Food is an essential part of Singapore’s culture. Perfectly representing the country’s rich history and diversity is Peranakan cuisine. Also known as Nyonya cuisine, it originates from Peranakans, the descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled across Southeast Asia. Over time, the cuisine has developed into a beautiful fusion food as it combines all of the best parts of not only Chinese and Malay food but also Javanese and more. 

Just from one taste of Peranakan food, you will come to understand why Singapore is a #1 destination for a travelling foodie. Not only is it aromatic, but it gives the perfect balance for one’s tastebuds with spicy, herbal, and tangy flavours. Here are our top ten picks of the best Peranakan food in Singapore that you should explore!

1. Straits Chinese Nonya Restaurant   

Image Credit: Esplanade 

Family owned and operated, Straits Chinese is actually Singapore’s first Peranakan restaurant, having opened in 1953. It also has been featured in the Michelin Guide for four consecutive years; there’s a reason why customers keep coming back after all these years. With an extensive menu and even non-spicy options, this is a crowd-pleaser. The atmosphere pays respects to ancestry with a simple design of Chinese decor. Despite decades passing, the recipes remain authentic, using fresh and local ingredients, as well as Chinese cooking methods. Although the prices are very reasonable for the quality, Straits has also served celebrities and dignitaries. 

Straits Chinese Nonya is a go-to when it comes to nyonya cuisine, especially if you’re interested in its history. Ayam buah keluak, beef rendang, Ikan Assam nanas pedas, and chendol are considered to be a must when trying! Whether you choose to dine-in and enjoy from the diverse buffet or you order takeout through one of many delivery services, you are sure to enjoy your meal. 

Highlights:

  • $5 delivery islandwide for an order of $60+
  • Michelin approved
  • Also offers vegan options with Impossible meat
AddressKeck Seng Tower: 133 Cecil St, #B1-01 Keck Seng Tower, Singapore 069535
Esplanade: 8 Raffles Ave, #02-21 Esplanade Mall, Singapore 039802
ContactKeck Seng Tower: +65 6225 8683
Esplanade: +65 6339 3683 
Operating hours11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-9:00PM daily

2. Popo & Nana’s Delights

Image Credit: Popo & Nana’s Delights

A lifelong cook, Chef Grace Chin began Popo & Nana’s Delights as a stall in 2014 as an outlet to share her home-based food with everyone. The restaurant is named for her Peranakan and Eurasian grandmothers to reflect the unique menu. Specializing in Eurasian and Peranakan dishes, Grace maintains a diverse menu but dishes are determined by available local ingredients that she picks out early in the mornings. Through this, you’re guaranteed an authentic and home-style meal. 

Meant to be accessible to everyone, it’s affordable and free of MSG. Each week, you can expect around four dishes to be offered, most likely two Peranakan and two Eurasian with a constant vegetable dish of nyonya chap chye. Recommended dishes from the restaurant include babi assam, ayam buah keluak, chap chye, and curry debal. 

Highlights:

  • Food is great value for cost 
  • No MSG
  • Personable and involved chef
Address1 Kadayanallur St, #01-70, Singapore 069184
Contact+65 9171 0558
Operating hoursM-F 11AM-3:30PM. Closed on Saturday and Sunday

3. True Blue Cuisine

Chef and owner Benjamin Seck are also known as “Baba Ben,” especially since he is a 6th generation baba. Having learned how to cook from his grandmother from an early age, he is committed to maintaining heritage through his restaurant True Blue Cuisine. Opened in 2003, he describes it as more than a restaurant. It’s a Peranakan house. You can eat a good meal anywhere, but, here, you experience culture too. Designed to be a multisensory experience, you will smell the Bunga rampay, hear Peranakan dialect, eat the flavourful foods, and witness the lifestyle, such as the chim chae area. Dripping with culture, True Blue Cuisine is decorated with ancient antiques from throughout Peranakan history, as well as Ben’s family and friend’s photographs. You can even take something with you by visiting the True Blue Shoppe available. 

Baba Ben states that the most important dish to try is ayam buah keluak because it is the dish that bibikis will always judge your cooking on. His version of ngoh hiang is also recommended as it uses chicken rather than pork to be more inclusive of Muslim diets. Additionally, he does not use any pork or lard in his kitchen. 

