The new Peranakan Restaurant at Claymore Connect, Orchard Hotel

The Peranakan-46 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. The Peranakan-47 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. The Peranakan-49 The Peranakan-52 The Peranakan-53 The Peranakan-54 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. The Peranakan-56 The Peranakan-68 The Peranakan-66 The Peranakan-67 The Peranakan-86 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 Peranakan-59 The Peranakan-60 The Peranakan-61 The Peranakan-62 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 Peranakan-80 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 Peranakan-70 The Peranakan Claymore The Peranakan-72 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 Peranakan-73 The nonya chap chye ($15), a staple in Peranakan restaurants, was surprisingly ordinary, considering the standard of the other dishes. The Peranakan-75 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. The Peranakan-77 The Peranakan-78


Now we show you the two types of dessert that we tried. The first was glutinous rice with durian ($5).  We can’t tell which type of durian was used but it was very good – creamy and complex with a hint of bitterness. This combination of durian and glutinous rice went very well. It comes in a small portion, so there is no danger of feeling ‘jelat’. The Peranakan-84 The Peranakan-83 The other dessert that we tried was a more common bo bo cha cha ($3.50). This was good but not as spectacular as the first. The Peranakan-85 The Peranakan-82 All in all, our lunch at the new Peranakan Restaurant Claymore Connect, Orchard Hotel was an enjoyable experience. Good food in a beautiful peranakan restaurant setting and service that was friendly and warm. Source:

The Peranakan Restaurant Tasting Session

The Peranakan Restaurant Tasting Session 442 Orchard Road #02-01 Claymore Connect Opening Hours: Daily: 11am – 10pm This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session. Attended with representatives from Chubby Botak Koala, Purple Taste, Justin Teo Living Loving You, and The Arctic Star.
Peranakan Meal
Peranakan Meal
Delicious Peranakan Cuisine, Gorgeous Setting (Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best) Overall: 9 Ambience & Setting: 10 Food & Beverage: 9 Service: 8 Value for Money: 9 Spent about SGD $28 per person. ….. Founded by Executive Chef Raymond Khoo in May 2016, The Peranakan Restaurant serves authentic, pain-stakingly handmade Peranakan dishes, made using his family’s recipes, in an opulent setting. Having helmed several acclaimed restaurants over his 30 year career, Executive Chef Raymond Khoo was egged on by his family to come out of retirement, to start a Straits Chinese cuisine restaurant with the traditions handed down through 3 generations of Nonyas and Babas.
The Peranakan Restaurant Signage
The Peranakan Restaurant Signage
The Peranakan Restaurant Exterior
The Peranakan Restaurant Interior
Ambience at The Peranakan Restaurant is opulent, exuding an elegant sophistication. The brightly lit, spacious seating area is lovingly adorned with touches of Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya decor, including floral print wallpaper, vases, pots, tiffin carriers, and sturdy marble topped tables and black wooden chairs. So many chandeliers hang overhead, while batik print cushions line the comfortable booths. Simply jaw-dropping and stunning in looks, a precursor to the bold flavours of the dishes!
Peranakan Decor
Peranakan Decor
Baba-Nyonya Pots & Vases
Baba-Nyonya Pots & Vases
Ornate Peacocks
Service at The Peranakan Restaurant is friendly, professional, and courteous. Staff are quick to greet and seat guests, and will move around to observe if guests need assistance. I note they’re familiar with the menu and dishes, able to share brief descriptions, but nothing beats having Chef host you, and share the history of his family recipes. Staff attend to requests quickly, and are efficient are clearing away empty / dirty plates or tables. An above average restaurant style service, befitting of the hospitality of the Peranakans.
Private Area
Food at The Peranakan Restaurant is distinctly Straits Chinese cuisine, done according to traditional Peranakan / Baba-Nyonya recipes of Chef’s family. Everything is pain-stakingly handmade here, and the time consuming effort to produce each dish is astounding, a testament to its traditional roots. Each heritage dish we tried was delicious, bold in flavour and really tasty. Portions are designed for communal dining of at least 3 – 4 people, remaining true to the kampong spirit of old. Prices are very affordable for the portion, quality of food, and effort to produce each dish. Budget about SGD $28 per person for a full meal here.
The Peranakan Restaurant Menu
  A sign of good Peranakan cuisine is the home made Sambal Belacan. I’m glad to say the version here scores well, having a robust savoury shrimp flavour with a sharp fiery spicy kick. Shiok! Source:

