PEr FYI

April 15, 2017

Donald & Lily Nyonya Food, Melaka…overrated 100 times

If nobody’s told you yet, it’s average food and unjustifiably pricey. Save yourself the wait and the drive.

And the food is not even that good! The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. I had nasi ketuk ayam rendang and taukua rojak. Neither dish was as good as their equivalents in any food court. Both were decent and edible, but as has been mentioned, was ordinary at best.

Honestly, there are many other underrated, inexpensive places to grab nyonya food in Melaka– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 18, 2017

Candlenut, Singapore…a study in average

Last year, Candlenut was awarded one-Michelin-star status, an accolade that means its cuisine is “a very good restaurant in its category.”

So I went.

It being the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, I was really looking forward to my dinner – expectations were high but realistic. My meal at Candlenut was a study in average, unevenly cooked fare, a tough sell in a city like Singapore. The kitchen seemed to try too hard to be “different” but the food was often too bland. None of the plates served barring the homemade kueh pie tie shell, crab meat, yeye curry, pickled shallot, laksa leaf – were, in any way, remarkable. When you are paying good money for a meal you expect at least a few dishes to be memorable.

Overpriced. A one-star disappointment. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 29, 2017

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine, Melaka…This is damn shiok

Nyonya cuisine is intensely rich, gutsy and accented with tangy, pungent and sour flavors. What makes Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine so fascinating and different is that it exemplifies the tenets of Slow Food. Peranakan recipes do require time-consuming preparation.

The food at Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine bears the hallmarks of the best of home cooking. The extraordinary kangkung kobis keledek masak titik lemak (water convolvulus, cabbage and sweet potatoes in coconut milk) was a superb dish which has a flavor quite unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The ikan geram asam (fish cooked in aromatic spicy tamarind gravy with ladies finger) was well balanced and deliciously rich. The udang goreng asam (succulent prawns sautéed in thick tamarind juice) was heavenly with a nice asam dressing to finish it off.

This is damn shiok. Shiok translates as conveying strong pleasure or tingling of the taste buds.  This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 17, 2016

True Blue Cuisine, Singapore…nothing on the plate and everything on the bill

Ever since my personal experience dining in True Blue Cuisine for a business lunch, the words True Blue Cuisine is officially an adjective meaning something absolutely minuscule in my dictionary. To paraphrase that extensive analysis, it is an expensive restaurant which serves tiny portions.

It brings up a question : what is the value proposition for a restaurant like True Blue Cuisine? With some fancied-up versions of what are traditionally inexpensive ethnic Peranakan cuisines, price hikes come with no higher quality ingredients nor nicer service.

The question really is whether it would be worth it. And the answer is: never, for almost all of us.This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 25, 2015

Jonker 88 (Museum Café) , Melaka…think twice about ever waiting on this queue

At any given moment in Melaka, you’ll find locals and tourists waiting in line outside Jonker 88. It’s a tourist’s rite of passage to stand on that line. Peranakan style food – Baba Laksa (a cross between curry mee and laksa) and chendol – as well as home-made kuih are among the delicacies served in this habitually packed little café. But the lines and the hype aren’t fully warranted.

Part cafe and part museum, it’s still fun to have a bite in there, however, the blending of the coconut with the gula Melaka which is what makes cendol so good, disappointingly, was anaemic and lacked fragrance here. Chendol-loving purists are left with one reality: The chendol at Jonker88 is overrated.

I’m not saying that the chendol or food at this place are bad by any means, just overexposed and maybe a bit overhyped. You should think twice about ever waiting on this Jonker 88 line. This is the true truth as I say it as it is… jonker88

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