Mother’s Day is just round the corner, and if you’re undecided about the genre of feast to reward your moms, aunts & grannies, The Peranakan is a good choice.
The one-and-only authentic Peranakan restaurant on Orchard Road, makes for a good central spot for the extended families to congregate & commune.
Unlike most parts of Asia, the Peranakans revere & hold their Matriarchs with very high regard. Mother’s Day cannot be any less befitting!
Anything & everything within the household & under the roof, is the lady’s charge. Hence, all matters are administered, instructed & supervised by the lady of the house. And the kitchen is unreservedly her realm. The recipes & processes for the very sustenance on the table; are nutritionally planned & created with elaborate & immaculate labor of love
At The Peranakan, Executive Chef Raymond Khoo is armed with volumes of generational recipes from his heritage, and he orchestrates the operations of this hybrid of a gallery & restaurant.
Perhaps, the sights & sounds would trigger your moms, aunts & grannies to share their personal testimonies of Nyonya encounters from yesteryears.
“The Peranakan Set Menu of Yesteryears” ($200 for 4pax) is assembled specifically for Mother’s Day Weekend (May 13 & 14, 2017).
Start the feast off with a choice between the Sup Bakwang Kepiting, or Itek Tim, to be served individually.
Sup Bakwang Kepiting is a savory comforting clear soup with a sweet onion aftertaste, comprising of crab-meat balls, accompanied with fine julienned bamboo shoots. Loved it
Itek Tim is otherwise known to the Hokkien/ Teochew as 咸菜鸭。The duck is boiled to a nice tender finish, and the meat comes off the bones cleanly. The soup is actually comfortably salty, i finished it to the last drop
Nasi Ulam is no stranger in the peninsular, but choice of ingredients and finishing may vary between Malaya & Indonesia. Here’s a heartthrob in literal sense. The Nasi Ulam Nonya is a concerto of fragrant spices, herbs & leaves mixed well in cooled cooked rice. I’ll be back for this, for sure!
Sambal Pisang Jantung is considered a pretty rare classic. A mash up of; cooked banana blossoms, torch ginger, shallots, belimbing, cucumber & shredded pork, topped with naked cooked prawns, surrounded with emping, served chilled on banana leaves. Take a deep breath & be smitten by the fragrance of sweet bananas.
Telur Goreng Chinchalok looks ordinary but really isn’t. The omelet already is lightly laced with chinchalok & chopped chives. Good enough to be eaten on its own. Purists would help themselves to generous helpings of the chilli, shallots & kalamansi mixed, chinchalok concoction. Shiok only!
Babi Asam is to me a very comforting & satiating dish. The choice cuts of pork belly is cubed & slow cooked in a tamarind paste, with spice & herbal fragrance. The taste is infused nicely in the juicy succulent meat. Surprise yourselves with the melt in your mouth fatty portions. Delightful!
Ayam Buah Keluak is a must have when it comes to occasions & communions. This by far, is the only dish I’ve known, that requires nearly a week to prepare. The Buah Keluak is deemed a plant type equivalent, as with fugu from the ocean. After all is said & done, the Buah Keluak blended mash is a velvety paste, tasting like truffle on raw cocoa, with a nutty fragrance. An acquired taste, and many will agree that it can be addictive
Udang Masak Nanas is also another classic that should rekindle fond memories for many. Fresh prawns slow-cooked in a caramelized pineapple juice, giving it the sweet & salty taste, served with pineapple cubes & kaffir lime leaves. Good bounce in every bite. Enjoyable
Bitter gourd Asam Busok is also another slow cooked marvel! The bitter gourd cubes are slow cooked with vegetable curry, accompanied with a section of a salted fish. As a result of this chemistry, the ingredients are softened greatly. The fish loses its saltiness, bitter gourd loses its bitterness… tastes savory with a hue of sweet aftertaste. Dunk the fried fritters like u would in Bah Kut Teh. Let it soak up the goodness, and then gobble up.
For desserts, it’s supposed to be Apom Bokwa Pisang, but the Apom Wok didn’t return in time, and so, Kueh Dadar was substituted.
Considering I’m not much of a sweet tooth person, the combination of shaved coconut with gula melaka, wrapped in soft pandan flavored crepe-like skin, drizzled with coconut cream… Was nicely balanced, and not overbearingly sweet. And I’ve reasons to believe the Apom should be just as mesmerizing.
All in all, I was fascinated with the holistic concept. The eyes were feasted with the intricate colors & motifs of antiques & wares, the ambient music of some classical Malay & Chinese tunes, and we’re all wowed by the illustrious spread.
Put it simply, if a robust bloke like me can get in touch with my artistic side in 1 seating, imagine how wide the smiles would be on your moms’, aunts’ & grannies’ faces would be?