The Peranakan – The Only Peranakan Restaurant Along Orchard Road

P1030504 We were really excited when we knew that The Peranakan. For one, I am always very intrigued by the Peranakan culture and food. Plus, this is the only Peranakan restaurant that is located along Orchard Road, which makes it easier for us to dine there. Opened in late May at Claymore Connect, Peranakan Chef-owner Raymond Khoo had these recipes in the family which was handed down by the Nonyas and Babas in his family. It’s easy to spot the restaurant from a distance – Peranakan style ceramics, floral wallpaper and huge chandeliers… the decor is so elaborate! Plus, the service team has a mix of senior waiters and waitresses in white shirts, making it super nostalgic. Lightroom Edit Lightroom Edit1 We were served by an elderly waiter who had a good knowledge of Peranakan cuisine and recommended us the following dishes. The Sup Bakwan Kepiting ($9) was served with two juicy pork balls, prawn balls and crab meat. The soup was sweet and served with strips of bamboo shoots. Another option is Itek Tim ($7) which was painstakingly boiled for over 6 hours with kiam chye and sour plums and tasted heavenly. On our day of visit, they also have a special appetizer Sambal Jantung Pisang – a banana heart salad which is creamy and spicy. DSCF3570 I haven’t had Nasi Ulam ($15) in a while. Cooking this dish is not difficult, but the preparation takes a lot of time. A mix of herbs and vegetables are mixed with rice. There’s lemongrass, onions, lime leaves etc, together with long beans, toasted coconut and salted fish. It’s very unique to see salted fish in the dish but it surely makes it take better. The ingredients are sliced and chopped finely with well balanced herbs. It’s fragrant, healthy and appetizing. I love to have it with sambal belachan, shiok ah! DSCF3567 Instead of going for the babi pongteh, we tried the Satay Babi Sam Chan ($19). The fatty pork belly is cooked in a special satay sauce that is savoury and fragrant. Yup, so instead of having satay stick, you can have this with a plate of white rice and Nonya Chap Chye ($15). DSCF3565 Assam Pedas Fish Head ($27) is addictively good. It’s aromatic, sour and spicy fish head cooked in chilli tamarind gravy. There is no powdery feel that is common in many other curry fish head. It has an interesting balanced acidity with a nice thickness. The Assam Fish Head had enough kick to feel a slight sting on the tongue, but still able to eat it without perspiring. DSCF3578 DSCF3558 If you cannot decide what to have for dessert, go for the Chef Dessert Platter ($15) and you can have a little bit of everything. Chef selects from a range of desserts available, including Chendol Melaka ($6.50), Pulot Enti Kelapa ($3.50), Pulot Hitam Mata Kuching ($3.50), Bubur Kacang Hijau ($3.50) etc. The BB Kueh Tart ($1 each, $25 gift pack) is their homemade pineapple tart made in house. If you’re feeling a little fancy, go for the Tok Panjang ($45 or $65) – a Peranakan feast served during special occasions OR the 6-course degustation menu ($85). The restaurant recently launched their Peranakan High Tea from 11am to 5.30pm daily.


Address: 442 Orchard Road, Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879 Phone: +65 6262 4428 Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Facebook: Source:

