophouses have strong appeal in terms of architectural characteristics, the HDB dwellings

speak louder to the hearts of many locals, and have shaped the way most Singaporeans live their

lives. One could find similar typologies of the shophouses and B&W bungalows in neighbouring

countries, but the HDB dwelling is particularly unique to Singapore.

What materials do you love to work with in terms of architectural design?

There is a strong affinity for materials that are raw in their natural state, as if they are – and in fact

they are – still alive and pulsating.

How do you sketch your ideas?

First in the mind, then quick pencil sketches on paper to capture its tangibility.

What Singapore food do you crave for after a hard day at work?

This would mean late night or past dinner time – any of the local ‘zi chars’ would be highly


What advice would you give a young student who wants to be an award-winning architect

like you?

Design from your heart

and exercise your

intuitions as much as you

can. In this age

dominated by artificial

intelligence, innate human

wisdom is key."


Founder and principal

architect of

CHANG Architects

Never aim to be ‘an award-winning architect’. Rather, do the best that you can as a

conscientious designer, for whatever task that lands on you – regardless of size and scope.

Design from your heart and exercise your intuitions as much as you can. In this age dominated

by artificial intelligence, innate human wisdom is key.

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of CHANG Architects

Left: the Central Garden

space extends to the

rear where the new

single-storey house sits

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Inspiring architecture

W O R L D - C L A S S F O R M S T H A T B R E A T H E


footprint in its


designs is the


engagement of

humanity and the

human spirit

CREATING A HUMANISTIC environment in any part of the world

that is visually appealing and spiritually uplifting requires a deep

understanding of a whole range of dynamics. DP Architects

composes these dynamics beautifully to hold dialogue with each

other – light with texture, space with volume, urban with natural

landscape, architectural form with organic form.

The numerous awards achieved every year is testament to DP

Architects' success, not only for their outstanding projects

worldwide but also for their company's work ethic of enriching the

human spirit.

CEO Angelene Chan garners many of her own awards, recently

winning the 2018 President's Design Awards Designer of the Year

(Architecture), presented by Singapore's President Halimah Yacob.

Award-Winning projects by DP Architects:

What separates a world-class project from the ordinary?



Nestling in the Silicon Valley of India, RMZ Ecoworld IT Park (photo

right) brings together commercial, civic and amenity spaces within

a sizeable scale that spans 650,000sqm. The project required an

infrastructural design that sensitively considers the spatial

experience and human comfort.

Creating a world-class humane environment in such a large

tropical urban fabric commanded a deep understanding of terrain,

topography, climate, infrastructure, visibility, walkability and

accessibility to achieve sustainability and resourcefulness.

Key to the architecture schematics was to create buildings in

proportion to its human scale. This was achieved by ‘breaking up’

the massing into smaller surfaces and volumes. Building

orientation and strategically placed openings channel in natural

breezes from nearby open areas such as Saul Kere Lake and

Devarabisana Halli Lake, thus eliminating the need for airconditioning

in certain areas, while innovative placement of glass

and stone panels significantly reduces heat gain.

Circulating vehicles around the periphery with parking tucked

underneath the project footprint, creates greater walkability, and

richly landscaped central areas and water features. These

engaging public spaces at multiple levels from ground and midlevel

terraces to roof terrace are ideal not only for leisure and

relaxation, but also for work meetings and brainstorming sessions.

'The Bay', which lends an element of sophistication with its

convergence of social amenities such as F&B outlets and an

amphitheatre, is considered the heart of the development. Its art

gallery, a rare amenity in this part of Bengaluru, is conceived as the

soul of the development – an unexpected delight and a

confirmation of the engagement of humanity in the world of IT.


Third Award – Global Architecture and Design Awards (GADA)


Harshan Thomson courtesy of DP Architects Pte Ltd

RMZ Ecoworld IT Park, India: Building orientation and strategically placed openings channel in natural breezes from nearby open

areas such as Saul Kere Lake and Devarabisana Halli Lake, thus eliminating the need for air-conditioning in certain areas

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Inspiring architecture



Good architecture tells a story. DP Architects' story of Novotel and Mercure Singapore on Stevens takes

the shape and proportions of a high-end urban hospitality project that places people at the heart, as well

as within the context of the surrounding skyline and Singapore's green nature. The glass tower housing the

two hotels, floats above while the distinctive sweeping wings accommodating the guest rooms take their

form from the Chinese character (‘ren’, meaning people).

The parallels between architectural form, human form and nature's form can be seen in the organic

volumes and flowing movement of the development. The form inscribes the triangular site into three

distinctive public places: a grand drop-off to the south that inspires the hotel arrival sequence, a more

secluded hotel pool and courtyard space to the east, and a functional sports zone to the west. Each wing

of guestrooms receives an optimal distance from the remaining wings, generous aspects and an efficient

circulation core at its fulcrum.

The design concept takes the form of a series of organic glass pods which spill out from under the hotel

tower, like pebbles sprinkled over a lawn, and engage with the surrounding urban context. Creeper plants

form a floral crown to these pods, complementing the meadowed groundscape.


Gold – (Architecture, Mixed Use, Constructed Category) Melbourne Design Awards 2018

Gold – (Architecture, Mixed Use, International Category) – London Design Awards 2018

Silver (Architecture, Mixed Use, International Category) – New York Design Awards 2018

Best Hotel Architecture Design (Asia) – PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards 2017

Walkways and volumes curve to create flowing, organic movement between the wings of the


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Inspiring architecture

Evan Lim courtesy of DP Architects Pte Ltd

Seen from above the Novotel and Mercure Singapore on Stevens hotel building

takes on the form of the Chinese character 'ren' , meaning people

I find the creative process inspiring, every project that I

work on stimulates me to come up with the best design

solutions. For the Novotel Singapore and Mercure

Singapore at Stevens Road, our vision was to create an

integrated and cohesive development to add both

commercial and civic value to the urban fabric along

Stevens Road. We designed a series of organic glass pods

that provide intimate retail and dining experience, and

adopted a green-wall approach with respect to the

residential district the project is situated in."


CEO of DP Architects and its Group of Companies

2018 President's Design Awards Designer of the Year


Above: the grand

drop-off to the south.

The overall design and

planning created a

green respite at the

fringe of the city not

only for the hotel

guests but also for the



Right: the design

concept takes the

form of a series of

organic glass pods

which house the

different programmes.

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Inspiring architecture


CEO, DP Architects and its Group of Companies

DP Architects is one of the most successful companies in

the world with a footprint in many countries. What is

the unifying philosophy for business and creativity that

connects each of these companies?

Angelene Chan: DP Architects was founded two years

after Singapore’s independence on a need to create

architecture of excellence that enrich the human

experience and uplift the human spirit. Our founders

believe in the power of architecture to help foster a

national identity. We have since evolved in tandem with

the country’s nation building and have worked on some of

the country’ most important public projects and notable

building. The practice is still guided by this philosophy


Team work and collaboration is the cornerstone of our

practice. We believe in the collective over the individual,

that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This

belief has helped us become the largest practice in

Singapore, and among the largest in the world. The

practice of architecture is a collaborative process; so, it is

important to work as a team towards a common vision.

This applies to our people and also our partners. Crossdisciplinary

collaboration is very much part of the built

environment industry, and working with other disciplines is

an essential part of the practice of architecture.

What Singapore vernacular architecture do you have a

soft spot for?

Angelene Chan: I see architecture as a visual narrative of a

city and its identity, so they are all special because they

express different traditions, social and cultural values and

influences of different periods. They add charm and

character to our city. Vernacular architecture tells us a lot

about the changing constitution of a society.

I like the colonial-era black and white bungalows for their

high ceilings, large windows, pitched roofs and verandahs,

and how well adapted they are for the tropical climate.

Active building technologies are becoming more

sophisticated, but passive design, excellently integrated in

these bungalows, is still the key to sustainable architecture.

You can learn a lot about sustainability solutions through

vernacular architecture.

How do you add a bit of 'Singapore' to the architecture

you create worldwide – for example The Dubai Mall, the

world's largest mall?

Angelene Chan: What we, and most Singaporean firms,

bring to their overseas work is not a specific style, but the

qualities associated with Singapore – our culture of honour,

quality of design and service, appreciation of cultural

diversity and efficient delivery.

Having said that, a distinct feature of Singapore

architecture is its approach to planning. In the short

span of 50 years, Singapore has leap-frogged from

a city with a drastic shortage of housing and

infrastructure to a thriving metropolis and one of

the most desirable places to live on the planet. It is

impossible to talk about Singaporean architecture

without first recognising this. Stringent planning

and a problem-and-solution approach determined

Singapore architecture in its formative years.

Contemporary Singapore architecture is a product

of the wholehearted embrace with modernity and

urban planning.

In the case of The Dubai Mall, the first thing that we

focused on was circulation planning and

wayfinding. If one gets lost in a mall of that scale, it

would take some time to re-orientate, and the

visitor is unlikely to want to return. The Mall is now

the world’s most visited leisure and shopping

destination, and we attribute this to the successful


What materials do you love to work with in

terms of architectural design? Are you an

advocate of eco and sustainable design?

Angelene Chan: I love natural materials like

wood, stone and bamboo. Choosing materials is

an enjoyable part of the job, but what materials I

work with depends on the design, function,

climatic condition, and client’s budget.

With heightening awareness of the array of

environmental issues that are threatening the

quality of life, the responsibility of the architect as

a custodian of the built environment has become

more evident and critical. DP grew our in-house

environmentally sustainable design unit to a fullfledged

specialist firm, DP Sustainable Design,

which comprises architects, engineers and

environmental simulation experts. Our green

design supported by an evidence base of

intelligent simulations and empirical data.

In the future, the effects of environmental

deterioration will be more keenly felt than now.

When we face the depletion of resources like

clean air and water, rising sea level and

temperatures, the design principles that we

employ now will no longer apply. The criteria for

comfort will be different. Architects will have to

think like ecologists and environmentalists.

DP believes that sustainable

design must be integrated

into the work process and

take centre-stage at concept

stage. It is no longer an addon

service, but a principle

that must guide all designs."


How do you sketch your ideas?

Angelene Chan: I sketch on mylar paper roll. When

I need to sketch something on the go, I will do it

on iPad and email to my team. I carry a small

notebook everywhere with me to jot down ideas,

things to do, talking points for my presentations,

and so forth.

You're not only a successful architect and CEO of

one of the biggest companies in the world but also

a mother. What are the most important character

elements do you instil in your children?

Angelene Chan: I instill in my children the values of

honesty and hard work, and faith in God. I also teach

them to be polite, down to earth and to care for


What Singapore food do you crave for after a hard

day at work?

Angelene Chan: I don’t usually crave for a particular

food. But I try to have dinner at home with my family

every evening unless I have dinner engagements that

I cannot miss. Sharing a meal with my family helps me

to decompress after a day of meetings, emails, calls,

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of DP Architects Pte Ltd

design charettes and reviews.

Juliana Tan courtesy of DP Architects Pte Ltd

I do look forward to certain food on specific

occasions, like Johor Laksa during Chinese New

Year; and the same food I always have at the

restaurants I frequent, like the spaghetti vongole at

a restaurant in Changi.

What advice would you give a young student

who wants to be an award-winning architect like


Angelene Chan: You have to love architecture. If

you have the passion, you will have the tenacity to

endure the long training process and the arduous

profession. Read constantly and travel often to

open your eyes, to be inspired. Dream big and work

hard. Have courage to pursue your ideas. Be

curious always. Be ready to embrace change.

