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:

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: