Patriotic Peranakan!



Happy National Day, Makan Kakis! In celebration of Singapore’s 53rd birthday, our foodie friend Chef, Author and Entrepreneur Shermay Lee is back with a tempting collaboration with the Conrad Singapore, featuring three of her specially created Peranakan dishes for their Buffet spread at Oscar’s. She is already well-known for her classic Peranakan cooking, based on her Grandmother’s hand-written heirloom recipes, but this time she has teamed up with Chef Alex Siah of Conrad Singapore to update and innovate their families’ culinary heritage. The result is Muar-style Otak-Otak (enriched with a passion fruit mayo and black tobiko) inspired by Chef Alex Siah’s Grandmother’s recipe and these three signature Peranakan dishes by Chef Shermay, prepared ala minute at Oscar’s live cooking stations to ensure freshness and quality:
Continue reading “Patriotic Peranakan!”


Classic Peranakan – Magnificent Matriarchal Meal!

guan hoe soon


  • We talk about Peranakan cuisine and the importance of food heritage with Awfully Chocolate’s Lyn Lee here!
  • Click this for this week’s Mothers’ Day meal recommendation – a treat for the whole family!

Mothers’ Day is just round the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a marvelous matriarchal meal at the oldest Peranakan restaurant in Singapore? Our Makan Kaki, Awfully Chocolate’s Lyn Lee, shares with us her family’s favourite place and also her ideas for sweetening mum’s special day with a chocolatey gift set (scroll all the way down for Awfully Chocolate‘s Mothers’ Day selection)!

Lyn is a busy working mother of 3, but always finds time to find us great places to try, because she believes food is a huge part of being a mum. But on this special occasion, apart from feeding the family, it’s time to feed yourselves with something really spectacular. In Lyn’s humble opinion, nothing comes quite close to the complexity and depth of flavours wrung from traditional Peranakan cuisine, with its complicated preparation and balancing of both Malay and Chinese ingredients. Lyn married into a Peranakan family (in fact, her husband’s grandmother used to sell Satay Celup many moons ago!) who swear by this particular restaurant for authentic Nyonya food. It’s true that everyone claims their own homecooked Peranakan food is best, but for those occasions where it’s simply too much work, this Katong institution is a sedaptastic MUST!

Guan Hoe Soon has been around since 1953 and claims to be the oldest Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore. With decades of food heritage under their belt, you can be assured of quality dishes here. Lyn can’t get enough of their addictive appetiser (she’s not sure of the name, but she is 100% sure of the taste!), which beats a packet of peanuts anyday:

The addictive appetiser!

This is a wonderful combination of chicken gizzard, liver and heart chopped up and tossed in a fiery sambal and balanced with crunchy-cool cucumber. Don’t be shy to ask for more! Her family always does! When it comes to Peranakan food, there are just some classics you absolutely need to have, one of which is of course Ayam Buah Keluak:

Classic Ayam Buah Keluak!

To the uninitiated, the black nut is an acquired taste – earthy, almost like a pungent tabacco, but once you learn to love its heady bitter-sweet richness, you’ll be digging in with bare hands to “gorek” the goodness out of the shells!
At Guan Hoe Soon, they do it a lovely way by mixing minced meat with the black gold filling before stuffing it back into the shells for a texture with more bite. This is a must-try with a mountain of rice!

Chap Chye

Nyonya Chap Chye, the classic saucy mixed vegetable dish is another must, for freshness, crunch and the wonderful sauce, which mixes so well together with everything else on your plate! Be sure to contrast your meal with something crispy and deep-fried. Lyn recommends their delicious Noh Hiang. And next, even though it’s not necessarily Peranakan, you’ve got to order the Crab Foo Yong!

Crab Foo Yong

This beautiful golden eggy omelette with chunks of sweet crab is a hit with the kids and adults alike. Plus, it’s such an old-fashioned dish, it’s rare to find a place that does it well. Luckily, Guan Hoe Soon does!

Bakwan Kepiting

While they also do a wonderful Itek Tim (salted vegetable duck soup), Lyn’s family favourite is the Bakwan Kepiting, a clear broth studded with bamboo shoot meatballs, that her children absolutely love. Lyn has managed to convince them that our local version of meatballs are far more impressive than the western variety!

Dinner Crowd at Guan Hoe Soon

So there you have it, the favourites of Lyn & her family, after which they always wash everything down with a light, sweet dessert of old-fashioned Gula Melaka Sago or Chendol or Bubur Chacha.

Antiques displayed at The Oldest Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore

For a hearty, traditional Mothers’ Day meal, you really can’t go wrong with Guan Hoe Soon – Lyn urges everyone to go and try it, support it & be very proud of our Singapore food heritage, of which Peranakan food holds an important place. Its complexity, labour-intensive preparation and unique flavours are worth celebrating and preserving!

Step in for a really fantastic meal!

38/40 Joo Chiat Place S(427762)
Tel: 6344 2761
Open Daily: 11am – 3pm; 6 – 9.30pm

If you happen to be in the Katong Area for the Nyonya makan at Guan Hoe Soon, you might also want to pop across to the Awfully Chocolate outlet there to grab Mum a lovely sweet gift!

M-Day 2016 Gift Set

To purchase this for mum, visit any of their stores, including their brand new outlet at Marina Bay Link Mall!


Makan Peranakan!

Listen to this week’s on-air episode here!

This week, Wild Rocket’s Willin Low is back with his favourite place to eat whenever a craving for Peranakan food hits – PERAMAKAN at the Keppel Club!

Nasi Ulam

Now, as someone who cooks and eats so much for a living, Willin often has to sacrifice carbs to maintain his weight. Except when it comes to Peranakan food – these occasions call for rice by the plateful, especially if the rice happens to be that Nyonya delicacy, Nasi Ulam! This delicate, herb rice salad is labour-intensive because of the sheer number of ingredients required for prep and that’s why if you want to enjoy it at Peramakan, you have to order it off-menu in advance. That little effort on your part will reap huge rewards in the flavour department, especially when eaten with lots of sambal belacan!

Satay Babi Goreng

The usual suspects are all delicious at Peramakan, like their Babi Pongtay & Ayam Buah Keluak, but Willin’s newly discovered favourite dish is the Satay Babi Goreng! This is not satay on skewers, but big chunks of pork simmered in a spicy coconut gravy that is mouth-wateringly rich and delicious. Perfect with the Nasi Ulam!

Level 3, Keppel Club
10 Bukit Chermin Road
Open Daily: Lunch 11:30am – 3:00 pm
Dinner 6 -10pm
Reservations: 63772829 / 62701618

Hamburgers with a Luscious Local Twist!

Audio for this week’s episode!


Photo courtesy of

HE’S BAAAAACK! With more awesome recommendations for unique local delights, there’s never a dull or untasty moment with Makan Guru KF Seetoh! This week, come with us to Upper Bukit Timah for a delicious & unusual hamburger – a BUAH KELUAK HAMBURGER! The brainchild of youngsters Ryan & Claire, they actually quit their jobs to start up this hambuger stall with no prior experience, because they believed so much in their product. And boy, does their product deliver in the taste department! Imagine if you will, that strange, earthy black nut usually used in chicken or pork curry – the buah keluak paste is extracted, mixed with spices, added to minced meat, shaped into patties and seared-to-order right before your eyes. The buah keluak meat patties are sandwiched between buns and topped with Nyonya chap chye! The combination of textures and flavours is incredible, so hurry to Beauty World for this hamburger with a luscious local twist!


Block 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Beauty World Centre
Open Tues – Sun: 12 pm to 8 pm (Closed on Monday)

Dreaming of Local & Peranakan Delights?

