Orchard Cafe – Baba Threatre Kitchen
Peranakan cuisine which sometimes known as Nyonya cuisine or in English – Straits cuisine.
It is a result of integration between two cultures of the immigrants from China and the locals in Malaya that traced all the way back from 15th through 17th-century.
Descendants from such clash are known as Baba (sir) and Nyonya (madam).
This fusion produces wonderful tasting dishes that are sweet, savoury and certainly unique.
The desserts range made with local ingredients especially Peranakan (Straits) taste
The long running Straits cuisine buffet now has a wider selection of like freshly made Popiah (spring rolls), new and improved Kueh Pie Tee, Asian roasts and etc.
The kuih (cakes in Malay), and also the Western dessert formats with SE Asian fruits
The myriad of different condiments, all spiced up, for dipping with the different types of crunchy crackers…
The typical range of condiments found in Singapore straits cuisine all served on the table – Acar, pickle, Cinchalok (fermented small shrimp), sambal, pickled green chillies, sambal belacan (fermented fish paste)
Keropok (Prawn Crackers) to go with the dipping condiments
The cold seafood selection including freshly shucked oysters!
The popiah (spring roll) station where the chef make them a-la-minute
The range of cold appetisers – Pink snapper acar; Brasied soya sauce duck; Prawn kerabu…I found them all to be on the sweet side
Freshly shucked oyster dotted with the sambal condiment for the local twist
Nyonya caviar (Buah Keluak paste) kueh Pie Tee and also with fresh fish roes atop *must try*
Popiah! Another local staple snack, steamed pastry skin enveloping a selection of fresh and blanched crunchy vegetables fragrance-d with fried garlic bits and homemade secret savoury sauce, good for a light lunch too during diets :)
Nyonya Laksa from the laksa station made a-la-minute, tasty
From the range of traidtional Peranakan claypot dishes, the highlight would be this Ayam Buah Keluak (Braised chicken with Indonesian black nuts).
Ikan Bakar (Grilled Stingray coated in Nyonya Sambal Sauce) wrapped in banana leave
Nyonya Otah (Spiced mince fish – paste steamed), mind you, Chef Paul doesn’t hold back using premium fish – Black Cod here instead of the usual local mackerel
Buah Keluak Paste – mixed with minced meat here, not pure, slightly woody and very nutty tasting
Nyonya style Hokkien mee – not as pale as the normal Singapore style Hokkie Mee nor as dark as the Malaysian’s KL style Hokkien mee
Chap Chye – Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables in Nyonya style of course
Assam Fish – Pink snapper is used here for its more robust flesh, sourish assam (tamarind) based chili sauce smothered all over the fish and cooked, a good palette change to the previous sweetish dishes
Beef cheek rendang – Chef’s use of very tender part of this meat is clever, and the savoury sweet rendang sauce was a very delicious sauce to go with steamed white rice
Buah Keluak, being cracked open and cooked up. It’s poisonous if eaten untreated or uncooked.
Cempedak creme brulee! How ingenious, and they tasted so intense.
Durian penyet (durian paste), with pandan jelly at the bottom and a thin layer of gula melaka (local molasses) atop. Sweet, sweet, sweet!
The range of Nyonya kuih (rice cakes) from the dessert station
These steamed rice and coconut milk based pastries were a little tough due to long display time of the evening on the table.
The freshly made durian pancakes (local style), also available are cempedak pancakes. Durian ones are good!
I truly enjoyed the desserts here and highly recommend that you save space for them admist of the somewhat heavy delicious Peranakan dishes.
Lobby Level of Orchard Hotel
442 Orchard Road, Singapore, 238879
Lunch: Adult – $48 Child – $24
Dinner: Adult – $68 Child – $34