My problem with Peranakan food is that while I do love it and it evokes all sorts of fond childhood foodie memories, that’s precisely why almost every Peranakan restaurant I’ve been to has fallen short of my grandmother’s home cooking. Apart from Baba King, I’m hard pressed to find Buah Keluak chicken that comes anywhere close to the one that my grandmother makes.
It was no different at Peramakan, which used to be at Joo Chiat but has not so recently relocated to Keppel Club. The standard of food was high, but my rather unfair take on it is simply that it’s not my grandmother’s. The Bakwan Kepiting soup – meat balls with crab meat and bamboo shoot – was good but the stock wasn’t quite as full-bodied as I’d have liked, and the meat balls were slightly overworked and hence a bit dry.
The Ayam Klio – coconut chicken curry – was good, but I would have preferred it a little spicier, and the braised pork ribs tasted just like Babi Pongteh, which was surprising since there already is a Babi Pongteh on the menu.
The Cincalok Omelette was surprisingly a hit. The cincalok didn’t overwhelm the dish, and it paired very nicely with their in-house belacan. I quite liked their home-made seafood Otak as well, with some very fresh prawns and squid going into the mix.
Desserts were very interesting, and tipped us over the edge because of their richness. The Bubor Cha Cha was good but a tad sweet. We ordered some pandan pancake with kaya, and another pancake with a rich gula melaka and banana sauce – almost like a butterscotch. The banana one is apparently quite a rarity in Singapore these days, because most places don’t make it any more.
By the way, this place may be located at Keppel Club but it’s still open to the public. It’s situated where La Vela used to be.
Not bad, but I think I’d rather have a good nasi padang.
Level 3, Keppel Club
10 Bukit Chermin Road
Lunch: 11 am to 3 pm
Dinner: 6 pm to 10 pm