The Meaning of Tok Panjang Feast

Tok Panjang is a traditional peranakan feast that takes the meaning of feast to an extravagant extreme. Tok Panjang translation quite literally means long table. “Tok” is the short term derived from the Hokkien term for “table” while “Panjang” is “long” in Malay. This shows how racially diverse Peranakan culture is with influences of Chinese and Malay. Tok Panjang can be used to celebrate numerous occasions that can range from happy to sad, such as birthdays or death anniversaries. Due to peranakan hospitality, the table where the feast is held will be filled with different dishes giving a massive bomb of flavours to try. The Peranakan has specially curated a Tok Panjang feast where customers can now enjoy variety of authentic Peranakan dishes in small bites. You may have the option to dine in at our restaurant or have a feast at home.

The Starters: Kueh Pie ti, Nyonya Ngoh Hiang, Nasi Keluak

Kueh Pie Ti also known as Nyonya Top Hats are commonly served as a snack or finger food. It has a crispy outer shell which is stuffed with a sweet savoury and juicy filling of Yam Bean (Turnip) and shrimp topping. Ngoh Hiang is a juicy deep-fried meat roll made from a well spiced and seasoned minced pork, prawns and chopped water chestnuts rolled in soya bean curd skin giving a well balance of juicy pork and fresh water chestnuts. Nasi Keluak is an umami dish consisting of blacknut with Omnipork topped with fresh herb, giving an all rounded earthy herbal flavour.


Following up is Bakwan Kepiting soup, a traditional peranakan style soup. It is a delicately flavoured soup, relying on the natural flavour of the broth and crab meat ball.

The Mains: Chicken Buah Keluak, Ayam Goreng Ketumbar, Sambal Prawns, Satay Babi Stew, Babi Pongteh, Beef Rendang, Deep fried fish stuffed with Sambal, Chap Chye, Ladies Fingers with Chinchalok

Chicken Buah Keluak (Ayam Buah Keluak) is a mainstay of peranakan cuisine, a recipe derived from great grandma. Juicy cuts of chicken are braised in a thick, spicy tamarind gravy with buah keluak nuts, giving a full-bodied complex flavour to the dish.  Ayam Goreng ketumbar is fried chicken with grinded species, giving a fresh coriander flavour. Babi Pongteh is Nyonya Braised Pork in fermented soybean sauce with a bold umami flavour. Beef Rendang is a classic traditional Peranakan Dish that was interpreted from Malay/Indonesian food. It is a rich and tender coconut beef stew that brings out the tenderness of beef. Deep fried fish has always been a traditional way to enjoy fish by introducing more texture to the dish while ensuring the fish remains juicy, the sambal stuffed into the fish will give a rich fragrant aroma from the inside out. Chap Chye is a Nyonya style mixed vegetable stew with a herbal flavour. Ladies Fingers with Chinchalok is a great way to introduce healthy vitamins into the dish while still maintaining the robust Chinchalok flavour with a kick of spiciness, pairing wonderfully with rice.

The Desserts: Assorted Kuehs of the Day and D24 Durian Pengat

Nyonya is the term for female Peranakans and ‘kuehs’ implies cakes, hence Nyonya Kuehs are the cakes made by female Peranakans. Nyonya Kuehs are rich in flavour and has a huge variety, made from ingredients such as glutinous rice, coconut drain and palm sugar. A few illustrations of Nyonya Kuehs are, Ang Ku Kuehs, 9-layered Kuehs, Custard Cakes and Rice Cakes. These Kuehs are bite-sized snacks or dessert foods commonly found in South East Asia. There are similar versions of Kueh found in Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, thus, showing how racially diverse peranakan cuisine is. The delicious aroma and robust flavour of D24 durian is intensified with coconut cream and our award winning gula melaka served chilled and its vegan friendly. And of course, such feasting is best paired with Rice, Sambal Belachan and other Condiments. The Peranakan WKW and Baba Tok Panjang set are now having 50% OFF on every Monday until 28 September 2020. Make your reservation at

Foodie News Flash: New Restaurants in Singapore this July


We’ve got the lowdown on all the hot new restaurants in Singapore this month, mama!

