Peranakans are proud descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore. These Chinese inter-married the local Malays and addressed themselves as Nyonya (ladies) & Baba (gentlemen). Nyonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay and Indonesian community. Here’s our list of the Top Peranakan Restaurants In Singapore, a comprehensive makan options of the Best Nyonya Food put together from Singapore’s foodies & bloggers experiences. I must stress that they are not placed based on ranking. 1. National Kitchen by Violet Oon (National Gallery) 2. Baba Chews Bar and Eatery 3. Spices Café 4. The Peranakan 5. Ding Dong 6. Violet Oon Singapore (Bukit Timah) 7. The Tiong Bahru Club 8. Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant 9. Edge Food Theatre 10. Hooked On Heads 11. PeraMakan 12. True Blue Cuisine 13. Guan Hoe Soon 14. Straits Chinese Restaurant 15. The Blue Ginger 16. Nyonya & Baba 17. Ivins @ Binjai Park Source: http://www.aspirantsg.com/top-peranakan-restaurants-in-singapore-best-nyonya-food/
Singaporeans are very acquainted with Orchard Road. And as walking directories, we’re able to instinctively navigate the crowds to the street corner where the ice cream uncle peddles his creamy desserts. But even those who know Orchard inside out wouldn’t have heard of this new gem – Claymore Connect. It might be built on the very ground Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade once stood, but you’ll see no trace of its former days as “sketchville”. Risen from the ashes, here are 10 reasons why the newly-revamped Claymore Connect will steal that ‘new mall’ space in your heart. P.s. Keep your eyes peeled for some wild special promotions
– Food –
1. Mon BijouSource Truly a diamond that’s sprung out from the rough, a must-try off Mon Bijou’s menu is the MB Brioche French Toast – a purported favorite of Hong Kong actor Francis Ng! Mon Bijou Address: #01-19/20 Mezzanine level, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Weekdays | 10AM – 9PM (last order 8.30PM) Weekend | 9AM – 9PM (last order 8.30PM) Contact: 67396738 Quote “ The Smart Local” for complimentary coffee/tea with any purchase of All Day Breakfast, Mains, or Pasta and 15% off a la carte food items. Valid from 15th Oct till 30th Nov 2016.
2. Hua Ting SteamboatSource Most of us know Hua Ting for its delightful crispy roast duck and dim sum, but Hua Ting Steamboat brings a whole new spread to the table – a premium steamboat experience. Expect fresh garoupa, Kurobuta pork, Japanese fresh scallops, and homemade ingredients served ala carte and taste their intriguing soup flavors like Five Grain Porridge, Superior Fish Soup with Winter Melon and Conpoy or Tomato Soup With Century Egg & Coriander ($20++ and up). Source Kurobuta Pork Belly Casserole ($28++) – Hua Ting Steamboat’s specialty has to be their casseroles, which is basically a dry hot-pot that you can transform into a regular soupy one should you feel the need to.
3. The Peranakan
4. Muddy Murphy’s
5. Jewel CoffeeSource If you’re into brewed coffee that doesn’t come from an espresso machine, the friendly staff will be more than happy to explain the flavour differences between brews prepared with the Chemex ($6), Aeropress ($6) and Syphon ($16).
– Coolest Mall Finds –
7. Maharajas Custom Tailors
8. Ch’i Life Studiokris@chi-life.com Website
9. MapleBear Singapore
10. Color Bar for Hair
All things Peranakan! Peranakan seems to be the buzzword for the month of July as we visited 3 restaurants serving fine Peranakan cuisines and the Peranakan Museum is showcasing Nyonya Needlework. So head down to these places for your dose of Peranakan experience.
