There are more modern Peranakan style restaurants opening in Singapore. Perhaps many are attempting to bridge the gap between the heritage cuisisne with younger diners which may not be that familiar with Nyonya food.
Tingkat PeraMakan has just opened at 119 Owen Road, which is a more casual outlet compared to its main restaurant at Keppel Club.
PeraMakan is a play of words “Peranakan” meaning “local-born” and “Makan”, a Malay word for “to eat”.
While there is ‘tingkat’ in its name, the food is not served in the layered containers. It is to represent the image of bringing tasty home cooked meals to the family.
I liked that there is a ‘no-frills’ menu which allows you to order sets for the individual. Therefore, you can have an entire rice meal with main, two side dishes, a drink and dessert for a price of $10 to $15.
This is considered very affordable, as Peranakan dishes are typically priced higher up due to intensive labour and time needed to cook.
There were choices of Ayam Kleo, Ayam Sio, Babi Pongtay, Nyonya Pork Ribs, Sambal Sotong, Sambal Ikan, Ikan Garam Assam and of course the quintessential Ayam Buak Keluak for the sets.
I went for the Beef Rendang set ($14), of shin beef braised in spicy coconut sauce, served with Serondeng. Serondeng is a type of spicy fried grated coconut flakes.
The beef was delightfully fork-tender, and the gravy thick without being overly spicy.
The other side dishes were adequately decent. If I needed to nit-pick, I thought that the Nyonya Chap Chye could have been cooked softer, and Omelette needed more chinachalok for more kick.
The Nyonya Mah Mee ($7.80) was something I seldom see in other restaurants. It is a type of
Peranakan-style wheat & rice noodles fried with seafood in a rich prawn stock, further garnisheed with egg omelette and cucumber.
This reminded me of the local Hokkien mee, except that it had more varied ingredients which added some crunch. Appetising, though could work with slightly more wok-hei.
There are other specialty dishes such as Otak Otak Makanan Laut, Sambal Sotong, Babi Pongtay, Ikan Garam Assam, Nyonya Assam Laksa, Beef Rendang, Ayam Buah Keluak, Durian Chendol, and Nyonya Ngoh Hiang to order, along with a selection of home-made kueh kueh sold at the counter. (FYI, they also have a kiosk at Orchard Tangs basement.)
In terms of taste, Peranakan food ‘purists’ could be looking at more robustness in the food.
At that price point, I think Tingkat PeraMakan is positioned where it could appeal to younger families, yet satisfy their cravings for Nyonya food.
119 Owen Road Singapore 218924 (Farrer Park MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm (Tues – Sun, Closed Mon