The thing we love about Peranakan cuisine is that the dishes have such full, wholesome flavors thanks to a combination of Chinese, Malay and other influences. With Singapore being a melting pot of different cultures, we have no shortage when it comes to this delectable cuisine. Here are four establishments that serve up excellent Peranakan fare.
The island is awash with elevated Peranakan food, but it’s Candlenut that our panel is gaga for. The space just moved to a befittingly pretty spot at Dempsey’s new Como development and made the bold move to do communal degustation dinner menus. We’re glad to see Peranakan food getting the fine dining format. Chef Malcolm Lee fuses innovation with the complex flavors of Nyonya cuisine passed through his family, to create dishes like the tiger prawn lemak nanas and the snapper with black mangga sambal. 17A Dempsey Rd.
With a bright and airy revamp just a few months ago, this sun-drenched riverside restaurant does buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as an international and Asian a la carte menu. But the big draw is their selection of local and Peranakan fare, such as Nyonya laksa, ayam buah keluak, black bean slipper lobster and babi pongteh. There are good vegetarian options, too. 20 Merchant Rd.
Peranakan restaurants in Singapore tend to be cozy and set in shop houses. Not this one. This longstanding favorite is situated in a massive black and white house with big compound offering alfresco seating to boot. Setting aside, they serve up authentic Nyonya cuisine with punchy flavors that don’t skimp on the spice blends: get the ayam buah keluak, five-spice ngoh hiang and babi pongteh. 35 & 35A Scotts Rd.
The focus may have shifted to the newer National Gallery branch and its more recent Clarke Quay opening this year, but Oon’s original venture on Bukit Timah is still the place to go to for pure Peranakan fare. The revamped black-and-white space is now interspersed with colorful Peranakan tiles and classic bistro furniture, and the menu focuses more on what she’s best at: Peranakan classics like pong tau hu soup, ngoh hiang, kuay pie tee, udang goreng chilli, dry laksa and buah keluak noodles. 881 Bukit Timah Rd.