Hey, mama! Need a quick shot of inspiration for a night out on the town (no kids, that is)? Here’s our pick of Singapore’s latest restaurants and newest bars, condensed and served up in tasty bite-size pieces just for you. xia yao tao EDITOR’S PICK Xiao Ya TouDuxton Asian tapas A self proclaimed “Naughty Modern Asian Restaurant Bar”, Xiao Ya Tou is churning up Duxton Hill’s old seedy past with its references to the darker side of nighttime entertainment. Xiao Ya Tou (which means ‘little imp girl‘ in Chinese) has walls decked with Vintage pin-up girls, and there is a definite tongue in cheek dingy-hipster vibe going on.  On the menu: Asian tapas style sharing plates – all of which sound interestingly exotic and tempting: like the 36-hour oven-roasted pork belly with fermented black bean salsa, lightened with fresh green pea tendrils and an extremely moreish starter of deep fried Otak Otak wrapped in phyllo pastry with peanut sauce ($12), or the Indian influenced Lamb Shank Curry with potatoes, apricot chutney and popadom ($28), Pancetta and Brussel Sprout Salad ($12), Twice Cooked Short Ribs ($32). A fun rice dish with different toppings, Lu Rou Fan ($9), comes in a rice bucket with a rainbow of preserved veg and wagyu beef that you toss together. This quirky fun spot also offers late night Sliders (bao style) to go with your cocktails. Xiao Ya Tou, 6 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089592, Tel: (+65) 6226 1965, Full of Luck Club - Crispy Aromatic Duck EDITOR’S PICK Full of Luck Club – Hip Bao in HV If you’ve walked past Holland Village lately, chances are you’ve been stopped in your tracks by the Full of Luck Club’s Bao Take-Away Counter window and seen baos being plated by the chef. Full of Luck Club oozes cool – and the hip crowds have already descended. The menu encompasses everything from steamed and fried bao to Claypot Rice – all rendered modern whether it be in presentation (tapas style) or with the addition of new fusion ingredients. Order up a cocktail or one of their Chinese Beers like the amber-hued Hong Kong ($11) and throw some Golden Sand Corn with Salted Egg Yolk kernels ($4.80) down your throat as you consider the menu. Don’t miss the Kung Pao Fried Chicken – a soft white bao sandwich of crispy fried chicken with a sweet sauce, dried chilli and crunchy peanuts, and Braised Pork Belly with pickled lotus root ($9.80 for any two flavours). The Crispy Aromatic Duck ($35/half) arrives crispy skinned with succulent moist meat and is shredded at the table (UK expats craving Peking duck like it’s done ‘back home’ – the is it finally!). There is so much on the menu that excites – from Cod and Yuzu Claypot Rice ($16) to Midnight Truffle Beef Hor Fun ($20) – this spot might just warrant a few repeat visits. Full of Luck Club, 243 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278977 Tel: (+65) 62086845, Beast&Butterflies-Chocoholic 2 Beast & ButterfliesPhilippe Starck-designed Mod Asian Beast & Butterflies is the new restaurant and bar designed by Philippe Starck at hotel M Social Robertson Quay. Expect a meeting of East and West with Chef Li’s menu offering Collagen Soup with Mushroom Ravioli ($24), Lobster Porridge ($28) to more Western dishes like Australian lamb loin with Burratina ($26). Desserts swing from East: Yam Brûlée ($10) a modern version of the traditional Teochew yam paste dessert to West: Chocoholic ($10) a melting spherical ball of chocolate encompassing passion fruit sorbet. Watch this space for our full review and a look into the new hotel! Beast & Butterflies, 90 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238259, Tel: (+65) 6206 1888, Barrio EDITOR’S PICK BarrioMexican ‘Burgers’ and Tacos Despite the unlikely territory of the ground floor courtyard of 313 Somerset, Barrio (an off-shoot from Mex Out) is a hit with the after-work crowd. There is a definitely street vibe to match the tacos, burgers, frozen margaritas and Mexican street corn ($7.90). They don’t claim to be authentic Mexican, but they make their guacamole daily as well as their own tortillas. Eat this: the burger of Chipotle Pulled