I always think that people who live in the East is very lucky because Joo Chiat/Tanjong Katong area is an enclave of good food, wanton mee, nasi padang, prawn noodle….etc. And now, this Peranakan deli shop adds to the list.
Being an offshoot shop from the renowned Peranakan restaurant located in Santa Grand Hotel East Coast, they sell savoury pies, rolls, buns and of course cakes and nyonya kuehs.The first thing that caught my eyes are the buns ($1.50 or 6 for $8) that looked like HK-style Bo Luo Bun. Perhaps due to the dominant flavours of Nyonya fillings, the sugary crust did not stand out like those from Crystal Jade.The Sambal Petai Savoury Bun is the best out of the three. I thought it would be loaded with the petai vegetable bean but I found more prawns instead, which were considered huge for bread. I love the fiery spicy kick, which nearly knocked me off from my TV couch (was enjoying this in front of TV).The Ayam Buah Keluak Polo Buns was strange, neither sweet nor salty. The rich, earthy taste of the Indonesian black nut did not come forth.For the Pang Susie, it was literally eating your typical Nyonya bak zhang (rice dumpling) in the form of bread instead of glutinous rice, as the lady owner recommended earlier to me. The wintermelon-sweetened filling had a light coriander aroma, though the pork was a little dry.Their pies ($1.90 or 6 for $10) look petite but is heavy on fillings. The Ayam Kleo Meat Pie and Babi Pontay Meat Pie won the Seafood Otah Roll ($2.20, picture below) , which did not have a fully flaky crust despite reheating. The Ayam Kleo (nyonya curry chicken with potatoes) sounds like a typical curry puff, but is much balanced and interesting in flavours due to the sweet shortcrust pastry.
Babi Pontay filled with braised pork, crunchy bamboo shoots
Perhaps it was a public holiday; the selection of nyonya kueh was limited. But both the Kueh Ubi Bingka and Kueh Lapis were exceptionally moist and soft. Never in my life have I come across a kueh lapis that can split into the 9 different layers with just a gentle squeeze with my fingers.
Pandan desserts are my favourite but both Pandan Portugese Egg Tart ($1.50) and Pandan Swiss Roll with Kaya could be revised with more pandan. Pandan swiss roll had slightly dry texture that day. Durian cream puff was marginal, not too different from those elsewhere. For the average price of not more than $2, the portion of the buns is considered very substantial. They were either overstuffed or the bun dough was too thin as fillings were dropping out from the base. But it's a very minor issue and I am not complaining about having more of the delicious sambal petai. There is no eat-in area but you can buy and enjoy in the comfort of your house sofa.
A full-fledged Peranakan bakery is hard to come by these days. Would not it be great if we have more cafes selling traditional peranakan treats instead of cupcakes?
PeraMakan - Your Nyonya Delicatessen
209 East Coast Road
Open: 10am to 8pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays unless it is a public holiday or eve of a public holiday
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