We were really excited when we knew that The Peranakan. For one, I am always very intrigued by the Peranakan culture and food. Plus, this is the only Peranakan restaurant that is located along Orchard Road, which makes it easier for us to dine there. Opened in late May at Claymore Connect, Peranakan Chef-owner Raymond Khoo had these recipes in the family which was handed down by the Nonyas and Babas in his family. It’s easy to spot the restaurant from a distance – Peranakan style ceramics, floral wallpaper and huge chandeliers… the decor is so elaborate! Plus, the service team has a mix of senior waiters and waitresses in white shirts, making it super nostalgic. We were served by an elderly waiter who had a good knowledge of Peranakan cuisine and recommended us the following dishes. The Sup Bakwan Kepiting ($9) was served with two juicy pork balls, prawn balls and crab meat. The soup was sweet and served with strips of bamboo shoots. Another option is Itek Tim ($7) which was painstakingly boiled for over 6 hours with kiam chye and sour plums and tasted heavenly. On our day of visit, they also have a special appetizer Sambal Jantung Pisang – a banana heart salad which is creamy and spicy. I haven’t had Nasi Ulam ($15) in a while. Cooking this dish is not difficult, but the preparation takes a lot of time. A mix of herbs and vegetables are mixed with rice. There’s lemongrass, onions, lime leaves etc, together with long beans, toasted coconut and salted fish. It’s very unique to see salted fish in the dish but it surely makes it take better. The ingredients are sliced and chopped finely with well balanced herbs. It’s fragrant, healthy and appetizing. I love to have it with sambal belachan, shiok ah! Instead of going for the babi pongteh, we tried the Satay Babi Sam Chan ($19). The fatty pork belly is cooked in a special satay sauce that is savoury and fragrant. Yup, so instead of having satay stick, you can have this with a plate of white rice and Nonya Chap Chye ($15). Assam Pedas Fish Head ($27) is addictively good. It’s aromatic, sour and spicy fish head cooked in chilli tamarind gravy. There is no powdery feel that is common in many other curry fish head. It has an interesting balanced acidity with a nice thickness. The Assam Fish Head had enough kick to feel a slight sting on the tongue, but still able to eat it without perspiring. If you cannot decide what to have for dessert, go for the Chef Dessert Platter ($15) and you can have a little bit of everything. Chef selects from a range of desserts available, including Chendol Melaka ($6.50), Pulot Enti Kelapa ($3.50), Pulot Hitam Mata Kuching ($3.50), Bubur Kacang Hijau ($3.50) etc. The BB Kueh Tart ($1 each, $25 gift pack) is their homemade pineapple tart made in house. If you’re feeling a little fancy, go for the Tok Panjang ($45 or $65) – a Peranakan feast served during special occasions OR the 6-course degustation menu ($85). The restaurant recently launched their Peranakan High Tea from 11am to 5.30pm daily.