Pork at $15.90 ($4 for a drink and side) – consisting of a brioche bun of juicy pulled pork slathered with tasty aioli and red cabbage. Also good are the Beer Battered Sea Bass Tacos ($13.40/15.90 for 2/3 pcs) on toasted flour tortillas with crunchy red cabbage, big pieces of crispy fish, coriander and sauce. We also heard the next table salivating over their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Torta ($14.90). There is everything from Burrito wraps and Rice Bowls to Ceviche ($15.90) and Burnt Nachos ($13.60) of crispy tortillas topped with chilli con carne, jalapenos, guacamole, cotija cheese and melted cheddar sauce. Barrio, 313 Orchard Road 313@Somerset #01-14/15, Tel: (+65) 6634 2102, peranakan The Peranakan Straits-Chinese Peranakan cuisine Have guests in town and want to woo them with a taste of old-world Singapore? The Peranakan at Claymore Connect is a great introduction to Straits Chinese home-cooked style food in an ornately decorated setting complete with colourful Peranakan tiled walls, glitzy mirrors, marble tables and dark wood furniture. The waiters are mostly distinguished elderly Chinese gentlemen adding to the olde-world glamour of the spot (despite the fact that this spot is – yes – in a mall!). Executive Chef-Owner Raymond Khoo (of Rasa Singapura) has designed the menu around his grandmother’s cooking. Apart from Peranakan staples like the richly flavoured candlenut dish of Buah Keluak Ayam and Kueh Pai Tee (served originally on a wooden traditional game board) the a la carte options include Nasi Ulam (possibly the only restaurant to offer this in Singers), Pig Trotter Pongteh – a delicious stew of melt off the bone pork sweetened with carrots and Udang Sambal – and prawns served in a rich sauce of sweet shallots. To try a Peranakan feast (read, order without thinking) go for the Tok Panjang menu ($45-65 per person) or the 6-course Degustation menu ($85pp/ min 6 people order in advance). For a real blow-out meal book the Chef’s Table ($188 – $288), which is a version of Omakase. The Peranakan, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, 02-01, Tel: (+65) 62624428, UsQuBa - Orkney Islands Scallop Ceviche UsQuBaScottish restaurant with a view There are no men in kilts to greet you as you walk in to this new Scottish restaurant at 1 Fullerton (pronounced “uskewbah” and meaning ‘whisky’ or ‘water of life’ in Gaelic); instead you are greeted with lovely views of Marina Bay and a dark sleek whisky bar. The Canadian Chef Guven Uyanik has worked in many a Michelin-starred restaurant, including Maze by Gordon Ramsey, and works his French cooking techniques into the Scottish ingredients with visible elements of Asian flare. Dishes range from the comforting Ravioli of Pork Cheeks ($21) in a rich porcini sauce, to the light and refreshing Orkney Islands Scallop Ceviche ($25) – a stand out dish of sashimi scallops served with horseradish snow, sea urchin and compressed cucumber. UsQuBa Fish and Chips ($32) sees a very modern take on this classic dish (though there’s no batter nor chips in sight). Instead you’ll find a tender soft sous vide cod with vibrant green minty mushy peas and in lieu of chips, pommes maxim – a pretty crown of crispy potatoes shavings. Meat eaters, go for the Duet of Aberdeen Angus Beef ($56) consisting of grilled tenderloin and a small portion of braised short ribs with plum jus. Executive lunches start $38/$48 for 2 or 3 courses. UsQuBa, 1 Fullerton Road, #02-03, Tel: (+65) 8723 6378, camp kilo EDITOR’S PICK Camp Kilo Charcoal ClubMeat Feast with Great Atmosphere Camp Kilo Charcoal Club is Kilo’s baby, so you know it’s  gonna be good before you even rock up at their backyard style barbecue joint housed underneath Kilo. You can’t keep a food secret in Singapore, and the cat is already out of the bag with this spot – expect to have to elbow a few people to get yourself a picnic style wooden table and order up a meat feast. Food-wise, think a Whole Roasted Hog ($12 per 100g), deliciously meaty tender Chipotle BBQ Ribs ($15 for half rack), Crispy Pork Belly, Roasted Chicken and a Whole BBQ Fish ($30). Veggie