Restaurant Review – The Peranakan

The Peranakan is simply wild. If you think you are going to see another vintage dark wood bureau, or kebaya clad mannequin in this Peranakan restaurant, you’ll be happily wrong — as I was. Located on the second floor of Claymore Connect in Orchard Road,  this new restaurant, simply called The Peranakan — is a gorgeous collision of extravagant French boudoir and colourful Nonya aesthetics. It sounds insane, but it works. Chef's Table There’s always something to look at, and you just don’t want to blink in case you miss something. We love the elaborate water glasses that remind us of the great Nonya houses of old Singapore, the humble kettle from which water is poured, the profusion of flowers (plastic – but pretty), bright Nonya ceramics tableware and tiles, and the gorgeously dainty spoons that we are provided to scoop up tiny amounts of sambal. Small chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and etched, bevelled mirrors cover the walls. Sumptuous is the word. We could sip tea and eat kueh here all day.
Notice the glasses and kettle on the shelves.
Beyond good looks, The Peranakan surprises with its fresh concepts (more later) and its combination of traditional favourites and less-known dishes. This freshness is a much needed boost to Peranakan restaurants as a genre, which have become tired with their predictable menus and stereotypical decor. The food is generally good at The Peranakan. Executive Chef and owner Raymond Khoo is Straits Chinese himself, and many of his dishes are family recipes from his mother and godma. Most dishes I had that lunch was enjoyable. They were authentic and prices were reasonable.
Jelly Peranakan
Beautifully presented jelly to refresh your palate in between courses.
I really liked the pig trotter pongteh ($19), a stew which is usually done using chicken. Slowly cooked in a base of soy sauce and tau cheo, the meat is rendered savoury sweet, rather tender and what made this particularly delectable was the chewy, slightly gelatinous cartilage from the trotter. This is hardly found in Nonya restaurants and quite a treat. The nasi ulam ($15) was excellent. Chef Raymond adds salted fish to it — again very unusual in nasi ulam — with a little sambal ulam and heightened by aromatic herbs of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and turmeric leaves. While the Malay version is completely vegetarian, the addition of salted fish, Chef tells us, is a Peranakan practice. The whole combination was complex and fragrant, with rice cooked just right — fluffy and grainy. Apparently it is the only Peranakan restaurant in town that serves nasi ulam this way.
Bakwan kepiting soup
The bakwan kepiting soup ($9) was admirable; while I found the stock rather bland, the meatballs were big and generous in the amount of crab meat and bamboo shoot. They were nicely done too – tender and bouncy. But most people preferred itek tim ($7), or duck and salted vegetable soup, which had heartier flavours. But as a homecook, I opted for the soup that called for more arduous preparation and skill. I spied deep fried bakwan kepiting on the appetiser menu and made a mental note to come back and try it.
Chicken buah keluak
The chicken buah keluak ($19), a must-have standard at all Peranakan restaurants, was very nicely done; the black nuts were respectably large specimens nicely filled, and the chicken well cooked through with the flavour of the stew.
Sum chan satay
The sambal udang gala ($27), huge prawns cooked in rich, savoury sweet sambal sauce would have been excellent too, but parts of it were very much undercooked and I had to put it aside. Look out for the sum chun satay ($19), pork belly fried in a special spiced rempah – fragrant, savoury, light and altogether delicious. It was served on a plate rather than skewered and is yet another little-seen dish that’s a must-try here.
Traditional wooden water buckets.
While I enjoyed most of the dishes at The Peranakan, a few missed the mark, I feel. The liver ngoh hiang ($15) was a victim of its own generosity — it was a large roll of meaty filling, which had too much meat in relation to its beancurd skin; the balance was not quite there. I didn’t taste much liver in there, either. The kueh pie tee was not crisp, the filling a little scant and the strips of bangkwang did not live up to the Peranakan’s reputation for fine knife work, and the chap chye was not as flavourful as it could have been and the vegetables came in great pieces. Slicing them smaller would have made a bit more elegant eating, I would imagine. I didn’t manage to try the desserts; but they looked promising – bubor cha cha with durian ($5), pulot enti with durian (glutinous rice with durian paste -$5), bubor hitam with mata kuching, coconut ($3.50) and durian ($5). Clearly the chef loves using durian for his sweets. For drinks, have the kumquat with biji selasih which was particularly refreshing.
Tok panjang as it was served to us
The restaurant offers a number of fresh concepts too – like the tok panjang, a lavish communal menu of multiple dishes served on rattan baskets around a mound of ulam rice. The tok panjang at this restaurant plays on the Peranakan festive feast traditionally laid out on a long table like a buffet. While this presentation is not going to win over many purists, it is a good meal to invite a foreign friend to. Diners also go home with a certificate for having had this experience. A little kitschy, but cute. Pick from a $45 or a $65 menu.
Where the chef’s table is served
Then there’s what Chef Raymond calls the Chef’s Table, like an omakase, where he decides the menu (from $165, 7 days advance reservation required) and comes with wine pairing. On the other hand, the 6-course degustation ($85 per person) is individually plated and best suited for a more formal style of dining. This is for a minimum of 6 people, and one day’s advance reservation is needed. Finally, the excellent service staff here made the experience at The Peranakan heartwarming. The staff here, who had worked with Chef Raymond before, are mainly of an older vintage. They are warm, sincere, gentle and gracious — almost parental in their demeanour. They exude an old world charm and you feel very well taken care of. They make a big difference to this restaurant and makes it stand out. It’s definitely a place I would go back to. Level 2, #02-01 Claymore Connect@Orchard Hotel Tel: 6262 4428 Source:

Dishes You Must Try At The Peranakan

The Perankan Store Front

The Peranakan Store Front

Ornate. Opulent. Colourful. Somewhat over-the-top. These are the reaction from guests at the new The Peranakan restaurant serving fine Straits Chinese cuisine. Its decor is truly bright and loud, but befitting as our numb senses (from the many new restaurant openings) require that visual spectacle to catch our attention. For me, it was akin to Alice in Wonderland – a playground for the senses!
The Peranakan - Interior

The Peranakan – Interior

The Peranakan - Executive Chef Raymond Khoo

The Peranakan – Executive Chef Raymond Khoo

Peranakan Chinese or Baba-Nyonyas are known to be fiercely and aggressively protective of their recipes. And these vary from family to family and also depends on a family’s financial or social standing. But essentially, their recipes are almost considered a heritage, a legacy even, that is hopefully passed on to the next generation. The Peranakan’s executive chef Raymond Khoo is one such Peranakan son who is making his family proud.
“Cooking is in my DNA and in my family, it is not limited only to the women although my Great Grandma, Grandmother, Mum, Aunts and my Godmother have all played a significant role in shaping my preferences and sharpening my palette. My interest has always been in elevating F&B concepts to a different level and it has always been a personal dream to open a Peranakan restaurant combining the recipes of my Mum and Godma.” says Chef Raymond.

The Peranakan Dishes

The Peranakan - Soup

The Peranakan – Itek Tim Soup (S$7)

The authentic Itek Tim duck soup (S$7 a bowl) is boiled with salty vegetable and sour plum. This soup definitely helps to “kai wei” (开胃) or “open up your appetite”. Another all-time favourite is the Bakwan Kepiting (S$9 a bowl) which is a traditional pork ball soup in rich broth with bamboo shoots.
The Peranakan - Ladies' Fingers with Chinchalok

The Peranakan – Sayur Sayuran (S$12)

The light and refreshing Sayur Sayuran (S$12) consists of steamed lady’s fingers and brinjal served with shallots and topped with Chinchalok – fermented shrimp sauce.
The Peranakan - Ngoh Hiong

The Peranakan – Ngoh Hiong (S$15)

The hand-made Ngoh Hiang (S$15) comes with a choice of prawn or pork liver filling. This appetiser is primarily minced pork and chopped chestnuts flavoured with five spice and wrapped in a crispy beancurd skin. The mouth-watering chilli that comes with this Ngoh Hiang is a vinegar-based chilli sauce called Chilli Cuka and it goes perfectly with this dish, especially if you choose the richer pork liver filling.
The Peranakan - Sotong

The Peranakan – Sambal Sotong (S$17) (Picture shows a smaller sampling size)

Sambal Sotong (S$17) is fried with tamarind and starfruit. The starfruit is an interesting ingredient as it helps to balance the spiciness and adds a uniquely juicy bite.
The Peranakan - Buak Keluak

The Peranakan – Ayam Buak Keluak (S$19)

Ayam Buak Keluak (S$19) is a dish you either love or hate, but is synonymous with Peranakan cuisine. Buak Keluak are nuts from a tall mangrove tree called Pangium edule. They are poisonous but are made edible through fermentation. The nut’s flesh is dug out of its shell, cooked and stuffed back into the shell. At The Peranakan, the stuffing is 100% pure Buak Keluak and not mixed with other stuffing like meat. Moreover, each nut in this dish contains two nuts’ worth of pure flesh!
The Peranakan - Babi Ponteh

The Peranakan – Kaki Babi Pong Teh (S$19)

The Kaki Babi Pong Teh (S$19) uses pig trotters instead of the typical pork belly. This Malaccan style dish is cooked for six hours giving it a rich and flavourful taste plus extra tender meat that falls off the bone.
The Peranakan - Assam Fish Head

The Peranakan – Assam Pedas Fish Head (S$27)

The Assam Pedas Fish Head (S$27) is spicy, sour and savoury. The aromatic chilli tamarind gravy goes well with white rice.
The Perankan - Rice Salad

The Peranakan – Nasi Ulam (S$15)

Talking about rice, the Nasi Ulam (S$15) is a must-try. Cold white rice is mixed and tossed with ingredients like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaves, sliced long beans, baked fish, minced salted fish plus the perfect amount of sambal belachan. Warning – this is highly addictive. The first mouthful might feel a little odd if you are not used to eating cold rice and raw herbs. But as you chew, the flavours become more and more intense and you will “unconsciously” keep going until you finish the whole plate.
The Peranakan - Tok Panjang S$65 Set for three

Tok Panjang Feast – S$45 or S$65 per set

If you want a degustation of sorts, get a few friends and order the Tok Panjang Feast (S$45 or S$65 per person) to share. It consists of an array of different dishes so your taste buds get a blast. Orders are in sets of two. So if you are a group of six, you order three sets.
The Peranakan - Dessert

The Peranakan – Dessert

As always, leave space for dessert. The Pulot Enti Durian (S$5) which is glutinous rice with durian paste, will pleasure durian lovers. The smooth durian paste made from Malaysian durians is sweet with a tinge of bitterness. The Pulot Enti Kelapa (S$3.50) – glutinous rice with gula melaka coconut, is superb too. It is like eating “kueh kueh” with a spoon, without the sticky feeling on your fingers. I had two portions of each!
The Peranakan is located at  #02-01, Claymore Connect@ Orchard Hotel, Singapore 238879 and opens daily from 11am to 10pm. Call  +65 6262 4428 for reservations. Source:

REVIEW: 3 new restaurants to check out for good Peranakan food


20647-7949 #02-01/17 Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, tel: 6262-4428. Open daily, 11am-10pm. Raymond Khoo has dabbled in French, Indian, and Spanish cuisine during his 30 years in F&B, and even hawker food concepts such as Rasa Singapura in Macau. But this 52-year-old Peranakan chef and consultant has never whipped out the family recipes, not until now. Just this week, his latest project, simply named The Peranakan, opens at Claymore Connect. This 130-seater spans about 3,000 square feet, a S$600,000 investment that returns the entrepreneur to his roots. “I’m semi-retired and getting bored, but I was thinking I should do one more cuisine for the books,” says Mr Khoo, who has been cooking Peranakan dishes for friends and family for 10 years. It took a fair amount of convincing before the bibiks in his family would relinquish the recipes. “If you want to learn, you watch – if you touch anything in the kitchen, they will scold you for spoiling their dish,” he laughs. “Every Peranakan household has different palates and recipes, and any true-blue Peranakan will insist that their mom’s cooking is the best.” That’s why he sticks to the family recipes, no gimmicks or fusion elements allowed. “I won’t serve a salad with a rendang, or do wagyu rendang, which spoils both the wagyu and the rendang.” Expect soups such as itek tim (duck and salted vegetable; S$7) and bakwan kepiting (crabmeat, prawn and meat balls with bamboo shoots; S$9), or classic mains such as udang gala rempah nenas (prawns in pineapple gravy; S$27) and satay babi (pork belly satay; S$19). There are also sharing platters called “tok panjang” menus (referencing traditional long-table banquets) at S$45 and S$65. These feature signature items like ngoh hiang, kueh pie tee, beef rendang, and even nasi ulam, a cold rice and herbs salad that’s rarely seen these days – even in Peranakan restaurants. While Mr Khoo keeps the recipes traditional, he’s also come up with degustation menus at S$188 or S$288 (requires one-week advance booking) to cater to the corporate crowd. “Some have told us excitedly that they can finally entertain their clients with local food here now!” he says. He hopes these tasting menus will also draw foreigners and expatriates. It’s all about plating and portioning, while controlling the direction of the tasting, he says, which makes the cuisine less intimidating for foreign palates. “Sometimes, foreign guests may love the dishes but they get overwhelmed with all the flavours in communal Peranakan dining, and they don’t know what they are eating,” says Mr Khoo, who is in fact prepping the restaurant for an American couple’s wedding next week. Future plans include Peranakan cafes in the vein of Toast Box or Hong Kong cafes, with dishes averaging S$10. “Peranakan is going casual, going hip, and it’s becoming more accessible,” says Mr Khoo. “Currently, you can only have say, buah keluak if you go to a proper restaurant. With a cafe concept, you can have buah keluak any time.” Expect playful spins at these cafes, such as coconut linguine instead of coconut cream in traditional desserts like pulut hitam or chendol. 20647-7950


