Worldwide icon-chevron-right Asia icon-chevron-right Singapore icon-chevron-right Meet the four chefs behind Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner

Meet the four chefs behind Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner

These heritage heroes are preserving Singapore's food culture one dish at a time

Balik Kampong
Photo: Gabe Chen Photography
By Nicole-Marie Ng |

A showcase of Singapore's local talent and rich culinary diversity, Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner sees four amazing chefs team up to present a seven-course meal complete with bespoke cocktail pairings priced at an unbeatable $150. This isn't just a ragtag bunch of chefs we've dragged out of the kitchen, they're some of the city's best. Meet the chefs keeping Singapore's heritage food alive.

READ Everything you need to know about Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner

Restaurants, Peranakan

Chef Damian D'Silva

icon-location-pin Kallang

From Folklore

Born into a Peranakan and Eurasian family, chef Damian D'Silva has been cooking in his grandparents' kitchen since he was a young boy. Now 62 years old, D'Silva has made it his life's work to showcase what Singapore's ethnic cuisines have to offer at Folklore.

Soul food that speaks to the heart has always a part of this former aviation engineer's identity. He's run multiple kitchens in city, including Soul Kitchen and Immigrants, championing heritage food by preparing nostalgic dishes not commonly found in other restaurants due to the amount of manual labour and preparation time involved.

Despite living in Singapore, we bet you haven't tried some of these traditional recipes before, so check out Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner to see what D'Silva has up his sleeves.

Restaurants, Singaporean

Chef Han Li Guang

icon-location-pin City Hall

From Labyrinth

What is Singapore cuisine? That's a question chef-owner Han Li Guang – who quit his high-flying desk job in the banking industry to become a chef – of Labyrinth has struggled to answer since he first launched his restaurant.

Old iterations of Labyrinth's menu saw him reinterpreting classic local dishes, coming up with creations like chilli crab ice cream and chendol xiao long bao. But over the past year, he's been discovering more of what Singapore has to offer through its farm and local producers.

He's putting his discoveries on the table during the Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner – showcasing the creativity that earned him a Michelin-star in 2017 along the way.

Restaurants, Spanish

Chef Haikal Johari

icon-location-pin Orchard

From Alma by Juan Amador

He's cooked in prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants like Joël Robuchon and Les Amis but that's not what makes chef Haikal Johari is a great chef. After a motorcycle accident in Thailand left him paralysed in 2015, chef Haikal spent his days of recuperation dreaming of the kitchen.
Currently wheelchair-bound, he still spends six days a week at the restaurant, squeezing in physiotherapy between lunch and dinner service. He's constantly striving to take Alma to new heights and is responsible for maintaining its one-Michelin-star rating.
Catch him in action during Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner where he dishes out Malay dishes you won't find him cooking at Alma – a rare treat you won't be able to experience anywhere else.
Restaurants, French

Chef Pang Kok Keong

icon-location-pin Kallang

From Antoinette

You might know him better as the chef behind Antoinette – the pretty French restaurant and patisserie with drool-worthy cakes and bakes – but this chef and pâtissier also runs a side business called Pang’s Hakka Delicacies, a tribute to his heritage, where he prepares forgotten Hakka kuehs and dishes.

Before striking out on his own, he was the executive chef of Les Amis' chain of patisseries, where he collected multiple awards including pastry chef of the year at the World Gourmet Summit.

He's showing off both his sweet and savoury side at Time Out Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner by preparing a main and a dessert for this epic seven-course meal.

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