Don’t let the casual air here deceive you—the Peranakan cuisine served is prepared with care and pride. Nonya ngoh hiang (spring rolls), assam prawns (prawns in tamarind), ayam buah keluak, pomfret in chili and nonya chap chye (vegetable stew)—served with sambal belachan that will make a Peranakan grandmother proud—are just some of the dishes on the menu that will make your mouth water.
Part of Peranakan patriarch Bob Seah’s small empire of Peranakan restaurants, this traditional eatery is a veritable institution in Siglap, and is an old establishment in this stretch of small shops where new trendy places are slowly taking over. This restaurant feels Peranakan, with the marble top tables, painted tiles and shophouse façade; and rather kitschy mannequins in dusty sarong kebayas.
But while the menu certainly covered all the Peranakan favorites, the food is unfortunately mediocre. Our ngo hiang was soggy and greasy; and the babi ponteh was, well, boring. The ayam buah keluak, the acid test of any Peranakan restaurant, was tasty but came with only three keluaks and the stuffing had far too much meat and nowhere near enough of the delicious creamy kernel. To be fair, most Peranakan restaurants are guilty of this, but when you’ve had the real thing it’s hard to be satisfied with a lesser version.
Nevertheless Baba Inn continues to draw a steady flow of customers, and we think that as long as Peranakan cooking continues to disappear from modern Singaporean kitchens, this will be the case.
Peranakan food is one of Singapore's favorite and most unique cuisines. Here are our recommendations for where to get Peranakan food in Singapore.
|Address:||Baba Inn, #01-03 103 Frankel Ave., Singapore, 458225 Singapore|
|Area:||East Coast Katong and Siglap|
|Open since:||June, 1992|
|Opening hours:||Fri-Sun 11am-3pm, 5:30-10pm; Mon 11am-3pm, 5:30-10pm; Tue 11am-3pm, 5:30-10pm; Wed 11am-3pm, 5:30-10pm|
|Parking available: at Frankel Ave., Takeaway available|
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