Features 1 minute 30 July 2018

On The Menu: The Inspiration Behind Rishi Naleendra’s Dessert At The 2018 MICHELIN Guide Singapore Gala Dinner

The chef of one-Michelin-starred Cheek By Jowl conjures up familiar flavours in a contemporary way.

MICHELINGUIDESG18 Singapore chefs

For Sri Lankan-born Rishi Naleendra, the tropical, coconutty taste of chendol is not unfamiliar. Since moving to Singapore and opening Cheek By Jowl in 2016, he has indulged in more than his fair share of the traditional dessert. At the 2018 MICHELIN Guide Singapore gala dinner held on 25 July, the chef showcased his interpretation of chendol in a dessert of red bean parfait and coconut sorbet with sago infused with Nespresso Exclusive Selection Nepal Lamjung and topped with a quenelle of ginger ale snow.
What was the inspiration behind your dish?
When I was invited to cook at the Michelin gala dinner and I had to do a dessert, the first thing that came to my mind was chendol because I really enjoy eating it here. With the flavours, the textures, it really is one of the best dishes that you can eat in Singapore.
What goes into this dish?
In the dish, we have red bean parfait and coconut sorbet, and we made flavoured ice with ginger ale. There’s mango, sago cooked with coffee and gula Melaka. For the parfait, we used a Japanese red bean which I think it has a very distinct and refined sort of flavour to it.

How is this dish representative of your cooking style at Cheek By Jowl?
It was about creating something that I could serve here (at the restaurant). It could be chendol because the flavours and textures are there, but it’s a completely different dish from chendol that you would generally get. This is more like a restaurant version, that hopefully justifies what chendol is.


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