Hello! We have a brand-new Makan Kaki joining our esteemed group of Gastronomical Gurus and she is none other than Founder/ Big Boss of local Theatre Company Dream Academy, fellow Dim Sum Dolly and my friend, Selena Tan! It’s not hard to see how much Selena loves her food and she has many wonderful places to recommend, but to start things off, she absolutely HAS to start with the one who started her love for food – her adorable mum, Daisy!

Selena’s mum Daisy with Denise

Daisy has always loved to cook – from her days of growing up in a kampong and trading recipes with the aunties there, along with learning from her own mother and her mother’s mother, this original Kampong Bahru girl has amassed an impressive array of local and Peranakan dishes that are simply too good not to share! That’s why she decided to open up a humble little stall at Tiong Bahru Market to begin with. Fast forward a few years and that stall has since become a full-fledged family restaurant in the Clementi/ West Coast area, called Daisy’s Dream Kitchen. Selena and her brother are in on this venture and the food has loyal fans flocking back for more.

It was really hard to get Selena to narrow down a list of her favourites, but here are some of hers (and mine!):
Delicious, deep-fried appetisers hot from the wok! Daisy’s wildly popular Ngoh Hiang (juicy little pork and prawn balls with lots of garlic and crunchy water chestnut). Sedap with her addictively pedas and limey sambal belacan.


Crispy-fried, well-seasoned chicken wings – MORE please!


Instead of the usual Ayam Buah Keluak, Daisy’s serves Babi Buah Keluak – pork that is fall-off-the-bone tender, a thick rich gravy and that quintessential black gold – smooth, nutty, salty, bitter-sweet-spicy filling you must gorek lovingly from the shells to mix with the killer lime sambal belachan and white rice!

Here are a couple more good ones – the tangy, earthy Black Ink Sotong. Assam is used very liberally in this unique squid dish. And Lagi best! An acquired taste, but Sambal Petai with ikan billis is pungent, tasty and has lots of crunchy texture. Also, look out for the weekly/ bi-monthly specials that always has diners requesting they be added to the permanent menu:

Selena and one of her favourite weekly specials, Masala Chicken
Nonya Laksa – a hot weekly special not to be missed!
Typical feast at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen

From Nonya Chap Chye, to deep-fried ikan stuffed with sambal, to Bakwan Kepiting (pork ball soup), to otak-otak and chicken curry, a meal at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen is like coming home to family, and a heart-warming home-cooked meal that is both delightful & delicious!



DAISY’S DREAM KITCHEN – Peranakan & Local Delights
Blk 517, West Coast Road
Tel: 67791781
Open Tues – Sun (closed Monday)
Lunch 11am – 3pm
Dinner 6 -10pm

Peranakan “Point-Point” Perng

Picture 2

We love point-point perng, or economical rice – it’s quick, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, it does its job, especially during hectic lunch hour. Add a heady Peranakan spin to this hawker centre staple and you’ll understand why your Makan Kakis love this place even more!

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Operating quietly out of a humble stall in a food centre, Edwin Tan has won over a steady, loyal stream of customers who keep going back for more of his flavourful Peranakan cuisine, all served up conveniently “point-point” style. Using his grandmother’s and mother’s recipes, this ex-hotel pastry chef struck out on his own a few years back and decided to share his home-cooking and makan culture in a place that isn’t exactly known for its Peranakan food – Chinatown.

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Edwin usually sells out by 1pm, so go early to avoid disappointment and to make sure you get the food when it’s at its piping-hot best – from curry ayam, to deep fried fish stuffed with sambal, to chap chye, to the amazing sate ayam (with a fresh lemongrass twist), to the sotong masak hitam (spicy and braised in its own umami black ink), to ngoh hiang, to the irresistible mutton rendang, you’re in for a bagus Baba buffet!

Blk 335 Smith Street #02-225
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
Open daily 9am – 2pm
Closed on Wednesday
Call   97229698 (Edwin Tan)

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