The Peranakan Restaurant Tasting Session 2016

The Peranakan Restaurant Tasting Session 2016
442 Orchard Road
#02-01 Claymore Connect

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am - 10pm

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from Chubby Botak Koala, Purple Taste, Justin Teo Living Loving You, and The Arctic Star.

Peranakan Meal
Peranakan Meal

Delicious Peranakan Cuisine, Gorgeous Setting

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 9
Ambience & Setting: 10
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 9
Spent about SGD $28 per person.


Founded by Executive Chef Raymond Khoo in May 2016, The Peranakan Restaurant serves authentic, pain-stakingly handmade Peranakan dishes, made using his family's recipes, in an opulent setting. Having helmed several acclaimed restaurants over his 30 year career, Executive Chef Raymond Khoo was egged on by his family to come out of retirement, to start a Straits Chinese cuisine restaurant with the traditions handed down through 3 generations of Nonyas and Babas.

The Peranakan Restaurant Signage
The Peranakan Restaurant Signage

The Peranakan Restaurant Exterior

The Peranakan Restaurant Interior

Ambience at The Peranakan Restaurant is opulent, exuding an elegant sophistication. The brightly lit, spacious seating area is lovingly adorned with touches of Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya decor, including floral print wallpaper, vases, pots, tiffin carriers, and sturdy marble topped tables and black wooden chairs. So many chandeliers hang overhead, while batik print cushions line the comfortable booths. Simply jaw-dropping and stunning in looks, a precursor to the bold flavours of the dishes!


Peranakan Decor
Peranakan Decor

Baba-Nyonya Pots & Vases
Baba-Nyonya Pots & Vases

Ornate Peacocks

Service at The Peranakan Restaurant is friendly, professional, and courteous. Staff are quick to greet and seat guests, and will move around to observe if guests need assistance. I note they're familiar with the menu and dishes, able to share brief descriptions, but nothing beats having Chef host you, and share the history of his family recipes. Staff attend to requests quickly, and are efficient are clearing away empty / dirty plates or tables. An above average restaurant style service, befitting of the hospitality of the Peranakans.

Private Area






Food at The Peranakan Restaurant is distinctly Straits Chinese cuisine, done according to traditional Peranakan / Baba-Nyonya recipes of Chef's family. Everything is pain-stakingly handmade here, and the time consuming effort to produce each dish is astounding, a testament to its traditional roots. Each heritage dish we tried was delicious, bold in flavour and really tasty. Portions are designed for communal dining of at least 3 - 4 people, remaining true to the kampong spirit of old. Prices are very affordable for the portion, quality of food, and effort to produce each dish. Budget about SGD $28 per person for a full meal here.

The Peranakan Restaurant Menu


A sign of good Peranakan cuisine is the home made Sambal Belacan. I'm glad to say the version here scores well, having a robust savoury shrimp flavour with a sharp fiery spicy kick. Shiok!

Sambal Belacan

The Soursop With Biji Selasih / Basil Seeds (SGD $8) is refreshing, with notes of sour sweet. I like the generous portion of soursop fruit within, making this suitable as a dessert drink as well. The fruity sweet taste is well balanced, not overly sweet, and it's refreshing taste goes well with most of the bold flavours here.

Soursop With Biji Selasih / Basil Seeds (SGD $8)

The Refreshing Kumquat With Biji Selasih / Basil Seeds (SGD $6.50) lives up to its name, being a zesty tangy sweet refreshing beverage. Like drinking orange juice, but not as sweet, and with hints of tangy sour that cleanses the palate.

Refreshing Kumquat With Biji Selasih / Basil Seeds (SGD $6.50)

The Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls (SGD $Complimentary) are served in little woven baskets that are so pretty! The rolls itself are a fantastic snack, extremely crisp on the outside, with a robust savoury shrimp flavour inside. Incredibly addictive, we couldn't stop eating this. Glad to know that Chef will be selling this during festive periods!

Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls (SGD $Complimentary)

Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls

Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls

Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls

Hae Bee Hiam Rolls / Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls

The Steamed Fragrant White Rice (SGD $2) is fluffy and warm. This is free-flow here!

