The Peranakan: Old-world feel with substance

First impressions matter and I was wowed the moment I stepped into The Peranakan, located at Claymore Connect (next to Orchard Hotel). The decor is gorgeous, full of opulence – chandeliers, ornate floral wallpaper, antiques and old-fashioned cutlery and plates. The old-world feel may be calculated, but it’s effective nonetheless. The added touch is the waiters, comprising a mix of senior gentlemen in white shirts and eager-looking young people. The gentlemen added elegance and they know the cuisine inside out. It’s not all beauty with no substance though. Chef-owner Raymond Khoo had these recipes in the family and fine-tuned them for the restaurant. While innovations and breakthroughs are important, it is wonderful too to be able to savour traditions. np_20160615_yeeatsjun15nasi_1293855 I haven’t had Nasi Ulam ($15) in a while. It’s a tedious dish to prepare and not readily available, so when I tasted this, I was nearly in tears. I miss that mix of herbs and crunchy vegetables, and the almost cold rice added to the sensation. And it’s incredibly fragrant. I thought I had swallowed a pack of potpourri, in a good way. np_20160615_yeeatsjun15itek_1293854 For me, Sup Bakwan Kepiting ($9) – or pork ball soup – is the grande dame of Peranakan cuisine. This version smells heavenly and the soup is delicate and sweet. The juicy meatballs are just fatty enough and flavourful. np_20160615_yeeatsjun15sup_1293853 A common soup is Itek Tim ($7). This duck soup is cooked for six hours, and the intensity is amazing. There is a density to it that demands repeat tasting. np_20160615_yeeatsjun15_1293860 Petai is something you’ll love or hate. I love it for its supposed health benefits, but The Peranakan’s version, Petai Kicap Manis ($12), is very clean and raw (which is how some folks like it). I prefer it smothered in sambal to musk that signature bitterness. np_20160615_yeeatsjun15kaki_1293856_0 I’ve tasted babi pon teh cooked with pork belly, but this is my first encounter with it cooked with trotters. Kaki Babi Pon Teh ($19) is definitely a fattier option, which I like, but I do wish for more meat to balance it.
WHAT: The Peranakan WHERE: #02- 01, Claymore Connect WHEN: 11am to 10pm CALL: 6262-4428 Source: