The Peranakan at Claymore Connect is the latest in a wave of new Nyonya restaurants to hit Singapore in the past couple of years. This one’s not cheap - pitched somewhere between True Blue @ Armenian Street and hoity-toity Candlenut @ Dempsey Hill in its pricing. Still new-ish, its mall setting and somewhat shaky/inconsistent cooking did not stand it well against the other two stalwarts. Taste-wise, it did produce the requisite Nyonya flavours, but one can get such renditions (perhaps even better-tasting ones) at more reasonably-priced spots like Guan Hoe Soon @ Joo Chiat Place, PeraMakan @ Keppel Club, or Dulukala @ Beauty World Centre.
What we tried that evening:
- Kueh Pie Tee - respectable rendition. The filling - lightly stewed shredded jicama, pork & shrims - were served separately from the pie tee pastry shells, which is pretty thoughtful.
Bakwan kepiting - one of my favourite soups in the Nyonya culinary repertoire: minced pork-prawns-crabmeat balls in a tasty, peppery light consommé with shredded fresh bamboo shoots.
The version here is very good, although I’d rate it below Guan Hoe Soon and also Ivins @ Binjai Park’s renditions.
Ayam buah keluak: spicy chicken stew with “buah keluak” (Indonesian nuts with a black truffle-like flavour/fragrance) is the gold standard which most Southern Nyonya kitchens were judged by (Southern Nyonya covers Singapore and Malacca, versus Northern Nyonya centred in Penang which does not have the ayam buah keluak dish). The version here was pretty average and seemed overcooked, with messy falling-apart pieces of chicken.
Same goes for the other two dishes - the Babi Pongteh (stewed pork) and the Nyonya Chap Chye (stewed mixed vegetables), with both seemingly been cooked eons ago and rewarmed upon order. The Nyonya chap chye, especially, was a disaster - mushy vegetables do NOT make a good side-dish.
- The cendol dessert was fine, but also do not have the finesse of top versions from Malacca or Penang - very fresh coconut milk is not used in Singapore, mainly due to supply chain constraints here, as compared to Malacca and Penang, which tended to be more artisanal in their food preparation techniques.
Overall, an okay meal but at astronomical prices.
The Peranakan Restaurant Singapore
442 Orchard Road, Level 2 Claymore Connect
Tel: +65 6262 4428
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm daily.