The little neighbourhood in Jalan Riang (near Lor Chuan and Serangoon) welcomed Babba recently, a transformative Peranakan cafe and restaurant.
Building on the idea of old versus new, Babba looks to put a modern touch to the traditional Peranakan recipes.
The name is a play on words “Baba” (honorific for Straits Chinese men in Peranakan) and a “baba” (father in Chinese), with the aim that the space is where families can come together to enjoy the food and company.
There are not too many cafes that has modern Peranakan-style food elements, so I think it has quite a unique proposition.
It helps that the space is welcoming, with natural daylight, rattan chairs and plants to make customers feel right at home.
Breakfast (from 8am) and lunch (from 12pm) are until 4pm.
The Breakfast items seem more straight-forward with Homemade Kaya Butter Toast & Eggs ($12), Smashed Avocado Tartine ($17), Homemade Granola ($14), Sausage Platter ($22), and Build Your Breakfast ($8).
Grab yourself a plate of Homemade Kaya Butter Toast & Eggs ($12), a comfort food for many of us.
Rather than the usual white bread in neighbourhood Kopitiams, Babba toasts pieces of Brioche till a crispy golden-brown.
Slathered in sweet Kaya and French butter, it was one of the better Kaya toasts I have had.
What is missing is a piping hot cup of Kopi. Luckily, there are coffees here, including a Black Coffee ($4.50) and White Coffee ($5.50).
The Sausage Platter ($22) includes pork and thyme sausage, chicken bockwurst, hash brown, toast, caramelised onions, mesclun salad and two eggs of any style.
As Babba is set up by the team behind The Brewing Ground, there is certain expectation for its scrambled eggs, and this turned out to be quite ’legit’ – creamy, rich and mildly fluffy.
Highlights for lunch available from 12pm till 4pm are the Dry Laksa Pasta ($26), Rendang Burger ($24), Fried Chicken Burger with kicap-glazed chicken thigh ($22), Breakfast Burger ($22), and Crab Omelette ($25).
The Dry Laksa Pasta ($26) is an imaginative spin on Nyonya Laksa.
Each twirl of the pasta is coated generously with a rempah (spice blend) fuelled sauce. It is as potent as a hearty bowl of soupy laksa.
On top of the usual fried beancurd puffs, you will find large pieces of seared tiger prawns and Hokkaido scallops. I appreciated the freshness of these ingredients, which took the dish to the next level.
A Peranakan place would not be complete without desserts such as the Assorted Kueh on display and Pulut Hitam ($10), a sweet sticky black rice pudding.
Stay past 6pm for dinner, and homely Peranakan dishes will become available. Kueh Pie Tee ($17), Ngo Hiang ($12), Ayam Buah Keluak ($28), Nyonya Otah ($12), Babi Ponteh ($26), Bakwan Kepeting ($24) and Beef Rendang ($28) will leave you spoilt for choice.
Café by day and restaurant by night, Babba is two concepts in one, for you to explore depending on what you want.
15-9 Jalan Riang, Singapore 358987
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)