A taste of Peranakan

I never knew much about the Peranakan until the 2008 drama hit “The Little Nonya”. Other than the pretty Kebaya, it is the food that interest me the most. The spices used during the preparation of food brings out a unique taste to this cuisine. 

For the younger generations of Singaporeans who are into fast food and cafe, they are probably not familiar to this cuisine. So today, let us introduce you to 5 places to have a taste of Peranakan. 

  1. Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe

This is a place where you can try a variety of authentic Peranakan fares without breaking your bank. For an affordable $19.80++ during their weekday lunch buffet, be prepared to feast on their, Nonya Laska, Nonya Chap Chye, Ayam Bua Keluak and Beef Rendang. That’s just to name a few! The fun part about this place is that they have multiple DIY food station which you can prepare the dishes according to your personal preference. Imagine lots of youtiao in your jack and 2 fatty slices of pork in your kong bak pau. Yum Yum.  At Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe, the dessert is as good as the mains. So do leave some space for some Nonya keuhs towards the end of your meal!

(Image credit: Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe Website)

Location: 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace #06-21 Singapore 119620

       2. Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant

Established since 1953, this place is still standing strong and serving authentic Peranakan cuisine until today. Talk about experience huh! This Zi Char concept restaurant also serves Chinese food. For first timer here, don’t worry about ordering the wrong dish because they won’t disappoint. But 1 thing not to miss is their chendol which have a very rich gula melaka taste. Oh, and before you go, do note that the focus on this place is really on their food. So expect too much for the atmosphere and services.

Related image
(Image credit: Hungry  Onion)

Location: 40 Joo Chiat Pl, Singapore 427764

       3. Tingkat PeraMakan

If you can only choose 1 dish, GO FOR THEIR RENDANGS!!! Whether is it beef or lamb rendang, they are equally tender. Both dishes are served in a bowl of fragrant curry which you can go along with a bowl of rice. That itself would be sufficient for you to make a trip down. At Tingkat PeraMakan, set menus are offered so you can pair your mains with some sides, a drink and a dessert at a price of $10 – $15.

Image may contain: food
(Image credit: Tingkat PeraMakan Facebook Page)

Location: Multiple Locations, check out their Facebook Page!

       4. Tingkat PeraMakan

This is for all the working adults near Raffles Quay! It is great for a quick lunch or if you do not want to jostle with the lunch crowd, simple just pack a bento back to the office.  Each bento set comes with a packet of fish cracker and a bottle of lime juice. In the bento, you will find a fixed side of nyonya mixed vegetable stew, a sambal egg and your choice of protein. The Peranakan fares served here taste just like mum’s cooking. Pssssh, they take in catering orders for your company’s event too! 

Image may contain: food

Location: 16 Raffles Quay, #B1-49 Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581

       5. Tok Panjang Nonya Cafe

This name rang a bell when I was finding places to have some Peranakan meal. Only realised that I was the one who help took the photos for their food menu some time back. Not only did I took the photos, I also got to try all their dishes. This small eatery serves inexpensive quality Peranakan food. For just $4.50 you will be able to get a fulfilling main. Th owner here is friendly and are always offering samples of kueh to their customer.  Remember to get your hands on a pack of kueh here for your family if you ever come by. 

Location: B1-52C, Bukit Timah Plaza Singapore 588996