Highlights:

  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Private dining available
  • Museum and Shop
AddressPeranakan Museum: 47/49 Armenian Street Singapore 179937 
Contact+65 6440 0449 
Operating hours11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-9:30PM daily

4. Guan Hoe Soon

Image Credit: Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

One of the oldest Peranakan restaurants (since 1953) and a favourite of the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Guan Hoe Soon is famous and loved among Singaporeans. The restaurant is appropriately located in a historically Peranakan neighbourhood and even includes a mini-museum of vintage tableware. You’ll find a cosy location, though with an unassuming design, filled with decades of history and delicious food. 

Recommended dishes include ngoh hiang, ayam buah keluak, fish maw soup, pork chop, otak and nyonya mee. Although it is not officially on the menu, the restaurant is known for a babi panggang that you must special request prior to arrival. It’s easy to fill up due to a tempting and extensive menu, but you will want to leave some room for desserts. Customer favourites include the bo-bo cha-cha, which can be served hot or cold, and chendol. You can call in a reservation, walk-in, take-out, or even do delivery. 

Highlights:

  • Order the babi panggang in advance
  • Historical
  • Leave room for dessert!
Address40, 38 Joo Chiat Pl, Singapore 427764
Contact+65 6344 2761
Operating hoursM-F 11AM-3PM, 6-9:30PM. Saturday and Sunday 11AM-3PM, 5:30-9:30PM

5. Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen & Gallery

Image credit: Old Bibik’s Website

Featured in numerous media outlets, such as MyPaper, Channel U, TCS5, The Straits Times, Her World, etc., Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen has established itself an outstanding reputation after a decade in business. It remains a classic and casual yet top-notch choice for dining. However, they offer many options for you, whether you want to walk-in, take-out, have delivery, or reserve for a group. 

Old Bibik’s is respectful of the rich history while remaining relevant with an inclusive menu variety. The restaurant boasts their menu as it includes Halal, MSG-free, and vegetarian choices while still being honest and hearty Nyonya cuisine. Perhaps their most well-known dish is the “tender and explosively flavorful beef and mutton rendang.” They also recommend itek sio, Assam prawn, jiu hu char, Ayam Buah keluak, and barramundi fish upon a visit. Balance out the spices with a refreshing guava citrus tea.

Highlights:

  • No GST & Service Charge
  • MSG-Free
  • Halal certified
Address328 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-02, Singapore 427585
Contact+65 8450 7996
Operating hours11.30am – 9.30PM, Monday-Sunday (closed every Tuesday) 

6. Violet Oon

Image Credit: Violet Oon Website Gallery

If you’re Singaporean, you’re already well-aware of the name Violet Oon and you know she’s a national treasure. She’s even been featured internationally on the Food Network, BBC, and CNN. An official food ambassador of Singapore since 1988, and Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Ron is more than just a chef. She has cookbooks, food columns, and, of course, lots of restaurants. Her most popular include Violet Oon– it even has four locations! 

No matter the location, you’re guaranteed a fine-dining experience at Violet Oon with elegantly decorated rooms filled with intoxicating aromas and a multitude of flavours from throughout Chinese, Nyonya, Malay, and Indian delicacies. Customers recommend chicken Lemak, beef rendang stew, Ayam Buah keluak, dry laksa noodles, and kueh pie tee. You can make a reservation from any number of locations. Since it’s very popular, you might want to plan a couple of weeks ahead of time. Believe me; the wait will be worth it! They also offer island-wide delivery and catering. If you pay any location for a visit, you’ll want to remember to stop by the gift shop. 

Highlights:

  • High Tea
  • Gift Shop
  • World Famous and Renowned
AddressMultiple Outlets. Visit their website.
Contact+65 9834 9935 | [email protected]
Operating hoursVisit their website.

7. Candlenut

Image credit: Candlenut Facebook

Although there’s technically a never ending array of Peranakan restaurants to choose from, Candlenut is the only one to be able to boast of the title of “world’s first Michelin-starred.” If that’s not enough to make you curious to try the food yourself, they also have a large menu unlike any other.

