Apart from Blue Ginger, this is another restaurant that makes peranakan food more upmarket and modern. Have heard quite a lot about this place and yes it is a very good peranakan place which whips up traditional peranakan dishes with a modern twist. Why the twist? Lets find out.
Kueh Pie ti. 4 for $8. This is a very traditional peranakan food that can be made easily at home. The crust was a little thicker but still very crispy and they are served in a bed of crispy bread crumbs. Quite a different filling for kueh pie ti. So we had the usual vegetables and chilli as toppings. Nicely plated but I didn’t find it spectacular, especially when it costs $2 for one. Have had kueh pie ti made by colleagues before and I actually like theirs better. I guess that’s because you can add more condiments and fillings when you make it on your own.
Then the mains came which took a turn. This is grilled ox cheeks which was so good. Very flavourful sauce used that is slightly sweet yet very savoury as well. It felt a little like teriyaki but has a fragrance that teriyaki doesn’t have. Meat was also tender and succulent. Like the way it is sliced into as it isn’t too big or small. Just the right bite size to give you the oomph! There’s also sour green apples by the side to counterpoise the more heavy tasting pork. Taste and texture definitely aren’t one dimensional and I love it.
This is the yeye (grandfather) chicken curry recommended by the waitress. She recommended buah keluak initially which my colleague and I vehemently opposed to as I cannot appreciate the quiet taste of that nut. As yeye curry sounds like old and about-to-be-lost recipe, we got it without hesitation. This curry was good and not too spicy actually. I call it white curry as it’s really quite white. The taste was slightly on the one dimensional side as it has more of a coconut taste but was still pretty delicious. Chicken was very tender too.
The bakar baked fish (tilapia). Very nicely plated, isn’t it. Salt at the bottom and lime at the top. The sauce the bakar fish was baked in was delicious and it’s taste is a little like our grilled sting ray. The sauce was on the spicy side but I like it. However, the fish didn’t have a very smooth texture and the meat was slightly on the dry side. Not too sure if that’s due to baking or the type of fish used.
Called ‘choking’ sotong on the menu, it really is very spicy but I like it. Sotong was also very fresh and springy. Condiments used make it really fragrant and cherry tomatoes were used too to make it slightly sweet. Delicious dish indeed.
Rendang duck breast cooked pink – that’s what is written on the menu and indeed the duck has a rosy pink hue which looks so inviting. The rendang is also surprisingly very spicy. Duck was slightly grilled and that makes it super fragrant as it has a smoky taste. I actually like this dish but there is something that I think could be improved. Duck meat wasn’t dry at all as it wasn’t overcooked but it is not too tender either and I couldn’t bite the big chunk of meat into two. A really delicious rendang duck meat, just that the duck meat has to be made more tender.
Cameralised banana with fluffy sponge cake. The sponge cake was really fluffy and ethereal and goes so well with the ice cream and caramelised banana. There’s a bit of western influences here but that ‘cake’ feels local. Quite an interesting mix I felt and it is a good plate of dessert!
Super delicious chendol over here. This is again another fusion dessert. It actually tastes like chendol pana cotta. The pudding was really soft, siky and smooth while the gula melaka on top of it is not overly sweet and quite fragrant. Really love this dessert and it’s the first dish that surprises me!
The durian soup which I was looking forward to but was actually mediocre. Durian wasn’t fragrant enough and the dessert wasn’t served cold enough. The only delicious thing is the biscuit which is crispy, thin and fragrant.
So, it was my colleagues’ farewell dinner and we brought her here. A very good peranakan restaurant I would say. There were some fusion dishes such as the desserts, duck and pork cheek while others were more traditional and cooked really well. However, it didn’t have the wow factor as I guess I am quite used to peranakan food and also there were also some misses. Things always feel less precious if it isn’t rare, doesn’t it. So for 6 people we spent $194 and portions were actually quite small. There’s free flow rice though but rice wasn’t well cooked yesterday night as it is not fluffy as slightly bitty in the middle. Not enough water used perhaps. Service is good though. So, is this restaurant worth a visit? Yes, it is if you really want some good peranakan food with a fresh perspective and will be a nice place to bring your overseas friends too but get the kitchen to make it less spicy for them!