From hearty stews to breaded dishes and flaming desserts, plenty of classic dishes were the staple of many restaurants. While we don’t see these dishes around much, they were very popular throughout the 20th century, but fell out of favour due to the many choices we have today, although they still exist in some old-school restaurants here like Shashlik, Quentin’s and The Ship.
Here are some retro dishes that you may (or may not) know:
It’s a simple dish of peeled shrimp which you dip into a cocktail sauce (a piquant tomato-based sauce) or thousand island dressing. It was the most popular hors d’œuvre in fine dining steakhouses from the 60s to the late 80s.
The oxtail meat is braised for the hours until fork-tender, cooked with local spices and traditional English seasonings. This old-fashioned, quintessential British comfort food used to be popular till the 60s, and has Singaporean roots.
This salad consists of apple, celery, and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise and served on top of a bed of lettuce, created at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in 1896.
Chicken á la King
The dish consists of diced chicken and vegetables (peas and carrots) in a mushroom cream sauce served over pasta, rice, or bread. Modern recipes used canned cream of mushroom soup as the gravy.
The local dish consists of battered chicken breast, served with bacon, fried bananas, and pineapple rings… with a side of cornbread. It’s also popular in the UK, thanks to the Hainanese chefs who used to cook for the British back in the 1900s.
The dish consists of lobster meat cooked in a cream sauce (often with brandy), topped with mushrooms, egg, and cheese, baked in its own shell. There’s a similar dish, called Lobster Newburg.
The dish is made of chicken fillet pounded and rolled around herb-flavoured butter, then coated with eggs and breadcrumbs, and either fried or baked. It was created in Russia by a French chef.
This a Russian dish consists of sautéed pieces of thinly-sliced beef with mushrooms and onions, served in a creamy brown sauce over rice or pasta. This was another dish created by a French chef in Russia.
Baked (or Bombay/Bombe) Alaska
This dessert has an ice cream inner core and a sponge cake base, encrusted with a spiky outer meringue layer. Before serving, it’s flamed to brown the meringue. It was created in 1867 to celebrate the USA’s purchase of Alaska from the Russians.
If you’re hungry for more retro content, check out our latest Retro Issue, which you can read for free right here.