Singapore’s former hawkers bring back flavors at Raffles Courtyard

The MasalAglio Olio by chef Pasha Siraj. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts
The MasalAglio Olio by chef Pasha Siraj. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

One of Singapore’s oldest hotels is reviving shuttered hawker stalls to uphold the nation’s distinguished food heritage.

From now till May 29, Raffles Hotel Singapore will be handing over their kitchen to four hawkers whose businesses were affected by the pandemic at Raffles Courtyard, its posh alfresco dining space. 

“[W]e are proud to continue celebrating Singapore’s dynamic food culture – this time turning the spotlight to and supporting our local hawker heroes, while offering the community opportunities to savor well-loved specialties that may no longer be readily available due to the pandemic,” Christian Westbeld, the hotel’s Managing Director said. 

This initiative is done to endorse Singapore’s diverse hawker culture, which made the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020.

Each hawker, handpicked in collaboration with Makansutra founder and hawker hype man KF Seetoh, will present elevated menus from 5pm to 9pm daily for two weeks.

A group shot of all the food going to be served by former hawker chefs. Photo: Raffles Hotel Singapore

The series kicks off with chef Pasha Siraj of Luckmeow, who previously served modern Indian cuisine at Maxwell Food Center but was shut in September last year. 

He will be whipping up new dishes such as the MasalAglio Olio, an Indian take on pasta served with chargrilled tiger prawns marinated with tandoori spices and a Japanese cucumber frozen Raita on the side. There’s also the Pan-Seared Butter Chicken that has a seared chicken thigh filet drenched in a rich buttery sauce served with masala potatoes and an Indian coleslaw.

For dessert, the Sweet Dosa with Carrot Jam & Pistachio Chutney is a coconut crepe served with spiced sweet carrot jam, creamy pistachio chutney and mango powder, heavily inspired by Indian potato dish Masala Dosa. 

Diners can expect other hawker-style food from a line up including chef and influencer Hady Jay, who will be bringing traditional Malay delights such as Pulut Kuning and Pulut Hitam; David Lim, owner of Empress Place Teochew Beef Kway Teow with roots to the renowned Hock Lam Beef Noodle; and Darren Teo and Henry Yap from Seafood Pirates and Yap’s Noodles, who will be serving fusion noodle dishes.

Happy Hour runs from 5pm to 8pm with a selection of mocktails, spirits, beers and wines, including a cocktail spread using Australia’s Four Pillars Gin known for its funky flavors. Get the Manzanilla made with the brand’s Olive Leaf gin, or the Venus 99 that has the Bloody Shiraz gin.

Diners can also redeem a complimentary bottle of Domaine de Fontenille Rosé by collecting stamps from any three of the four installments.

Hawker line-up:
March 16 to March 27: Luckmeow (Pasha Siraj)
March 30 to April 17: Mr Tersmell (Hady Jay)
April 20 to May 8: Empress Place Teochew Beef Kway Teow (David Lim)
May 11 to May 29: Seafood Pirates & Yap’s Noodles (Darren Teo & Henry Yap)

The Pan-Seared Butter Chicken by chef Pasha Siraj. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

The Sweet Dosa with Carrot Jam & Pistachio Chutney by chef Pasha Siraj. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

The Venus 99 and Orange & Tonic cocktails made with Four Pillars gin. Photo: Carolyn Teo/Coconuts

Raffles Courtyard
Open 3pm to 9pm daily
328 North Bridge Rd, 1st Floor Raffles Arcade, Singapore 188719

RELATED – A more chill Il Cielo returns to Voco Orchard with more Italian delights

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