The PeranakanThe Peranakan, a 130-seater restaurant is also easily accessible via Orchard Road’s latest mall, Claymore Connect and is currently the only Straits cuisine restaurant along the Orchard Road. A typical Peranakan meal comprises a generous selection of mouth-watering and aromatic dishes usually served with rice, as most of the dishes are gravy-rich and sometimes spicy in flavour. Chef Raymond shares that each dish has a personal significance to him but the ‘super bagus’ (directly translated as ‘extra good’) are special only because he has incorporated his own twist to the original recipe or chosen to highlight the particular dish because it is especially challenging to prepare and serve A distinguishing culinary offer at The Peranakan is it’s unique ‘Tok Panjang’ – a grand Peranakan feast, once served at the turn of the century, by wealthy Straits families to mark special occasions like weddings, anniversaries and important birthdays. In addition to this there will be a Six-Course Degustation menu and the Chef’s Table Set Menu, an array of celebrated nonya takeaway cakes and desserts served alongside the regular Ala carte menu. The Peranakan’s Tok Panjang is available for Lunch and Dinner and offers a smorgasbord of ‘super bagus’ and favourite dishes served in rattan baskets at S$45 per person or $65 per person. Each guest who attends a Tok Panjang will receive a complimentary souvenir – a personalized certificate of attendance with a Peranakan ‘pantun’ (poem) about Singapore’s Founding Father, Lee Kuan Yew, to mark the event. The Peranakan is located at Level 2, unit 02-01, Claymore Connect@ Orchard Hotel, Singapore 238879. Reservations at +65 6262 4428 Special Events and Catering at +65 6262 4728
Oscar’s, Conrad Centennial SingaporeFrom July 11 till August 31, 2016, Oscar’s brings back Local Delights with Peranakan Highlights, featuring a special Dry Laksa Pasta with Spicy Coconut Espuma Foam – created by renowned food blogger, Miss Tam Chiak. Helmed by Senior Chef de Cuisine Alex Siah, tuck into a tantalising array of traditional Peranakan dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Pongteh Ayam, Udang Masak Assam, Nonya Chap Chye, and more. In addition, savour other Singaporean favourites such as Roast Duck, Sweet and Sour Crispy Pork Belly, Spicy Chilli Crab with Crispy Fried Bun, Sambal String Ray served on Banana Leaf, Chicken and Beef Satay. End on a sweet note at the live Teh Tarik station or spoil your tastebuds with a selection of Nonya Kuehs and local desserts such as Bubur Pulut Hitam or Cheng Teng. “Oscar’s Local Delights with Peranakan Highlights” is available from July 11 to August 31, 2016 and priced at: Lunch (Monday to Saturday): S$59++ per adult S$29.50++per child (6 to 12 years) Dinner (Sunday to Thursday): S$72++ per adult S$36++ per child (6 to 12 years) Dinner (Friday to Saturday): S$83++ per adult S$41.50++ per child (6 to 12 years) Children aged 5 years and below dine for free (yay!) Special Promotion: Quote “Laksa” upon reservations and enjoy Lunch at S$45++ per adult (Monday to Saturday). Quote “Achar” upon reservations and enjoy Dinner at S$55++ per adult (Monday to Thursday). Prior reservations necessary. Not available on eve of and on Public Holidays. Subject to availability.
