Food Review: Rempapa At Park Place Residences PLQ | A Taste Of Singapore Heritage Cuisine By Chef Damian D’Silva

The Place After Folklore and Restaurant Kin, the godfather of Singapore Heritage Cuisine Chef Damian D’Silva is back with his latest dining concept, Rempapa. Located in Park Place Residences at PLQ, Rempapa takes reference from ‘Rempah’, Malay for spice paste and ‘Papa’ is in honour of Chef Damian D’Silva’s reputation as ‘the grandfather of heritage cuisine’.

A collaboration between Chef Damian and OUE Restaurants (OUER), the food and lifestyle division of OUE Limited, you can expect a multi-cultural flavours which span across Chinese, Peranakan, Eurasian, Indian and Malay flavours on its menu.

The interior of Rempapa is casual and designed to serve small and big dining groups. There is also a huge sheltered outdoor space, ideal for late night supper and drinks from the bar menu. In all aspects, this is an all-day dining concept which I think is a great addition to Paya Lebar. 

The Food As an all-day dining concept, the combined menu is extensive as it offers Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Bar Snacks, Drinks, and Dinner. On the menu are the classic heritage recipes of Pop, Grandma, Aunty Zainab and others, some older than 100 years. The bar serves specially selected craft beers, wines, spirits, sakes, and crafted cocktails. 

Available for breakfast and brunch, I am surprised to spot the Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Tomato Chutney with String Hoppers (S$16), as I rarely come across Sri Lankan dish after my trip. The curry flavour is mild and not that spicy, a nice match with the steamed hoppers, also known as idiyappam or putu mayam. 

Try the vegetarian-friendly Chickpea with Roti (S$18), cooked with blistered red bell peppers, fresh red tomatoes, Kashmiri chilli powder, and turmeric powder. A mix of Indian element and Eurasian curry  flavours, the crispy roti is delicious and while I am usually not a big fan of chickpea, it goes really well with the roti here. 

While the next dish looks like a plate of fried carrot cake, it is actually the Stir-Fried Chee Cheong Fun (S$13) which came from a young chef at Rempapa – Ah Seng — who hails from Penang. This dish is Ah Seng’s hometown’s hawker dish and the chee cheong fun is wok-fried with prawns and eggs, as well as yellow chives. I interpret it as substituting the Singaporean carrot cake with chee cheong fun instead, with the addition of prawns as well. A great reinterpretation of hawker dish! 

I love my Nasi Lemak and available for lunch or brunch, the Nasi Lemak (S$17) at Rempapa comes with either Fish or Chicken. Instead of ikan bilis, the rice is paired with Japanese silver fish along with a previously cooked 7-minute egg. My favourite ingredient is the kampong chicken thigh which spots a crispy skin. If you were to choose the pan-fried selar fish, the portion is also quite generous. The Jasmine rice is not too ‘jelat’ and is cooked for over 3 hours! 

If you love your Ipoh noodles, one dish which reminds me of Ipoh is the Seafood Curry Mee (S$18). Lovely curry flavour here, and it is a comforting dish to settle for. 

Other than old heritage dishes, Chef Damian also wants to introduce Singapore New Heritage Cuisine and the Rempapa’s Pork Chop Curry Rice (S$18) is one such dish inspired from ‘Hainanese curry rice’. Presented in a pork katsu-don style which probably resonates well with the younger population, the flavour of the pork and curry reminds of the Japanese Katsu don version. 

For dinner and bar snack, try the Fried Nyonya Fish Cake (S$18), where the flavour is a combination of otah and fish cake with slightly burnt, crispy edges. 

From the dinner menu, there is the Baca Assam (S$38), a Eurasian heritage dish of tangy beef brisket. Tender beef texture here and a dish which goes better with rice. The flavour is slightly sour from the tamarind, you get the fragrance as well from the fried garnishes of lemongrass, garlic, chillies, and shallots.

If you love lamb, you will enjoy the Lamb Leg Rendang (S$38), a dish based on the classic Minangkabau dish with Malay and Indonesian influences which spots a wet spice blend as well as a masala spice blend, cooked in fresh coconut milk. 

