Sunday, 4 June 2017

Peranakan Dishes in a Hawker Centre

Uncle Charlie’s mother is a Peranakan. He picked up his skills from her and started selling Peranakan cuisine in Bukit Merah since the 1980s. He moved quite a few times and decided to call it quits at their shop in Katong about 8 years ago. After encountering a stroke previously and faced with his wife’s retrenchment, he decided to go back to do what he loved.

It was my first time visiting him but it’s better late than never. They have got a really impressive menu of Peranakan dishes including Babi Assam, Beef Stew, Toh Hay, Itek Sio, Bakwan Kepiting, Chap Chye, Babi Pongteh and more.

Charlie’s version of Nangka Lemak ($7) is a smooth and creamy dish of young jackfruit boiled in coconut milk. Instead of ordering the usual Ayam Buah Keluak ($12), we went for Buah Keluak Tulang Babi ($12). The process of cooking this dish is long and tedious but the rich and bold flavours present make the whole process worthwhile. I like the pork ribs version better than the chicken because it is more flavourful and tender.

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Spice Peranakan

Ok, I admit it, I was one of thousands that have been mesmerized by the Little Nonya. Granted that Yue Niang is an attractive lady who is very easy on the eyes, but the scene that I remember most vividly was the one of Matriach Chen Lao Tai in ecstasy after taking a bite of the Rempah Udang. (Here’s the clip if you don’t know what I am talking about) Doesn’t it just make you want to go and eat some Rempah Udang? Speaking of which, I am on a quest to find the best Rempah Udang in Singapore, so if you have any leads, let me know.

Anyway, the Little Nonya series has really ignited a lot of interest in Peranakan culture. This is great, as I reckon the number of Nonyas still wearing Kebayas is much less than the number of Pandas in the wild. Fortunately, Nonya food culture still burns warmly in many Peranakan families. They might have given up on the clothes and the beading of slippers, but there are still many Peranakan families who laboriously pound their spices in stone crucibles and spend countless hours over a simmering pot to prepare their Nonya dishes.

I guess when it comes to Perankan food, a lot of Peranakans would probably tell you that the best Peranakan food is cooked by their Grandmothers. That is really unfortunate for the rest of us Non-Peranakans who can only rely on other people’s Grandmothers in order to get to eat really nice Peranakan food. So the next best thing is to find a small family Peranakan restaurant that serves “home cooked” Peranakan food and hope that they will serve you the stuff that is prepared to impress the Matriach.

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S’porean man creates Peranakan Rhapsody music video, viral parody of Bohemian Rhapsody

A local Peranakan named Alvin Oon, has produced a parody of the song called Peranakan Rhapsody.

Oon set up Peranakan Sayang as a platform for him to showcase the Peranakan culture, and this video was created for the same purpose. According to Oon, the idea for the parody had been sitting in his head for “quite some time” and the recent release of the Queen biopic pushed him to produce it.

He also said that the toughest part of the parody were the vocals, for which he enlisted the help of his friends.

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Peranakan Dressings
Peranakan Rhapsody
Ho Mia Lah Lu
Peranakan Dishes in a Hawker Centre
Faces of Singapore
A Confused Singaporean Society
A Baba Nyonya Happy New Year
A Peranakan Christmas
Peranakan Sayang
Mesmerized by the Little Nyonya 小娘惹
The Peranakan Story