Ellenborough Market Café, Swissotel Merchant CourtThe Grand Dame of Peranakan cuisine returns with bolder, and better. Much like a bibik who had gone on a well-deserved holiday and returned with an expanded appreciation, worldview, and new partner, Ellenborough Market Café buffet repertoire retains well-loved favourites and offers an even wider international spread with action stations. Look forward to evergreen favourites such as the signature Ayam Buah Keluak, Babi Pongteh, Stir Fried Slipper Lobster in Black Bean Sauce and Durian Pengat but save space too for daily specials at the Carving Station including Roast Beef and Leg of Lamb, Braised Pork Belly La Mian hand-pulled by our La Mian Master, crisp and creamy Durian Fritters and Traditional Muah Chee made according to a family recipe and prepared à la minute. Available: Lunch Buffet: Dinner Buffet: High Tea Buffet: $52 Monday to Sunday $62 Monday to Thursday $68 Friday to Sunday, and eve and day of Public Holiday $42 Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday For reservations and enquiries, please call 6239 1847/1848 or email email@example.com
The Peranakan Museum – Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan WorldThe Peranakan Museum’s special exhibition – Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World – displays the traditional Peranakan art of embroidery and beadwork, with many seldom-seen objects from Singapore’s National Collection, attesting to 30 years of dedicated collecting by Singapore’s museums. Singapore now holds the largest collection of nyonya needlework in public hands. This bespoke showcase will also display some of the earliest dated embroidered and beaded objects in the world from the renowned Rijksmuseum and the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands. The show is divided into five sections that range from auspicious emblems and symbols, creative hands: makers and methods, and materials, to the diverse styles of Indonesia, Malacca, Singapore, and Penang. Source: https://metropolitant.com/2016/07/22/things-peranakan-indulge-nyonya-experience/
The Peranakan at Claymore Connect for dinner. Fwaaah. It’s very brightly lit and gold and all that. 😛 Well, as usual, I reserve a truckload of skepticism when it comes to Peranakan food. Many supposedly good restaurants have fallen wayside and few remain when it comes to satisfying a craving for nyonya dishes. I wasn’t taken by the soups of itek tim or bakwan kepiting. Not when mine are way more nuanced, layered and hold thicker body. 😛 The mains fared better. In fact, they were GOOD. Totally enjoyed the kuah lada ikan. It’s been a while since I’ve had a decent version. The man had to have chap chye. He liked it. I’m not a fan of it at all, no matter who cooks it. The dish doesn’t appeal, even if it’s done by the best home cooks.
|The high tea spread.|
The recent revamped of the shopping centre beside Orchard Hotel, now known as Claymore Connect has unveiled a new peranakan restaurant, named The Peranakan. The Owner / Chef behind this is Executive Chef Raymond Khoo, a peranakan and well experienced Chef whom for the first time open a restaurant true to his root.
|Part of the Outdoor Seating|
For him, The Peranakan is about cooking peranakan food according to Chef Khoo family recipe.
|Mini Peranakan Shop|
|Peranakan Tea Set|
Located in the 2nd floor of Claymore Connect, the restaurant is easy to spot from far away. It is bright, glamorous and proudly displaying a true heritage of Peranakan culture. The furnitures, the batik table covers, wallpapers, cutleries and the overall presentation just showcase the Peranakan heritage. I actually think, The Peranakan looks more like a Peranakan Museum than a restaurant.
|Part of Dining Area|
|Part of Dining Area|
|Prawn Roll and Sambal|
Nasi Ulam Istimewa ($17). This is a traditional dish of rice mixed with raw herbs, vegetables, minced fish and salted fish. According to the Chef Khoo, the preparation of this dish is just tedious as the julienne herbs will only remain fresh within 30 minutes before its oxidise. The Nasi Ulam here is aromatic and bursting with the freshness of herbs flavour, especially the lemongrass. The rice is al-dente texture that you normally found in Chinese fried rice, however the fish and salted fish dissipate in the background. Overall, it remain a good dish, can be eaten on its own though I prefer a more even spread of fish and salted fish.
|Nasi Ulam Istimewa|
Sotong Masak Asam ($19). A tender and springy squid cooked in tamarind and palm sugar and starfruit. The original recipe uses Buah Belimbing Bulih, however it is difficult to find in Singapore. A well balanced between sweet and sour dish that will wake up your appetite.
|Sotong Masak Asam|
Kaki Babi Pong Teh ($19). Pork leg slow cooked for six hours with sautéed onions and fermented beans. This is the first time I tried this dish using pork knuckle. The meat is succulent, packed with collagen from the skin of the pork leg. Although it was cooked over a long period, there was still some springiness in the meat instead of mushy and soft. The gravy is slightly sweet, with a touch of fermented beans.