*The quote from Angelene Chan on page 43 was adapted

from National Design Centre interview: https://


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Singapore hotels

Rebirth of Raffles

After a three-year restoration the new RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE is bathed in

the golden glow of the tropical sun

MORE THAN 400 pieces of furniture that bear the old brass crests were restored. 8000 pieces of

silver and historical china, inventoried. Paint, colour, plaster, timber, textile, motif, lighting –

design elements are coming meticulously together to tell an authentic story of Raffles Hotel

Singapore's glory and heritage within modern relevance.

Raffles Hotel Singapore went through major restoration work over three years, and reopened in

August 2019. Partners for the project include global architecture and design firm Aedas,

Singapore-based architectural restoration and research consultancy Studio Lapis, and

Champalimaud Design founded by Alexandra Champalimaud in Montreal, now based in New


Opened in 1887, Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in

the world, and was declared a National Monument in 1987. Till today, its neo-Renaissance

architecture is preserved both inside and out, giving it a blend of luxury, history and classic

colonial design.

One of the highlights of the restored spaces in the Jubilee Ballroom, which had been a hub of

soirees, dances and social fun during the 1920s, earning a reputation as the "finest ballroom in

the East."

Light streams in from above into the Grand Lobby with its stunning chandelier. Harnessing natural light was a major

theme of the design team's efforts

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Raffles Hotel Singapore

47 feastandform.com feastandform.com 48

Singapore hotels

A chat with the



Design Coordination and Project Management

with Aedas


Partner, Champalimaud Design

What colour scheme runs through the nine

distinct suite categories of Raffles Hotel

Singapore, and why was this chosen?

How do you balance modern relevance with heritage

sensitivity in the Raffles Hotel Singapore restoration


The timeless and elegant combination of dark

wood and ivory tones, pairs with tanned

leather and touches of steel blue. The new

look of Raffles suites is pared down and

subtle, a great compliment to the existing

architectural backdrop.

The new Raffles seems to be brighter and

lighter and livelier.

Considering natural light in Raffles was one of

the main priorities for the design team. Sunlit

lobby, Tiffin Room and La Dame de Pic have a

very unique light quality – you may notice a

slight golden glow due to the characteristics

of the existing heritage glazing. Designer

choices fell on finishes and fabrics that

complement and amplify this unique element.

What did you enjoy working on most during

the years of restoration design process?

My story with Raffles began in the later part of

2018. By that time a few areas of the hotel,

such as ballrooms, Raffles Arcade and the

Long Bar were already successfully

completed. Still we had a big job ahead of us

as the rest of the property was still just a raw

concrete shell. Seeing the hotel take shape

over time and finally come alive with the hotel

team moving in and bringing along the first

group of guests was the most enjoyable,

magical moment.

You've lived in Singapore for about 6 years.

What design elements of the hotel capture

Singapore's heritage so well?

New plantation shutters in the suites, woven

rattan accents at the wardrobes, palm leaf

pattern panels at Writer’s Bar are a few design

details that bring about the spirit of tropical

colonial Singapore.

My favourite is Tiffin Room –

abundantly decorated with a

collection of antique tiffin boxes and

traditional ceramic plates."

How did you relax and what food did you crave for after a

hard day of work during the project?

Working at Raffles we were lucky to be next door to Purvis

Street, famous for its numerous Thai eateries and some

outstanding chicken rice spots. Sharing the occasional hearty

lunch with Champalimaud, AEDAS and construction teams

was a great way to unwind and build team spirit.

What advice can you give a design student about working

on a restoration project as iconic as Raffles Hotel

Singapore that takes years to achieve?

Working on Raffles was a great honour and a big milestone in

my career. My advice to any aspiring, young designer is to

cut their teeth on heritage and refurbishment projects. This

type of work really teaches you to be resourceful and creative



Head of the Raffles Hotel Singapore's

restoration interior design team and founder of

Champalimaud Design on the new Jubilee


We have included sophisticated Victorian details

whispering to the heritage of the space along

with nods to Singapore’s culture. In order to tell

the legacy story of the theatre, we added finely

curated motifs and techniques that speak to its

history, along with iconic lighting elements to

provide an added layer of luxury. Stunning

chandeliers and signature gold Venetian light

fixtures with elegant coffers, which light the

room beautifully, can be found within the space

along with custom upholstered wall panels that

speak to Singapore’s culture."

Raffles Hotel Singapore is a national monument that has

served as a landmark for many world travellers and

Singaporeans. The changes that we are bringing are both

modern but appropriate, as though they innately belong in

the building and have been there forever.

The new interiors will retain the original charm and heritage

and combine that with elements of modernity. In this sense,

the suites are designed to reminisce the past, while still being

contemporary to meet the needs of a savvy traveller in the

way they are built and function. For example, we designed

the new suites with better soundproofed windows and

improved lighting but preserved the heritage and colonial

feel of the space, such as the signature tripartite parlour,

sleeping area, bathroom layout in the rooms, and charming

elements such as the antique light switches.

When it reopens, the hotel will also have more than 100

pieces of antique furniture that would have been carefully

restored, including the Steinway grand piano, an antique

gramophone and the grandfather clock located in the Grand


You're not only creating a building but also an icon and a

symbol of Singapore's history. What kind of research did

you do to understand the context and come up with a

vision for the 'new' interiors?

For us, the most important element when approaching this

project was to honour and respect the culture of Singapore as

well as Raffles Hotel Singapore’s storied legacy and status as

a national monument.

In order to create design that can add value and improve the

space, we need to put ourselves in the middle of it all, to

understand not only the history behind a place, but also what

it is that people today are seeking from it.

We did our research to understand the true personality of

Singapore and what Raffles Hotel stands for in their culture.

We work closely with Raffles Hotel and our restoration

partners such as heritage consultant, Studio Lapis, a

Singapore-based architectural restoration specialist.

Ultimately, we want to bring forth the history and heritage

and tell an authentic story through design.

What Singapore food do you enjoy?

I’m a big fan of chilli crab. Whenever I’m in Singapore, I

always go to this wonderful place on the waterfront for their

crabs! I also love chicken rice – it’s definitely one of my

favourite local dishes.

49 feastandform.com feastandform.com 50

Above: Chef Anne-

Sophie Pic’s Araguani

Chocolate dessert

matches the interiors at

La Dame de Pic

restaurant, which exudes

a golden glow due to the

existing heritage glazing;

below: Courtyard Suite;

Left page from top: Tiffin

Room, Jubilee Ballroom,

Swimming Pool

51 feastandform.com feastandform.com 52

Norwegian designers


Designers from Norway are making names for themselves all over the world with

work inspired by traditional and modern elements of their beautiful homeland

NORWAY HAS ALWAYS been a nation of makers and creators. Wool and

wood, stone and steel – the country is blessed with an abundance of raw

materials, while Norwegian culture has evolved in the spirit of community and


As a result, modern Norway is a place of design without ego, where

boundaries are pushed and possibilities explored with a shared spirit of

curiosity, in the hope of creating something beautiful, functional and lasting.

Norwegian designers and spreading their talent across the globe from

Singapore to Tokyo to Paris. They bring with them their DNA of high quality

functionalism and understated sophistication.

Story by Carol Kraal

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Norwegian architecture


By Oslo-based landscape architecture firm

Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter + Landskapsfabrikken

THIS STUNNING MINIMALIST rest area in frosted glass and concrete nestles by the sea with views

of mountains and fjords on the Norwegian Scenic Route. You can glimpse the northern lights in

winter and the midnight sun in summer.

Photographs copyright and courtesy of Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter + Landskapsfabrikken

55 feastandform.com feastandform.com 56

Norwegian designers



Petter Skogstad


“ “

We aim to increase the longevity of objects by inspiring a sense of

personal attachment in the user."

I finish the pieces in RIG with a sand-textured matt coating

normally used for large building facades for a sculptural effect."

Noidoi was founded in 2013 by Kathrine Lønstad and Cosmin

Cioroiu, who met while studying at the Royal Danish Academy of

Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Working across a broad spectrum of

product design, there is emphasis on usability, materiality and

craftsmanship. Kapp is a series of sculptural candleholders made

from slipcast stoneware. It pays tribute to the history of their

studio's location opposite a milk factory dating back to 1800 with

the use of three colours representing different elements of milk


Oslo-based product designer Petter Skogstad graduated from

Akershus University College with an MA in product design in 2010,

and has spent nine years at Anderssen&Voll as senior product

designer. Skogstad applies a practical problem-solving approach

to design, generally focused on the areas of furniture, lighting,

tableware and domestic objects, which he develops for brands

including Muuto, Hem and Established & Sons. RIG comprises only

tubing and flat discs in powder-coated steel, and is a family of

furniture objects that are not designed for any specific seating

situation but possess a strong sculptural character.

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Norwegian designers

Stine Aas




“ “

The backrest of Frame is shaped in a perfect semicircle,

so that when several chairs are placed in a row, they form

a pattern reminiscent of the archways and decorative

motifs of classical architecture."

Working across the fields of product, furniture, interior and graphic

design, our practice is characterised by an analytical approach, a love

of experimentation and a shared enthusiasm for exploring new

materials, methods and aesthetics ."

With an MA in spatial and furniture design from Bergen

Academy of Art and Design, Stine Aas creates products

and furniture that blend character and simplicity. They

are inspired by the everyday interactions between

people and the objects around them typically

combining the visual, the tactile and the functional in

her design. A solid stackable chair in tinted oak, Frame

has been designed to be both simple and affordable to

produce. Inspired by geometric patterns, the chair

comprises a firm body with a softer, laminated shell on


Based in Bergen on Norway’s west coast, Vera&Kyte comprises Vera

Kleppe and Ashild Kyte, who established their harbourfront design

studio in 2013, soon after graduating from the Bergen Academy of

Art and Design. Redirect is a series of versatile panels that can serve

as both sound absorbers and room dividers, creating distinct zones

in contemporary workspaces. Made from lacquered steel frame

upholstered with coloured textiles, each element can be either wallmounted

or freestanding, with adjustable frames that allow them to

be adapted however the space requires.

Photographs: Lasse Fløde & Torjus

Berglid, courtesy of Norwegian

Presence and Zeteller, UK. Ane

Domaas and Kathrine Hogh

courtesy of Domaas/Hogh

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Paula O'Callaghan – Ethnic Spaces

Sara Graav – Minimalist Spaces

Jarrod Lim – Furniture Designer

Ane Domaas and Kathrine Høgh – Norwegian Designers

Belinda Low – Mural Artist

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Ethnic interiors


O ' C A L L A G H A N

Creating Beautiful Ethnic Spaces

The Singapore-based Senior Associate at Hirsch Bedner Associates

talks about her work as one of the world's most respected hospitality

interior designers

THE WHOLE POINT of travel, even on business, is to experience the cultural soul of

the place. That begins with your hotel – its design, spaces and ambience.

While ethnic style may seem primitive to some, local traditions represent who we are

today. Architecture and interior design that use ethnic elements connect a site’s past to

the present while respecting its spirit and history.

Experienced interior designer in the hospitality sector Paula O'Callaghan, Senior

Associate at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), transforms hotel and resort spaces into

ethnic havens by doing a lot of research, listening to locals' views, and observing their

arts and customs.

Some of the American's high-profile hotel, new-build, renovation and historic

restoration projects include the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, Marriott Copenhagen, Ritz-

Carlton Jakarta, Fairmont Peace Hotel Shanghai, and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.

