Our main purpose of coming to True Blue Cuisine today was actually to pick up their Chinese New Year goodies – specifically, the Kueh Kara Kara. I used to have this snack – a crispy snack with slightly caramel hints – back when I was young, only I never knew what it was called. We used to just refer to it as “bee hoon thing”, because of its appearance.
I haven't been able to find them for years, but as of last CNY, True Blue Cuisine has started making them for sale. Their version is even better than those I used to have before – it feels lighter and not as greasy, and the sweetness is perfect.
Since we were there, we decided to stay for lunch as well. The restaurant is located in an old Peranakan house, complete with a lovely skylight inside. Food is served on traditional crockery so delicate that I felt a bit concerned that I might break something.
We ordered the otak, ayam buah keluak, bakwan kepiting soup (pork, crab and prawn balls with bamboo shoot) and stir fried okra. In my opinion, anyone who likes ayam buah keluak will automatically say that the best version they’ve had is their grandmother’s/mother’s etc. I’m unfortunately no exception. My grandma’s buah keluak is the standard to which I compare any buah keluak dish, and more often than not they all fall short. Most places skimp on the buah keluak and it ends up tasting like a glorified assam dish.
The version here ticks all the boxes in terms of buah keluak flavour. They add lots of buah keluak to the filling within the shells, and also add it quite liberally to the gravy itself. My only comment, which is more a matter of taste than a criticism, is that it’s a tad too sour for my liking.
The soup was pretty good but again, due entirely to my personal taste, I didn’t quite like the bits of coriander that “perfumed” the soup. Fishing them out didn’t really help since the flavour had already permeated.
The otak was so so, but we both really liked the okra, which was stir fried in a really good savoury sauce with a hint of spice.
The ambience is nice and you do feel like you’re in a traditional Peranakan home. But methinks we’ll only ever come back here to pick up more of the awesome Kueh Kara Kara every CNY.
Great service. And good food I guess. But I’m not a connoisseur of Peranakan. The question really is whether it’s as good as your grandmother's.
True Blue Cuisine
49 Armenian Street
Open daily: 12 noon to 2.30 pm; 6 pm to 9.30 pm