|Kaki Babi Pong Teh|
Ayam Buah Keluak ($22 – including 4 pcs of buah keluak). The signature of peranakan dish, the thick pieces of chicken is tender and absorbs the gravy well. It might look unappetizing, however it is pretty delicious.
|Ayam Buah Keluak|
Buah Keluak, known as the truffle of the East can be considered an acquired taste. At The Peranakan, the team took additional steps in the preparation of Buah Keluak. They took out the fillings, blend it, and put it back into the shell before cooking it with the chicken. Resulting a smooth and creamy texture buah keluak, instead of the traditional coarse texture. After this process, each buah keluak will contain two times the amount of normal fillings. If you order this dish, the service staff will provide you with a special spoon to dig into the buah keluak. LD loves this dish, especially the buah keluak as she described as creamy truffle with a chocolatey taste.
|Buah Keluak Spoon|
Nonya Chap Chye ($15). One of the most recognised and favourite peranakan dish, a must order when you are in peranakan restaurant version. The version here has a lighter flavours with crunchy cabbage, accompanied with sliced shiitake mushroom and tang hoon. Although it is good, I prefer mine to be cooked a bit longer and with more robust flavour.
|Nonya Chap Chye|
Bendeh / ladies finger with chinchalok ($12). One of LD’s favourite dish of the night. She loves the crunchy bite of the lady finger together with the chinchalok plus the sambal that they served (a familiar home-cooked dish in her grandma’s & mom’s cooking). Watch out for the spiciness from the sambal, as she finished her Soursop with biji selaseh drink ($8) quite fast after having this dish.
|Bendeh / ladies finger with chinchalok|
|Soursop with biji selaseh drink|
Satay Babi Sum Chan ($19). Well this is not your typical satay because there is no peanuts in the sauce. Instead it contain pork belly cooked with different type of herbs over 3.5 hours and the gravy looks like peanut sauce. The meat is tender, succulent and my favourite word fatty. I always love my Sum Chan (Pork Belly), so this dish definitely sits well with me as my ‘rice thief’.
|Satay Babi Sum Chan|
Ngoh Hiang Prawn ($15). The version here is well fried with crispy exterior texture, while moist and juicy inside. There were prawns, mince pork and diced water chestnuts; which goes well with their chilli and thick sweet sauce. There is a traditional liver version, but we did not get to try it this time around, we will go and try the next round as LD says it is the version that her family are used to.
|Ngoh Hiang Prawn|
We also tried the soup Itek Tim ($9) and Sup Bakwan Kepiting ($9). Like the Chap Chye, the duck soup is on the light sight. Very subtle, like missing the OMPH from the salted vegetables. Meanwhile the crab soup is a must try here. The broth is clear, yet robust. While the crab ball is springy, with a slight chewiness and you can taste the crab flavour in it. You can add additional ingredients such as sea cucumber or other item to the soup, I just don’t think that it is necessary.
|Sup Bakwan Kepiting|
Just when we are almost full, the desserts served looks so tempting that we cannot stop tasting. Pandan Gula Melaka Cake ($6.50) and Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with durian ($8). The Peranakan version of Pandan Chiffon cake, drizzle with aromatic Gula Melaka, topped with roasted coconut shavings. The chiffon cake is soft and moist, provided a good base for gula melaka and roasted coconut shavings.
|Pandan Gula Melaka Cake|
The durian version is topped with homemade Malaysian durian blend. The texture of the durian blend is smooth, creamy, almost like thick syrup type without any fibre which commonly found in durian pengat. A good topping for the Pandan Cake as it works in unison with the fragrant gula melaka.
|Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with durian|
Pulot Enti Kelapa ($5) and Pulot Enti Hae Bee ($6.50). This is de-constructed version of one of my favourite snack made from glutinous rice, cooked with blue pea flower. The Pulot Enti Kelapa is the sweet version of the dish, where the topping uses mixed of gula melaka with coconut shavings. Meanwhile the Pulot Enti Hae Bee is the savoury version, with the same topping uses for the prawn rolls. Both are equally good, it just depends on which version you prefer. I like the sweet one, while LD like the savoury one.
|Pulot Enti Hae Bee|
There is also Pulot Enti Durian ($6.50). First time I tried this version and my taste buds just can’t adjust to the combination of durian and glutinous rice. A little bit too much for me.
|Pulot Enti Durian|
Pineapple Tart. It looks like the one that I used to have in Indonesia during the Chinese New Year. The fillings is fully covered by the pasty and some slits are made to the pastry to create the pineapple effect. The fillings slightly subtle and I prefer more buttery punch in the pastry.
A must try here is The Peranakan Pot of Malacca Milk Tea ($6.50). It is thick, solid and silky smooth. Reminds me of the Traditional Hong Kong Milk Tea. A good ending to the meal.
|The Peranakan Pot of Malacca Milk Tea|
Overall, within the short period since its opening, I can say that The Peranakan is one of the better Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore. The price is slightly on the high side, but it is relative to the location and ingredients used. So if you are a fans of peranakan food or looking to try it for the first time, The Peranakan should come into consideration. Cheers!!
Thank you very much to Chef Raymond Khoo and The Peranakan Team for the tasting invitation.
Food & Drink: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $26 – $50
442 Orchard Road
#02-01 Claymore Connect @Orchard Hotel
T: +65 6262 4428
OH: Daily 11.00 – 22.00
Peranakan High Tea 11.00 – 17.30 Daily
Weekday $24++; Weekends $28++ (Min 2 pax to share)
The Peranakan is an authentic Straits cuisine restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Raymond Khoo. He brings to the table years of culinary experience and an arsenal of family recipes accumulated from three generations. Many of the dishes are labour intensive with complex preparation and requires long hours of cooking. Lucky for us diners, we can skip all of those and just sit back, relax and enjoy Peranakan food at the restaurant with our loved ones. Location: Claymore Connect is within walking distance of Delphi and Forum Shopping Mall. Was invited by Hence to join him and fellow foodies (Elle, Ivan and Justin) for a tasting session at The Peranakan.
The restaurant is interesting. Brightly lit by the many chandeliers, and at every nook and corner, there was always something that catches the eye. Porcelain items, beautifully crafted screens, tiffin carriers and even baju kebaya. It was like a treasure trove!
Had a glass of soursop passionfruit with basil seeds drink. Served in a tall glass and was a rather nice thirst quencher. Just that often times, the soursop fruit got stuck on the straw.
While waiting for the food to be served, one could munch on the complimentary prawn rolls. Yup, those tiny popiah looking that has hae bee hiam (fried dried shrimp sambal) inside. These were rather spicy and quite addictive too.
For soups, what are the first things that came to mind? Yes, you are right. That’ll be Itek Tim and Sup Bakwan Kepiting. The version at The Peranakan has a mellow and mild taste. The kiam chye (preserved vege) and duck taste was rather subtle.
Thought it was pretty interesting to see in the menu that one could add sea cucumber to the soups by topping up extra $9++.
For appetisers, we tried the Prawn Ngoh Hiang. A rather more’ish meat roll that was fried to a deep brown and then cut. Served with homemade chili cuka (vinegar chili) and sweet sauce. The ngoh hiang has minced pork, prawn and chestnuts in it.
Liked it when all the dishes were brought out at the same time and quickly filled up our round table.
Suggest to skip the white rice and order their Nasi Ulam Istimewa. Loosely translated as Special Raw Herb Rice. This was a plate of refreshing zesty carbs. Consisting of raw herbs, vegetables, minced fish and salted fish. Enjoyed this quite a bit. Sedap!