One of Paula's projects in Singapore that has rich ethnic elements is:

Jiang-Nan Chun restaurant in Four Seasons Singapore hotel

The Cantonese restaurant is inspired by the land south of the Yangtze, the longest river

in China, and the culturally rich lifestyle of the people living there. Elements such as

fishermen baskets, rich wool carpets, medical cupboards and bird figurines are placed

throughout the restaurant to reminisce the fertile region of Jiang-Nan.

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Ethnic interiors

The rich carpet by Brinton's and the fishing net ceiling fixtures

reflect China’s fertile Yangtze River and its culture while The

beautiful carved panels, could not be drawn or documented in the

traditionally design sense, as they are meant to appear like

genuine, handcrafted, “found” elements

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Ethnic interiors

Top: The beautiful carved panels, could not be drawn or documented in the traditionally

design sense, as they are meant to appear like genuine, handcrafted, “found” elements.

Above: The bespoke entrance centrepiece is made of over 600 chopstick holders, which

symbolise the relationships and day-to-day sustenance of Yangtze river life; Right: Traditional

wood carvings of medical drawers juxtapose artisanal culture and rustic livelihood

67 feastandform.com feastandform.com 68

Ethnic interiors


Senior Associate

Hirsch Bedner Associates

How long was the design process for Jiang-Nan Chun restaurant at Four Seasons

Singapore – seeing that it has such rich ethnic elements?

The whole process from start to final installation was about 8 to 9 months. We had about 2

weeks to pull together the concept story and about another 2 to 3 weeks for the actual

schematic design development and re-planning, followed by a few weeks for design

documentation. Some of the details, such as the carved panels, could not be drawn or

documented traditionally, as they are meant to appear like genuine, handcrafted, “found”

elements. For these, we had to work closely with the contractor who sourced them in China.

Do your research and do not be afraid

to bounce ideas off of people who are

of that particular ethnicity or culture

to see what their perception of your

idea is."


– on designing ethnic interiors.

Having an arts background coupled

with an architecturally-oriented

design education, Paula has the unique

capability of working in both the

decorative and technical aspects of a


How do you approach ethnic and culture-rich hotel projects such as this without being

cliche, jarring and predictable?

Do your research and do not be afraid to bounce ideas off of people who are of that

particular ethnicity or culture to see what their perception of your idea is. If they tell you

something is too themed or cliche, you have to be sensitive enough to listen, learn and

amend the design. On a Siam Kempinski project in Bangkok, I constantly sought the

judgement of the Thai project manager and local furniture contractor. After they realised

that I was genuinely interested in their opinion, they openly offered their perspective. There

were many candid, fruitful discussions on what elements were uniquely Thai versus Chinese,

Indonesian, or simply generically “Asian".

As you are based in Singapore, and have been living here for some time what are your

favourite local foods?

Oh, I'm such a foodie! So the list is rather long. Here are some of my favourite local foods:

chicken rice (roasted, breast cut preferred), kway chap (ang moh style, without offal), bak kut

teh, mee siam, char kway teow, laksa (Singapore version), duck rice (dry, without sauce), char

siew rice (dry, without sauce), siew yoke (dry, Hong Kong style with hot mustard), yong tau

foo (soup with beehoon), popiah, fried beehoon, herbal chicken soup, nasi lemak, chilli crab,

chilli baby sotong (squid, the crispy kind), roti prata, sardine puff (extra spicy).

Story by Carol Kraal and Sara Graav. Photographs courtesy of Hirsch Bedner Associates. Food photograph by

Seet Ying Lai

Nasi lemak is one of

foodie Paula's

favourite Singapore


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Minimalist interiors

Minimalist homes

remind us about what

is most important in

our lives, making us

become more

appreciative towards

what matters and what

we already have."


Interior Designer







Interior designer


feels that the calm minimalism of Scandinavian Design

works well for homes in hectic Singapore

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Minimalist interiors

SCANDINAVIAN AND MINIMALIST design is second nature to Norwegian interior designer

Sara Graav. All her life she has absorbed the clean forms, colours and functional beauty of

buildings and furnishings, products and textiles in her home country.

On a holiday trip to Singapore years back Sara had been fascinated with

the city's diverse architectural designs, culture and lush natural elements.

Something connected deeply so she decided to stay.

With her love and keen eye for minimalist design the young designer in her 20s feels it

works well for Singapore interiors – especially modern minimalist design with Scandinavianinspired

concepts, in which nature plays a role.

The sheer unclutteredness, lightness and simplicity of minimalism creates spaces you feel

relaxed in and want to come home to. The green landscaping around Singapore homes

adds a dimension typical of Scandinavian style where interior and exterior flow into each

other, of connecting with nature and natural materials.

Minimalism may appear simple, but it's also extremely complex; it’s about stripping

everything down to the bare essentials without sacrificing beauty and sophistication.

Top: Scandinavian Style dining room enjoys light colours, lots of wood

and natural light

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Minimalist interiors

Natural materials such as wood and stone

give a sense of purity while adding a sense

“of depth."

A chat with interior designer SARA GRAAV

about creating modern minimalist interiors in Singapore homes

Why is minimalist design such as Scandinavian in

demand in Singapore homes today?

Nowadays we tend to have a lot of things, some of

which we do not really need. We frequently seem to

be looking for new things that we believe will make

us happier, forgetting to appreciate what we already

have. Minimalist homes remind us about what is

most important in our lives, making us become more

appreciative towards what matters and what we

already have. Perhaps because the world seems to

be getting ever more complicated, people seem to

be finding that more attractive these days.

In addition, practically speaking, minimalist design

makes sense for Singapore. Because Singapore has a

high density of people, space has become limited

and residential spaces have shrunk. The minimalistic

home with its clean surfaces and emphasis on quality

helps compensate for the lack of space. A

minimalistic design helps create order, making it

easier to keep smaller spaces tidy and neat. We all

work long hours in Singapore, and minimalist

designs free up time – time that would otherwise be

spent cleaning or organising – to spend with friends

and family.

You've lived in Singapore for about 7 years now.

How do we add Singapore touches to minimalist


Take inspiration from local history or elements from

the natural elements that are native to the tropics.

For instance, features from Peranakan design like

patterns and colours are easy to adapt and to give a

slight modern twist in a minimalist way.

Why is minimalist style connected with


Scandinavian design is all about saving cost and

being functional. Design qualities emphasise

durability, beauty, functionality, simplicity and

natural forms.

For our Nordic interiors it is important to create

relaxing, light-coloured spaces that capture as much

sunlight as possible during our long, dark winters.

Right: Add local elements with Peranakan tiles. Photo

credit: Loke Thye Kee Residences by Ministry of Design

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Minimalist interiors

Modern minimalism continues to

evolve, and has become very

open to different usage of

materials with a wider range of

colours and texture."

What materials, furnishings, colours and lighting

work best for minimalist interiors?

Wood, stone, concrete, metal and glass. Natural

materials such as wood and stone give a sense of purity

while adding a sense of depth. They create a

connection between the natural environment, the site

and the occupants. Concrete, metal and glass, in

contrast, help create more simplicity and openness.

They are easy to take care of and to maintain.

Modern minimalism continues to evolve, and has

become very open to different usage of materials with

a wider range of colours and textures, while neutral

colours such as white, light grey and beige are still

commonly used. These colours are simple and create a

nice contrast to materials like wood, stone and

concrete. For example, white ceilings and walls allow a

space to feel more spacious while enhancing the

movement of natural light in space.

Of course, natural lighting is an essential quality in

minimalism. Typically, large windows are used to

maximise natural light in the space and the lighter

colours like white, are used to reflect the natural light.

The type of furniture used is also important to how well

lit a space is. For example, furniture that is elevated

allows light to travel through the negative space

beneath the furnishings and to better diffuse

throughout the space.

How do you relax after a hard day at work?

Put on my comfy clothes, cook some dinner and just

relax on the couch. More generally, I practise yoga to

help myself disconnect and find a sense of inner peace.

What Singapore food do you like? What Norwegian

food do you miss?

In Singapore chicken rice is my favourite. There is a lot

of Norwegian foods that I miss like Norwegian cheese

and sausages, and especially a lamb dish called pinne

kjøtt. We have it for Christmas, and its delicious.

If a young girl tells you she wants to be an interior

designer like you what advice would you give her?

Find a good school with teachers that are professionals

in the field. When it gets tough and you face

difficulties, do not search for an easy way out by cutting

corners. Work hard and believe in yourself.

Story by Carol Kraal

Photographs: Sara Graav by Susanna Fong; Pinne kjøtt

by visitnorway

One of Sara's favourite

Singapore dishes is chicken

rice while she misses

traditional Norwegian food

like a lamb dish called

pinne kjøtt (right), usually

enjoyed during Christmas

77 feastandform.com feastandform.com 78

Norwegian designers







Design duo ANE DOMAAS and KATHRINE HØGH of Domaas/Høgh combines form

and function to reflect Norway's seasons and modest humour

THEY'RE YOUNG, creative and ambitious. Ane Domaas (above right) and Kathrine Høgh met during their

studies at Oslo Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, and Product Design and shared dreams of

creating quality, well-designed products.

Carl – Multiuse fabric

We create products for everyday life that reflect the distinctive

modesty and touches of humour of the Norwegian temperament."


Inspired by the unconventional approach of the Norwegian artist,

sculptor and Picasso collaborator Carl Nesjar, Domaas/Høgh created

Carl, a durable, multiuse fabric made from a cotton-linen blend. It

translates Nesjar’s use of sandblasting concrete to create positive and

negative surfaces into textile design.

In a rented workshop and loft in Oslo that gets hot in summer and cold in winter, they got to work creating

functional homeware with clean lines, honest forms and playful colours that reflect the modesty and humour of

the Norwegian temperament.

How do your designs capture the essence of


Our designs reflect our surroundings and are often

inspired by nature. We enjoy using natural materials like

wood, glass, metal and ceramic. We feel that our

products tend to be a bit modest, almost shy, and are

easy to place in any environment.

Why do you think Scandinavian Style in architecture,

interior design and product design is so loved all

over the world?

We think Scandinavian Style is so loved because it's

simple – with a twist; it's easy to understand and can be

combined with other styles.

What Norwegian food do you love most after a hard

day designing things?

It's embarrassing, but almost every time after a hard

day of work, we end up eating junk food, maybe

because we're so tired and so hungry. As for local fare

it's always good to have Norwegian waffles with

brunost (brown cheese), jam and a cup of coffee!

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Singapore furniture designer

Jarrod Lim at work; Right: Patricia Urquiola's advice is not to overcrowd a design with too many focal points



M y W o r k i n g S t i n t w i t h P A T R I C I A U R Q U I O L A

The Singapore-based furniture and product designer picked up invauable skills in

both design and business in Milan

PATRICIA URQUIOLA is one of the most sought-after architects and designers today.

She is known for her contemporary experimental yet simple designs with playful

colour and ethnic charm that communicate with us. The Milan-based Spanish

designer, together with WOHA, created award-winning OASIA Downtown in


It took Singapore-based Australian designer Jarrod Lim and his portfolio of sketches

several tries before earning a 2-year stint at Patricia's studio in Milan back in 2003.

The first month was as an intern, the rest as full-time work employee. When Jarrod

returned to Singapore after this invaluable experience he opened his own studio

Jarrod Lim Designs in Joo Chiat.

Above: Jarrod Lim's The Koi Chair is inspired by the gates and window grills of Singapore homes

I learned so much about international perspective on design; how top level

designers think and work with the best companies and how they view trends,

“materials. I learned about the entire life of a designer." – JARROD LIM

You showed Patricia Urquiola your portfolio – what do you think caught her eye?

I think what caught her eye was that I was making my own small items in ceramic at the time and

that I was quite experimental.

You stayed in Milan for 2 years. How has the city itself influenced you creatively?

Milan is a very hardworking city. It’s really a meeting point for designers and manufacturers more so

than an ‘inspirational’ location. A place where design-business occurs. The influence I gained from

Milan was more about how designers and studios operate. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of

what a designer can achieve and gave me a broader perspective on the design industry.

What food did you enjoy most in Milan?

Pizza for sure. We had some really nice pizzerias near our studio. Plus the pizza was quite cheap so

for a young designer on a very tight budget it was excellent value.

What piece of advice from Patricia Urquiola stays with you till today?

Not to overcrowd a design with too many focal points. Each design has one main story that it is

trying to explain. Whether it’s a new material or a new manufacturing method. If you have too many

stories or focal points the design is confusing and the main idea is lost.

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Singapore visual artist


BELINDA LOW sometimes balances 3 floors up on planks to create her works of art

Above: Samsui woman on a staircase in Chinatown, depicting the neighbourhood's

historical roots

Belinda Low's style is post impressionistic, expressionistic and sometimes veering

towards realism. The Singaporean artist paints all kinds of subjects and finds

faces especially intriguing as they express the most. She loves to use bold

colours and strong brushstrokes to show intense emotions,which transcend to

the viewer

The surface doesn’t matter

as long as I have a wall,

which is like a very large

canvas on which I can freely

express myself."

You're self taught. How did you teach yourself art and

how long did it take from learner to creator of your first

commercial piece?

I attended a 3-hour short introductory course on the basics

on light, and perpectives at a local studio. Thereafter

along the way, as I started to paint more and more. It's all

about self-discovery by trial and error and lots of practice.

Concrete, wood, plaster, brick, fabric. What is your

favourite surface to work on for a street mural and what

kind of paints do you use that does not fade?

The surface doesn’t matter as long as I have a wall, which is

like a very large canvas on which I can freely express

myself. Apart from the usual, I have also created murals on

wood, steel and aluminium walls.

I consider myself a speed painter since I have a day job,

and I set my own deadlines for finishing each mural work

since I usually work on weekends. But I do take time off if

it’s super urgent and there are time constraints and a


I usually use acrylic which is my favourite medium as it dries

fast, especially when you see rain coming. But I work with

emulsion mainly for the background and for blocking big


How do you sketch your ideas?

I usually just use pencil and go over it with ink and wash it

with water colour. I sketch the entire area including the

road, people, and so forth, to get a big picture of how the

wall looks like in its entirety.

What Singapore food do you crave for after a hard day

of painting?

I usually go for a big breakfast as sometimes, I don’t even

break for lunch. And at the end of the day, I try to eat

healthy with a salad or something. But yeah, carbo load

they say the day prior and also coffee to keep me mentally

awake and focused!

What advice would you give a young art student who

wants to start creating beautiful mural works like you?

Doing murals is hard work as you have to withstand the

elements like the weather, and you must not be afraid of

heights. You must be very passionate and have a Never-

Say-Die attitude. It’s extremely good for character-building

as it teaches you patience (for example when you have to

wait for the rain to stop), perseverance, tolerance and

endurance. You have to be disciplined to sustain and

maintain an exercise regimen to keep fit in order to handle

the tools, and to handle working for 8 hours non-stop on

your feet.

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Wok hei


Nevada Berg – Norwegian Food

Singapore Sling

Art Deco Cocktails

Homegrown Gin

Artisan Bread

Food and Architecture

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Singapore street food


Principal architect and founder of CHANG Architects Chang Yong Ter loves

a good zichar after a hard day at work. Here are a few of Singapore foodies'


ZICHAR IS A HOKKIEN TERM used to describe everyday, affordable,

homestyle Chinese dishes served on order in a casual setting. Drop by in your

shorts and flip flops or pyjamas if you like. Ubiquitous at zichar eateries are

the massive flames on stoves as clanging woks are infused with 'wok

hei' (breath of the wok) that imparts a delicious flavour and aroma of char.

Each Chinese ethnic group – Teochew, Cantonese, Sichuan, Taiwanese,

Hongkong, Hakka, Hainanese etc – has its own style of zichar food: the light

simple flavours of Teochew big on seafood (steamed groupa, cold crab); the

spicy sweet tanginess of Sichuan (ma po tofu, claypot chicken with dried

chilli); the thick gravy drenched Cantonese platters like bittergourd pork ribs.

More often than not zichar eateries serve more than one ethnic styles.

Favourite dishes include crab beehoon, hot plate tofu, hot plate venison,

prawn paste chicken wings, sambal kangkong, cereal prawns, chai poh

(preserved radish) omelette, salted egg yolk squid, steamed fish, marmite

pork ribs.

Popular zi char dishes include prawn

paste fried chicken, kangkong

sambal vegetable and Hong Kong

style fish in soy sauce






Two Chefs Eating Place

Kok Sen Restaurant

JB Ah Meng

Joo Heng


116 Commonwealth Crescent

#01-129, Singapore140116

30 Keong Saik Road, Singapore


534 Geylang Road Lor 30,

Singapore 389490

360 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore


363 Jalan Besar Road, Singapore


Opening hours: Monday

5-11.30pm; tuesday to sunday

11.30am-2.30, 5-11.30pm; Closed

every last monday of the month

Setting: A 'shack with no walls

beneath an awning' in a Housing

Development Board (HDB)

apartment block corner next to

provision shops, Chinese medicine

shop and betting shop.

Food: Cantonese style plus

others. Try the Butter Pork Ribs,

which looks as if powdery snow

has fallen onto the dish. These

snowflakes are made with butter

and condensed milk that gives a

rich sweetness.

Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm;

6pm-10.30pm. Closed on mondays

Setting: A shophouse in a

conservation district in Chinatown.

Keong Saik has a colourful past of

brothels, gangster hangouts and

gambling dens. You'll see

shophouses in the art deco style.

Food: Cantonese style plus others.

The Michelin Bib Gourmand 2017

winner has been around for nearly

40 years, and serves favourites such

as big prawns hor fun, claypot yong

tau fu and prawn paste chicken cut

up into crispy chunks instead of the

usual wings.

Opening hours: 5.30pm-2.30am


Setting: Rustic, streetside eatery at

the corner of a pretty 1939 art

deco-looking shophouse. Geylang

comes alive when the sun goes

down with fantastic food, gangsters,

prostitutes, secret gamblers and

durian enthusiasts.

Food: Malaysian-Chinese style.

Making the inaugural Singapore

Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand 2016

list, the Malaysian owner cooks up a

storm with these delectable dishes:

white pepper crab, salted egg

prawn roll, JB San Lau mee hoon,

stirfried Cameron Highland dragon

vegetable, garlic clams and

deepfried fermented bean pork.

Opening hours: 11am-2pm;

5pm-10pm. Closed on mondays.

Setting: Quaint, no-frills setting in a

Peranakan shophouse with timber

shutter windows and neo-classical

ornamentation. The eatery has been

around for more than 40 years.

Food: Old school Cantonese style.

Tau Jeon song fish head with bean

sauce, stirfried pork liver with

ginger and spring onions, sambal

sweet potato leaves, and stirfried

tender baby squid are popular


Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm;

6pm-10pm. Closed on mondays.

Setting: Casual eatery with modern

interiors in a quaint 4-storey

conservation shophouse in Jalan

Besar, owned by The Lee Clan


Food: Classic and modern

Cantonese. The highlight is the char

siew (barbecued pork) which is

tender and beautifully charred at

the right places. Other items

include braised chicken with black

garlic in claypot, and stirfried salted

egg pork rib minus the bones.

87 feastandform.com feastandform.com 88

Singapore Chinese food



It takes a chef a long time to

master the art of WOK HEI in

Chinese cooking. Can you

achieve this at home?

Mitzo's executive chef Nicky Ng shows his skill in getting wok hei to cloak his food

89 feastandform.com feastandform.com 90


or 'wok hei' in Cantonese

refers to the smoky char

nuances in both aroma and

flavour that envelops a justcooked

wokfried dish. Hor

fun (flat rice noodles with

meat and gravy), fried rice,

kang kong sambal, and

stirfried dishes MUST have

wok hei if they are to have

the stamp of approval with


Walk past any zichar eatery or

Chinese gourmet kitchen and you'll

hear the roar of jet flames. This is

how searing hot, huge and

powerful the fire has to be for the

cook to work his wok, and to cloak

his tossing food with wok hei. It

takes seconds to achieve but it

takes years of learning and practice.

All these professional Chinese

cuisine chefs' dishes on the right

have wok hei to elevate flavour and


Chef Eric Low of LUSH Epicurean's black beef hor fun


Chung Lap Fai

of Hua Ting,

Orchard Hotel



sauteed lamb

fillet, Chinese

leek and aged


Executive chef

Nicky Ng of

Mitzo's XO

fried rice with

lobster meat,




Masterchef Goh Chee Kong of Min Jiang at Dempsey's stewed noodles with



executive chef

Chai Jih Nan of

Blue Lotus' wok

fried KL style

Hokkien noodles

with crispy pork


91 feastandform.com feastandform.com 92

Chef Eric Low

Culinary arts & science specialist,

founder of LUSH Epicurean

Masterchef Chung Lap Fai

Hua Ting, Orchard Hotel


Masterchef Goh Chee Kong

Min Jiang at Dempsey

Resident executive chef

Chai Jih Nan

Blue Lotus

Executive chef Nicky Ng


Wok hei at home with these

cheat methods

With a string of culinary awards and medals to his

name, Chef Eric Low has cooked for royalty and

Hollywood stars. The graduate from the Culinary

Institute of America in Napa Valley and SHATEC

is boardmember of the Singapore Chefs

Association, and chef-owner of LUSH Epicurean.


A domestic home stove is only about 20,000

British thermal units (btu); we need at least a

100,000btu stove to achieve wok hei. This is not

allowed in many domestic kitchens because of the

danger. Wok hei is achieved when moisture

released from food ingredients tossed in a wok

over high fire, splatters with droplets of rendered

fat in the wok.


Wok hei is a complex spectrum of smoke

produced from the burning fat and the

caramelising natural sugars of ingredients at the

high temperatures of cooking. It adds a smokey

dimension to the dish. It takes a lot of skill to

balance the high heat with wok movement, and

the tossing of ingredients.


I prefer carbon steel. It is light weight, non

reactive to acidic ingredients and sauces. It is also

easier to manage when it comes to wok tossing

the ingredients to produce flames.



A simple Teochew style chye por kway teow fried

with lard, preserved radish (chye por), kailan and

seasoned with fish sauce. It's a simple dish but

relies heavily on wok hei to uplift it.

He is indeed the Master. Beginning

his career at 17 in Hong Kong,

Masterchef Chung Lap Fai's

impressive culinary journey has

spanned more than 30 years. His

Singapore stint at Hua Ting

Cantonese restaurant began in

1997, and he has since taken both

his signature Cantonese dishes

and the restaurant to outstanding

standards, winning numerous

awards and accolades.



The fire must be strong and you

must be quick in your cooking.

If not, the dish will be overly

smoky. Get all your ingredients

ready by the stove.



It makes the dish aromatic and

taste better.



You must clean it after every use

and protect it with a thin film of




That would be then Dried Beef

Hor Fun.

