Ellenborough Market Café

Average: 3 (1 vote)

Ellenborough Market Cafe may offer international selections in its buffet spread, but the crowds that come here usually have only one thing on their mind: The Peranakan station. Get your fill of Nyonya staples such as wok-fried slipper lobster in black bean sauce, ayam buah keluak and durian pengat. This place is popular for high tea too.

Although this buffet restaurant offers an international spread, it has made its mark in Peranakan cuisine.

We arrived for our buffet dinner prepared to indulge. The buffet was divided into food stations that encompassed international fare and, of course, a wide Peranakan spread. We had the shark’s fin soup for starters, and discovered it contained all the usual ingredients—except shark’s fin.

After that initial disappointment, we moved to Peranakan specialties ayam buah keluak and assam fish. Both dishes were mild instead of spicy, however, and we wondered if they had been cooked to suit Western taste buds. Also a bit of a letdown were the salmon sashimi and scallops with coriander lime dressing, neither of which was particularly fresh.

The dessert station, however, was heavenly, comprising local delights and Western standards. A relatively new offer was the chocolate fountain, with marshmallows and jambu ayer for dipping. Warranting special mention was the jackfruit creme Brule, which was a wonderful variation to a classic dessert. We ended the night with a generous helping of Ellenborough’s signature durian pengat—made of pure durian.

While the buffet is a mixed bag, there are definitely highlights worth coming back for.

Peranakan food is one of Singapore's favorite and most unique cuisines. Here are our recommendations for where to get Peranakan food in Singapore.

Venue Details
Address: Ellenborough Market Café, G/F 20 Merchant Rd., Singapore, 058281 Singapore
Phone: 6239-1848
Area: Clarke Quay
Cuisine: Buffet, Peranakan
Price Range: $$
Open since: January, 1997
Opening hours: daily 6:30-10:30am, noon-2:30pm, 6:30-10pm; Sat-Sun 3:30-5:30pm
Alfresco, Reservation recommended, Parking available: at Swissotel Merchant Court, Takeaway available, Dress requirements
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