sides just may steal the show, however – we are frantically googling how to recreate their Burnt Carrots ($14) with cottage cheese and slices of plums, and the decidedly delicious garlicky tamarind Brussels Sprouts ($14). It’s only open Friday to Sunday but if we camp out there all week who knows, they may decide to open midweek too? Do not miss their frozen Margaritas; these pack a mean punch of tequila despite their cutesy umbrella exteriors – the perfect sundowner while you await your backyard style meat feast. Camp Kilo Charcoal Club, 66Kampong Bugis, #01-01, Singapore 338987, Froth main dining area FrothCBD Mod Sin Froth moves location to the second level of Ascott Raffles right next to the MRT, to a bright minimalist bistro style restaurant. Chef Derrick Ow conjures up interesting dishes that spin local classics on their head. For starters: Duck Kut Teh soup ($10.90) — like a light Bak Kut Teh but made with 12hr simmered duck broth and garnished with melon for sweetness and texture or the Foie Gras duo ($23.90), a more than generous portion of chilled foie gras topped with a deliciously original slaw of kiwi, celery and apple tart-sweet and crunchy, alongside a seared foie gras on toasted brioche. Mains keep up with the East-West theme: Seafood Tom Yum Risotto ($29.90) and  Squid Ink Lobster Roll ($25.90), or there’s the Five Spice Wagyu Burger ($34.90) — a take on Ngoh Hiang with the succulent Wagyu burger wrapped in crispy beancurd adding a crispy salty texture that works well with the tender burger and truffle fries. Waffles are on the dessert menu (of course), or try the beautifully presented strawberries and cream number. Acoustics are a little loud but Froth looks to be popular with the office crowd for a bustling meal with some interesting talking point dishes. There’s a promo on (one dines free for every 3), so hit’ em up soon. Froth, Level 2 at Ascott Raffles Place No 2, Finlayson Green S049247, Tel: (+65) 63361228, WOK15 Kitchen_Chilli Crab Wok 15Cantonese with Yacht Views Saunter along Sentosa Cove and pick out your yacht of preference (mine’s the big one with the suntanning deck). Let the kids play on the pirate ship playground then skip along for dim sum lunch at WOK°15 Kitchen – the new Cantonese restaurant at members club ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove. Contrary to any outdoor signage, Wok 15 is open to the public and offers Cantonese cuisine as well as a decently priced dim sum buffet ($19 for kids $38 for adults) while you admire the view (and keep an eye on your yacht). For the dim sum buffet – this is actually a la carte so you can choose anything from the special dim sum menu and they will bring it to your table. Dishes range from the usual suspects of Hau Kau and Siew Mai to Battered Whitebait, BBQ meats, and Crispy Squid with Salted Egg Yolk. Highlights include the garlicky Sauteed Bamboo Clam ($10), Beef Cubes Black Pepper ($24) and their signature Chilli Crab dish of sweet Sri Lankan Crab served in a piping hot wok which is currently on special offer ($5.50/100grams usual price $8/100grams). Wok 15, ONEo15 Marina Sentosa Cove, Singapore, #01-01, 11 Cove Drive, Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098497, Tel: (+65) 6305 6998, More Foodie News: Hot off the Hob TREND ALERT! Amoy St is fast becoming the foodie hot spot with Bochinche and Ding Dong having recently moved here. Joining them is Manhattan’s legendary NY bar and restaurant, Employees Only for smart cocktails, onsite fortune telling, upmarket dinner and late night signature complimentary chicken soup. Plain Vanilla will be opening a shop at Cluny Court in July – cupcake heaven! Pizza Express is coming to Singapore Friday, 29 July – head on down to Scotts Square to get your dose of dough balls. 5th Quarter moves to 12 Purvis Street and changes name to Salted & Hung, but the menu stays largely the same. Everyone’s waiting with baded breath for the Michelin Guide – out next month July 21st. Long Chim one of our favourite Thai spots – now serves up kids’ lunch meals ($15). And Momor Izakaya now serves weekend brunch. Source:

Top Peranakan Restaurants In Singapore – Best Nyonya Food

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:

10 Reasons Claymore Connect Is the Mall That Will Make Orchard Road Great Again

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 Bijou

Claymore Connect Mon Bijou
You’ll sincerely mean it when you call this cafe “Mon Bijou”, after you dine on their tresaffordable French mains and pastries!
Claymore Connect Mon Bijou
Baked with French finesse are the financiers, palmiers, madeleines and caneles. Assemble your own pastry platter with dainty desserts crafted by Orchard Hotel’s dedicated pastry team. If you’re into savories, have yourself a slice of Mon Bijou’s freshly-baked quiches. Truffle Shuffle Quiche is cheesy custard mushroom mosaic infused with truffle oil. And the black base is not chao tah-ed, it’s made with squid ink.
Claymore Connect Mon Bijou
Source 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 Steamboat

Claymore Connect Hua Ting Steamboat
Source 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).
Claymore Connect Hua Ting Steamboat
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.
Claymore Connect Hua Ting Steamboat
With a total of 26 different sauces and toppings – from belachan, sesame oil to Thai green chilli – it’s safe to say Hua Ting Steamboat has the complete condiment catalogue (free flow at $3++/pax).
Claymore Connect Hua Ting Steamboat
Booths can seat up to 8 and more if you’re down for a squeeze, so Hua Ting Steamboat is one place to consider for your family gatherings. Note: You can even dine solo with Hua Ting’s mini hotpots going for $13.90++ and up Hua Ting Steamboat Address: #01-08 Mezzanine Level, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road Opening Hours: 11AM to 10PM daily Contact: 67396628 Quote “The Smart Local” for 15% off à la carte orders and get receive a complimentary appetiser of the day for every order of the “Healthy Five Grain Rice Porridge” soup base. There’s also 2-hour complimentary parking with a minimum spend of $50 per receipt. Valid till 15th Dec 2016.

3. The Peranakan  

Claymore Connect The Peranakan
The Peranakan brings to you Straits Chinese sophistication with an interior bearing tiffin carriers, porcelain crockery and bedazzling chandeliers.
Claymore Connect The Peranakan
Claymore Connect The Peranakan
At $24++/pax on weekdays and $28++/pax on weekends, tuck into their Peranakan High Tea set of traditional delights from mee siam, kueh kosui to pulut inti with durian – available from 11AM-5:30PM daily.
Claymore Connect The Peranakan
The Peranakan also offers Tok Panjang Feasts ($45++ or $65++/pax), a massive spread of dishes served in tasting portions, where you can sample classic dishes like Nonya Chap Chye, Ayam Buah Keluak and Kaki Babi Pong Teh. This would also be the one and only Peranakan place offering Omakase ($288++/pax), where the chef surprises you with a customised one-of-a-kind menu that comes with wine and sake pairings. The Peranakan Address: #02-01/17, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: 11AM to 10PM daily Contact: 62624428 Quote “The Smart Local” for 1-for-1 coffee or tea set (11am – 5.30pm daily). Valid till 30th October 2016.

4. Muddy Murphy’s 

Claymore Connect Muddy Murphy's
One of the originals from Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade, Muddy Murphy’s made its mighty homecoming back at Claymore Connect. Even with an upgrade, it’s still the place to get your dose of good ol’ Irish “craic” – lively conversations, good booze, and bar food with the best of company!
Claymore Connect Muddy Murphy's
Traditional Roast Beef ($19 nett) – Slow-roasted prime beef with a side of roasted veggies, creamy mash, Yorkshire pudding and very tasty gravy. Now you can enjoy this comforting Sunday Roast every day of the week!
Claymore Connect Muddy Murphy's
Beef & Guinness Pie ($18 nett) – Concealed under the puff pastry topper are chunks of tender beef and carrots simmered in homemade Guinness Gravy. Trust the Irish to put Guinness in everything. Throw in another $2 for parmesan mash and french beans on the side. Muddy Murphy’s Law states: too many choices can be too confusing – so they’ve streamlined their drinks menu to a concise selection of seven beers on tap! Go with their ales  – Old Speckled Hen or Kilkenny – or if you’re one for stout, get a frothy pint of Guinness draught($15.50 nett/pint)! With a live band playing Fridays 9.30PM and Sundays 4.30PM, a Sunday Roast promo ($24 nett/2 courses and $29 nett/3 courses) and Happy Hour prices running from 11AM – 7.30PM. Every Sunday’s an excuse to come down for some jolly merrymaking! Muddy Murphy’s Address: #01-02/03/04/05, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Mon – Wed | 11AM to 12AM Thurs & Sun | 11AM to 1AM Fri & Sat | 11AM to 2AM Contact: 67350400

5. Jewel Coffee

Claymore Connect Jewel Coffee
Jewel Coffee stands out as a single origin bean cafe, so caffeine-junkies can get the pure taste of coffee from El Salvador to Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe Misty Valley. And all their espresso-based drinks come with a double-shot, so you’ll be getting none of that watered down coffee nonsense.
Claymore Connect Jewel Coffee
Source 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).
Claymore Connect Jewel Coffee
Take home exotic coffee variants like the La Esperanza (Honduras) and Simalungun (Sumatra) and remember to stock-up on your favorite bags, because Jewel Coffee does ever so often switch up their line of packaged coffees.
Claymore Connect Jewel Coffee
Jewel Coffee’s efforts to go-green really shine through as they’re giving up to 3 free drinks with every purchase of their customised Klean Kanteens and Keepcups. You’ll also save $0.20 when you use them for your subsequent orders. Jewel Coffee Address: #01-01, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs | 7AM – 10PM Fri & Sat | 7AM – 11PM Contact: 62353945 Quote “The Smart Local” to enjoy selected 1-for-1 promotions on their weekday breakfast, lunch, and coffee; and additional discounts on cakes. Find out more when you visit Jewel Coffee at Claymore Connect!

– Coolest Mall Finds – 

6. Trehaus

Claymore Connect Trehaus
With freelance gigs climbing in popularity, coworking spaces have been springing up like daisies. But if you’re an entrepreneur with a child in tow, you’ll know the struggles of finding a child-friendly working environment that won’t eat into your profit margins. Trehaus is your solution. A unique family-oriented concept sets it apart from other coworking spaces allowing parents the option of taking their kids to work.
Claymore Connect Trehaus
A bright and clean workspace complete with an adjoining Kids Atelier – a special playspace for kids to dabble in activities like craft and storytelling under the special guidance of a facilitator – you can now work in peace, knowing your little ones are just next door.
Claymore Connect Trehaus
And if you’re more of a control freak, you’ll be glad to know that you can take charge of all other aspects of baby care from the feeding to diaper-changing, and check in on your child at any time.
Claymore Connect Trehaus
You won’t also just be guaranteed the standard coworking space amenities like WiFi, printing & photocopying and complimentary meeting room privileges – Trehaus also aims to build a community, with member-exclusive events like yoga practice and networking with other working parents over breakfast gatherings. Trehaus Address: #03-01/02/17, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 9AM – 6PM Contact: 98438077 Quote “The Smart Local” for a 1 day FREE work+Play pass* worth S$100. Valid till 24th October 2016.

7. Maharajas Custom Tailors  

Claymore Connect Maharajas
Like Muddy Murphy’s, Maharajas Custom Tailors has also made its return to familiar homeground. This family-run business is one of the oldest tailors in Singapore and has been dressing gentlemen in fine suits made from cashmere, silk and wool ($400 – $700 for full suit)for the past 60 years.
Claymore Connect Maharajas
Their impressive line-up of prestigious clientele even includes foreign dignitaries, so we’re thoroughly convinced us that Maharajas makes suits befitting royalties. But this doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay skyrocket prices – they’ve got special deals on their bespoke dress shirts (6 shirts for $680), and you’ll only have to wait 3 days for your brand new bespoke suit.
Claymore Connect Maharajas
With every imaginable fabric in their arsenal, they’re prepared to take on all your requests. You can also bring a photograph something you’ve been eyeing and the expert dressmakers here will a better deal for you! Maharajas Custom Tailors Address: #01-12 Mezzanine Level, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: 10.30AM – 8.30PM daily Contact: 67376474

8. Ch’i Life Studio

Claymore Connect Ch'i Life Studio
Carl Douglas sang in his classic hit “Everybody loves kung fu fighting”, and at Ch’i Life Studio – everybody CAN love kung fu fighting. Age is no matter here, as classes are universal and anyone from a feisty tot to a middle-aged man can learn true-blue wushu or kungfu from a real Beijing shifu.
Claymore Connect Ch'i Life Studio
Founded by local Mediacorp celebrity Robin Leong, Ch’i Life Studio also has a special Kung Fu Kids Program for children with trial classes starting at $48. They’ also offer 10-40 session packages or unlimited class packages over time periods ranging from 1 month – 1 year.
Claymore Connect Ch'i Life Studio
And here’s a glimpse of some of the Kung Fu kids who pull no punches with their high-kicks Ditch your usual spin class and give this workout alternative a go! Quote ‘The Smart Local’ to receive a 1-for-1 deal on their trial classes for kids and adults. Valid till 15th November 2016 Ch’i Life Studio Address: #03-03, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: 10AM to 8PM daily Contact: 67358812 or email Website

