Violet Oon Singapore at Jewel

The hype: Violet Oon Singapore has done it again, with a fifth outlet at the much-lauded Jewel Changi Airport. The biggest one to date, the restaurant highlights an outdoor live charcoal grill, putting out Peranakan favourites bound to please both locals and tourists alike.

The vibe: The 3,800 sq ft outlet features the same elegant decor of its counterparts, an unshakeable air of refinery running throughout the emerald restaurant. The team has also taken care to introduce round tables for the first time, to encourage communal dining amongst friends and visiting travelers.

The food: Like with every Violet Oon Singapore outlet, Jewel Changi’s has a distinct personality and menu that warrants its own trip down. Exclusive to this branch is the DIY Nyonya Poh Piah Party ($58), also available in a vegetarian option ($56), specially created for families to enjoy together. The tasty kit comes with six pieces of handmade poh piah skins and more than 12 different fillings—though it’s the spicy bamboo shoot and jicama stew braised in house-made prawn bisque that will have you going back in for seconds.

Also a highlight here is the charcoal grill located on the restaurant’s alfresco—which not only gives you a great garden-barbecue vibe and view to the Rain Vortex, but serves up perfectly grilled meat tender to the bite. The Ayam Panggang Katong ($14-$22) eliminates any preconceptions about tough, dry BBQ chicken—instead, bite into plump, juicy chicken brushed with gula melaka syrup for an unexpected welcome sweetness; with the right amount of char to keep the chewing exciting.

Still, our vote goes to an unforeseen contender: The Little India Vegetable Curry with Roti Prata ($17) may be a humble hawker classic, but is elevated with a tart burst of tamarind juice in the curry of eggplant, okra and cabbage. And look no further, for Violet has perfected roti prata—crisp on the outside yet still fluffy and wispy, the prata maintains its impressive consistency even after being left on the table for a while. Fair warning that two pieces alone won’t be enough.

Pad out your meal with sharing plates like the easy-popping Crispy Kurobuta Pork Fingerlings ($18) and Sayur Paku Gulai ($16)—a dish of fiddlehead ferns served on a bed of coconut-spiced gulai sauce. If you’re here with sweet tooths, try the Sugee Cake with Calamansi Drizzle and Ice Cream ($15)—which manages to do away with the starchy bite of the traditional Eurasian cake; or the Violet Oon Singapore classic Pandan Gula Melaka Cake ($13).

The drinks: The same extensive range of premium tea blends stocked at every Violet Oon Singapore, ranging from soothing raspberry teas to a more piquant mix of gula melaka and coconut. Take the opportunity to try the coffees, created using Myanmar coffee beans unique to the brand; the resultant latte is a smooth cuppa with a slight fruity aftertaste that balances out any lingering bitterness.

Why you’ll be back: Five outlets in, Violet Oon and her team still find a way to impress us with elegant, updated takes on a cuisine we think we already know. Come for the outlet-exclusive charcoal grill, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself staying for the prata—and being more than willing to pay $17 for it.