Mod-Sin: Two Chefs Transform Traditional Singaporean Cuisine With Modern Interpretations - Food & Travel

Labyrinth X Gallery by Chele elevate the palate with unexpected creations like Laksa Inasal as well as Cereal Prawn and Manila Mango.

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) invited Manila’s media and friends to a special four-hands dinner featuring Chef Han Li Guang of Restaurant Labyrinth (1 Michelin Star and No. 40 on Asia’s Best Restaurants 2022) and Chef Chele Gonzalez of Gallery By Chele (No. 69 on Asia’s Best Restaurants 2022) as part of the 29th edition of the Singapore Food Festival on August 23rd. It was a dinner that promised Filipino foodies an exquisite taste of “Mod-Sin” cuisine. A second dinner was open to the public on August 24th and the festival continues in Manila from September 2nd to 30th at The Grid in Rockwell Powerplant Mall.

READ ALSO: Toyo Eatery, Mecha Uma, And Gallery By Chele Among OAD’s 2022 List Of Top Restaurants In Asia

Oyster Omelette with oyster cooked three ways: raw, fried, and grilled all inside an egg takoyaki

“Mod-Sin” means modern Singaporean and for Singapore Food Festival 2022, the two chefs presented a playful collaboration of dishes that reimagined Singaporean food.

Gonzalez is well known in Philippines for his adventurous international interpretations of Filipino heritage flavours and techniques, and Guang’s approach is to champion Singapore produce and communities in his modern-Singapore dishes. With their philosophies that resonate well with each other, the two chefs have come together to collaborate on a menu that reimagined both Singapore and Filipino food, which had foodies experiencing a surprising and playful culinary adventure like no other.

Laksa Inasal featuring grilled octopus inasal with laksa sauce, pickled jicama, laksa mayo, and crispy chicken skin

This exclusive collaboration kicked off the Manila edition of the Singapore Food Festival (SFF), which runs from August 24 to September 2022. 

Ruby Liu, Philippines Area Director, STB, said: “Now that tourism has resumed for Singapore, STB is excited to present the Manila edition of the Singapore Food Festival to remind Filipino foodies of what they can taste when they visit Singapore for their next holiday.”

Liu adds, “As many of us are travelling for the first time after the last few years, STB invites travellers to try something different on their next trip. Thus, we invited Chef Han Li Guang of Labyrinth to introduce to us the “Mod-Sin” style of Singapore cuisine that we hope can excite the palates of Filipino foodies and entice them to visit Singapore soon.”

“Mod-Sin” stands for “modern Singaporean” and centers on creatively transforming traditional dishes with modern interpretations. It is a celebration of Singaporean cuisine; elevating local flavours in unexpected manners, while staying true to its history and culture. This first gained popularity in the early 2000s and can now be found in many establishments across the island, from hawkers and casual dining to Michelin-awarded restaurants. 

Cereal Prawn and Manila Mango with coconut pan cotta, chantilly, local lime, panda ice cream,
and Singaporean cereal prawn

As part of the new wave of chefs reshaping Singaporean cuisine, Guang is set to bring the very best of ‘Mod-Sin’ to Manila. Born to three generations of restauranteurs and F&B operators, Guang founded Labyrinth in 2014 which went on to receive a coveted Michelin Star three years later. At his restaurant, the 80% locally sourced menu is an expression of the chef’s childhood memories. Bringing together the passion of local farmers and the enlivenment of traditional recipes and techniques, he calls his food movement the “New Expression of Singapore Cuisine.”

Chef Han Li Guang of Restaurant Labyrinth (1 Michelin Star and No. 40 on Asia’s Best Restaurants 2022)

“The pursuit of innovation and creativity guide my team and I at Labyrinth,” said Guang. “By consistently championing these values in our expression of modern Singaporean cuisine, we deliver a culinary experience that delights and surprises in each bite,” he added. 

Chef Chele Gonzalez of Gallery by Chele (No. 69 on Asia’s Best Restaurants 2022)

“Although I have visited Singapore many times before, the recent R&D trip for Singapore Food Festival was special. We went on a wet market tour to learn about the Singapore local bounty and immerse in the local flavors that I did not know of,” said Gonzalez. “This Singapore journey truly inspired us and our menu,” he added. 

Labyrinth X Gallery by Chele four-hands dinner featuring Chef Chele Gonzalez and Chef Han Li Guang is the kick-off to
Singapore Food Festival 2022 presented by the Singapore Tourism Board

The four-hands dinner by Gonzalez and Guang is one of many forthcoming SFF 2022 culinary experiences to be presented by the STB. Within Manila, foodies can expect a month long celebration of Singaporean cuisine with pop-ups of hit Singapore restaurants at the The Grid in Powerplant Mall, Makati this September. Beyond the activities in Manila, SFF also has global virtual classes that are free to watch and many in-person activities in Singapore that tourists can visit. 

The Singapore Food Festival continues with a pop-up every weekend at The Grid in Rockwell Powerplant Mall this month of September:

September 2 to 30 – The Elephant Room

September 2 to 3 – Keng Eng Kee

September 5 to 7 Byrd Tubs

September 9 to 11 – The Coconut Club

September 12 to 14 – China Mommy

September 16 to 18 – Blue Smoke

September 19 to 21 – Byrd Tubs

September 23 to 25 – New Ubin Seafood

September 26 to 30 – Your Local

Head over to the website or contact Toni Tiemsin on behalf of the Singapore Tourism Board at +63998 883 5610 or email antonio.tiemsin@fleishmancom to learn more about the Singapore Food Festival 2022.

Banner photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board.

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