9. MapleBear Singapore

Claymore Connect Maple Bear Orchard
Calling all parents! If you’re looking for a preschool in a convenient central locale, consider enrolling your kid in MapleBear Orchard! Helmed by the founder of Pat’s Schoolhouse, Mrs Patricia Koh, parents can rest easy knowing an expert in early-learning is personally overseeing curriculum development and training of teachers to support their child’s learning.
Claymore Connect Maple Bear Orchard
MapleBear Orchard offers a conducive learning environment, with floor-to-ceiling windows that not only let in tons of natural light, but also give children a chance to connect with their outdoor surroundings by catching glimpses of the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
Claymore Connect Maple Bear Orchard
They also run range of services from infant care, playgroups to nursery and kindergarten enrolment, and take in children as young as as 2 months old – perfect for full-time parents working around town or in the CBD. MapleBear Preschool Address: #02-05, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Mon – Fri | 7AM – 7PM Contact: 67342369

10. Color Bar for Hair 

Claymore Connect Salon
Take your salon experience up a notch with The Color Bar – a stylish unisex salon that prioritizes privacy and preens you in your own private room with a personal iPad to keep you entertained. If you expect such class to be accompanied by a hefty price tag, you’re in for a surprise. With their treatments starting from $75, you might just find yourself ditching your go-to salon in Far East for this suite deal.
Claymore Connect Salon
And they don’t call themselves The Color Bar for nothing. Give yourself a full makeover with a brand new shade from just $125 or create some dimension with some highlights and lowlights from just $135. Color Bar for Hair Address: #02-13/16, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879 Opening Hours: Mon – Sat | 10AM  – 7.30PM Sun | 11.30AM – 6PM Contact: 6474 3393 Source:

All Things Peranakan – Indulge In The Nyonya Experience

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 Peranakan

WIL_4753 The 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 WIL_4776 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 Singapore

image001 From 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 Court

IMG_0350 The 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. IMG_0346 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. IMG_0352 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

The Peranakan Museum – Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World

image001 The 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. image002 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:

The Peranakan

Stopped by the three-month old 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.
LOVED THE BUAH KELUAK. There was chicken in the dish, of course. I ignored it. The gravy was a bit thin, but flavors were okay. The whole point of ayam buah keluak is to scoop up the gravy and dig out the bitter contents of the cooked nut. The restaurant did it properly- full on bitter black gold. None of that nonsense of mixing it with minced pork or chicken. YUMMY. Tickled that they offered petai kicap manis on the menu. Went perfect with their awesome spicy sambal belachan. As stuffed as the man was, he couldn’t resist dessert. Chendol. He ordered it without the durian. Hmmm. It was really sweet. But it came with an additional container of super well-made flavorful gula melaka because some diners thought the chendol wasn’t sweet enough. o.O My gosh, how sweet a tooth do people have?! Service was lovely and food came fast (within 10 minutes of ordering) when we were there. Just for its buah keluakand sambal belachan, I’ll return as long as the kitchen keeps its standards.  I understand that current standards of the dishes are inconsistent. I’ve had pretty decent food and service. Our friends had vastly different experiences over these three weeks on separate visits. 1) One complained the meatball in the bakwan kepiting wasn’t thoroughly cooked, i.e. pink in the center; 2) another said food took ages to arrive (about 35 minutes)when the restaurant was empty at 9pm, except for one other table of four which already had their food served; 3) a couple was a tad annoyed that the lady boss was really pushy in recommending too many dishes for two persons; 4) and this one was the strangest- apparently the table’s telur goreng chincalok didn’t hold an ounce of chincalok within. Instead, the chincalok came as a side (?!) to the omelette. I returned for ‘high tea’ on two separate days. Had different batches of guests to host. Both visits were fine, no complaints, except that while the drinks arrived first, the food took like 25 minutes to come. But the servers did mention that earlier. The only things I really wanted were its kueh pie teemee siam and its nasi ulam. These were all right. The rest went ga-ga over its durian items, and the kueh kosui. Hahaha. The local-style kopi and teh were so satisfying.
The high tea spread.

The Peranakan – Straits Cuisine At Its Finest

The Peranakan
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
First two items that welcome you at the table are prawn roll and the sambal. The prawn roll is crispy, pack the flavours of hae bee hiam (fried dried prawns with chilli) and definitely a good start to it. The sambal itself is spicy, delicious and addictive according to LD.
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.
Itek Tim
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.
Pineapple Tart
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
Value: 8/10
Service: N/A (Tasting Invitation)
Ambiance: 9/10
Budget per Person: $26 – $50
The Peranakan
442 Orchard Road
#02-01 Claymore Connect @Orchard Hotel
Singapore 238879
T: +65 6262 4428
IG: @theperanakansg
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 Restaurant @ Orchard Hotel, Claymore Connect

