Dennis Chong: Restaurateur

Email Interview Dennis Chong Creatures

Dennis Chong

Age (if you don't mind us asking)

Founder/Owner - CreatureS restaurant

What's your fondest memory of food growing up?
My fondest memory of food growing up was the people cooking it because I was blessed to grow up in a home where everyone can cook. Be it my grandmother, grandfather, mom, and aunt. My fond memory of food growing up were also the uncle hawkers near the coffee shops and market I frequent, where everyone takes the time to smile when they see a familiar face while they cook for you.

What was your favourite food from childhood?
My favourite food from childhood, as cliche as it sounds, will have to be my grandmother's cooking. It was always a comforting meal whenever she whips up a storm in the kitchen. In particular, braised beancurd skin with stewed pork belly.

What do food and family mean to you?
A family who eats together stays together. Food speaks a universal language that is borderless and bridges all differences. Food is really like a tool of communication for a family unit and is also the one common thing that draws diversity together. Therefore, as a family, it is important to make a point to eat together.

What excites you the most about Singapore's food culture?
Singapore is a melting pot of influences when it comes to food culture, which one can draw a lot of inspiration from. While this young country explores its heritage and history to work towards creating a food identity of her own, for example, the evolution and progress of Mod-Sin cuisine, she is at the same time, opening her arms and heart to welcome a cosmopolitan and international diversity of food offerings from the world.

What annoys you the most about Singapore's food culture?
That it could not be as organic as before. Certainly miss those open spaces, back lanes, roadside pavements, where hawkers are able to set up stalls and create an atmospheric street vibe with great aroma filling the air. And also, great hawker food that will get lost with time as the new generation may not be able to carry on the tradition from their elders.

If you could choose only one dessert to have for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I go weak in the knees for a fresh and light strawberry shortcake. So I am ready to settle down with the perfect one for the rest of my life!

Describe the most recent meal you've had prior to this fabulous email interview
A home-cooked dinner at home on a Sunday. Laksa with rempah made from scratch and some lovely ngoh hiang (minced pork and prawn rolls) deep-fried to perfection. With a side of kueh pie tie with home-made stewed bangkwang (turnip)

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