Rediscovering Tradition - The Charm of Tingkats

Rediscovering Tradition - The Charm of Tingkats

J. Zhou                                                                                                         2 min read

The tingkat holds a special place in Singaporean culture, symbolising the warmth of home-cooked meals. These portable containers are typically made of metal and feature several compartments stacked on each other. Each compartment is designed to hold a different dish, allowing a complete meal to be packed neatly and transported without mixing flavours.

Interestingly, the term “tingkat” originates from Malay culture, meaning “tier” or “level”. The design of tingkats allows for efficient stacking, maximising space and ensuring that various dishes can be transported securely. Today, tingkats continue to be cherished for their role in preserving culinary traditions and bringing people together over delicious homemade meals.

For Shermay, the tingkat embodies cherished memories of childhood. After a long day at work, her father would pick her up from her grandmother’s house. He would collect a tingkat filled with delicious dishes like chap chai, pong tauhu soup, ayam siow and white rice, lovingly prepared by her grandmother.

“In the spirit of these vintage tingkats, we wanted to revive this tradition and celebrate Peranakan design elements,” Shermay recalls fondly. Tingkats evoke nostalgia and represent Singapore’s multicultural tapestry, blending Malay, Chinese, Indian and other ethnic influences from our culinary heritage.

Each of our tingkats features beautiful enamel flowers painted in soft colours, honouring Peranakan craftsmanship. It blends tradition with innovation, combining classic elements with modern twists to preserve the tradition of tingkats for generations to come.

Readers can now own a tingkat, a piece of history, made available from our locally designed range of gift packaging. Shop now! 

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