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.
Claymore Connect
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!
The Drink
Soursop/Passionfruit with biji selaseh @$8++
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.
prawn rolls
The Food 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.
Itek Tim @$9++
Thought it was pretty interesting to see in the menu that one could add sea cucumber to the soups by topping up extra $9++.
Sup Bakwan Kepiting @$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.
Prawn Ngoh Hiang @$15++
Liked it when all the dishes were brought out at the same time and quickly filled up our round table.
just missing a few more dishes
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!
Nasi Ulam Istimewa @$17++
Every Peranakan meal would not be complete if these were not ordered. Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye and Babi Pongteh. Do you agree?
Ayam Buah Keluak @$22++
Nonya Chap Chye @$15++
Kaki Babi Pong Teh @$19++
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.
Sotong Masak Asam @$19++
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.
Satay Babi Sum Chan @$19++
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.
Bendeh @$12+
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.
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++
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.
Pandan Gula Melaka Cake @$6.50++
Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian @$8++
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. Source:

The Peranakan: Closely Authentic Nonya Food, Gorgeous Restaurant

The buzz is on about “The Peranakan” that just opened at Claymore Connect (Orchard Hotel’s shopping arcade revamped into a sparkling new mini mall). Chef Raymond Khoo who has had 30 years experience in F&B came out of retirement to do Peranakan cuisine using his mother’s and godmother’s recipes. I was really curious because there aren’t that many good Peranakan restaurants around anymore. Some have gone downhill, and others have had to add in non-Peranakan dishes to draw customers who aren’t used to Peranakan flavours. What’s authentic is hard to gauge, as every Peranakan family has their own variation that they swear by. Babas and bibiks are known to be fiercely critical of commercial attempts at their heritage food, “My grandma/grandaunt/aunt/mom/cousin makes the best (insert name of dish); this one is terrible! We should just eat this at home, so much better…”
I’m not Peranakan and didn’t grow up with the food so I had to rely on those who did – my friend Belinda who brought me here. She has tastebuds quite similar to mine too, so that’s a bonus.
But firstly, take a look at the decor that everyone is gushing about. It is OTT over-the-top chinois chic! It’s bold and bright, with colourful wallpaper, opulent screens, shiny decorative mirrors and chandeliers galore. Raymond designed the decor himself, to reflect the personality that Peranakan food is known for – bold and intense flavours. But despite the setting, the food is remarkably well-priced with most vegetables at S$12, meats at S$17-19 and seafood below S$30. Desserts are mostly S$3-5! First thing we had to test? The sambal belachan – the mark of how good a Peranakan restaurant is. Oh, this thing kicks ass. Be warned: it is extremely spicy but you won’t be able to resist shovelling more into your food. The belachan is not overpowering but lends a nice smoky umami hit. My mouth is watering at the memory while typing this. We began with the Kueh Pie Tee Set (S$20) which comes so beautifully presented on a congkak board: braised turnip, shrimp and coriander go into perfectly crisp “top hats” and decorated with the homemade cili cuka (vinegar chilli) and sweet sauce. It’s always fun to make your own. I loved the cili cuka, and I wished there was more servings to eat it with. Actually I wound up just taking the leftover turnip and dressing it with the chilli. Yums. The Peranakan also has Tok Panjang Feasts (S$45/65 per set, inclusive of dessert and coffee/tea) which harken back to the days when an array of specialty dishes were laid out on long tables for honoured guests or special occasions. Raymond customised ours to showcase dishes that are not commonly seen: * Sotong Masak Asam (tamarind squid with “belimbing” or starfruit) * Satay Babi Sum Chan (skewerless satay using fatty pork belly) * Ayam Sio (normally this is done with “itek” or duck, but this is with chicken, simmered with coriander and palm sugar) * Kuah Lada Ikan (stingray in pepper stew) * Nasi Ulam (cold rice mixed with a chopped herb salad). There’s also a fairly salty Chap Chye, Ayam Buah Keluak, Itek Tim (duck soup with salted vegetables and sour plums), Ayam Goreng Ketumbar (turmeric and coriander fried chicken) and Ngoh Hiang (two types: prawn and liver). Get some extra rice to balance out the strong flavours. Untitled 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. Untitled 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. Untitled 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. Untitled 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! Untitled 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. Untitled 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. Untitled 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!

The Peranakan – Straits Cuisine Restaurant Opens At Claymore Connect (Near Orchard)

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: