There seems to be a dearth of eating places at the Esplanade where you can grab a quick bite (not counting Glutton’s Bay which yes, is a hawker centre but queues are long and the walk there and back alone will take about 15 minutes in all). We were here at about 7 pm on Thursday evening and needed some place to have dinner before watching an 8 pm show. Our initial plans to grab some quick conveyor belt sushi from Ichiban Boshi were shot down when the waiting time for a table was 15 to 20 minutes.
Everywhere else – Harry’s, Al Dente, Via Mar, My Humble House – all seemed to require quite a dining production, so in desperation after spending 5 minutes walking around we decided to try Simply Peranakan, opposite Ichiban Boshi.
As far as peranakan food goes, this is really quite ordinary. The only thing that was good was the poppadum that they served at the start, which tasted really good dipped into their sambal belacan. We ordered a nonya chap chye, an assam pork and a piece of otah.
The chap chye was more like the cabbage served at economy food stalls than anything particularly peranakan. My grandma’s chap chye is far superior, but then again, I think everyone’s favourite peranakan food is their mother’s/grandmother’s. The assam pork was also quite bland; it could’ve been spicier. But at least the meat was pretty tender. I quite liked the otah because there were discernable flakes of fish, rather than just a processed puree, but that quality was the precise reason why A didn’t like it.
Oh well, we came here with our eyes open, and if you need a quick place for dinner before a show at Esplanade, you can’t go too far wrong here. Food came very fast, but unfortunately they were let down by the payment system. I guess everyone else was also catching the 8 pm We Will Rock You, because we waited ages for the bill and for our credit card to be processed.
Considering the restaurant was a tad understaffed, I think they performed brilliantly. Food is merely passable though. The best dish was actually the achar amuse bouche.
Simply Peranakan Cuisine
#02-12 Esplanade Mall
Opening hours: 11 am – 3 pm; 5 – 10 pm