Ipoh-born Chef Goh has been

working with the Min Jiang brand

since 2001. He was awarded 'One of

the Top Five Most Promising Chefs in

Asian cuisine' at the Hospitality Asia

Platinum Awards in 2007. His

interpretation of contemporary

Chinese cuisine at Min Jiang at

Dempsey takes his culinary art to

impressive levels. Wok hei is a key

element in a majority of his creations.



Wok hei is particularly important in

Chinese cuisine for the robust flavour,

texture and fragrance of the food.



To achieve wok hei, the two key

things to note are – high fire and

quick, repeated toss of the food in

the wok. Approximately 20 seconds

before the food is done cooking, you

have to raise the flame temperature

to extraordinarily high levels.

Then, the food has to be tossed

about non-stop and moved about

vigorously in the wok over the strong

flame during those few seconds.

Sometimes, this is done in

combination with tossing the food in

the air by flicking the wok.

Wearing a professional chef's hat of 20

years, chef Chai has developed

award-winning experience and

technique in Chinese cuisine. He is not

one to shy away from learning new

technologies and methods, which he

incorporates into his traditional

repertoire to add a touch of modernism

and the unexpected. This exciting

interpretation of Chinese food is

evident at Blue Lotus establishments.



The temperature of the wok has to be

perfect. This also depends on the

chef’s experience in controlling the

fire with just the right amount of heat

to spread evenly through the wok. In

addition to the chef’s technique, the

material of the wok matters too.



Season the wok with oil. Traditionally,

chefs will always burn the bottom of

the wok to maintain it and also

achieve a better effect of wok hei.

These steps usually make the wok

thinner, so that the wok heats up fast

enough to quick fry and create the

wok hei.


Wok fried beef kway teow, dry

version. It looks simple, but if the wok

hei is not executed well, this dish will

not be fantastic.

During his days as deputy executive chef at

Club Chinois, chef Ng elevated modern

Chinese fine dining in Singapore to

meritorious levels. His culinary style sees him

adding various cultural nuances to the

traditional such as truffle or lemongrass to

Cantonese classics.


The regular use of the wok develops a layer

of hardened oil that prevents the food from

sticking to the wok. Wok hei is the intense

smoky flavour and can only be achieved

under extreme heat. The oil ensures that the

gravy does not burn, after which the

ingredients will be added into the wok.


Like all tools of the trade, woks also have a

certain lifespan. In order to maintain the

curvature of the wok, as it will eventually go

out of shape due to the heavy usage, one

needs to heat the wok at an intense heat to

invoke the malleability of the metal. This is

seen when the wok turns red with the heat of

the fire. The chef will then hit the wok with a

special wooden “hammer” of sorts to shape

it back to its original form. This is something

that I do to ensure that my wok is taken care



My favourite wok hei dish at Mitzo is Sanpei

chicken with onion, mushroom and Thai

sweet basil, and my personal favourite wok

hei dish is beef hor fun.

1 Flambe – If you do not want the

liquor to affect the flavours of the

food, vodka is the most neutral of

spirits that leaves no flavour.

2 Mezcal – This Mexican agave spirit

has a unique, distinctive smoky

flavour. This is because the harvested

agave fruit is smoked in pits before

extraction and distillation. Add a

teaspoonful to your stirfry or flambe

with it. It is expensive like tequila but

a little goes a long way (unless you

knock back shots every night).

3 Smoked salt – Sea salt is smoked

with aromatic woods for a delicious

hint of char.

4 Liquid smoke – It is generally made

by condensing the smoke from

burning wood. Just a dash will do (1/4

teaspoon) as it is highly concentrated.

You can dilute it in stock or water

before stirfrying.

6 Lapsang Souchong tea leaves –

This Chinese tea is dried using

pinewood fire, and has a wonderful

smoky essence. You can brew the tea

and use it as stock.

7 Chef’s blow torch – Invest in one of

these handy kitchen gadgets that

throws flame onto foods for searing

char and wok hei aromas. I’ve seen

chefs blacken salmon, melt butter and

direct blow torch flames into a wok if

the stove is not that powerful.

8 Dark roast coffee – The darker the

roast the more delicious the char

flavour you will get. Dark roast coffee

includes espresso, Italian, Sumatra

Mandheling, French and Columbian.

Just a pinch of ground coffee will give

you a shot of smoke.

93 feastandform.com feastandform.com 94

Singapore Peranakan food

Culture Mix, Spice Mix

The Peranakan in Singapore and their Food


grandmother scolds her for being a lazy oaf. Nor does she

want to spend hours in the kitchen pounding spice pastes or

cooking ayam buah keluak (this one actually takes 2 days to

prep). She is the young generation of the Peranakan, a

fascinating community of mixed Chinese and Malay cultures.

Her grandmother yells at her in a creole of Chinese Hokkien,

Malay and English words. The recipes she has inherited but

shuns are windows to some of the best food in the world.

'Peranakan' means 'local born' in Malay. These are the offspring of

Chinese traders, who settled in the trading ports of Singapore,

Malacca and Penang, and who married the local girls, many of

whom are indigenous Malay. Their origins can be traced as far back

as the 15th century in Sumatra, Indonesia. Peranakan males are

called baba and the females, nonya.

Adept in business, administration and trade many Peranakan

Chinese were wealthy and held high status. In the British controlled

Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang in the 19th

century, they were influenced by the British colonialists, and were

also called the Straits Chinese. The Peranakans picked up English

and worked for these ruling officials, boosting their socio economic

status even higher.

The Peranakans in Singapore keep their Chinese surnames and

Chinese cultural practices such as ancestor worship. They eat pork

and wear baju kurong, and sarong kebaya, traditional attire of the

Malays. Their homes, many of which are in the East Coast area, are

colourful, and are highly decorated with symbolic embellishments

and neo-classical forms.

In their kitchens, the skilled women produce outstanding dishes that

have Chinese, Malay and western elements. They love their spice

pastes known as rempah – a heady blend of chilli, ginger,

lemongrass, onion, garlic and other herbs – that form the base of

many dishes. They love tea time and gossip, and create wonderful

desserts and colourful kueh (cakes and snacks) to entertain.

You can explore this interesting culture at The Peranakan Gallery at

Orchard Road. The Peranakan Museum at Armenian Street is

currently undergoing restoration until mid-2021.

Story by Carol Kraal. Respective photographs courtesy of Godmama

Restaurant & Bar, The Peranakan Gallery, The Peranakan Restaurant

and Candlenut Kitchen


Ayam buah keluak – Buah keluak chicken

curry. Buah keluak (Pangium edule) fruit

comes from trees in mangrove swamps. It is

poisonous, and made edible by a

fermentation process, then soaking in water

before cooking. A hole is made in the nut

to reveal the black kernel, which we eat by

scooping it out. It has a nutty, earthy,

truffle-like taste, and a texture like mashed

chocolate. For ayam buah keluak curry

buah keluak nuts are cooked with chicken,

lemongrass, turmeric, chilli, tamarind juce,

onions and galangal, and thickened with

ground candlenuts. The curry has an

enticing black colour.

Rendang – Dry beef coconut curry.

Adopted from the Malays, this slow cooked

beef curry is made with coconut milk, dried

chilli, garlic, onion, tamarind juice, gula

melaka, turmeric leaf, galangal, lemongrass

and kerisik (toasted grated coconut

pounded to a paste).

Babi pongteh – Braised pork with

fermented soybean. Pork shoulder, trotters

or belly is braised for hours till tender, with

dark and light soy sauces, cinnamon, star

anise, gula melaka, garlic, shallots, and

fermented bean paste (taucheo).

Sotong assam pedas – Spicy tamarind

squid curry. Assam pedas means 'sour

spicy' in Malay referring to the light curry

made with tamarind juice, shallots,

lemongrass, polygonum leaves, turmeric,

chilli and pineapple. Squid and other types

of seafood make good assam pedas.

Chap chye – Mixed vegetable stew.

Cabbage, jicama, carrot, beancurd sheets,

mushroom, lily flower buds, wood ear

fungus, glass cellophane noodles, garlic,

dried prawn, pork belly and prawns stewed

in fermented soy bean chicken stock.

Kueh kueh – Assorted cakes and desserts.

Selection of dishes at Godmama Restaurant & Bar

95 feastandform.com feastandform.com 96

Singapore Peranakan food

Chef/Owner Malcolm Lee

creates Michelin Star

Peranakan food at

Candlenut Kitchen - like

this Ah Ma Kase Set

Where to Eat

Candlenut Kitchen

17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676

One Michelin star and the pleasant

greenery of Dempsey draw foodies as

chef/owner Malcolm Lee creates

refined traditional and modernist

Peranakan dishes. Try the assam

sotong hitam, blue swimmer crab curry,

wagyu beef rendang, ikan bakar, buah

keluak fried rice and mao shan wang

durian pengat.

Godmama Restaurant & Bar

109 North Bridge Road, Funan Mall,

#04-07, Singapore 179105

Traditional and modern Peranakan,

such as Fried Chicken Wings with

Belacan Mayo. Interesting brunch items

such as Otak Benedict.

TingKat PeraMakan

301 Upper Thomson Road, #02-44

Thomson Plaza, Singapore 574408

Authentic, homestyle Peranakan food

that is decent and inexpensive.

The Peranakan

442 Orchard Road, Level 2 Claymore

Connect, Singapore 238879

Executive chef Raymond Khoo serves

the recipes of his ancestral clan in a

lovely setting. A favourite for years.

Ivins Peranakan Restaurant

21 Binjai Park, Singapore 589827

Homestyle food in a homestyle setting.

The food comes out fast so is ideal for

busy lunches. Favourites include

rendang, babi pongteh and itek tim.

Violet Oon's Kitchen

881 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore


National Kitchen by Violet Oon

#02-01 National Gallery Singapore

Singapore food personality Violet Oon

serves Peranakan favourites like buah

keluak ayam, sambal udang, babi

assam and kueh pie tee. The interiors

reflect Nonya chic with colourful tiles

and wood furnishing.

The Blue Ginger

97 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore


This Michelin Bib Gourmand family-run

restaurant has been around for years

serving favourites such as ngo hiang,

babi pong tay, ikan masak assam gulai

and ayam buah keluak. Its elegant

setting in a shophouse makes it ideal

for business luncheons.

Baba Chews

86 East Coast Road, #01-01 Katong

Square, Singapore 428788

Traditional favourites in a cosy setting.

Guan Hoe Soon

40 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427764

Established in 1953, Singapore's oldest

Peranakan restaurant serves an

irresistable ayam buah keluak and other

authentic dishes.

Top: 'Tok Panjang' meaning 'Long Table',

is a Peranakan tradition that welcomes

friends and family to reunite over a spread

of festive dishes. It follows the European

tradition of long tables instead of the

Chinese preference for round tables. Left:

True blue Nonya (men are called Baba)

Godmama Restaurant & Bar co-owner with

her mother June on her left and godmother

Monica. They are wearing the traditional

sarong kebaya

97 feastandform.com feastandform.com 98

Singapore Peranakan food

A chat



of Godmama Restaurant & Bar

RAYMOND KHOO, owner and chef of

The Peranakan, and owner of The

Peranakan Gallery

Ayam Buah Keluak

Babi Pongteh

The restaurant is a tribute to Godma

Monica and Mama June, doyennes

of Peranakan food in your family.

Tell us more about the Peranakan

cooking culture they’ve passed on

to you.