Unlike most Peranakan restaurants, Candlenut has contemporary decore, free of clutter, reflective of its young chef. The innovative Chef Malcolm Lee gives the Peranakan food a modern twist that still maintains all is loved of the original and authentic. Its unique menu includes many one-bite dishes and you can choose to order a 20-course tasting menu which is an excellent choice for an introduction into the cuisine. You can order from Lee’s signature ‘ahmakase’ menu ($65/ lunch, $88/dinner) or order from the à la carte menu. Nevertheless, customers say you can’t go wrong with ordering beef rendang, chap Chye, and crab meat curry or durian puree for a dessert. Although a reservation is recommended, you can order takeout or delivery. As you should with any gourmet restaurant, let them know if you have any dietary restrictions in advance. 

Highlights:

  • One Michelin Star 
  • 20-Course Tasting Menu
  • Modern space
AddressBlock 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Contact1800 304 2288 (Local calls only), + 65 8121 0176 (For takeaway orders)
Operating hours12 – 3PM, 6 – 10PM daily

8. Baba’s Peranakan

Image Credit: https://www.misstamchiak.com/babas-peranakan/

Although Baba’s Peranakan opened about a decade ago, it remains an underrated spot but a favourite among locals. Inspired by his mother, Mr Tan began to cook and eventually opened this stall. Located at Smith Street Chinatown Food Center, if you’re looking for great quality while being fast and affordable, this is the place you’re looking for! However, you will want to get there soon because it sells out! 

Although it is a hawker stall, some even say the food is hotel standard (probably because the owner was a chef at a hotel before). Low cost does not equate to low quality. Customers rave over the affordable but tasty food. The menu is more limited but it gives an opportunity for better care and attention to the selected dishes. As aromatic and spicy as you’d hope Peranakan food to be, recommended dishes are satay ayam, curry chicken, Assam Ikan, fried chicken, and chap Chye. 

Highlights:

  • 3-min walk from the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
  • Affordable and fast
  • Hawker stall
Address335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335
Contact+65 9722 9698
Operating hours9AM-1:30PM daily (Closed Wednesday)

9. The Blue Ginger Tanjong Pagar

Image credit: Photo: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

A popular choice for locals, tourists, and expats, The Blue Ginger has something for everyone! The food is slightly adapted to be palatable for foreign guests but is still enjoyed among Singaporeans. 

With a focus on relationships and a desire to share Peranakan culture and cuisine with a diverse clientele, The Blue Ginger opened. As a refurbished shophouse, it includes three floors and is decorated with the work of local artists, giving it a spacious and colourful vibe. Space is designed to be casual and intimate for conversation. It remains classy without being pretentious. Frequent customers rave over Ngoh hiang, assam prawns, beef rendang, and Ayam buah keluah. Although takeout and delivery is always an option, it is an excellent spot to have a glass of wine and catching up with friends. Reservation is currently required. 

Highlights:

  • Instagrammable
  • Michelin one star certificated
  • Intimate atmosphere
Address97 Tg Pagar Rd, Singapore 088518
Contact+65 6222 3928 
Operating hours12-3PM, 6:30-10:30PM daily

10. Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe

Image Credit: Chilli Padi Nonya Café

Located in the National University of Singapore, Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe is a casual setting in the form of an ala-carte buffet restaurant. You can even schedule them for any of your celebration needs, whether it’s weddings, birthdays, or even meetings! Originally a self-service buffet, you are still able to eat as much as you wish despite the renovation. Also, they take extra precautions due to the current situation with temperature checks for everyone, disinfecting surfaces each visit, and mask-wearing staff. 

Customers explain that not only the food but ambience and service keep them coming back. There is a nice atmosphere, especially if you sit near the windows and are able to look out at trees, machiam middle of the forest. You can order many of the favourite Peranakan dishes, such as Kueh pai ti, babi pongteh, Ayam buar keluak and the homemade Nyonya otah mantou bun.  

Highlights:

  • Colourful kuehs
  • Perfect for celebrations! 
  • Reasonable price
Address29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, 06-21 ground floor, Singapore 119620
Contact+65 6872 2982
Operating hoursM-Th 11:15AM-2:30PM, Friday 11:15AM-2:30PM and 6-9PM, Saturday and Sunday 11:15AM-9PM

Of course, since Peranakan cuisine is popular, especially among locals, there are many more to choose from aside from this. Due to its multicultural origins and history, Peranakan food is something that brings together various groups of people. It is the perfect choice when eating out with family or friends. Also, if you enjoy Peranakan, you’re sure to love Thai food too!

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