July to December workshops and programmes at the National Museum of Singapore

The Mortar and Pestle in Southeast Asian Cuisine
Thursday 5 July
6.30pm – 8pm
The Lab, Level 3
S$40 per participant

There was a time when a prospective daughter-in-law’s worth was measured based on her ability to use the mortar and pestle expertly – a skill that was passed from mother to daughter. Today, modern appliances have taken its place but purists still insist that nothing can replicate the results of the traditional mortar and pestle. Let us show you why.

We will introduce the history of the mortar and pestle and its different forms and uses across Southeast Asia. This includes a special viewing of part of the museum’s own collection of mortars and pestles. There will also be a demonstration on the preparation of two versatile Southeast Asian spice/herb pastes. Our instructor will show you how each paste can be utilised in a dish (recipes and suggested variations will be provided). Participants can also look forward to tasting some of dishes at the end of the class.

The Art of High Tea
Sunday 29 July & Saturday 29 September
3pm – 4.30pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$40 per participant

Join a tea expert and an etiquette expert for a lovely afternoon of food and drink. We will be serving a delectable spread of traditional English tea-time treats along with a selection of teas as our two experts talk about the art of appreciating tea as well as the history and culture of this indulgent, mid-afternoon meal.

Dinner and a Movie Night
Sunday 5 August
5pm – 9pm
Gallery Theatre, Basement
S$55 per participant
Please note that age restrictions may apply depending on the content and classification of each film.

Pairing food with film marries two of Singaporeans’ biggest passions. Make a special night of it by catching an iconic and highly-acclaimed food-centric movie at the Gallery Theatre before proceeding to taste a meal inspired by the dishes featured in the film.

Modern Manners
Thursday 23 August
6.30pm – 8pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$25 per participant

When is the use of email an inappropriate mode of communication? What should ‘casual Fridays’ really mean to the ambitious young executive? And what in the world is a gourmet spoon? Upon entering the workforce, you’ll be challenged to entertain clients, talk about current events, and assume the air of a distinguished gentleman or an elegant, refined lady. In a world filled with greater familiarity and casualness, this course is a lifesaver.

This interactive session focuses on the unfamiliar professional and social situations a young person is likely to encounter early in his or her career. Through open discussions and practical demonstrations, learn how to be a good host when you finally get that expense account, familiarise yourself with the art of ordering in fine dining restaurants and master the skill of guiding dinner conversations. Most importantly, acquire the confidence to handle any social situation. Drinks and light snacks will be served.

Know your Chocolate
Saturday 15 September
3pm – 4.30pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$35 per participant

Can you tell the difference between a good chocolate and a great one? Does having a higher percentage of cocoa in a chocolate necessarily mean a superior taste experience?

This workshop traces the origins of our favourite deep, dark indulgence and teaches you how to tell the difference between different kinds of chocolates. As part of this sinfully rich course, participants will partake in a chocolate tasting session

Beyond the Singapore Sling: Creating Cocktails with Local Herbs and Spices
Thursday 11 October
6.30pm – 8pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$35 per participant
Please note that only persons aged 18 years and above will be admitted to this course due to the minimum legal drinking age.

Fancy yourself a bit of an amateur bartender? Tap on the experiences of an expert and learn how to personalise your homemade cocktails with local herbs and spices. Inspired by the National Museum’s exhibition of William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings which showcases drawings of natural history commissioned by William Farquhar when he was British Resident and Commandant of Melaka (1803 to 1818), we will introduce herbs and spices featured in the collection and show you how to incorporate them into creative cocktails. Discover over a drink and some nibbles the basics of infusing your own cocktails with a little Singaporean flavour.

Discovering Local Herbs and Spices: A Mortar and Pestle Master Class
Thursday 18 October
6.30pm – 8pm
The Lab, Level 3
S$40 per participant

Ever find it confusing trying to identify local spices and herbs at the market? Can you tell if a stalk of lemongrass is past its prime? How do you differentiate between curry leaves and laksa leaves? This mortar and pestle master class takes inspiration from the National Museum’s exhibition of William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings which showcases drawings of natural history commissioned by William Farquhar when he was British Resident and Commandant of Melaka (1803 to 1818). We will introduce herbs and spices featured in the collection as well as others that form the basic building blocks of innumerable Singaporean dishes and provide useful tips on identifying, selecting and storing fresh, high quality specimens. We will also demonstrate how two versatile local spice/herb pastes are prepared using the mortar and pestle. Our instructor will show you how each paste can be utilised in a dish (recipes and suggested variations will be provided). Participants can look forward to tasting some of the dishes at the end of the class.

Classic Cocktails
Thursday 15 November
6.30pm – 8pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$35 per participant
Please note that only persons aged 18 years and above will be admitted to this course due to the minimum legal drinking age.

Do you know what goes into a Gimlet, a Gibson or a Sidecar? How about a Rusty Nail or a Harvey Wallbanger? When is a cocktail shaken rather than stirred? When do you use a martini glass or highball glass? Discover over a drink and some nibbles the history of the cocktail hour and some of the most well-known classic cocktails. We’ll even show you how to make your own cocktails.

Instant Wine Expert

Thursday 29 November
6.30pm – 8pm
The Salon, Level 1
S$40 per participant
Please note that only persons aged 18 years and above will be admitted to this course due to the minimum legal drinking age.

Have you ever felt lost before an open wine list? Have you been puzzling over the difference between a Merlot and a Grenache? This course led by a wine expert will walk you through everything you need to know from wine appreciation to ordering wine confidently. You will also get to taste different wines of ranging prices from all over the world.

All Wrapped Up: Southeast Asian Techniques of Wrapping Food with Leaves
Thursday 6 December
6.30pm – 8pm
The Lab, Level 1
S$40 per participant

Southeast Asians have developed sophisticated techniques in utilising leaves to wrap a host of traditional dishes. Learn about how different leaves impart flavours and aromas to food and get tips on how to prepare specific leaves before use. Our instructor will talk about the history of this culinary technique, demonstrate classic wrapping techniques and show you how to prepare two-leaf encased dishes (recipes will be provided). At the end of the class, enjoy tasting dishes you’ve just learnt to prepare.


Ticketing Information
Prior registration is required for all Life & Living programmes. To register, log on to www.nationalmuseum.sg (go to Online Booking link at the bottom of the webpage).

Counter sales:
Stamford Visitor Services Counter, 10am – 8pm Tel: (65) 6332 3659
Canning Visitor Services Counter, 10am – 5pm Tel: (65) 6332 0111

A 20% concession is available for members of the National Museum of Singapore only.

The National Museum of Singapore is located at 93 Stamford Road, S(178897). The nearest MRT station is at Dhoby Ghaut.
Limited paid parking is available at the National Museum of Singapore. Nearest public car parks are at YMCA, Park Mall and Fort Canning Park.