Monday, May 25, 2009

Peranakan Inn

Haiz! I'm salivating and getting hungry at freaking 12.04am cos I'm looking at the photo above! It's the sambal kangkong with cuttlefish (I can't remember the price, but I think it's around $6?) which is super yummy! The kangkong is fresh and crunchy, the cuttle fish is springy, and the sambal sauce is absolutely delicious. I've never been so blown over by sambal kangkong before I ate this dish. Perhaps I shouldn't rave too much or not everyone will have super high standards and tell me 'cheay this isn't the best sambal kangkong around'... The sauce is slightly wet, and looks a bit blackish, but it's a perfect balance between the dried prawn, saltiness and sweetness. The ayam buah keluak ($6.50, comes with 3 nuts) comes right off the stove in a clay pot, and is extremely aromatic. Although the sauce looks red and firey hot, it's not that spicy - pretty manageable by my very low-chilli-tolerance standard. Compared to Charlie's Peranakan, the sauce base is more robust. Also, it's more similar to the kind that my family eats (at Peranakan restaurants, since I'm v sadly not peranakan) - Charlie's Peranakan ayam buah keluak has a thicker, blacker sauce, while Peranakin Inn's one looks more like curry.
Babi Kepiting - Minced pork balls in clear soup with sliced bamboo shoots. This isn't one of my favourite dishes, but the pork balls were very soft and tasty, and didn't have any porcine smell. The soup was flavoured with deep fried shallots, parsley and spring onions.I like the skinny otah here - although it looks rather pale and sickly, it's bursting with flavour and since it's a skinny otah, the middle isn't a bit soggy (I don't really like fat otahs cos the middle is usually a bit soggier than the outside). I don't know why the leaves were so wet - I didn't want to find out if it's oil or whatnot. If I'm not mistaken, it's $2.50 per piece. I think I can easily eat 5 pieces cos it's so delicious and not very spicy!
Ngoh Hiang ($4.50)- minced meat with water chest nuts, shredded carrots, wrapped in beancurd skin and deep fried. This was served with the yellow sweet sauce (I prefer yellow sweet sauce compared to the black one). The skin outside is nice and crispy.
The place is very old-school, and I think they probably haven't renovated for very long. But just as long as this keeps the prices down, I'm fine with it! :) Just that this place looks very dingy and dim (but it's clean! - cleanliness is very important!) - even though there are lots of lights on the ceiling, the place still looks so dim. The entrance is also very inconspicuous - I would have very easily walked right past it without knowing that there's a hidden gem inside. The service is pretty fast - my friends were all very amused at the indian waiter who was very efficiently serving the rice and food, and he also announced the names of every dish that he served. Iced water here is self service, which is great cos I invariably end up drinking alot of water even if the food is mildly spicy.

Overall, I think that I prefer the food here than at Charlie's - though if Peranakin Inn were full, I'll just go over to Charlie's. The difference isn't that big, just that I really like the sambal kangkong here (even though I haven't tried sambal kangkong at Charlie's). But if I were to bring people to eat at a Peranakan restaurant, I'll probably bring them to Charlie's cos the ambience is much nicer -you're not wedged up against the next table, and have to squeeze through tiny gaps to get out from your seat. I think I must go back soon to try more dishes!

Do call and make a reservation if you're going to Peranakan Inn, especially during weekends - it was so insanely crowded on the Saturday evening I went, that there were so many people crammed into the restaurant, and a more people waiting to get in. And don't be like me - make sure you call after 6pm - for some unfathomable reason, the lady refuses to take any reservations till the restaurant opens o_O
Peranakan Inn and Lounge
210 East Coast Road
Tel: 6440 6195
Opening Hours: Daily 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm

Alright, as you can probably tell, I'm going thorugh a Peranakan food phase now - crap I'm going on holiday soon and I forsee myself suffering from withdrawel symptoms...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Sketch said...

Thanks for the review! I heard about the peranakan inn from a colleague but gave it a try coz i was not able to find any reviews on it.

The food looks good and the prices are reasonable. Perhaps can drop by one day to try.

Oh btw, you mentioned that the place is super crowded on Saturday evenings. Not sure if you noticed, there is a catholic church (Katong Church) situated just beside the row of shophouses where Peranakan Inn is located.

Usually their Saturday mass ends about 7 plus, thus there is a huge dinner crowd and some of them may pop by the restaurant for their dinner. Hope this helps to explain why it is difficult to make a reservation after 6pm =)