Another dish I tried created by Ah Seng is the Slow-Cooked Belly Pork with Ah Seng Sauce (S$23), where the pork belly is thinly sliced and serve with a sauce made with Szechuan peppercorn. This dish is definitely something I imagine in a Chinese restaurant and I am surprised to see it on the menu here. Have the tender pork slices with the sauce, which is not too spicy. 

One dish which surprised me is the Kedondong Salad (S$15). A salad of wing beans, fresh ambarella (kedondong), julienned kaffir lime leaf, and ginger flower, tossed with peanut brittle and shrimp floss, it is refreshing yet moreish and that peanut brittle is my favourite element here.

For desserts, the Kueh Platter (S$6/S$10/S$15 – 4/8/12 pieces) is a must have. The selection will be drawn from the dessert menu which includes favourites such as Kueh Kosui, Kueh Bingka, Pulut Bingka, Talam Keladi, Sago Ubi, Lapis Pulot, Rempah Udang and others available on the day. I mean, the Kueh Kosui has been my favourite since chef’s Folklore days and is still one of the best around today. There is also the Coconut Custard with Gula Melaka (S$14) if you fancy a sweeter option.

Rants Do peruse the extensive menu online before heading down, as different dishes are available at different times of the day just in case there are some dishes which interest you specifically.

Will I Return Again? I have always been a fan of Chef Damian’s dishes and am really glad by the opening of Rempapa. Singapore Heritage Cuisine is fast disappearing, and this is one restaurant you definitely would want to bookmark to have a great communal feast.

This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.

TheRantingPanda says:
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: /5
Ambience: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5

Rempapa 
2 Paya Lebar Road 
#01-01/02/03 
Park Place Residences at PLQ 
Singapore 409053 
Tel: +65 9459 1603 

Opening Hours 
Monday to Friday 
Breakfast: 10.30am to 12pm 
Lunch: 12pm to 3.30pm 
Afternoon Tea & Bar Snacks: 3.30pm to 6pm  
Dinner & Bar Snacks: 6pm to 10.30pm 

Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays  
Brunch: 9.30am to 3.30pm 
Afternoon Tea & Bar Snacks: 3.30pm to 6pm  
Dinner & Bar Snacks: 6pm to 10.30pm 

Ranted by The Ranter 
 

About theRantingPanda (1885 Articles)
of blacks and whites and everything else | singapore | food reviews, lifestyle & travel

2 Comments on Food Review: Rempapa At Park Place Residences PLQ | A Taste Of Singapore Heritage Cuisine By Chef Damian D’Silva

  1. What’s the point of having good food when customer service sucks.

    Made a reservation for 25th March 2022 and was told that only outdoor seating available which we said is fine.

    We were never told that there are ‘3 types’ of outdoor seating.
    1. on the regular dining table
    2. on small round ‘cocktail’ table with high chairs
    3. on the lounge chair/settee and coffee table

    We arrived early abt 10 mins before our reservation (for 5 parties) and were directed to the ‘cocktail’ table settings even though another table or two was vacant, which we were told had been reserved.

    I’m surprised that they think it’s ok to dine in such a setting since they are not servicing fish n chips but a proper sit-down full meal with many ala carte dishes.

    When we reject, they suggested maybe we can eat at the lounge settee which may be uncomfortable as they acknowledged OR, they can seat us indoors but dinner would be at 8 pm instead of our reservation for 7pm.

    Question:
    1. why did they not explain to us the various seating option – I would not have booked if so.
    2. understand that they had many reservations for 7pm but despite us being early, why are we not allowed a proper table despite requesting and waiting for them to sort out the issue.
    3. to seat on the lounge chair and coffee table for our meal – what a way to treat your dinners. Eating in a food court would provide me with a much more dignified and comforable dining experience.
    4. we made plans to eat at 7pm not 8pm.

    Of course, both the staff Jane and manager Martin apologised.
    Still, the problem was not addressed, and such a bad experience.

    Food is good, SO WHAT!

    Thank you, we decide to eat elsewhere.

    Like

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