The Straits Times
Published on Oct 06, 2012

Traditional food with a twist at Immigrants gastrobar


At Immigrants, chef Damian D’Silva’s new gastrobar in Joo Chiat, traditional recipes are served up in newfangled tapas-style.

The Western-trained chef has helmed Western eateries such as Citrine Chocolat and Big D’s Grill, but for me, it is always his Asian dishes that stand out. The authentic taste of cooking from the past comes to life again under his skilful hands, a treat rarely found outside home kitchens these days.

The seh bak (S$18), for example, is a robust stew of various parts of the pig braised with soya sauce and spices. The mix of intestines, ear, heart and tripe is not for those concerned about cholesterol levels but I love the full flavour of the dark sauce and the way it soaks into the tender pieces of offal.

Another of the chef’s new creations is one of the few non-traditional dishes on the menu and one of the best - sambal buah keluak fried rice (S$20). The inky, oily paste of the buah keluak gives an intense, rich flavour to the rice that, for me, tastes purer than when cooked with chicken in the traditional ayam buah keluak dish.