Is Singaporean cuisine dead?

Buah keluak ice cream from Candlenut.
Buah keluak ice cream from Candlenut. PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Crispy chicken rendang sounds like something a Singaporean chef might dream up, along with the likes of buah keluak ice cream, jellied bak kut teh or laksa linguine. But while crispy rendang memes and jokes will be forgotten as quickly as the MasterChef judge who sparked them, is so-called Singaporean cuisine also nothing but a novelty that is fast losing steam?

The question comes on the heels of several Singapore chef-owned restaurants which have gone belly-up, including Restaurant Ards, Jiakpalang, BirdBird and Selfish Gene. They had been in the limelight as poster boys of a new generation of chefs who could bring Singapore cuisine to a higher level. Their selling point? To show that Singapore food is not just hawker fare and expat-driven fine dining, but a dynamic cuisine driven by the creativity and passion of local-born talented chefs.

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