Put “blue” and “Peranakan food” in the same vein, and my heart would beat a little faster.
It is after all my favourite colour (well, just look at this website), and I am one of those fortunate ones growing up with a staple of my grandma’s Nonya cooking (which I fondly miss).
Indigo Blue Kitchen is a heritage project by the Chairman of Les Amis Mr Desmond Lim, who considers himself a true-blue Peranakan.
The restaurant is a way of ensuring the culinary legacy of his family, as well as paying tribute to his grandmother. Recipes used are from the family, with consultation of cousin Gloria Teo.
During my visit, there is an “Indigo Blue Dinner” set priced at $55 per person, while there are also ala carte orders that has been introduced after.
They include Ngoh Hiang ($15 for 2 rolls), Chicken Satay ($11 for 3 sticks), Hee Peoh Tng aka Fish Maw Soup ($16), Sambal Prawns ($18), Curry Chicken ($22), Chicken Buah Keluak ($25), Beef Rendang ($26), Crab Meat Omelette ($15), Nonya Chap Chye ($15) to Chendol with Durian ($12).
It seems more value-for-money to order the sets.
We all loved the décor, as it paid some tribute to the Peranakan culture in terms of the tiles used, yet there was a modern element which felt beautifully-romantic.
However, the starter of the Indigo Platter was a mixture of hits and misses.
The Kueh Pie Tee had rather soft, almost soggy shells, lacking of the thin crisp that you would expect.
I enjoyed the Otah Otah for the chunks of fish within, though my dining partners thought it was a tad fishy.
The Chicken Satay ($11 for 3 sticks) came without ketupat, which the server explained was a “typo error”. Otherwise, a not bad rendition.
The Bakwan Kepiting ($22 for ala carte order) is a soup of chicken, pork and crustacean, with the highlight being the two handmade meatballs of mud crabs, prawns and minced pork.
This was tasty broth with some sweetness, highlighted with soft strips of bamboo shoots.
The crabmeat balls were fresh and flavourful, but one may feel underwhelmed looking at the price tag.
I must say I was looking forward to the Poh Piah ($18 for one roll, for ala carte order) as it was a highlight and made using a traditional recipe.
The “fresh handmade egg skin” made me anticipate a lot more, especially when it is so hard to find even in hawker centres and other Peranakan restaurants.
To be fair, the bang guang fillings consisting of turnips, bamboo shoot, pork belly and fried bean curd – braised in a rich prawn, pork, fermented bean paste and garlic sauce, was considered flavourful.
However, it would be better if served warmer with some steam coming out.
The weakest link unfortunately, happened to be the egg skin which was way too thick (we thought it almost had the same thickness as the napkin) which foiled the overall enjoyment.
The dessert of Apom with Three Pengats (6 pieces for $12) is served with three pengats (Banana, Jackfruit and D24 Durian) cooked in a mixture of coconut milk and gula melaka.
The Apom is made with a mix of flour that is left to ferment over three to four hours which gives it a slightly sour-ish taste that pairs better with the sweet and rich pengats.
Beautiful place, falling short in terms of execution.
Indigo Blue Kitchen
1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #03-09/10/11 Singapore 228208
Tel: +65 6235 3218
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm – 3pm Last Order 2pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon