New restaurants in Singapore open all the time, but brand new restaurants that stand out from the crowd are few and far in between. The new Peranakan Restaurant Claymore Connect that recently opened in late May 2016 is one such restaurant. Claymore Connect is the shopping arcade wing of the Orchard Hotel at the start of Orchard Road. We recently visited the new Peranakan Restaurant Claymore Connect and were suitably impressed by what we saw and ate.
Rather than try to describe the space and decor of this new Peranakan Restaurant along Orchard Road, we think it would be easier if we shut up and let the pictures speak a few thousand words.
Quite beautiful right? The charm of the Peranakan Restaurant Claymore Connect extends beyond the structural space. The place is also littered with small details and paraphernalia that are retro and Straits Chinese inspired.
Here are pictures of some parts of the Peranakan Restaurant menu. In addition to the ala carte menu, there is a degustation and two “Tok Panjang” menus. The six-course degustation menu costs $85 per person. There are two tok panjang menus that cost $45 and $65 per person. We ordered some assorted items from the a la carte menu.
The nasi ulam ($15) was a cold rice salad with vegetables, minced and salted fish. Quite an unusual dish for us. The initial taste was not very nice as we were not used to the cold rice. But after the first few mouthfuls, the taste started to grow on us. The crunch of the vegetables and the scattered saltiness of the fish eventually won us over.
The combination platter contained large rolls of prawn and liver ngoh hiang and deep fried bakwan kepiting ($25). The meatiness of the rolls made this a heavy dish. The bakwan kepiting (meat and seafood balls) were the highlight – tasty and bouncy. The prawn ngoh hiang was good. The liver ngoh hiang had a strong liver taste, which some of us found to be too overpowering.
The kaki babi ponteh ($19) had apparently been slow cooked for six hours. We can’t verify that, but we can confirm that the pork was cooked till really tender. The tasty gravy made this an excellent companion with steamed rice.
The nonya chap chye ($15), a staple in Peranakan restaurants, was surprisingly ordinary, considering the standard of the other dishes.
Satay Babi Sum Chan ($19) was satay without sticks, made with pieces of pork belly. We are not sure about this, but we guess “sum chan” is derived from the Teochew or Hokkien words sar chang bak – three layers of meat. The mix of fatty and lean meat made it easy to eat. The portion was very small, probably equivalent to six sticks of satay, making this quite an expensive dish.
Now we show you the two types of dessert that we tried. The first was glutinous rice with durian ($5). We can’t tell which type of durian was used but it was very good – creamy and complex with a hint of bitterness. This combination of durian and glutinous rice went very well. It comes in a small portion, so there is no danger of feeling ‘jelat’.
The other dessert that we tried was a more common bo bo cha cha ($3.50). This was good but not as spectacular as the first.
All in all, our lunch at the new Peranakan Restaurant Claymore Connect, Orchard Hotel was an enjoyable experience. Good food in a beautiful peranakan restaurant setting and service that was friendly and warm.