Chinese, Food

PeraMakan @ East Coast: An Introductory Course on Peranakan Cuisine

PeraMakan @ East Coast: An Introductory Course on Peranakan Cuisine
Besides having a great meal at PeraMakan, I took away some valuable knowledge on Peranakan cuisine. Thanks to Baba Michael, I get to understand and appreciate a little better about Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine. It’s really comforting to know that the Peranakan heritage in Singapore is still surviving and going strong. 
Jantung Pisang Kerabu
Heart of the banana flower is sliced and mixed with sliced green mangoes and cucumbers

Chili-lovers, like my mom, would love this spicy appetizer that really whets your appetite. If you are afraid of eating spicy food stuff or you just do not want to set your mouth on fire, you could always request for a less spicy one. The amiable people working at PeraMakan would gladly accede to your request. 
Lime Juice with aloe vera
The large aloe vera chunks in the lime juice makes the drink really refreshing.

Babi Pongtay
Leaner cuts of pork belly are braised together with sliced bamboo shoots and Chinese mushrooms in a gravy made from fermented soya beans. 
You could also ask the chef to take away the fats if you’re suppose to go on a low-cholesterol diet. But Babi Pongtay without the fats will not taste as good when it’s eaten with that bouncy chunks of fats. It goes really well with rice. In fact, this dish really minded me of my grandma’s black sauce braised pork. I like that the dishes here give me a homely feel.  

Ayam Buah Keluak

“Chicken braised with the black pulp of Indonesian black nuts known as Buah Keluak. At PeraMakan, the nut pulp is combined with spices before they are pushed back into the nuts to be cooked along with the chicken.” – PeraMakan

On first sight, this dish may look really mundane,black and thus unappetizing. But according to some, this Buah Keluak is like Malay’s version of truffles. The flesh in the seeds is rich, creamy and full of flavour.This is my first time eating Buah Keluak, the seeds of a native tree found in the South Eat Asian mangroves called Pangium edule. This particular tree bears fruits that were poisonous, including its seeds. To use as a cooking ingredient, the seeds must be buried in ash and boiled for hours to remove the hydrogen cyanide found in it. So, don’t go around plucking the Buak Keluak fruits to extract its seeds to cook! 
Buah Keluak is an acquired taste. Not many might enjoy eating it but I do! I like the exotic flavour of the seeds which makes the chicken tasted really good. Sometimes I wonder whether I had Peranakan blood running deep inside my veins.

Buah Keluak
This one dish that requires alot of skill and much expertise. You need a true blue Peranakan to teach you how to prepare this dish. 
Udang Masak Kuah Nenas
Fresh prawns cooked in hot pineapple sauce.
Chilli. Pineapples. Prawn. You could never go wrong with these 3 ingredients. Chilli to add spice up the prawns and pineapples to give the dish a little fruity and sour flavour. Combined together, these ingredients tickle your tastebuds and awake your senses.
Sambal Udang with Petai Beans
Sambal Udang with Petai Beans is another specialty at PeraMakan. Once again, like Buah Keluah, Petai beans is another special ingredient found commonly in Peranakan dishes which is an acquired taste. I wasn’t startled by the mild bitterness in the beans. In fact, it seems like I’m naturally inclined to such exotic flavours in food. So far there isn’t any food ingredient that made repel and pinch my nose. Not even smelly beancurd!
Sambal Terung

Deep-fried brinjals topped with prawn sambal.
Sambal Terung
The small sambal prawns lying on top of the brinjal is really succulent. I don’t really like the taste of brinjal because it is blend but surprisingly,when the brinjal is deep-fried and paired with sambal, it tasted so good. In this dish, the outer layer of brinjal has a nice crisp and in the flesh embedded right inside, is soft and starchy.
Sotong Panggang
This is a must-order dish if you were to dine at PeraMakan. It’s the fragrant sauce that makes this dish outstanding.

Buboh Pulot Hitam

“Black glutinuous rice is cooked till tender and served with gula melaka and coconut cream.”
Buboh Cha Cha

“Yams and sweet potatoes are steamed and cooked in a light coconut sauce with sago pearls. Served with colourful tapioca jelly”
– PeraMakan
Durian Pengat

“Pure durian mousse served chilled with steamed yams and sweet potatoes”
This is for the durian lovers. You can skip the other desserts but not this one. This is made out of D24 durians that is thick, creamy and so full of flavour.
Apom Berkuah

“Rice flour pancakes made from fermented rice flour and coconut water. Served with warm banana sauce. The pancake is adorned with colour from the Bunga Telang.”

– PeraMakan
Besides the Durian Pengat, one should really try this Peranakan signature dessert, rice flour pancakes with banana sauce. Did you notice that the rice flour pancakes has some blue streaks on it? That’s the blue pigments from the blue pea flower or clitoria flower. In traditional Malay cooking, the colour extract from the flower petals is used to colour the glutinous rice. Interesting, isn’t it?  People living in the past make use of plants to adorn the dishes.
It’s not difficult to understand why I title my post as ” an introductory course to Peranakan cuisine” right? I was finally taught how to appreciate Peranakan food with the Peranakan Chefs and Baba Michael, who was also dining with us.
Thank you PeraMakan for the wonderful food and hospitality.
(East Coast Outlet)
171 East Coast Road #01-02/03 
Santa Grand Hotel East Coast 
Singapore 428877 
Tel: 65 63464202/ 63464203
Fax: 65 63457482
( This is an invited food tasting event.)

Check out this location on the map!

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