168 Telok Ayer Street, tel: 8688-3028. Open Mon-Fri, 7.30am-6pm; Sat & Sun, 9am-6pm. Chong Wen Ge cafe is a doorway to the past. The first thing that greets you is a three-story pagoda, right smack in the centre of a stone courtyard. Look to the left, and you’ll find the cafe’s indoor seating area, complete with old-school wooden furniture on a Peranakan-tiled floor. It’s all part of the Thiam Hock Keng temple complex – one of the oldest Hokkien temples in Singapore which is also considered a national monument. So it’s only apt that you won’t be finding things such as waffles, eggs Benedict, or truffle fries on their menu. Instead, what you will find is simple, no-frills servings of local heritage food, with a little more emphasis on Peranakan cuisine since one of the cafe’s founders is of Peranakan descent. That means dishes such as Nonya Curry Chicken (S$9.80), Nonya Mee Siam (S$6.80), and Nonya Laksa (S$8.80), alongside Satay Bee Hoon (S$8.80) and Sambal Prawns with Rice (S$8.90). “Our cafe’s founders wanted to raise awareness about our cultural roots, that’s why they didn’t want to focus on things such as cappuccinos or lattes, they wanted kopi. And I’m pleasantly surprised that we sell about 10 cups of traditional kopi for every cup of ‘modern’ coffee,” says Grace Soh, who does marketing and design for the cafe, and is the daughter of one of the founders. She explains that the 30-seater cafe was started just three weeks ago by a group of friends – all middle-aged adults with their own day jobs. Since most of them preferred to be silent shareholders, Ms Soh runs the day-to-day operations together with just one of the shareholders – Sharlene Peh, who is in charge of the kitchen. While Ms Peh is not a chef by training, she picked up her skills through experience as a home cook and from previously running her own cafe (now closed), plus some coaching from a friend who works as a professional consultant chef. It’s all about sincerity for them, says Ms Soh. “We don’t claim to be an authentic Peranakan restaurant, but we try to convey sincerity through our food, service and ambience. We get feedback before we put new dishes on the menu, especially from people who are Peranakan. Because although we ourselves aren’t Peranakan by blood, we want to try to make our food as honest as possible.” 20647-7948


#01-01, 18 Mohamed Sultan Road, tel: 6733-4794. Open Mon-Sat, noon-11pm. Peranakan-Japanese food sounds totally bizarre, but Ippin Cafe Bar – a Japanese home-style eatery – is out to prove that “fusion” isn’t necessarily a dirty word when it comes to culinary experimentation. This pairing isn’t all that odd when you consider how much of Japanese food draws from unlikely sources – Castella cakes from the Portuguese, “wafu” pasta from the Italians, or Hamburg steaks from the Germans. This 11/2 year-old restaurant only started introducing Peranakan-Japanese dishes this week, in collaboration with chef consultant Philip Chia. Chef Chia is a family friend to the Fujishiro family which owns Ippin, and they have worked together on various culinary events prior to this menu revamp. “We became very good friends, and he would use Japanese products like miso for Peranakan dishes and bring them to us for tasting – we found them so delicious,” says marketing manager Ayumi Fujishiro, daughter of Ippin’s chairman Masaki Fujishiro. “Chef Chia then suggested that we do it officially at the cafe, and we also always wanted to show how we can use Japanese ingredients in local cooking.” It’s also her hope that the Peranakan additions to their menu will encourage their expatriate regulars – such as Japanese tai-tais – to be more adventurous when it comes to appreciating Singaporean food and culture. “Many Japanese housewives here can’t speak English and just hang out within the community; they are in Singapore but they only visit Isetan and Meidi-Ya, or go to Lau Pa Sat and claim they have been to hawker centres,” says Ms Fujishiro, who has been here for two years. “It’s so wasted; they are in Singapore – they should try more local food!” On his end, chef Chia adapts traditional recipes so they are not too overwhelming. “I retain the essence of the Peranakan flavour, but make tweaks so it’s a healthier choice and not too heavy. Miso for instance can be used over taucheo (fermented soya bean paste),” says chef Chia. Dashi is also to replace stock bases in dishes such as Nonya laksa with prawns and oysters (S$24) or pong tahu (beancurd meatball soup, S$10), resulting in lighter and cleaner flavours while keeping the fragrance. Meats in the tau yew bak (braised pork belly in a bun; S$10 for two) or the ayam goreng kunyit halia (fried chicken wings in turmeric and ginger; S$10 for five) are also marinated with sake and shoyu. His fusion dishes are inspired by a trip to Yokohama in 2013: “I was intrigued by Japanese cooking: while some say it’s bland in some ways, it’s so much healthier with less salt, oil and sugar, so I feel we should adapt some of what they are doing.” While there are only five Peranakan items available currently, chef Chia will add five more dishes every month, with a grand total of 30 by the end of the year. Also in the pipeline: finger food or otsumami, to be paired with sake and beer. Expect canapes such as buah keluak caviar on wafers or papadum with satay babi. Source:

