Friday, November 13, 2020

The Real Peranakan @ Hillcrest - Authentic Peranakan Helmed By Veteran Peranakan Chef Philip Chia


The Real Peranakan is a new Peranakan cuisine restaurant opened in Hillcrest, spearheaded by Chef Philip Chia. I first tasted his cooking back in 2011 when he has an event at Orchid Country Club, that is probably my first introduction to Peranakan cuisine. Not only is he a renowned MasterChef with over 50 years of experience, but he is also an established Peranakan cookbook author and the official consultant for the Channel 8 hit TV Show 'The Little Nonya'.

Hee Peow Soup 4/5


We started the dinner with a bowl of Hee Peow Soup ($16.80). Unlike other Peranakan restaurants, the Hee Peow Soup comes with three different types of handmade balls - prawn, pork and fish. It even has an egg roll with fish paste. Having visited many Peranakan restaurants, I am pleasantly surprised to taste the dedication in a simple bowl of soup.

Nonya Chap Chye 4.8/5

A mainstay of every Peranakan household is the Nonya Chap Chye ($16.80). The version here impresses me with the distinct flavours from the fermented beancurd, giving the mixed vegetable dish its character.

Babi Pongtay 4.8/5

An excellent dish is the Babi Pongtay ($22). The recipe has been passed down through 5 generations, requiring a painstaking 3 to 4 hours of labour in the kitchen. Once again, unlike other Peranakan restaurants, the Babi Pongtay is cut into melt in the mouth slices, not pieces. We are told to either crush the fresh chilli into the gravy or eat with it together with the pork belly. It will bring the whole enjoyment into life.

Ngoh Hiang 4/5

The Ngoh Hiang ($15.80) is a common dish that is available in almost every restaurants. The one here stands out for me for its extremely crispy beancurd skin. You can also bite into diced carrots and water chestnuts for that extra crunch.

Sambal Udang Belimbing 4.2/5

Belimbing is not a common ingredient being served nowadays as it is not readily available in the market nowadays. For those that have not tried it before, it is a sourish baby star. Chef Philip has elevated the Sambal Udang ($26.80) with the addition of Belimbing. The tarty and refreshing flavour complemented the rich taste of coconut milk perfectly.

Ayam Buah Keluak 4.5/5

Another staple dish is the Ayam Buah Keluak ($20.80). Buak Keluak is also known as the Asian truffle, which has an acquire taste that not many people enjoyed. I personally like the creamy earthiness and nuttiness of the buah keluak nut. Slow-cooked together with the chicken pieces, it gives the tender chicken a delectable full-bodied flavour.

Nonya Kuehs 4/5

End your meal with an assortment of Nonya Kuehs. I always love the colourful sight of Nonya kuehs. You will definitely be in for a treat.

The Real Peranakan indeed takes pride in their mission in search of heritage Peranakan cuisine, welcoming diners to embark on a culinary treat and rediscover heritage dishes in a modern and contemporary setting. In celebration of The Real Peranakan's official launch, diners can enjoy an additional main course with any four main courses purchased, exclusively for one month only, from 21 October to 20 November 2020.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

The Real Peranakan
73 Hillcrest Road 
Singapore 288945
Tel: +65 97831118
Nearest MRT: Tan Kah Kee (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 730am - 10pm
(Closed on Mon)

1) Alight at Tan Kah Kee MRT station. Take Exit A. Use the overhead bridge to Exit B. Walk straight to Hillcrest Road. Turn right onto Hillcrest Road. Walk down Hillcrest Road and make a left into Greenwood Avenue. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

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