They are my role models when it

comes to being a good host; the

graciousness and kindness of opening

our home to family, friends and

strangers (friends of friends). I carried

that culture with me when studying

and working abroad. My mom (mama

June) used to send me care packages

of dried chillies and the like to me so I

could recreate the family dinners –

think curries and Mee Siam – with my


Godma Monica won the first prize in

the Nyonya Food Competition for

her sambal jantong pisang (banana

blossom salad) and one of the

judges was the late Madam Chua

Jim Neo, mother of Singapore’s first

prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. It is

difficult to find this dish in

restaurants and in modern

Peranakan homes today?

While the sambal jantong pisang is

not difficult to make, the ingredient

isn’t commonly used and, therefore,

there isn’t a steady supply of it. Other

dishes you rarely see is the Itek Sio

(Nyonya braised duck with tamarind

and coriander) and Hati Babi Bungkus

(liver wrapped with pig caul lining). My

family would prepare them only

during Chinese New Year, partly

because it is so time consuming to


How do you and fellow Peranakan

co-owner and head chef Fredric Goh

turn timeless Peranakan recipes into

contemporary interpretations.

What head chef Fredric has done is

use quintessential Nyonya dishes and

flavours and introduce them into

brunch dishes people are familiar with.

There’s the Babi Assam Baked Eggs

(our take on Spanish Baked Eggs) and

the Pulled Pork Pongteh Sunny using

the same robust stews Godmama

serves in the traditional lunch and

dinner menu. We don’t tweak the

flavours of the original dishes in any

way. Buah Keluak (black nut) is also

introduced in the Buah Keluak

Bolognese Pasta. It has got such a

unique flavour (black chocolate-like

bitterness, earthy and truffle-like).

What dishes of your Godma’s and

Mama’s do you miss the most when

you are away from home? Is there a

book of family recipes you carry

with you?

Definitely the Ayam Buah Keluak.

Getting buah keluak is impossible in

Hawaii. It doesn’t grow there and

there isn’t a demand for it. In Hong

Kong, I could still get some from

mom-and-pop Indonesian stores at

Causeway Bay.

There’s also the Kiam Chye Ark (salted

mustard greens with duck soup). Not

only was it hard to find fresh duck but

was also involved tedious preparation


There is no recipe book. My mom

(Mama June) used to come over to

Hong Kong to teach the helpers how

to make Nyonya dishes from scratch.

Even Godma had to get my help

detailing the recipe for the Nyonya

Food Competition back then. I’d have

to weigh each ingredient and note

down the process for submission. All

the recipes are in their heads.

Is modernising Peranakan cuisine

and making it simpler the only way

to getting young Peranakans back

into the kitchen in this fast-paced


Godmama started out as my way of

getting more people (young or old) to

appreciate Peranakan food. We’ve

made the ambience contemporary

and comfortable, making it incredibly

accessible for people from all walks of

life. I’d love for more young

Peranakans to head back into the

kitchen and continue the delicious

legacy that is Nyonya food, but I do

know we have to start slow.

What dishes should be introduced to

someone who has never tried

Peranakan food?

Start with the classics. Like our Ayam

Buah Keluak, which comes with the

actual black nuts. You are given a

teaspoon to dig out the flavourful

flesh inside the nut, put it on top of

rice, chicken and gravy and enjoy.

You’d also want to try the Babi Assam

and Babi Pongteh, with rice, of course.

And, for seafood lovers, there is the

Sotong Masak Hitam (squid cooked in

squid ink and tamarind sauce) as well

as the Ikan Gerang Assam (pan-seared

sea bass in assam). For the latter, we

switched it up by pan-searing the sea

bass for a crisp skin to add texture.

The new Peranakan Gallery of yours

centres on a beautiful Tok Panjang table

with all its finery. How does this Tok

Panjang symbolise your Peranakan


'Tok Panjang' meaning 'Long Table', is a

longstanding Peranakan tradition that

welcomes friends and family to reunite

over a spread of elaborate dishes. Popular

with weddings, birthdays and welcoming

dignitaries, it follows the European

tradition of long tables instead of the

Chinese preference for round tables.

What are some of the must-have dishes

for a Tok Panjang feast and does your

restaurant The Peranakan, serve these


We have 2 versions of the ‘Tok Panjang’

served in the restaurant. A classic menu

includes BakWan Kepiting soup, Buah

Keluak, Babi Pongteh and Chap Chye,

while the heritage menu serves dishes like

Sup Tahu Titek, Sambal Pisang Jantung

(heart of the banana flower), Hati Babi

Bungkus, Itek Sioh and Nyonya Mee.

What makes a dish 'authentic


They are made with a lot of spices and not

chillies. That’s the biggest misconception

about Peranakan food. People associate it

with Malay and Indian food where most of

the dishes are spicy. However, authentic

Peranakan dishes do not use any MSG, but

lots of fresh spices and slow cooking

methods to bring out the flavours.

Did you inherit your recipes?

None of the recipes are mine. They have

been handed down over the generations.

Which is your favourite?

My favourite is Buah Keluak be it cooked

with chicken or pork ribs. I call it the Truffle

of the East and many of our American and

European guests love it too.

Is modernising Peranakan food the way

to go to sustain interest in young

Peranakans today?

There's only so much that one can

modernise such as using a blender to mix

our rempah and using gas stoves instead

of charcoal. However, Gula Melaka will

taste different without the smokiness from

using wood fire while Buah Belanda (love

letters) needs to be done using charcoal.

How do you relax after a hard day at


Relaxing after work means a small meal

with homemade Sambal Belachan that has

been made using a pestle and mortar.

If a young student tells you he wants to

preserve and practise his Peranakan

heritage what advice would you give?

I would ask them to join me in the kitchen

for a day and if he/she can go through the

rigour and painstaking methods we go

through just to prepare a single dish, then

he/she can be trained.

99 feastandform.com feastandform.com 100

Norway food personality


NEVADA BERG creates an award-winning food blog from her rural farm in Norway,

generating millions of followers, and a newly-launched cookbook

Coming to Numedal, I

was taken back by the

amazing natural ingredients

growing right outside our

doorstep; from chanterelles

and wild strawberries to wild

meats and fresh-water fish.

The taste variations and

quality are some of the best I

have ever experienced..."


Food personality and

cookbook writer

SHE'S AN AMERICAN MOUNTAIN GIRL through and through, born and raised in Utah,

USA. When the slopes and rivers of Numedal beckoned during her travels, Nevada Berg

moved to this picturesque region of rural Norway and now lives in a 17th-century farm

house with her husband and her son.

In 2016 Nevada started her food blog, North Wild Kitchen (www.northwildkitchen.com) to

chronicle her life in Norway. It's a beautiful collection of Norwegian recipes, stories, food

adventures and photographs, which she takes herself.

She brings us with her while she's foraging for mushrooms in the forests or feeding her

chickens or sampling the local brunøst (brown cheese). You can almost smell the bubbling

rømmegrøt (sour cream porridge) while she's stirring it on her stove – it's one of her

favourite traditional Norwegian dishes.

Nevada has travelled to many countries in the world and has always been fascinated by

food history and traditions. In no time, the food enthusiast became attuned to Norway's

seasons and landscapes and produce and cooking. She realised how honest Nordic food is

– it's a food of the land and of the pristine waters. The self-taught cook learned how to

make both traditional Norwegian dishes and modern versions with her own unique


North Wild Kitchen in now a successful food blog, winning Blog of the Year 2016 by Saveur

Magazine, and spawning her new cookbook of the same name in English, Norwegian and

German editions.

Facing page: Nevada Berg and her bounty of foraged

golden chanterelles from nearby forests; her traditional

mountain farm house on the slopes of Numedal,

Norway, with beautiful landscapes shared with sheep

and other farm life

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Norway food personality

RØYKT ØRRETMOUSSE – Smoked Trout Mousse. You'll find the recipes and lovely food stories about her

Norwegian farm life on her blogsite North Wild Kitchen, and in her cookbook of the same name

SKILLINGSBOLLER – Bergen Cinnamon Buns

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Norway food personality

A chat with NEVADA BERG, creator of award-winning food blog and cookbook

North Wild Kitchen

North Wild Kitchen is all about your farm life in

Numedal and the food of Norway. When did you

start your blog?

When we moved to Norway in the summer of 2015, I

knew I wanted to look further into the history behind

the dishes and discover more of the cuisine and

ingredients. Coming to Numedal, I was taken back by

the amazing natural ingredients growing right outside

our doorstep; from chanterelles and wild strawberries

to wild meats and fresh-water fish. The taste variations

and quality are some of the best I have ever

experienced, rivaling some of the biggest food

countries like Italy and France. Learning about

traditional methods, like smoking and curing, and the

nuances and flavors that come from handmade foods

was just another reason to make me fall so heavily for

Norwegian cooking. I wanted to share my experience

and the recipes with the world, so I started my blog in

January 2016.

What Norwegian produce do you like best during

the cold season, and what dishes and desserts

would be lovely to cook and eat?

During the cold season we cure our meats for the

holidays. Since the climate in Norway makes it difficult

to grow produce in the winter, foods were preserved

and cured to last through the harsh months. We

continue this tradition at home by making fenalår

(cured leg of lamb) and pinnekjøtt (cured lamb ribs)

that hang to dry for some weeks until the holidays

when we serve them.

As it begins to get colder and the snow starts falling, I

also really enjoy a bowl of lapskaus (beef stew) or wild

meat stew with lingonberries on top. Raspeballer

(potato dumplings) with boiled rutabaga and

Norwegian meatballs in brown gravy are also nice and

hearty. To finish it all off, a bowl of warm

risengrynsgrøt (rice pudding), caramel pudding, and

freshly baked boller (cardamom buns) make nice treats.

What is a food blog without beautiful food

photographs? Do you take your own photos and

what camera do you use?

I couldn’t agree more! Pictures always complete the

story for me, bringing me straight into the landscape

and the dish. Therefore, they will always be a part of

how I tell a story. I take all of my own photos using the

Olympus OM-D E-M10.

I love that you create both traditional and modern,

innovative Norwegian dishes. What traditional,

ancient recipe is most handed down from

greatgrandma in Norway?

I love the combination of traditional and modern

because food is dynamic. You see that even with

traditional recipes which have been passed down and

changed slightly to adapt to the person, environment

or time period. It’s hard to assume which recipe in

Norway has been handed down the most but aside

from baked goods in general, I would assume that

lefse, which is a type of soft flatbread, has to be on the

top of the list. Everyone has their own family recipe

that has been passed down from grandmother to

mother to daughter.

What's always in your fridge?

Butter. Most dishes in Norway call for butter. It seems

to be the ingredient I am always having to replace all

the time because I use so much of it!

And what advice can you give a novice blogger

about food writing and website design that will

attract readers the way North Wild Kitchen does so


Be yourself and do what you do best. There are so

many blogs out there and it can be easy to fall into the

trap of copying someone else or doing things in a way

you think people are attracted to rather than just doing

what feels real to you. At the end of the day, being

genuine and authentic are key. You will be happy

producing what you love and want to and that will

come across to your audience. Find a style that suits

you – practice taking pictures for yourself to see what

your eye sees and present it in a way that is your style.

Also, find your niche, something that makes you stand

out from the rest.

Clockwise from top: Nevada Berg enjoying

the views from her mountain farm house;

making lefse, a traditional Norwegian

flatbread; winter heralds the time for curing

meats and pickling vegetables; wood plank


North Wild Kitchen cookbook is a collection

of Nevada Berg's food adventures in Norway

and her nordic-inspired recipes.

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Nevada Berg and North Wild Kitchen

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Singapore drinks


Home of this famous cocktail for over a 100 years, the Long Bar’s plantation-inspired decor and counter has

been restored at Raffles Hotel Singapore. Throwing peanuts on the floor as you sip on a chilled glass of

handshaken Singapore Sling is a de rigueur Singapore experience.

