What makes Singapore’s culinary landscape a peerless one is how it truly is a melting pot of literal flavours. As the home to a complex medley of cultures and heritage, this confluence brings forth a myriad of cuisines, each brimming with its own distinct palette of tastes and colours.
Beneath the veil cast by the dominant cuisines of major ethnic groups, there still exists multiple unique culinary heritages awaiting our discovery. Of this collective, one of the more prominent marginal ethnic groups is the Peranakan. With a lineage descended from a blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian backgrounds, many have since been assimilated into the broader Chinese or Malay ethnic groups.
Despite this dilution of cultural identity, an enduring aspect of their history is their inimitable cuisine. Renowned for having bright, vibrant flavours that are familiar yet fresh, these dishes and the equally rich history behind them have seen a recent resurgence in the local gastronomical scene.
From gourmet Michelin-starred restaurants to humble family-owned eateries, here is a collection of 18 places where you can sample a flavourful slice of Singapore’s Peranakan food heritage.
The sister restaurant of The Coconut Club, Belimbing Superstar, has suddenly announced a ceasing of operations after a mere five months of opening. The news was conveyed through an official Facebook post on 21st January 2020, without any reason provided for the abrupt closure.
This news follows the recent passing of the company’s co-founder, Mr. Lee Eng Su, in September the last year. He passed on three weeks after Belimbing Superstar opened along Ann Siang Hill in August, but the Peranakan eatery still continued to operate afterward.
If you’ve never been to Katong in Singapore, perhaps it’s time to take a trip down to the well-known Peranakan enclave in the East. Contrary to popular belief, it has a lot more than just laksa.
Although Katong has now evolved into a more modern residential and commercial area, the district is still full of Peranakan influences which can be seen in its architecture as well as the food offerings available.
Boasting high ceilings, a bigger space and decked out in Peranakan-inspired tiles and furnishings, one-Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant Candlenut offers an Omakase menu—which they cheekily call ‘Ahmakase’.
The restaurant has a different, somewhat contemporary approach towards Peranakan cuisine, delving away from traditional methods.
Boasting a wider array of dishes (ranging between S$20 – S$30 each), we got to try a good many dishes, with our favourites being the Blue Swimmer Crab Curry, Turmeric, Galangal, Kaffir Lime Leaf and Westholme Wagyu Beef Rib Rendang, Serunding, Turmeric Leaf.