Every Peranakan meal would not be complete if these were not ordered. Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye and Babi Pongteh. Do you agree?
The buah keluak is a curious thing. According to wiki, the fresh buah keluak contains hydrogen cyanide and is poisonous if consumed without prior preparation. Since this seed is essential in the ayam buah keluak dish, then extra care and meticulous preparations are required before the fruit/nut is edible. Is this the ‘fugu’ of the plants?
The Ayam Buah Keluak dish at The Peranakan differs from others as one buah keluak here actually contained two portions. A quaint tiny spoon is provided to dig into the nut. Tried a bit of this and found it smooth. It is still an acquired taste and so I will just enjoy the meaty chicken thigh and the excellent thick sauce.
The Sotong Masak Asam is a dish of squid cooked in tamarind, palm sugar and starfruit. Not as sourish as it sounds. In fact, it was more on the sweeter side.
As you may have read at other blogs’ reviews, there’s nothing remotely ‘satay’ about the Satay Babi Sum Chan (三辰) dish. No peanut sauce, no skewers, nope so don’t go asking for satay sticks nor was the meat grilled. This dish was of pork belly rendered down till the fats melted into the sauce for an overall slightly sweet meat’ish taste. The sauce was flavourful and I’d drizzled lots of it onto my plate of steamed rice. Yums.
In comparison of the two pork dishes, I preferred the Kaki Babi Pong Teh. Cooked for hours, the pork trotters were tender enough but not till the meat falls off the bones.
All meat and no vege? There was. The second vegetable dish was the steamed ladies fingers topped with sliced onions, and chincalok. Simple dish but so good to eat. Feels like home.
Save some space for desserts
Oh boy. When we said we’ll have coffee and dessert, we didn’t expect another mini feast. But glad that we did. Loved the Pulot Enti Kelapa and the Pandan Chiffon Cake with Gula Melaka and Durian. Recommend the Pot of Malacca Milk Tea too.
Make sure you try the Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian. Chef had removed the fibre from the durian, so one gets a fragrant smooth sauce. The hot lemongrass tea is also a good option for those who like to have a not so sweet drink paired with the desserts.
Also worth mentioning is the Pineapple Tart. Buttery and with just the right sweetness of the fruit.
The Peranakan Restaurant also offers Peranakan High Tea from 11am to 530pm daily @$24++ and @$28++ per pax on weekdays and weekends. If you’d like to experience a Tok Panjang feast, simply order a day in advance so that Chef and his crew can prepare the ingredients prior to your visit. Tok Panjang is available @$45++ and @$65++ per pax. Both the High Tea and Tok Panjang requires a minimum of 2 pax dining. An 8-course degustation menu is available @$88++ per pax.
You may also let Chef Raymond decides on the menu via the Chef’s Table experience. The Chef’s Table seats 8 and requires 3-days advance booking notice. Yes, pretty much omakase-style of dining and its price of $288++ per pax is inclusive of wine and sake pairing.
Thank you Chef Raymond and his team at The Peranakan for their warm hospitality and Hence for the invite.
|Soursop/Passionfruit with biji selaseh @$8++|
|Itek Tim @$9++|
|Sup Bakwan Kepiting @$9++|
|Prawn Ngoh Hiang @$15++|
|just missing a few more dishes|
|Nasi Ulam Istimewa @$17++|
|Ayam Buah Keluak @$22++|
|Nonya Chap Chye @$15++|
|Kaki Babi Pong Teh @$19++|
|Sotong Masak Asam @$19++|
|Satay Babi Sum Chan @$19++|
|Pot of Malacca Kopi-O (served with kueh bahulu) @$6.50++|
|sugar, condensed milk or evaporated milk?|
|Pulot Enti Hae Bee @$6.50++|
|Pulot Enti Durian @$6.50++|
|Pulot Enti Kelapa @$5++|
|Pandan Gula Melaka Cake @$6.50++|
|Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian @$8++|
My favourite items from the lot are the Sotong, Stingray, and Ngoh Hiang (prawn). The Ayam Buah Keluak is seriously robust if you like buah keluak. The paste is tightly repacked into the shells (each shell contains the meat of two fruit). And you get such pretty little silver spoons to scoop it out. The nasi ulam is not bad, but I can’t help pining for the version I had long ago elsewhere (not a restaurant). It was drier and had more chopped herbs and dried shrimp. These Tok Panjang dishes are all available on the a la carte menu too. For the unusual dishes, I think it may be better to try fewer at a time, as the intense flavours can get muddled when combined. The set menu as it is has more mainstream items, but may be changed up a bit in the coming weeks. The Bakwan Kepiting (Crabmeat Ball Soup, S$9) has huge meatballs made from crab, pork and prawn in a rich broth with julienned bamboo shoots. Ray uses prawn stock (probably from roasted prawn heads), so there’s a strong seafood aftertaste. It’s also much like a consommé. Ray has some vegetarian items too. This is “Mutton” Rendang. The mock mutton does have a meat-like texture. The rendang is like a hybrid of Malay rendang with assam – it’s tasty but a little too tangy for a rendang. This dish blew our minds! Assam Pedas “Codfish” with a whole codfish steak made from soy dressed in the most intense and complex tamarind gravy ever. This is super SHIOK! Hands down, this was my favourite dish, and Belinda’s too! The good news is, the same addictive sauce is used for fish head, king prawn and other Assam Pedas dishes! This gravy and some rice would make a glorious dinner! Dessert looked simple but was fabulous. The Pulot Enti Durian (glutinous rice with durian puree) completely stunned us. The durian was simply exquisite; it was so fragrant, refreshing and moreish all at the same time. Ray uses only Malaysian durians, and doesn’t “dilute” them with cheaper variants from elsewhere. And this dessert is only S$5! Oh, and I see you can have the durian puree added to other desserts like Pulot Hitam, Bubur Cha Cha Cha, Bubur Kacang Hijau, and Chendol Melaka too! The Pulot Enti Kelapa (glutinous rice with gula melaka coconut, S$3.50) is also lovely, with a rich topping of shredded coconut. The glutinous rice is stained naturally blue using bunga telang (butterfly-pea flowers). You could also go for the BB’s Kueh Tart Extraordinaire (S$1 each) – pineapple tarts with perfectly crumbly, buttery thin crust. The filling is nice but a little too sweet for me. Round off the meal with Malaccan coffee or tea. These are served with a kueh bahulu (a baked sponge-like mini-cake) instead of a cookie, along with jars of sugar, condensed milk and evaporated milk, so you can create your own kopi C, kopi siu dai, and so forth. Chilled drinks include Kumquat with biji selaseh (foreground) and Lemongrass/Pandan (background) which is sugar-free and very light. For some people, Peranakan food is an acquired taste. Ray says the uninitiated may be surprised and overwhelmed by the cacophony of intense flavours. On the whole, I like The Peranakan for some dishes, and I know I definitely will be back for the durian dessert. Belinda, my Peranakan expert, also liked some of the dishes, as the familiar tastes swept her back to her childhood. That alone is a good indicator. The Peranakan also offers a six-person degustation menu (S$85 per pax) that has to be ordered in advance. If you’re after the ultimate, book the Chef’s Table which seats eight for an omakase experience (S$188 and S$288 per pax, requires seven days advance notice). They are also planning a high tea set, so watch out for announcements on Facebook. From the photo they shared with us, it does look like a real treat! I see kueh kosui, ayam buah keluak toast, goreng pisang, kueh salat, satay babi pau, sambal prawns, mee siam, and kueh pie tee!
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. The Peranakan 422 Orchard Road, Orchard Hotel – Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879 Tel: +65 6262 4428 Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Source: http://danielfooddiary.com/2016/06/10/theperanakan/
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.