Located at Claymore Connect along Orchard Road, The Peranakan is a restaurant which serves up not only delicious food but an opportunity to sample tradition in multiple ways.
Opened in 2015, the restaurant is beautifully decorated with an eclectic mix of sparkly chandeliers and serving plates that wouldn’t look out of place in your grandmother’s home. Fancy wallpaper and plush seats clued us in that this was not going to be the typical Peranakan meal experience.
Our drinks arrived in two tall glasses, naturally coloured with the butterfly pea flower. This instagrammable drink changed colour from deep blue to royal purple as we squeezed in the accompanying lime, a reaction to the acidity of the citrus fruit.
We tried the Tok Panjang LKY ($48 per pax), a sampler menu with a variety of The Peranakan restaurant’s signature dishes.
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The meal’s opener were individually portioned soups, Bak Wan Kepiting and Itek Tim. Unlike other versions we had tried before, The Peranakan’s Bak Wan Kepiting was clear, not cloudy; strained to remove any remnants left over from boiling bamboo shoots in the soup. The Itek Tim had a complex flavour profile, courtesy of tomatoes, sour plum and tamarind skin boiled into the soup.
Then the main event arrived. The Tok Panjang LKY was served with great fanfare on a trolley accompanied by music.
Starters included Kueh Pai Ti, Nasi Ulam and Prawn Ngoh Hiang.
The standout amongst the starters was the Nasi Ulam, a mixed herb rice dish that is getting hard to find. It was a flavourful mix of rice with julienned herbs and greens, tossed together into a cold dish. The dish takes a lot of hard work to put together but the payoff is simply delectable.
Other dishes we tried included Satay Babi, Beef Rendang, Chap Chye and Ikan Goreng stuffed with sambal and kichap manis.
Another standout was the Ayam Buah Keluak, a quintessential Peranakan dish. At The Peranakan, the shell of the titular nut is stuffed solely with nut filling, unlike other restaurants where the filling is made up of the nut mixed with either pork or chicken meat. The reason why the nut is usually mixed with meat is because it takes the contents of two nuts to fill up a single shell. But at The Peranakan, they chose not to skimp on this and the result is a in a buah keluak stuffing that can be described as having a rich, complex, dark chocolate-like flavour and is best savoured with white rice.
Just when we thought we had our fill, dessert came served on another tray. The Chef’s Dessert Platter featured an assortment of sweet glutenous rice and durian treats. Cups of hot Lemongrass Pandan tea helped to complete the feast.
The food at The Peranakan tastes like good home cooking – amped up a notch. Together with the restaurant’s beautiful décor, a visit to The Peranakan feels like an experience in itself.
For those who want to extend the experience, The Peranakan also has a retail shop and an gallery, providing multiple ways to appreciate this unique, Southeast Asian culture that we should all be proud of.
The Peranakan Restaurant
Where: Level 2, Claymore Connect Mall, 442 Orchard Road Singapore 238879