Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Chilli Padi Nonya Café @ Heng Mui Keng Terrace - Reopened With A Refreshed A La Carte Buffet Concept


Known for its ‘All You Can Eat’ Peranakan buffet, Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe at Heng Mui Keng Terrace now presents a new and refreshed Peranakan a la carte buffet concept. On the menu, you will find the quintessential Peranakan dishes, ranging from appetisers and soups to meat and vegetable curries, seafood options, as well as sweet treats and kuehs. Choosing from over 18 options on the menu, with all being served on the first round if you wish, and subsequently, have all your favourites replenished till your satisfaction.


Before the feast began, we were served with a selection of classic Peranakan starters to kickstart our appetite. The Nonya Fruit Rojak of diced fruits was saltish and piquant with calamansi and prawn paste dressing, and the Bibik Achar was even more so, which I couldn't resist ordering a few more servings after which to accompany the more highly flavoured dishes.


Another signature of theirs is DIY Kueh Pai Ti, which I genuinely enjoy filling each crisp golden shells to the brim with their well-braised turnip flavourful with dried shrimp, then topped it off with a hard-boiled egg. Spice it up with tangy cilicuka served at the side for a punch of flavour.


Light bites also include Otah Mantou. I like how the sweetness and the fragrance of the Pandan flavoured buns balances spicy fish cake, but the portion of the fishcake can be a lot bigger.


Moving on to the Mains, the Bakwan Kepiting is one of the star dishes. The pork and crab meatballs were soft and succulent, and the soup itself was comforting with light seasoning.


The piping hot Fried Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings are to dive right in without hesitation for it would have been a waste when they lose their crispiness and moisture sitting out in the cold. Their pungency is on point too.

Ayam Buah Keluak

Beef Rendang

The Meaty Mains feature Beef Rendang that is cooked with chunks of beef shank in a thick curry. It was decent but lacked robustness that I was seeking for. The Ayam Buah Keluak fares much better with tender chicken meats and rich buah keluak (black nut) gravy.

Babi Ponteh

The Babi Ponteh comes with huge slices of pork belly braised in fermented soybean paste gravy. I find the meat a tad tough in some parts, but they were still quite delightful with well-braised mushrooms and potatoes that had soaked in the umami flavours of the gravy.

Braised Nonya Chap Chye

Green Vegetable Masak Lemak Keledek

For Vegetable options, both the Braised Nonya Chap Chye and Green Vegetable Masak Lemak Keledek didn't disappoint, especially the latter. Fresh spinach stewed till soft in a robust but light coconut curry, punchy with dried shrimps.


There is also a Seafood item - Ikan Goreng Chilli Garam. The batter was thin and very lightly seasoned, allowing the spicy and tangy chilli garam to shine in this dish.


At the end of the meal, we were served a 2-tier assortment of desserts. There is a tier of Nonya kuehs, and another with Chilled Lemon Grass Jelly with Aloe Vera and Soya Beancurd with Gula Melaka that refreshes the palate, and a very warm and comforting Pulut Hitam.

Lunch & Friday Dinner $22.80
Weekend & Public Holidays
Lunch & Dinner $26.80
Weekend High-Tea $19.80

Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Chilli Padi Nonya Café
29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Block E #06-21
Singapore 119620
Tel: +65 68722982
Nearest MRT: Haw Par Villa (CC Line)

Opening Hours
Mon-Thu: 1130am – 3pm
Fri: 1130am – 3pm, 6 – 930pm
Sat-Sun/PH: 1130am – 230pm, 3 – 515pm, 6 – 930pm

1) Alight at Haw Par Villa MRT station. Take Exit A. Cross the road. Walk to bus stop opposite Haw Par Villa MRT station (Stop ID 16011). Take bus number 10, 30, 51, 143, 188 or 200. Alight 2 stops later. Walk to traffic junction of Pasir Panjang Road and Science Park Road. Cross the road and walk towards Capricom building. Continue on Science Park Road. Turn left onto Heng Mui Keng Terrace. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

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