The Singapore Sling is a gin-based cocktail

'invented' in 1910 by Long Bar Hainanese

bartender Ngiam Tong Boon

Make one for your party

Serves 1

1oz gin

1/2oz cherry liqueur

4oz pineapple Juice

1/2oz lime juice

1/4oz Cointreau

1/4oz Benedictine

1/3oz grenadine

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Garnish of fresh pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass with ice.

Garnish and serve.

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Singapore interiors and drinks



ATLAS Bar at Parkview Square serves drinks dedicated to personalities, events and

perspectives of the art deco age to mirror its interior. The bar is on TIME's 2018

World's Greatest Places List

THE DEVELOPERS OF Parkview Square (above) worked with design firm Hassell Studio to create interiors that

include a grand lobby and bar reminiscent of the great European lobby bars and cafes of the art deco period

of the 1920s. The dramatic brown building is Bugis was designed by American architect James Adams

together with DP Architects, and completed in 2002.

A show-stopper gin tower reaches eight metres in height and holds hundreds of gin labels from all over the

world, from various eras dating from 1910.

The Drinks

Clockwise from top left, facing page:

The ATLAS Martini – London dry gin, bianco vermouth, orange bitters, champagne vinegar

Imperial Fizz Nouveau,"the mightiest fluffy cocktail, only an imperial shake will do" – Modern French gin, rose

cordial, angelica, orange blossom, cream, citrus, soda

Summer in Paris (non-alcoholic), "without wine & without gin, the next best option" – Chardonnay grape juice,

lavender cordial, lemon, lemon berry tea soda

Tamara in a Green Bugatti, " a poster girl for a movement, an automobile for the ages" – Modern French gin,

lavender tincture, much mint, lemon, sugar

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of Chyau Fwu Development and ATLAS bar

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Singapore interiors and drinks

The drama of the art deco period

The ceiling murals of ATLAS Bar depict animals that represent regality while murals flanking the doorways tell

the story of Cleopatra and the Egyptian King, Tutankhamun – elements that greatly influenced art deco in the

1920s. A highlight of the space is the 8-metre-tall gin tower that houses over 100 gin labels from all over the


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Singapore drinks personality


Jesse Vida



ATLAS Bar has a spectacular Gin Tower with hundreds of gin collections from all over the

world. What gin is a personal favourite of yours, and how do you enjoy your gin?

Agreed – the gin tower is spectacular! I have much to learn about all of the options we offer. I

prefer different gins for different applications. Really into Martin Millers (UK), Beefeater (UK), and

Hepple Gin (UK) for a Martini. I love Hendricks Orbium (Scotland, UK) and Monkey 47 (Germany)

for a fresh Gimlet. When it comes to Gin & Tonic, I like some American Gins like Junipero (San

Francisco) and Dorothy Parker (New York).

I prefer different gins for different

applications. Really into Martin

Millers (UK), Beefeater (UK), and

Hepple Gin (UK) for a Martini.

I love Hendricks Orbium (Scotland,

UK) and Monkey 47 (Germany) for a

fresh Gimlet. When it comes to Gin

& Tonic, I like some American Gins

like Junipero (San Francisco) and

Dorothy Parker (New York)."


– on his personal favourite gins, and

how he enjoys them

How do you sketch and design your mixology ideas?

I tend to use my laptop while working on cocktails. It’s more about finding the flavour combination,

balance, and what application to execute the drink in. We are in the digital age, and sometimes I

can’t even read my own hand writing, so this way is best for everyone involved.

You hail from cities in California, and New York City. What do you think of Singapore's drink

scene and what local food do you like so far?

I am completely in love with the food and beverage scene in Singapore. From simple and

delicious, to complex and thoughtful, all bases are covered. One of the many things that attracted

me to ATLAS and Singapore was the ambitious nature of this scene and its bars that have been

popping up out here. I’ve been eating a lot of noodle soups, dumplings, rice dishes.

What cocktail or tipple goes well with that?

I would go with a nice refreshing Gin Gimlet. It cleanses the palate and washes away the spice from

the chilli.

What advice would you give a young student who wants to be a mixologist like you?

My advice to anyone who is looking to achieve at a high level professionally, trade bartender

specifics for whatever it is that you do. Do not rush the process, and gain your experience – there

is no replacement for it. Stay humble and hardworking, and attitude is about 90% of the battle.

Know your classics and study the history of spirits and cocktails. Lastly just be a fun person to work

with, take your craft seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously, no one wants to work with

someone who acts like they’re better than their peers and guests. Bartending should be fun, let’s

all keep it that way!

Vida makes a very good Gin Tonica

to perk up your day

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Singapore drinks



Singaporeans Jamie Koh, Simon Zhao

and Vic Ram, and expats Tim Whitefield,

Andy Hodgson, Charlie van Eeden and

Chris Box, brave the road less travelled

to create their own gin labels that are

proudly Singapore-Made

Rojak Gin and Chendol Gin (top) call to

mind Singapore's favourite food delights.

The gins are created by local distillery

Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery

Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin by Jamie Koh

(top right) is fantastic for our local climate. It

is bright and refreshing, with a light citrus

floral note and a slight spiciness with juniper

Tanglin Orchid Gin is the first Made-in-

Singapore gin. It has a unique profile

derived from orchids, green mango and


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Singapore drinks




IN THE BRASS LION DISTILLERY at Alexandra Terrace huge

custom-made copper stills from Germany are at work. There is

an R&D lab, and a back garden, which grows many of the 22

botanicals that create an inspired Singapore character to the

Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin – galangal, pomelo peel, torch

ginger flower, lemongrass, chrysanthemum flora and angelica.

Managing director Jamie Koh first had the idea of a Singapore

distillery producing Singapore spirits back in 2012, when she

was founder of The Chupitos Bar and The Beast Southern

Kitchen&Bourbon Bar. Alcohol was in her blood, and she new

the local bar scene, and was convinced a made-in-Singapore gin

would work.

The young Singaporean travelled to the US and then to

Germany to attend distilling courses, and knocked on doors in

search of apprenticeships at distilling companies. A master

distiller in Germany worked with her to create Brass Lion

Singapore Dry Gin. The goal was a Singapore gin for

Singapore's tropical climate, made with Singapore spices and

herbs with accent notes on citrus and juniper.

Today her fruits of labour are paying off, as her gin label is seen

at many bars across town at a time when gin is a rapidly

expanding force in the global drinks scene.

Brass Lion Distillery offers visitors tours, workshops and tasting


The Singapore Dry Gin is crafted with herbs and spices that were carefully

selected to represent the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. Staying true

to the traditional method of pot still distillation, we combine classic gin

botanicals with Asian flavours."


Managing director, Brass Lion Distillery

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Singapore drinks

A chat with JAMIE KOH

Managing director, Brass Lion Distillery

There are 3 Brass Lion gins available for sale now: What common flavour profile

gives each a unique Singapore character?

The Singapore Dry Gin – Crafted with herbs and spices that were carefully selected

to represent the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. Staying true to the

traditional method of pot still distillation, we combine classic gin botanicals with

Asian flavours such as the aromatic torch ginger flower and citrusy lemongrass to

produce a smooth, vibrant spirit that is the quintessential expression of The

Singapore Dry Gin.

Butterfly Pea Gin – A harmonious blend of classic gin botanicals and aromatic Asian

flavours. Lavender, known for its calming properties, adds a floral top note to the

gin. The gin’s deep, rich blue hue is derived from an infusion of the Butterfly Pea

flower, a staple in local Peranakan cuisine.

The Pahit Pink Gin – Known in the Malay Archipelago as Gin Pahit (or “Bitter Gin”

in Malay), this classic recipe has been updated and brought into the modern ages.

Using The Singapore Dry Gin as its base, our version is enhanced with the addition

of our very own house bitters made with 12 botanicals. Best enjoyed old school: on

the rocks with an orange twist, or simply with your favourite tonic.

What Singapore food goes well with a Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin & Tonic?

Singaporean food generally pairs well with our Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin &

Tonic because our cuisine is full of flavour and spices, and the Brass Lion Singapore

Dry Gin & Tonic is citrusy and refreshing, which provides a nice counterbalance.

Dishes like black pepper crab, rendang or laksa would all pair very nicely.

How do you relax after a hard day at work?

I usually end the day with just one drink.

What advice would you give a young student who wants to create homegrown

liqueur and a distillery like you have?

I would advise them to do their homework and research before embarking on the

project, as a project like this requires a significant amount of time and resources.

Brass Lion Distillery offers tours, workshops and

tasting sessions to the public

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Singapore drinks


IMAGINE THE COCKTAILS YOU COULD COME UP WITH using Singapore-made Rojak Gin and Cendol

Gin. These gins are also very good on there own as they are mellow and have intriguing flavours born of

tropical Singapore and its exciting local food. Rojak Gin and Chendol Gin are produced by local distillery

Compendium with Rachelle the Rabbit Meadery founder Simon Zhao and brand ambassador Vic Ram

teaming up together. It took them about 9 months to come up with the desired results.

Rojak Gin has elements of torch ginger, juniper and lemon peel. And instead of using a neutral grain spirit

as its base distillate it uses homemade mead (spirit made with fermented honey).

Chendol Gin calls upon the coconutty sweet iced dessert it is named after. More mellow with a creamier

feel on the tongue than Rojak Gin, the main ingredients in Cendol Gin are pandan leaves, coconut and

juniper. Here honey is swapped for gula melaka for its base in its distillate.


Just the name of your gins: Rojak Gin and Cendol

Gin catch the eye of many Singaporeans and

Southeast Asians with a touch of humour. How did

you come up with the idea of creating these gins

and giving them these names?

Rojak Gin: We decided the name based on the rojak

flower, torch Ginger, and the mixed culture that we

have in Singapore. Basically rojak means mixed.

Chendol Gin: Named after the favourite local dessert

as it has all the ingredients that goes into the chendol

– pandan, gula melaka, coconut.

What are the main ingredients in the respective

distillates of Rojak Gin and Cendol Gin? And what

are their character profiles?

Rojak Gin pays homage to local hawker culture. Our

flagship product is a cacophony of flavours and scents

that are at once recognisable. Distilled from

fermented artisanal honey, the silky sipping gin is

infused with three elegant botanicals – juniper berries,

lemon peel and torch ginger. Upon uncorking the

bottle, you will be greeted with a familiar Rojak aroma,

which opens the palate to enjoy a beautiful blend of

bright, fruity and layered botanicals with each sip.

Chendol Gin is the second in Compendium’s releases.

It is a recreation of the familiar local dessert and

perfectly balances both potent and subtle tastes. First

fermented and distilled from gula melaka (palm sugar),

this sweet and mellow sipping gin is then re-distilled

with three complementing botanicals – juniper berries,

pandan leaves and coconut. With a long and fragrant

finish topped with lingering pandan and coconut

notes, the Chendol Gin leaves a subtle and creamy

after-taste. Soft, vibrant and reminiscent of childhood

chendol desserts.

What cocktails work well with these gins and what

would you garnish them with?

Rojak Gin: Negroni – Rojak Gin, Campari, Rosso

Vermouth (classic); garnish with slice of orange

Memory Lane – Rojak Gin, Ice cream soda, peycaud

bitters; garnish with grass jelly

Chendol Gin: Great Jack – Chendol Gin, Jackfruit &

ginger soda, garnish with freeze dried jackfruit and

mint leaves

Mango Curry – Chendol Gin, Campari, lemon Juice,

mango & curry leaves syrup, ginger beer; garnish with

curry leaves

How do you relax after a hard day at work? And

what Singapore food do you enjoy?

Simon: After a hard day at work, we like to savour up

and coming R&D products to perfect further. Hokkien

Mee is a favourite local dish.

Vic: I like to head to a bar and enjoy my beer and a

shot of tequila. Favourite local food would be assorted

dim sum.

What advice would you give a young student who

wants to create homegrown gin and other liquor

the way you have?

Start by learning the basics, and from there let your

imagination run wild and be proud of the culture we

grow up in.

It took Rojak Gin and Chendol Gin creators Simon Zhao and Vic Ram about 9 months to get

the results and flavours they set out to achieve

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Singapore drinks


A team of expats creates the first Made-in-Singapore gin that pays homage to

the city with its orchid botanicals

NESTLING IN THE LEAFY SUBURBS of Mandai you may catch

the intriguing scent of juniper and orchid wafting in the air.

Those are the botanical scents that come from the distillery of

100% Made in Singapore Tanglin Gin.

Expat founders Tim Whitefield, Andy Hodgson (both British),

Charlie van Eeden (Dutch) and Chris Box (Australian) realised

their dream and created Tanglin Gin, named after the

neighbourhood with roots as a spice growing area.

First batch Tanglin Orchid Gin is a wonderfully complex, yet

balanced and harmonious distillation that includes juniper,

unripe mango, two forms of orchid – Dendrobium Nobile Lindl

and vanilla bean, the fruit of the orchid vanilla planifolia – and

organic oranges.

The team is experimenting with new flavour profiles and

botanicals for future batches, such as Mandarin Chili.

Trained as an architect originally, founder and head distiller TIM WHITEFIELD now 'designs' Tanglin Gin's

alluring flavour profiles. He and his co-founders want to capture the cultural and culinary DNA of Singapore

featuring botanicals that are a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian, with the obvious European juniper

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Singapore drinks

A chat with Tanglin Gin founders and creators


A gin that is 100% distilled in Singapore is exciting for gin lovers all over the world.

What makes Tanglin Gin 'Singapore'?

We drew inspiration from Singapore’s history and its ties to the spice trade. When you

think about Singapore’s connection to the spice route and how many botanicals would

have passed through here on the way to London to make gin, it’s really amazing it has

taken this long for Singapore to introduce its own gin! Our mix of botanicals sets Tanglin

Gin apart from others – we call it an old world modern gin, as we’re combining

traditional gin botanicals found in the oldest recipes with new flavours which truly

represent Singapore, such as orchid.

What Singapore food goes well with a nice cold Tanglin Gin & Tonic?

A nice refreshing drink like a Tanglin & Tonic pairs well with spicy, flavourful food like

laksa, mee goreng, chilli crab, curry – the possibilities are endless in Singapore.

Tanglin Gin founders and creators, from left to right: Andy Hodgson, Tim Whitefield, Charlie van Eeden and

Chris Box

How do you relax after a hard day at work?

Sit back, breathe and put our feet up, with a Tanglin cocktail of course! Our founding

team are all naturally big fans of gin, and enjoying a Negroni or Tanglin & Tonic is a

great way to unwind at the end of the day. We all love to try new gins as well – being

knowledgeable about the category is hard work and involves a lot of tasting!

What advice would you give a young student who wants to create a homegrown

liquor like you have?

Be prepared to spend time understanding the rules and regulations involved in creating

a spirit. Be patient – it won’t happen overnight, but if you really want to make it happen,

you’ll make it happen. If you have a dream, follow it. And get in touch with our team, we

are happy to help! We got so much good advice from gin makers the world over, so

we’re happy to pass it on.

Story by Carol Kraal. Respective photographs courtesy of and copyright Brass Lion Gin

Distillery, Compendium and Tanglin Gin

“We wanted to feature botanicals that

were a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indonesian

and Indian, with the obvious European

Juniper. We initially shortlisted about 20

botanicals, narrowed it down to 15,

swapped a few in and out and finally

settled on 11. This took about 18 months,

and at last count about 90 or so tests to

get the right balance. The next flavour

profiles are coming together a bit quicker,

now that we’ve established our general

flavour and distilling guidelines."

11 selected botanicals include juniper,

unripe mango, two forms of orchid –

Dendrobium Nobile Lindl and vanilla

bean, the fruit of the orchid vanilla

planifolia – and organic oranges

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Singapore artisan bread


New Zealand professional baker


CEO of Baker & Cook, shares his thoughts about

one of the most basic and most loved food

products in human culture

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Singapore artisan bread


CEO, Baker & Cook


best breads are handmade and handcrafted. Is

this true?

Very true. I often say that breads are created by

design, because before we start we formulate the

recipe to give us the foundations, an internal

crumb structure and finally the texture of the crust

which resembles the outer shell.

Each handmade artisan loaf of bread is

handcrafted with a specific objective in mind.

Even the decorations and slashes on the outer

crust are there for a reason. So when you sit back

and look at your baked artisan loaf, it’s a thing of

beauty, then when you cut it open it oozes with

texture and structure that opens your eyes wide

open and then the taste should play with your

mind with the simple but yet complex flavours you


The basic function of bread is to sustain life as

food. As for form, why do different breads have

different shapes and looks?

This is because of historical and cultural reasons.

Many breads are shaped or cut (slashed with a

sharp razor blade) to create their own unique

signature not only of the bread but in many cases

of the baker who created it. Slashing your loaf is

all about creating a decorative pattern, telling the

loaf where to ‘burst or erupt’ and most of all it’s

the signature of the baker.

Many breads are shaped for religious reasons such

as Hot Cross Buns and Challah Bread. Breads are

also culturally shaped – for example, the flat

breads of the Middle East are such that they can

be torn and folded into 'spoons' to pick up

sauces, meats and many other small pieces of

food. Bread shapes are very historical but, as

times are changing, we are seeing many breads

crossing borders from one country to another to

satisfy the international hunger for baking bread

and building communities.

Just like creating a sacred space in a temple,

making bread demands knowledge, respect,

quiet, and love. Will bread collapse in the oven

without these elements?

He, he, he. No, your bread will not collapse in the

oven. BUT if you don’t give it these elements it,

for sure, will not come out the best it can be. Like

many things in life, if you are passionate then you

go the extra mile and invest in obtaining the

knowledge and then you apply it until you get it

near prefect. Of course, love, respect, knowledge

are all part of being passionate. At Baker & Cook

our tag line is ‘passion is our main ingredient’ and

we firmly believe that we put an extra measure of

passion into our recipes and service.

What is your favourite bread, and what do you

eat it with?

Now that’s a hard one. I guess my favourite is the

simple pain au levain or sourdough as many

people call it. It contains three ingredients: flour,

salt and water – you don’t have to label wild yeast

as an ingredient as it is a natural airborne

organism. I love it fresh with nice salted butter and

homemade apricot jam.

What is your favourite food in Singapore? Do

you like toast and kaya?

I must say, I do enjoy a good butter chicken curry

and soft pillowy butter naan.

I'm not a fan of industrial soft white bread that is

toasted at all, and kaya is a little too sweet for me.

However my equivalent is a good piece of pain au

levain toasted with lemon curd spread on it.

What advice do you have for someone who is

learning how to make bread?

That’s easy, you MUST come along to our basic

bread baking class. I am serious! Many people

come to our class thinking they know how to make

bread and they come up to me afterwards and

say, “thank you so much. I learnt so much and I

will not knead my dough the old way again". We

teach the ‘slap, pull, fold & rest’ method of

kneading and the results speak for themselves.

Baker & Cook is an artisan bakery and foodstore

chain founded by master global baker Dean

Brettschneider, who has more than 25 years of

experience in the world of baking. Dean is also

author of best selling baking and food books, and

celebrity TV personality.

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs courtesy of

Dean Brettschneider and Baker & Cook

Many breads are shaped for religious

reasons such as Hot Cross Buns and

Challah Bread. Breads are also

culturally shaped – for example, the

flat breads of the Middle East are such

that they can be torn and folded into

'spoons' to pick up sauces, meats and

many other small pieces of food."


Pain au levain


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Singapore architecture and food


Singapore may be the only country in the world where Public Housing

nestles next to star architects' creations

Block 5 Tanjong Pagar and OASIA Downtown by WOHA

THE HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD (HDB) BLOCK (facing page left) with its colourful laundry

hanging out on poles, sits across the road from the vibrant red facade of OASIA Downtown, an award

winning hotel designed by WOHA with interiors by Patricia Urquiola.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) awarded OASIA the “Best Tall Building

Worldwide”, at their 16th Annual Awards 2018 ceremony in Chicago. The project won not only

because it incorporates 60 stories of green walls along the exterior but because of its significant

commitment to communal space. The tower has given over 40 percent of its volume to open air

communal terraces in the sky.

What to eat in the neighbourhood

1 Buttery croissants at Brasserie Gavroche, 66 Tras Street

2 Homestyle mee siam at Dor's Nonya Place, International Plaza,10 Anson Road

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Singapore architecture and food

Block 8 Empress Road and D'Leedon by Zaha Hadid Architects

D'LEEDON (facing page left) is a stone's throw away from Block 8 Empress Road

Housing Board flats. Typical of this type of Housing Board project sundry shops, clinics,

hawker centre and wet market nestle on the ground floor below the 3-room residential


D'Leedon reflects the flora and greenery of the surrounding environment, and nearby

Botanic Gardens. The towers of d’Leedon are subdivided into ‘petals’ according to the

number of residential units per floor enabling a very large diversity of apartments.

What to eat in the neighbourhood

1 You tiao (crullers-top left) at #01-99 Empress Road Market and Food Centre, 7

Empress Road.

2 Penang char kway teow at Penang Kitchen, 1 Coronation Road.

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Singapore architecture and food

Block 16 Ghim Moh Road and The Star by Andrew Bromberg of Aedas

The Star is a mixed-use project that combines shopping, a 5000-seat concert hall and

mega-church. Sustainability is a key facet of the design, its form shaped to collect

prevailing northerly and southerly breezes and accelerate through the outdoor spaces.

Faceted glass fissures create a balanced composition of positive and negative spaces in

which pedestrians circulate and move along ramps, escalators, terraces and public


What to eat in the neighbourhood

1 Hokkien Mee at Hokkien Fried Prawn Mee (Margaret Drive), #01-07 Ghim Moh Market &

Food Centre, 20 Ghim Moh Road

2 Freshly-made appam at Heaven's, #01-26 Ghim Moh Market & Food Centre, 20 Ghim

Moh Road

Story by Carol Kraal

Facing page: The Star nestles in the background

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Making way for the new

B Y E B Y E !

Rochor Centre

THE ICONIC ROCHOR CENTRE public housing estate with its coloured apartment blocks in

red, blue, green and yellow was demolished in June 2018. The housing estate built in the

1970s makes way for the North-South Corridor expressway, which will connect Singapore's

north region to the city centre when completed in 2026.

Photographs by Carol Kraal

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Volta Bench for Citco




Echoing Hadid’s calligraphic language, Volta is defined by a single

dynamic gesture. The intertwined loop is articulated through a

smooth transition between hard-edged surfaces and soft, fluid,

lines describing the item’s function while ensuring stability to the

overall design.

Immaculately carved from a single block of granite, Volta

combines ZHD’s seamless lines with Citco’s exquisite

craftsmanship. Photograph by Jacopo Spilimbergo



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