Steamed Fragrant White Rice (SGD $2)

The Nasi Ulam Istimewa (SGD $17) is outstanding, among the better versions I've had. Possibly the best item I had here, this spectacular dish features white rice with 6 raw herbs, vegetables (pegagan / centella, daun kaduk / wild pepper leaf, onions, pucuk gajus / cashew leaf shoots, kerisik / toasted grated coconut), minced threadfin fish, and salted threadfin fish, giving it a herbal savoury salty earthy flavour. Served at room temperature, the 6 herbs used within are julienned no longer than 30 minutes before it's served. Chef says the timing is precise because the herbs will oxidise after 30 minutes, so eating it quickly is optimum. Lovely and delicious. Highly recommended!

Nasi Ulam Istimewa (SGD $17)

Nasi Ulam Istimewa

Done according to a traditional family recipe, the Nonya Chap Chye (SGD $15) here stands out for its soft but not mushy vegetables, and robust flavourful gravy. The combination of cabbage, garlic, tofu beancurd skin, vermicelli noodles, black fungus / wood ear fungus, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots is properly tender, savoury earthy sweet in taste. The delicious gravy has dried shrimp, pork, oyster sauce, and lily buds. Excellent vegetable stew, among the better Peranakan versions I've had.

Nonya Chap Chye (SGD $15)

Nonya Chap Chye

The delicious Sotong Masak Asam (SGD $19) features fresh, large, bouncy rings of squid, cooked in tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, and buah belimbing / starfruit. Lovely smoky aroma, with a sweet sour tangy zesty flavour. Addictive and unstoppable, I just kept eating this. Good!

Sotong Masak Asam (SGD $19)

Sotong Masak Asam

The time consuming preparation for the Ayam Buah Keluak (SGD $22) takes a whole 5 days! A true blue baba-nyonya dish, handed down from Chef's grandmother. Tender, savoury sweet, moist chunks of slow stewed chicken, along with large, earthy, meaty buah keluak / pangium edule seeds. The major difference here is that the nutty earthy seeds are scooped out, blended into a delicious paste, then stuffed back within the shells. Each seeds contains 2 servings, and the taste is best described as the Asian style truffle. Deep robust flavour, like dark bitter chocolate and black truffles, heavenly.

Ayam Buah Keluak (SGD $22)

Ayam Buah Keluak

The Kaki Babi Pong Teh (SGD $19) features chunks of pork leg, slow cooked for hours till it becomes soft and tender, with a hearty gravy of pork au jus, onions, carrots, and fermented soybeans. Deeply savoury with a light sweet taste, this pairs so well with rice. I note that the pork leg meat itself seems to have lost some of its flavour to the gravy though. Pretty good dish, hearty and comforting.

Kaki Babi Pong Teh (SGD $19)

Kaki Babi Pong Teh

The Bendeh / Okra / Lady's Finger With Chinchalok (SGD $12) is a simple, straight forward dish where the okra / lady's finger is steamed, locking in the natural juice and keeping the fresh crunchy texture. Garnished with a delicious chinchalok, a traditional Peranakan sauce of fermented shrimp, onions, lime juice, and chili. The most outstanding component here was naturally the home made chinchalok, being zesty tangy sour sharp all at once, very refreshing. I wish I had bottles of this to garnish the other dishes too!

Bendeh / Okra / Lady's Finger With Chinchalok (SGD $12)

Bendeh / Okra / Lady's Finger With Chinchalok

The Ngoh Hiang Prawn (SGD $15) are mouthwatering rolls of minced pork meat, shrimp / prawn, and diced water chestnuts, lovingly hand made. The large size of the rolls keeps it moist and tender. Deep fried and served with a sticky sweet sauce and a fiery chili sauce on the side, this yummy appetizer disappeared all too quickly. So good!

Ngoh Hiang Prawn (SGD $15)

Ngoh Hiang Prawn

Despite the name, the Satay Babi Sum Chan (SGD $19) is not served on skewers, rather, this is a unique Peranakan dish that stands on its own. Fatty pork belly, rubbed with salt and slow cooked for nearly 4 hours, served in a savoury nutty gravy that has a pronounced sweetness. The fat has rendered into the gravy, making it rich, thick, and utterly decadent. Notes of lemongrass and coconut complete this flavourful dish. Due to the effort, the portion size is rather small, making this dish rather expensive compared to the rest.