5 Peranakan restaurants to visit in Singapore

1. Baba Chews Bar and Eatery

Baba Chews Bar and Eatery_Chilli Crab Cake copy
These meaty crab cakes are a must-try at Baba Chews Bar and Eatery.

Set in the former Joo Chiat Police Station, this newly opened restaurant at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katongserves up Malacca-inspired Peranakan fare. Menu highlights include chilli crab cakes, Ayam Buah Keluak (a combination of spicy chicken and black nuts), sambal stingray and beef short rib rendang. There are also desserts such as Kueh Durian, a combination of durian mousse with shredded coconut and Gula Melaka, and cheesecake with caramelised jackfruit.

After filling up on the eatery’s hearty cuisine, remember to explore its quaint interiors, which are decked out in colonial and Peranakan elements such as metal mesh sliding panels and artwork inspired by traditional beaded slippers.

Baba Chews, 86 East Coast Road, #01-01 Katong Square, Singapore 428788, +65 6723 2025,

2. Candlenut

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This newly minted one-Michelin-starred restaurant offers traditional delights such as Pong Tauhu soup.

This homegrown restaurant made history this year when it became the first Peranakan establishment to receive a Michelin star. It offers traditional cuisine made with fresh ingredients and homemade rempahs (spice pastes), all without MSG and preservatives. Lunch is served á la carte, with dishes such as Kueh Pie Tee, Ngoh Hiang (meat rolls) and Chap Chye (mixed vegetable stew).

Also available is a dinner “ah-ma-kase” set, an ever-changing prix fixe repertoire of offerings such as spice-marinated Blackmore wagyu beef satay and Pong Tauhu soup, which comes with tofu and meatballs.

Candlenut, Dorsett Residences, 331 New Bridge Road, #01-03, Singapore 088764, +65 8121 4107,

3. True Blue Cuisine

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Feast on tasty Ayam Buah Keluak at True Blue Cuisine, a Bib Gourmand restaurant.

Founded in 2003, this restaurant is very much a veteran in the Peranakan cuisine scene here. It was originally located in Katong, before moving to Armenian Street and now, right next to the Peranakan Museum. It specialises in authentic and fusion Peranakan food, and was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide Singapore last month.

Expect traditional staples such as Chap Chye and Ngoh Hiang, as well as contemporary creations such as pomelo salad and curry leaf prawns. The restaurant also offers a variety of homemade kueh and pastries such as Ondeh Ondeh (rice balls filled with Gula Melaka) and pineapple tarts.

True Blue Cuisine, 47/ 49 Armenian Street, Singapore 179937, +65 6440 0449,

4. National Kitchen by Violet Oon

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Tuck into a comforting bowl of Chap Chye at National Kitchen by Violet Oon.

Helmed by cooking doyenne Violet Oon, this opulent restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore features an extensive repertoire of Peranakan and local delights. Noteworthy offerings include Rojak, Gado Gado (a mix of fried bean curd, potatoes and lontong rice with peanut sauce), fish head curry and Sayur Lodeh, a blend of vegetables in coconut gravy.

Round off your meal on a sweet note with decadent desserts such as pineapple upside down cake, Chendol with coconut ice cream and grated tapioca cake topped with Gula Melaka syrup.

National Kitchen by Violet Oon, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, #02–01, National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing),Singapore 178957, +65 9834 9935,

5. The Peranakan

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Newly launched at Claymore Connect, The Peranakan dishes up Nyonya fare such as Ayam Buah Keluak.

