National Day 2021: Locally inspired menus to celebrate our Singaporean spirit
These restaurants have put out locavore feasts to consume at, and commemorate, home on our nation’s birthday.
by Kenneth Lee /
August 2, 2021
The National Day long weekend isn’t really the same without the promise of fireworks and a grand old party to celebrate Singapore’s 56th birthday – but we’ll do our part and stay home. That doesn’t mean that we can’t support local businesses while doing it. Especially since these businesses are pouring in heart and soul into stirring up some great grub from their culinary coffers – grub that’s specifically curated by our nation’s potpourri of gastronomic influences to evoke a comforting sense of home in trying times.
The local chapter (and first international outpost) of Barcelona’s Michelin-starred Gaig are celebrating our nation’s birthday with an elevated spin on oyster omelette. They’ve forgone the tapioca flour altogether, in favour of quail eggs with yolks and white fried separately for that perfect sunny side up, crowned with plump oysters and caviar. The restaurant’s usual line-up of Catalan cuisine in all its tapas-rich, Mediterranean glory accompany this National Day special.
We’re rather proud of our Peranakan heritage here in Singapore, as evident from a plethora of overt architectural, cultural and of course, culinary influences around the island. To celebrate that heritage, The Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La Singapore’s offering up a convivial six-course menu for four. You’ve got classics like babi pongteh and nyonya chap chye, along with a little do-it-yourself popiah fun. The meal concludes with the hotel’s signature carrot cake – though you could opt for a extra sweets in the form of nine velvet cupcakes emblazoned with Singaporean iconography like a kopi and kaya toast set, ice gem biscuits and an amusingly current Tracetogether token.
The laidback offshoot of Michelin-starred Labyrinth returns – and with it, their array of jazzed up con-Singaporean nosh. In observance of their return, they’ve unleashed a rotational set menu that’s updated rotates weekly, featuring nouveau entrants (once remodified) to its sister restaurant’s offerings. For decidedly casual holiday grub, we’d proffer Miss Vanda’s take on what can only be a fancier Ramly burger, substituting the usual patty with Wagyu beef chuck, wrapped in an omelette and slathered with curry mayo and chili sauce. They’re even going with the more authentic – if a tad artificial – margaine-glaze on their brioche buns, finished off with caramelized onions, sliced Emmental and a side of mala fries.
Izakaya and sake bar Nomiya pays tribute to its head chef Daniel Yee’s Singaporean roots with their National Day set menu. Celebratory dishes to mark the occasion include fusion beef-rendang-and-camembert-stuffed gyozas, as well as a Japanese-slanted take on barbequed sambal sotong. It’s a piquant little number of grilled Japanese flying squid, dusted off with housemade shichimi to finish. There’s also an option to complete the meal with a bottle of Takanami Junmai Daigingo (it is an izakaya after all) – another homage to local talent, since the label’s been designed by Adeline Yeo, a Singaporean finger painter.
La Scala Ristorante at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel
The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore’s Italian joint, La Scala Ristorante, delivers a duet of east-meets-west flavours to celebrate the occasion. There’s a riff on Singaporean hawker staple, laksa – now turned into a pizza, complete with prawns, daun kesum (laksa leaves) and tau pok. Also in order, egg tagliolini in a saffron-infused broth, topped with char siew (pork barbequed in a sweet, sticky glaze), pickled veg and cashews.
Mod-Sin concept Po wears its hyperlocal sensibilities on its sleeves, and not just because it’s the flagship restaurant of The Warehouse Hotel, itself a restored heritage building on the banks of the Singapore River. Though what they’re serving isn’t technically curated for National Day, you can’t get much more patriotic than their Popo’s table sharing sets. Expect paper-baked spring chicken, XO crab carrot cake and hokkien mee reimagined with charcoal grilled Carabinero prawns, sakura ebi and all-important lardons.
There’s no better food to sit in front of the television with than pizza. Watch the parade this year with a series of flavours created specially by PizzaExpress for Singapore’s 56th birthday. Four spicy, locally-inspired flavours are available, including a beef rendang, chicken satay, and perennial favourite, a lemak laksa pizza topped with seafood and crispy pieces of tau pok. There’s also a tandoori chicken pizza, here topped with moreish, aromatic pieces of chicken, cucumber cubes, and yogurt sauce.
W Singapore’s gathered the culinary prowess of four of its resident chefs to prep a National Day weekend brunch to end all brunches. Beautiful things happen when you’re melding various culinary influences allowing each to play to their strengths – highlights from the brunch include Singapore chili lobster with steamed man tou; a luxuriant butter chicken with basmati rice and garlic naan; as well as an array of pork and chicken satays, with all the usual fixings. And since it’s National Day, what better libation than an ice-cold can of homegrown Tiger.