It is not common to see BOTH Straits Times’ food gurus Wong Ah Yoke AND Tan Hsueh Yun going to a restaurant on their personal basis (ie not media tasting) AT THE SAME TIME. (I wonder if they saw each other. The restaurant was crowded but I think I saw them.)
This could have been a restaurant’s best opportunity, or the kitchen’s worse nightmare.
The Peranakan just opened at Claymore Connect (the revamped mall opposite Orchard Towers), and is likely to attract many families who are longing for this nostalgic taste of Straits Chinese cuisine.
I grew up eating my grandma’s and aunties Peranakan dishes and so longing for some authentic taste.
Don’t play play. The Peranakan spans 3000 square foot, can sit 130, and Executive Chef Raymond Khoo (Tong Shui Café, 3 Monkeys, Rasa Singapura Macau) helms the kitchen.
The décor, space and size can be considered jaw-dropping in Singapore… the flowers, the prints, the tiffin carriers, the crockery, and THE CHANDELIERS.
They possibly bought every single chandelier available was from the lighting shop and more. I’m gonna swing from the chandelier…
There are most of the Peranakan favourites available here, from Kueh Pie Ti ($20), Ngoh Hiang ($15), Itek Tim ($7), Nonya Chap Chye ($15), Petai Kicap Manis ($12), Nasi Ulam ($15), Ayam Pong Teh ($17), Beef Rendang ($19), Ayam Sioh ($17) to the quintessential Ayam Buah Keluak ($19).
Other than the ala carte orders, there are a few other interesting options: The Tok Panjang ($45 or $65 per person) which is supposedly a super bagus smorgasbord of favourite dishes served in rattan baskets; a Six-Course Degustatio Menu ($85 per person, minimum six persons); and Chef’s Table ($188 or $288 per person with wine pairing).
For the chef’s table, an advance seven day reservation is required.
Perhaps it is a case of a crowded restaurants meets opening week jitters, the food was surprisingly not on par to expectations.
I only say this because I was seated squeezed smack between two tables, and the other diners just. could. not. stop. complaining.
”Bo ho chiak.”, “Why so cold?”, “So sayang the food…”, “The other XXX restaurant much better… Bibik not happy, I guess.
Let’s start with what I like: The sambal belacan is one, the Sup Bakwan Kepiting ($9) – crabmeat ball soup with bamboo shoots is the other. The broth was light yet tasting, the balls packed full of meaty goodness. Homely and comforting dish.
The Nonya Chap Chye ($15) essentially had the flavours, but the vegetables overall needed to be cooked much softer.
The next table who ordered the Tok Panjang questioned “Why everything cold ah?”, and I didn’t really quite expect the Ngoh Hiang ($15) supposedly deep-fried to arrive well… I won’t use the word “cold”, but the pieces were just not even warm.
I returned the dish. It returned heated up. Much better. (If you are wondering if they replaced the dish, or gave me the old one, it was the later. I counted the pieces.)
The Malacca Teh Peng ($5) served was diluted (I think you can tell by the photo). At this price point, you would expect something better.
Nothing beat the feedback from the uncle right next to me. He was about 70 plus, came with his family, and when his daughter asked how was the food.
His reply was classic, “Wasted calories.”
I do not think it was to that extent THAT bad. After all, there are some positive reviews online, and it was perhaps just not their day.
Anyway, I saw the ST food journalists there. Certainly one of them will write something. So let’s just wait what they have to say.
422 Orchard Road, Orchard Hotel – Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6262 4428
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm