You are here

Explore food culture with family recipes


WHAT is nasi liwet? Or pempek? Ju hu char? Mallung or wambatu moju? They're passwords into rich Asian food cultures - traditional dishes that you won't find in so-called heritage restaurants but in private homes blessed with a family member who cooks with love and authenticity. Once reserved only for immediate family members and selected friends, a younger generation of home cooks and private chefs schooled in such traditions are letting others in on the joys of honest-to-goodness family recipes.

In Friday's issue of Weekend magazine, get a first-hand lesson on culinary history as we discover little-known Indonesian fish cake snacks called pempek made by an 80-year-old Indonesian nanny; tuck into eye-opening Sri Lankan curries and sambols from a private chef; and sample Penang-style ju hu char - dried cuttlefish and stir fried bangkwang by a true-blue Kristang home cook. It's not haute cuisine, but it's a taste that's after our own hearts.

In Interview, we meet up with Andrew Li, CEO of the Zouk Group who talks about how the clubbing industry - remember something called a dance floor? - has been clobbered beyond repair by the pandemic, and what he's doing to help it bounce back.

For your culture fix, head out to Gillman Barracks - the visual arts cluster which is finally reopening its doors. Or marvel at the creative staying power of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, 70-something music icons who are still pushing out the quality of work that puts some of their 40-something counterparts in the shade.

Design-wise, peep into a home inspired by nature, and freshen up your wardrobe with gender neutral basics from the fall/winter collections.

Your feedback is important to us

Tell us what you think. Email us at

To subscribe, visit

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to