Satay Babi Sum Chan (SGD $19)

Satay Babi Sum Chan

The Sup Bakwan Kepiting (SGD $9) is a soup / broth of crab meat and pork, served with bamboo shoots and meatballs made with minced pork and shrimp / prawn. Taste was rather light though, I would have liked it to have a deeper, more sweet savoury flavour. The meatballs are pretty good, moist and tender with good flavour. Each order serves 1 - 2 people at most.

Sup Bakwan Kepiting (SGD $9)

Sup Bakwan Kepiting

The Itek Tim (SGD $9) is a robust soup of duck leg, steamed till tender, along with kiam chye / pickled mustard greens, and sour plums. Highly sour zesty salty savoury in taste, and rather addictive, makes you crave more. I detect a slight disjoint in flavour though, can't taste the duck flavour through the soup / broth. Still, this remains a pleasing, comforting dish to open the appetite.

Itek Tim (SGD $9)

Itek Tim

The Pandan Gula Melaka Cake (SGD $6.50) is decent, with a soft texture that borders between moist and dry. I find it helps to eat it quickly, as it tends to go dense the longer it's exposed to air. The home baked cake is fragrant with pandan / screwpine leaf flavour, and the gula melaka / palm sugar lends a floral sweetness. Best shared.

Pandan Gula Melaka Cake (SGD $6.50)

Pandan Gula Melaka Cake

By contrast, the Pandan Gula Melaka Cake With Durian (SGD $8) was easily the best dessert of the evening. The thick, rich, creamy texture of the blended durian paste helps to lock in the moisture of the pandan / screwpine leaf cake, and lends a fruity sweetness to complement the sweet flavour from the gula melaka / palm sugar. Fantastic and tasty on multiple level, totally unstoppable. Will return again just for this.

Pandan Gula Melaka Cake With Durian (SGD $8)

Pandan Gula Melaka Cake With Durian

The Pulot Enti Kelapa (SGD $5) is a traditional Peranakan dessert, featuring sticky glutinous rice stained a gorgeous blue using bunga telang / clitoria ternatea / butterfly pea flowers, garnished with a sweet topping of gula melaka / palm sugar infused, dessicated shredded coconut. Earthy sweet in taste, this is rather filling. Good!

Pulot Enti Kelapa (SGD $5)

Pulot Enti Kelapa

The Pulot Enti Hae Bee Hiam (SGD $6.50) retains the same beautiful blue glutinous rice, but swaps out the garnish for hae bee hiam / spicy dried shrimp flakes instead. This makes the overall dessert take on a savoury instead of sweet flavour. If paired with other desserts, it's recommended to eat this strongly savoury dessert first.

Pulot Enti Hae Bee Hiam (SGD $6.50)

Pulot Enti Hae Bee Hiam

The fruity variation of Pulot Enti Durian (SGD $6.50) features the same beautiful blue glutinous rice, but is topped with a creamy blended durian paste instead. Fruity sweet, rich and lovely in taste.

Pulot Enti Durian (SGD $6.50)

Pulot Enti Durian

These home made Pineapple Tart (SGD $18 for Box of 16 Tarts) are not on the menu yet, but Chef is planning to sell it during festive periods. What I like about these pineapple tarts is the fruity taste that isn't too sweet or cloying, being nicely balanced. The crust is properly buttery and crumbly, while the filling is thick with a soft fruity chew. Good!

Pineapple Tart (SGD $18 for Box of 16 Tarts)

Pineapple Tart

The Pot Of Malacca Milk Tea With Kuih Bahulu (SGD $6.50) is freaking good! The kuih bahulu / Asian Madeleine has a crisp exterior, and a soft fluffy airy interior, making it well suited for dunking. But the highlight was the milk tea. Initially, I was like, how good can Malacca milk tea be? Then I drank this, and it was so good. Think the key here is the ratio of milk to tea, seeming like those you get in Hong Kong. Great!

Pot Of Malacca Milk Tea With Kuih Bahulu (SGD $6.50)

Pot Of Malacca Milk Tea With Kuih Bahulu

Pot Of Malacca Milk Tea With Kuih Bahulu

We absolutely loved our dining experience at The Peranakan Restaurant, so much so that we've already made plans to return. The awe-inspiring ambience, professional service, and tasty traditional Peranakan / Baba-Nyonya food, all combine to make a memorable meal. They've got a good thing going here, and I highly recommend visiting The Peranakan Restaurant.


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