Sunday, October 23, 2016

[Media Invite] The Peranakan Restaurant @ Orchard Hotel, Claymore Connect

The Peranakan is an authentic Straits cuisine restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Raymond Khoo. He brings to the table years of culinary experience and an arsenal of family recipes accumulated from three generations. Many of the dishes are labour intensive with complex preparation and requires long hours of cooking.  Lucky for us diners, we can skip all of those and just sit back, relax and enjoy Peranakan food at the restaurant with our loved ones.

Location: Claymore Connect is within walking distance of Delphi and Forum Shopping Mall. Was invited by Hence to join him and fellow foodies (Elle, Ivan and Justin) for a tasting session at The Peranakan.

Claymore Connect
The restaurant is interesting. Brightly lit by the many chandeliers, and at every nook and corner, there was always something that catches the eye. Porcelain items, beautifully crafted screens, tiffin carriers and even baju kebaya. It was like a treasure trove!

The Drink

Soursop/Passionfruit with biji selaseh @$8++
Had a glass of soursop passionfruit with basil seeds drink. Served in a tall glass and was a rather nice thirst quencher. Just that often times, the soursop fruit got stuck on the straw.

While waiting for the food to be served, one could munch on the complimentary prawn rolls. Yup, those tiny popiah looking that has hae bee hiam (fried dried shrimp sambal) inside. These were rather spicy and quite addictive too.

prawn rolls

The Food

For soups, what are the first things that came to mind? Yes, you are right. That'll be Itek Tim and Sup Bakwan Kepiting. The version at The Peranakan has a mellow and mild taste. The kiam chye (preserved vege) and duck taste was rather subtle.

Itek Tim @$9++
Thought it was pretty interesting to see in the menu that one could add sea cucumber to the soups by topping up extra $9++.

Sup Bakwan Kepiting @$9++

For appetisers, we tried the Prawn Ngoh Hiang. A rather more'ish meat roll that was fried to a deep brown and then cut. Served with homemade chili cuka (vinegar chili) and sweet sauce. The ngoh hiang has minced pork, prawn and chestnuts in it.

Prawn Ngoh Hiang @$15++
Liked it when all the dishes were brought out at the same time and quickly filled up our round table.

just missing a few more dishes

Suggest to skip the white rice and order their Nasi Ulam Istimewa. Loosely translated as Special Raw Herb Rice. This was a plate of refreshing zesty carbs. Consisting of  raw herbs, vegetables, minced fish and salted fish. Enjoyed this quite a bit. Sedap!

Nasi Ulam Istimewa @$17++
Every Peranakan meal would not be complete if these were not ordered. Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye and Babi Pongteh. Do you agree?

Ayam Buah Keluak @$22++
Nonya Chap Chye @$15++
Kaki Babi Pong Teh @$19++

The buah keluak is a curious thing. According to wiki, the fresh buah keluak contains hydrogen cyanide and is poisonous if consumed without prior preparation. Since this seed is essential in the ayam buah keluak dish, then extra care and meticulous preparations are required before the fruit/nut is edible. Is this the 'fugu' of the plants?

The Ayam Buah Keluak dish at The Peranakan differs from others as one buah keluak here actually contained two portions. A quaint tiny spoon is provided to dig into the nut. Tried a bit of this and found it smooth. It is still an acquired taste and so I will just enjoy the meaty chicken thigh and the excellent thick sauce.

Sotong Masak Asam @$19++

The Sotong Masak Asam is a dish of squid cooked in tamarind, palm sugar and starfruit. Not as sourish as it sounds. In fact, it was more on the sweeter side.

Satay Babi Sum Chan @$19++

As you may have read at other blogs' reviews, there's nothing remotely 'satay' about the Satay Babi Sum Chan (三辰) dish. No peanut sauce, no skewers, nope so don't go asking for satay sticks nor was the meat grilled. This dish was of pork belly rendered down till the fats melted into the sauce for an overall slightly sweet meat'ish taste. The sauce was flavourful and I'd drizzled lots of it onto my plate of steamed rice. Yums.

In comparison of the two pork dishes, I preferred the Kaki Babi Pong Teh. Cooked for hours, the pork trotters were tender enough but not till the meat falls off the bones.

All meat and no vege? There was. The second vegetable dish was the steamed ladies fingers topped with sliced onions, and chincalok. Simple dish but so good to eat. Feels like home.

Bendeh @$12+

Save some space for desserts

Oh boy. When we said we'll have coffee and dessert, we didn't expect another mini feast. But glad that we did. Loved the Pulot Enti Kelapa and the Pandan Chiffon Cake with Gula Melaka and Durian. Recommend the Pot of Malacca Milk Tea too.

Pot of Malacca Kopi-O (served with kueh bahulu) @$6.50++
sugar, condensed milk or evaporated milk?
Pulot Enti Hae Bee @$6.50++
Pulot Enti Durian @$6.50++ 
Pulot Enti Kelapa @$5++

Make sure you try the Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian. Chef had removed the fibre from the durian, so one gets a fragrant smooth sauce. The hot lemongrass tea is also a good option for those who like to have a not so sweet drink paired with the desserts.

Pandan Gula Melaka Cake @$6.50++
Pandan Gula Melaka Cake with Durian @$8++

Also worth mentioning is the Pineapple Tart. Buttery and with just the right sweetness of the fruit.

The Peranakan Restaurant also offers Peranakan High Tea from 11am to 530pm daily @$24++ and @$28++ per pax on weekdays and weekends. If you'd like to experience a Tok Panjang feast, simply order a day in advance so that Chef and his crew can prepare the ingredients prior to your visit. Tok Panjang is available @$45++ and @$65++ per pax. Both the High Tea and Tok Panjang requires a minimum of 2 pax dining. An 8-course degustation menu is available @$88++ per pax.

You may also let Chef Raymond decides on the menu via the Chef's Table experience. The Chef's Table seats 8 and requires 3-days advance booking notice. Yes, pretty much omakase-style of dining and its price of $288++ per pax is inclusive of wine and sake pairing.

Thank you Chef Raymond and his team at The Peranakan for their warm hospitality and Hence for the invite.


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