This newly opened restaurant at Claymore Connect is one gorgeous venue with its elegant chandeliers, elaborate screen panels and gilded mirrors. Sumptuous interiors aside, it dishes up a tantalising menu of options including Ayam Buah Keluak, Itek Tim (duck soup) and Nasi Ulam — cold rice mixed with herbs and vegetables.

Other must-try offerings include the restaurant’s Asian-inspired martinis, which come in flavours of sake lychee, kaffir lime and lemongrass.

The Peranakan, 442 Orchard Road, Orchard Hotel – Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879, +656262 4428,


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:

Is the food at newly-minted The Peranakan restaurant worth leaving your house for?

26351736 Singapore — The Peranakans are notoriously difficult to please when it comes to food. If you manage to persuade them to step out of their houses and head for a Peranakan restaurant in the first place, they are more likely to keep comparing the food to their matriarch’s or patriach’s. And it seldom measures up. Two weeks ago, Raymond Khoo opened The Peranakan, a 130-seat restaurant located on the second floor of Claymore Connect. Yes, the executive chef and veteran of Singapore’s F&B scene (he was behind concepts such as the now-defunct 3 Monkeys and Tong Shui Cafe) is Peranakan himself and he bravely decided to take the plunge, armed with the recipes passed along by the women in his family.
Ambience/Vibe There is a sense of nouveau riche at the restaurant, with way too many chandeliers adorning the ceiling and heavily wrought mirrors embellishing the walls. Unlike most new restaurants, this one doesn’t seem to employ inexperienced wait staff. The dining room is run by a tight group of mature servers who were confident and enthusiastic. What to order Khoo has brought all the classics of the Peranakan canon to bear in his extensive menu, including kueh pie tee (fried pastry cups filled with stewed jicama and topped with a prawn, $20) and ikan goreng sumbat sambal belacan ($15, fried whole fish stuffed with sambal belacan and drizzled with kicap manis). The latter is a regular standard in many Peranakan households and would satisfy any finicky baba with its crispy skin and flaky flesh. The kueh pie tee passed muster — delicately crisp pastry cups, succulent stewed jicama (bangkwang) imbued with a good balance of flavour, and a light, piquant chilli cuca (chilli-vinegar sauce) to brighten it all. Also good was the Nasi Ulam ($15), a traditional rice salad, here made with finely chopped fresh herbs including lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves, giving it a fresh, citrusy lilt. Minced fresh and salted fish imbued the flavours with a savoury depth. What not to order The kitchen doesn’t seem to have hit its sweet spot yet with other dishes such as the kaki babi pongteh (pig’s trotters stewed in soy and fermented soybean paste, $19) and the curry ayam istimewa (chicken curry, $17). In fact, most of the stews, including the satay babi sum chan ($19, pork braised in a satay spice mix) lacked depth and complexity. Our prawn ngoh hiang (meat rolls spiked with five-spice powder, $15) was mealy, while the deep-fried crab meatballs ($15) were tough and chewy. Verdict Khoo admits that there is work to be done when it comes to fine-tuning the menu’s flavours. “Some diners tell us that certain dishes are not sweet enough and others say some dishes are not salty enough,” he said. “So we are still tweaking and trying to find the right balance.” Our take? Give it some time to please your mama. The Peranakan #02-01 Claymore Connect@ Orchard Hotel Tel: 6262 4428 Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily Is the food at new The Peranakan restaurant worth leaving your house for? Source:


image5 餐馆两名创办人吃着妈妈、祖母的娘惹菜长大,娘惹菜的味道都烙印在他们的味蕾上。两人尝到一代人用时间去锤炼的滋味,然后传承给下一代。 一大勺刚从锅里盛出来的白饭,米气蒸蒸、热气腾腾,追加一大勺子的娘惹家常菜汁液,饱了,还贪图多一口。 乌节路Claymore Connect本月初开了一家娘惹菜馆The Peranakan,在市中心很商业的这一块,居然能在这里吃到家的味道。餐馆创办人何建明(46岁)和邱瑞文(52岁)吃着妈妈、祖母的娘惹菜长大,那些妈妈的味道烙印在他们的味蕾上。今年两个老友遇上时机,凑在一块——何建明负责生意管理,邱瑞文负责烹饪,两双手把多年来的好味道齐齐“装进”菜单。我是过客,尝到一代人用时间去锤炼,然后传承给下一代的滋味,很是幸福。 Source: