With over 30 years of culinary experience, executive chef Raymond Khoo opened his 22nd restaurant, The Peranakan restaurant, at Claymore Connect, level two of Orchard Hotel.
It is rare to find Peranakan restaurants in Singapore, especially a good one, given that some may have tweaked the recipe to suit modern taste buds or simply not that authentic afterall.
That aside, I am really glad to have a chance to dine at The Peranakan. Perhaps it’s time to try out the straits cuisine based on passed down Peranakan recipes from three generations!
The restaurant assumes a bold and striking appearance with elaborate chandeliers hanging from ceilings, customised mirrors framing the corners and floral wallpaper plastered on walls. Taking after the houses lived by rich merchants in Melaka from the olden days, chef Raymond draws inspiration from there and infused the idea into the decor of the restaurant. It is very grand-looking.
As we visited during the Chinese New Year period as well, the restaurant was completed with decors such as red lanterns and Pussy willows.
Prosperity Peranakan Yee Sang here is nothing short of splendid. A beautiful presentation where two roosters sit atop a mounted stand, flanked by salmon slices, homemade crunchy keropok and chunks of pomelo amidst other ingredients. The sweet tangy sauce poured in, held up everything in texture and flavour as we made our toss!
The Prosperity Peranakan Yee Sang is priced as followed:
Small with salmon (2-5 pax): $38.80, $68.80 (w/ abalone)
Large with salmon (6-10 pax): $68.80, $128.80 (w/ abalone)
Small with abalone: $88.80
Large with abalone: $168.80
At the start of our meal, we were served some Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls in little woven baskets.
The snacks were very crispy and the dried shrimp (hae bee hiam) to skin ratio was just nice. Tried it with some of their in house Sambal Belachan that was spicy with kick and formed a tingling feeling on the tongue. You can even purchase a bottle of sambal belachan at $15 for 350 grams!
I love Chap Chye which is a dish slightly different from the usual Chinese cuisine where vegetables remained firm and crunchy. The highlights of the Nonya Chap Chye $15 were in the soft textures of the vegetables and flavoursome prawn broth. Comprised of essential ingredients such as cabbage, mushrooms, black fungus and vermicelli, Chap Chye can be a very tasty mixed vegetable stew if done right. And this dish had just hit the right buttons.
My favourite has to be the Satay Babi Sum Cham $19, a Peranakan version of satay without the need for skewers nor peanuts. What’s enjoyable was the thick robust gravy and very tender pork that had been slow cooked for hours.
The Kuah Lada Ikan $19 is another must-try, featuring stingray cooked in pepper, spices and fresh coconut cream. The peppery gravy coated the fish perfectly whereby each bite of the meat was rewarded with intricate flavours. It was a well balanced dish without overpowering the taste of the fish itself.
For those who like chicken, the Ayam Buah Keluak $22 will be an interesting one to have on the table. Coined as a true blue Peranakan dish, you can experience a myriad of flavours all at once. At first mouthful, I could taste the earthy and nuttiness of the sauce, followed by a wave of sweetness due to the inclusion of fresh coriander and palm sugar in the dish. While it might appear dry, the chicken chunks were surprisingly moist and tender, pairing well with the thin layer of the sauce coated on them.
Ever been served a plate of cold rice before? The Nasi Ulam Istimewa $17 caught us there with the impressive aroma. Made of 6 types of raw herbs, vegetables, minced fish and salted fish, eating rice is no longer boring with the strong fragrance filling up my nostrils as I ate spoonful after spoonful. Definitely something worth ordering!
Prawn Ngoh Hiang $15 had me sold with the generous fillings of minced pork, water chestnut and prawns. The beancurd skin that wrapped around it was perfectly fried to a crisp, not oily nor turning soggy even after leaving it aside for a while.
Desserts from The Peranakan were outstanding as well.
The Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian $8 is making me salivate while I type this. Served with two fluffy chiffon cake topped with a luxuriously smooth durian puree, the combination was heavenly. As for the durian, it was creamy and made using Malaysian XO durian. The durian flesh was further blended to remove the fibres, hence achieving a smooth consistency.
The next three desserts we had consisted of Pulot Enti (glutinous rice) topped with Durian $6.50, Hae Bee Hiam (upon request) $6.50 and Kelapa (coconut) $5. If you are wondering, the blueness of the glutinous rice actually comes from the blue pea flower.
I totally adored these appetising desserts with such vibrant colours. Taste-wise, each bowl had their own distinct taste. The Pulot Enti Durian was a play in the mouth with its contrasting textures of smoothness over stickiness.
The Pulot Enti Hae Bee Hiam added a new level of spice to the overall taste whereas the coconut in the Pulot Enti Kelapa rounded up the meal with a sweet ending.
It was an enjoyable dining experience at The Peranakan. Surely the breathtaking ambience with fabulous food and service is bound to have me running back to relieve those moments again!
442 Orchard Road, Level 2 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6262 4428
Daily 11AM -10PM