The Singaporean chef here started young, learning from his mother and grandmother. Since then he’s widened his skills and broadened his experience, resulting in a repertoire which is modern and interesting yet respectful of tradition. Lunch is à la carte, while dinner offers a set menu of little dishes and is a great way of experiencing the various tastes and textures of this skilfully prepared cuisine. Service is sweet and eager to please. Block 17A, Dempsey Road.
Chilli Padi (Joo Chiat)
For anyone wishing to explore the Peranakan culture, coming to Joo Chiat is a must – while you’re there, you’ll find this restaurant is the ideal place in which to taste authentic Peranakan dishes. The friendly staff are on hand to offer helpful advice, with the standout dishes being kueh pie tee, ikan assam and ayam rendang. The red-hued walls, Chinese furnishings and ceiling fans add to the atmosphere. #01-03,11 Joo Chiat Place.
Dark wood furniture and antiques add to the elegant colonial feel of this restaurant, which lodges within a bungalow and also goes by the name of the ‘The White House’. The menu is dominated by Penang-style Peranakan cuisine and, while the dishes look quite simple, their preparation involves the subtle blending of many spices and ingredients. The signature dishes include Rendang, Assam Laksa, and Kueh Pie Tee (pastry with turnips, prawns and crab). 35 Scotts Road.
The owner’s family opened Singapore’s first Nyonya restaurant in 1953 – this branch has been in the CBD since 2011. Ornaments and wooden furniture lend a Chinese aesthetic. The versatile menu features dishes made with local produce and lots of spices and herbs, all prepared using traditional Chinese cooking methods. Dishes to try include Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken with local nuts) and Ikan Assam Nanas Pedas (spicy and sour fish). #B1-01, Keck Seng Tower.
True Blue Cuisine
It’s less like walking into a restaurant, more like falling into the warm embrace of a much loved family member. Here it’s about nostalgia and paying homage to the food, history and customs of the Peranakans – you’ll find all the classic dishes, prepared in an authentic way, and the hard part is narrowing down your choice. The setting really is unique and on the way out it’s hard to resist buying a keepsake from the True Blue Shoppe.47/49 Armenian Street.
Recommended reading: View all Peranakan cuisine-related stories here.