Over the past weekend, I was invited for a High Tea session at The Peranakan Singapore. Being a Singaporean and a big history buff, I have always been intrigued about the vibrant and very unique culture of the Peranakans and was very excited to have a taste of their cuisine as Peranakans are known to be fantastic cooks and take pride in their food.
The Peranakan Chinese or also known as the Straits-born Chinese are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago – British Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) between the 15th and 17th centuries. They address themselves as Baba Nyonya. Nyonya for the women and Baba for the men. Many were the elites of Singapore who were very loyal to the British empire as they have lived for generations along the straits of Malacca, the Malayan Peninsula and Singapore. They were usually the middleman of the British, the Chinese and Malays because they were mostly English educated and had the ability to speak two or more languages.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted by very friendly staff, very colourful ambience of pastel blue, pink and minty green, peonies, splendid furnishing and cutlery all true to the Peranakan heritage.
The Perankan High Tea
Daily: 1100 -1730
Weekdays: SGD $24++
Weekends: SGD $28++ Per Pax
*Minimum 2pax to dine
Peranakan food is quite unique even to some Singaporeans so for the benefit of my foreign readers and those who aren’t familiar but would like to try, I’ve added the name of the dish and a short description for your knowledge. It’s always good to know the story behind the food you’re eating.Mee Siam – means ‘Siamese Noodles’ in Malay. It is a dish of thin rice vermicelli popular in Singapore and Malaysia and said to have originated either from the Malay or Peranakan communities but hard to discern as many Peranakan dishes are of Malay origin. As the name suggests, it is inspired or adapted from Thai flavours.
Ngoh Hiang – is a unique Hokkien and Teochew dish served in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is a composition of various meats and vegetables and other ingredients, such as a sausage-like roll consisting of minced pork and prawn seasoned with Five-Spice Powder (ngó͘-hiong-hún) which is how the dish got it’s name.
Nasi Ulam – consist of ‘cold’ rice served at room temperature made with 6 spices that is mixed with shredded herbs such as daun kaduk (wild pepper leaf), pucuk gajus (cashew leaf shoots), onions, salted fish and mackerel.
Kong Bak Pau – is a type of Chinese bun filled with pork. The name ‘Bak Pau’ originates from the Hokkien word for ‘meat bun’, though ‘meat’ in Chinese culture usually refers to pork. The meat used in this dish is grilled Pork Belly (Satay Babi Sam Cham).
Kueh Pie Tee – is a thin and crispy pastry tart filled with a mixture of turnip and prawns popular with the Peranakans.
Hae Bee Hiam Toast – is a traditional Peranakan dessert snack covered with minced prawn /prawn paste (Hae Bee Hiam) on toast.
Pulut Inti Kelapa – is a traditional Malaysian dessert of steamed glutinous rice (pulut) with a sweet coconut (kelapa) topping. However, the Peranakans love colour and zest in their lives which includes their food so food colouring is added to the pulut.
Kueh Dadar – is a popular traditional kueh (traditional snack) of sweet coconut pancake. ‘Dadar‘ literally means ‘omelette’ or ‘pancake’. The pancake usually green in colour which is acquired from Daun Suji (Pandan Leaves).
Durian Puree Toast – The Peranakans love to have their toast with durian spread! D24 durians are used to make this dessert.
Durian Pengat – which literally means ‘Durian Custard’. Mao Shan Wang durians are use to make these custards added with a little Gula Melaka.
Kueh Tair – also known as Nonya Pineapple Tarts are bite-size kueh with pineapple paste filling.
Drinks – 1 drink per pax from choice of Pot of Melaka Coffee/Tea (similar to Kopi/Teh Tarik) or Pot of Lemongrass/Pandan Tea.
Shine and myself really enjoyed the High Tea, many of which were new to him but we lapped up everything and left nothing untouched! I also liked that the timing for the High Tea was great too as it gives ample time for lazy people like us to wake up, get ready and not have to rush for the usual ‘1pm to 3pm’ slots that I’m use to.
The Peranakan High Tea is not the only set they offer. They have other speciality sets such as Gila Durian for durian lovers like myself and if you’d like to go all out Peranakan, I highly recommend Tok Panjang which I personally would love to experience too. Have a look at the menu.
An 8 Course Durian Feast with pure Malaysian Kampong, D24 and Mao Shan Wang Durians.
Price: SGD $38++
A feast laid out on long tables to accomodate the food specially prepared for important guests. Certificate will be given for the experience.
Price: SGD $45/$65 Per Pax
*One day advance order, minimum 2pax.
Eight Course Heng-Heng Degustation
A eight-course meal plated in modern European style. Menu can be tailored to suit your preference.
Price: SGD $88 Per Pax
*One day advance order, minimum 2pax.Apart from being just a restaurant, The Peranakan is also a gallery filled with authentic Peranakan antiques, pot and cutleries, trinkets, Kueh Tair, Baju, Kerongsang, Kasut Manik and even Bedak Sam Fong! You can take a look at some of the items they have on their Online Shop or better yet, come down to The Peranakan for a tentalizing meal and shopping!Craving for Peranakan High Tea? It’s centrally located and is the only Peranakan restaurant along the Orchard road belt in Singapore! No excuse not to visit *wink.Address:
The Peranakan, 442 Orchard Road, Level 2, Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879
Tel: +65 6262 4428
Open Daily: 1100 – 2200
Specially for Love Bella Vida Readers:
Quote LOVE BELLA VIDA when you order the Degustation or Tok Panjang Set and get 8 SHOTS OF SAKE @ $8.
*Call 1 day in advance for reservations. Promotion till end September.