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Peranakan

Peranakan

Featuring Candlenut, The Peranakan, NUDE Seafood, Song Garden
Justin Teo
Justin Teo
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I've always been a fan of Candlenut, and it's the place I always recommend my overseas friends to include in their list of fine dining restaurants, in order to taste a slice of Singapore that's very rare outside of Southeast Asia. And Peranakan food's unique blend of Chinese, Malay and other Southeast Asian flavours exactly reflects the cultures we have in Singapore.
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The rendang we have at Candlenut was very fragrant and lemak with strong emphasis on coconut milk. It's actually not too spicy and it's mildly sweet. And using Westholme @true_westholme, they've melded the wagyu's natural juices into the rendang, and all oil in the dish came from the wagyu's natural fats. This smooth rendang goes really well with the tender beef, so melty that they just fuse as one.
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It's extremely addictive when taken with rice. I speak from my own experience, because I was crazy full even before I had this, but I still ate lots of rice with this dish.
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[Hosted]

Each of the courses in this degustation are beautifully plated, and they're individually plated for each diner. Suits corporate dining for sure, or to entertain guests using local food in a more formal setting.
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To me this nasi ulam is outstanding, although I know cold rice isn't for everyone. Six herbs are used here, and they oxidize when exposed to heat. Rice at room temperature are therefore used to optimize the herb flavours here, resulting in an earthly herbal savoury taste.
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That buah keluak was really smooth too. To me it felt like I'm eating chocolate 😋
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Taken during a tasting.

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The eight course degustation at The Peranakan starts with this kueh pie tie already assembled. Just top it off with the prawn, your desired amount of chilli/sweet sauce, and eat it gracefully! Neat.
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Taken during a tasting.

This takes place at Royale Restaurant decked in baroque style furnishings and a stunning black marble floor. Four of us were seated in cushy and intimate booth seats, upholstered in off-white leather accented by gold studs.
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At this Peranakan buffet, you can expect salted veg duck soup, babi pongteh, itek sio, pandan chicken, satay, and really good *dry mee siam*. We all loved the durian desserts too, such as durian pillow, durian swiss roll, durian mousse cake and durian puffs.
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This Peranakan buffet is only available during dinners on Fridays and Saturdays till end of June. This photo is taken during a tasting.

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When entertaining overseas business guests, I prefer to bring them to eat our local food at a more posh and comfy setting. The Peranakan would be suitable to host corporate or business lunches, since each course in this degustation are beautifully and individually plated for each diner.
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Pictured: Model Janice Fion having chap chye with ngoh hiang on the side, taken during a tasting.

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This is the photo of all the durian desserts we had that evening - durian pengat, durian on toasts, durian with sticky rice, pandan chiffon with durian, pulot enti durian, which ended with a durian chendol.
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The order was well thought out, starting with the lighter durians such as D24 and XO and ending with the Mao Shan Wang, suitably spaced out by an intermezzo snack and pandan tea to cleanse the palate between each course.
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This is taken during a tasting.

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This is a high tea for a change. Instead of the typical scones and assortment of cakes and sweets, this high tea set came with 12 peranakan favorites and a cup of tea or coffee.
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My favourite here would be the mee siam that was so thick and flavorful. Other items in our high tea includes nasi ulam, ngor hiang, satay babi, haybee hiam toast, kueh pie tee, goreng pisang, kueh kosui, pineapple tart, durian paste with toast, love letters, pulu inti durian and pulu inti kelapa, but items may differ, you may even make a request for certain items. And a tip... Get the milk tea, it was soooo fragrant.
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I took this photo during an invited tasting

This is the most refreshing yusheng I've had, with hints of lemongrass and kaffir lime. This Peranakan version of Yusheng uses 25 herbs, much like the ones used in the labour intensive nasi ulam. Besides the popular keropok used during the "遍地黄金" segment, they also included house made prawn crackers. I enjoyed this and went for three servings.
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This is the larger portion that feeds 6 to 10 person. A smaller version of this is available at $38, while the abalone version is at $88/$128.
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Credits: I took this photo during a tasting.

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This was the best dish of the evening. Can you imagine how tender and silky this is when you grill a sashimi grade swordfish which was sliced from the oily belly?
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It was refreshing with the pickled apple and candy beetroot crudite with some nuttiness from shaved macadamia, but I was absolutely in love with the creamy, warm and smooth buah keluah velouté. The boss saw how much I love it and gave me a small bowl full of just the bush keluah velouté, and I finished every drop of it like slurping up a bowl of warm chocolate!

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My favourite dessert for the evening - the soft pandan chiffon was dripped with some gula melaka, covered in durian paste and then sprinkled with coconut shreds.
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Think soft cake centre with pandan fragrance and sweetened by gula melaka and made creamy by the durian paste. They all work so well together.
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This is an invited tasting.

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Surprisingly, the meat roll is moist (even though it doesn't look like it is) and soft, to the extent that it falls apart so easily. Filled with diced water chestnut, prawns, minced pork and other condiments, it's like a home made ngoh hiang reminiscent of the ones made by grandma. Sweet sauce and chilli is also provided at the side for those who needs stronger favours.
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This is an invited tasting.

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Chef Raymond Khoo whips up these dishes just like how traditional peranakans would do, by laboriously preparing the ingredients for days before the actual cooking.
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The ayam buah keluak [$22] was easily my favourite, for which the chef took an extra step to remove it from the nut, blend it then stuff it back, resulting in smooth nutty chocolatey paste which I really love.
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Other dishes pictured here are:
Kaki Babi Pong Teh [$19]
Sotong Masak Asam [$19]
Nonya Chap Chye [$15]
Bendeh / ladies finger with chinchalok [$12]
Nasi Ulam Istimewa [$17]
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This is an invited tasting.

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