When I first heard about The Peranakan Restaurant opened at Claymore Connect, I was planning for a trip but was never successful. Since enjoying them requires to dine in a group, like the way we did for Chinese food. Luckily the opportunity arise and I couldn’t say no.
Though I may not be a true blue Peranakan, I am exposed to the cuisine since young as my mom has a Peranakan heritage. I have fond memories of my maternal grandmother’s cooking and I missed them very much. Personally, I felt that Peranakan cuisine is very much under-rated and many aren’t exposed to them as much as they did for other cuisine. As such I like to think that most have yet developed a palate to appreciate this particular cuisine. Peranakan dishes are very bold and unique in flavours. It may have a similarity to Malay food but at the same time, it combines some chapters of the Chinese cuisine as such some may term them as a hybrid. But I would like to see them as an independent cuisine since they have their heritage and characteristics.
Seeing the restaurant from afar, my reaction was “Wow” that was colourful. As I walked nearer, I saw many furniture and accessories that were found at my maternal grandparents home previously. There was a sense of familiarity. Hence the ambience is very much like home.
After we are done with our order, we were treated to complimentary snack, Hae Bee Hiam Roll with Sambal Chilli. Oh my … These are so addictive. I can’t stop until I finish them all. It was tastier when eaten with the Sambal Chilli.
Kueh Pie Ti Set of 10 ($20), the only starter on The Peranakan Restaurant menu. Surprisingly, the batter shell remained crispy after it was left in the open for long. The fried turnip was tasty and lucky it wasn’t too wet, otherwise, the shell would turn soggy.
Offering 3 types of appetisers, Sambal Timum ($8), Vegetarian Spring Roll ($15) and Ngoh Hiang in either Prawn ($15) or Liver ($17) and the best was the Combination Platter ($30) consisting of both the Prawn and Liver. From the term platter, I was expecting more items. Perhaps includes the remaining items that were the menu, but it wasn’t hence was a little disappointing.
Both the Prawn and Liver Roll was delish. I thought it might be tastier if they increase the saltiness level a little more.
We skipped the soups and dived into the Mains. At any Peranakan restaurant, my must have is the classic Peranakan dish, Ayam Buah Keluak ($22). I like this recipe. The dish has strong flavour and I could savour the Buah Keluak in the sauce too. Those with Buah Keluak-acquired taste would surely dig the black gold from the shell. Buah Keluak has an earthly and nutty tone and truffle-like and olive-like and chocolaty flavour note. Personally, I am a fan of them.
Kaki Babi Pong Teh ($19) is another popular classic Peranakan dish. This dish is cooked over low fire for 6 hours so that the meat are fork-tender. Overall, it has a bold sweetish hint.
Moving on to the seafood, first was the Sotong Masak Asam ($19). The sotong is cooked in tamarind and starfruit hence the end result was a sourish dish. The sotong was only lightly chewy which was good. Overall, I find the flavour a little too flat.
Next is the Assam Pedas Fish Head ($30). One of the most wonderful Assam Pedas dish. The gravy was a strong assam flavour but yet not overly sour. Though I am sure some would prefer it more sour. I don’t mind if it turned out to be the case too. The fish remained soft and no sign of over-cooked.
Nonya Chap Chye ($15) is another commonly sighted dish on Peranakan restaurant menu. The braised cabbage was soft and soggy and gotten all the essence of the sauce. It is exactly the way the old Peranakan would cook it. But certainly, this may be turned off some, especially those who love their vegetable crunchy.
I never remember that my grandma ever prepared this cold rice salad dish, the Nasi Ulam Istimewa ($17). Together with the cold rice, a medley of chopped raw herbs, vegetables, minced fish and salted fish were tossed and then served. Some isn’t used to the grassy and herby taste of the herbs but I do enjoyed them. The herbs were complemented with the sweetish vegetables such as long beans and the savoury salted fish.
Rejoice all Durian Fan!! The Peranakan Restaurant has created a 8-course Gila Durian set menu. This is priced at $38++ for per pax but required a minimum of 2 diners to order.
And interestingly, they designed the dessert into a set meal. The difference is that all the items on this set meal are desserts and it has durian puree in them. In this specially curated dessert set, there are 3 types of durian, D24, Kampung Durian and Mao Shan Wang.
Starting with the Toasties With D24 Durian and D24 Durian Pengat as the appetiser.
These 2 were lightest in the durian flavour and as such makes a good start.
Moving on is the starter, Pandan Chiffon Cake With D24 And Kampung Durian. On the top and bottom of the Pandan Chiffon Cake were 2 types of Durian, Kampung Durian and D24 respectively. In betweent the cake layer was gula melaka. Remember to dig right to the bottom to enjoy all the different elements to get the best flavour.
Intermezzo of the day
Before moving on to the Mains, it is time for an Intermezzo. Interestingly, instead of sorbet, they offered Crispy Fish Skin. It was ultra crispy and very lightly salted with thankfully no fishy taste. Once I bite into the snack, the durian flavour diminished and soon disappear with only the fish skin taste on my palate.
Now, it was time for the Main Course, First is the Pulot Enti D24. Sticky rice coloured in blue using natural dye from the Butterfly Peaflower and there are shredded tumeric leaves added on top of the dessert. The base of course is D24 Durian puree. One got to have it with all the ingredients in one mouth to experience the unique flavour releasing from the leaves.
Fragrant Rice With Mao Shan Wang Durian may sounds a little unbelievable but it is the way the Peranakan enjoys in the good old days. The rice provided a more grainy texture to complement the durian but I didn’t think it is a good combination. Anyway, this dish offers diners a slice of the Peranakan tradition. Personally, I am not a fan to have it like such. I rather have the pure durian puree without rice.
Chendol is always my soft spot but so far I never like it with Durian. However after trying out The Peranakan Restaurant D24 Durian Chendol, I changed my mind. This version is far too delish. I could savour the distinct gula melaka and the coconut in the chendol and yet the durian supplemented the flavour. But to a certain extend, it does masked the flavour of chendol but I like it.
Free Flow Hot Beverage
That’s not all. Within the 8 course, there is a free flow Lemongrass Pandan Tea. The pandan flavour was stronger than lemongrass. Overall it was lightly sweetish even though there isn’t additional sugar in it.
Personally, I do find the food at The Peranakan Restaurant delish and are authentic. But of course, each and every Peranakan family does have a variation to the recipe as such the true blue Peranakan might find their own the best as they are used to that familiarity which I am not surprised.
Anyway, the most important point here is that I enjoyed and it satisfy my craving for Grandma’s cooking.
The Peranakan Restaurant
442 Orchard Road Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6262 4428
Daily 1100 to 2200
- Delfi Orchard along Orchard Road 7, 36, 77, 105, 106, 111, 123, 132, 174, 502
- Opp Four Seasons Hotel 7, 36, 77, 105, 106, 111, 123, 132, 174, 174e, 502
- North-South line – Orchard station
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.