Friday, December 23, 2016

The Peranakan @ Orchard Hotel : Tok Panjang and Pandan Chiffon Durian Cake

I thought I entered the world of "Emily of the Emerald Hill" when I stepped into The Peranakan, a restaurant that exhibited the opulence of Peranakan culture at its grandest point. From the finely crafted tableware to the exquisite chandelier, one can't help but feel like a royalty when dining in here. 

I had the chance to try Tok Panjang ("Tok" means table in Hokkien and "Panjang" means "long" in Malay), which is a long table of feast that accommodates the kaleidoscope and magnitude of food specially prepared for very special guests or occasion. 

I'm not a Peranakan food connoisseur and I can't judge how authenticity the dishes are. I was drawn to tasty dishes such as Nasi Ulam Istimewa which I've never tried before. It's a like a rice salad with minced fish, salted fish and vegetables. Both the Sup Bakwan Kepiting and Itek Tim were good too; clean and flavorful without being too overly seasoned. 
However I was disappointed with the Kueh Pie Tee because it's a basic dish and not difficult to go wrong. The version here lacked the necessary sauces and the turnips could have been simmered longer. The deep fried fish with sambal were sorely dry and parched while the Sesame chicken were terribly bland and tough to chew. Nonetheless, it is a good opportunity to try a variety at one go. Ala carte might be a safer investment if you know which items are good and not. 
I think the desserts fared much better than the savoury in the Tok Panjang set which includes a Chef desserts platter. The Pandan Chiffon was utterly moist and fragrant, dusted with fried coconut shavings in gula Melaka. But if you love durian, just head for the durian version. The chilled durian purée on top of the chiffon cake sent me to heaven. It's very sweet and creamy but somehow that temperature contrast between the durian and the cake just produced some miracles. 
The Peranakan High Tea set features a good mix of savoury and sweets such as Hae Bee Toast and Goreng Pisang. However, I had a similar conclusion that the savoury bites might need more fine-tuning before they can meet the standards. These might be interesting to foreigners who are first-timers to Peranakan cuisine but to draw a wider local crowd with an increasing discerning taste buds, the kitchen seriously needs to work harder to catch up. 

This is an invited tasting


PERANAKAN HIGH TEA
11am - 5:30pm daily
Weekdays $24 Weekends $28 per pax
Minimum 2 persons to share

Tok Panjang 
Inclusive of signature soup, chef’s dessert platter and choice of malacca coffee or tea. Is (One day advance order) FREE TP Certificate for each order Minimum 2 persons to share TOK PANJANG FEAST MENU $45/$65 per pax

The Peranakan
442 Orchard Road
Level 2 Claymore Connect
Singapore 238879

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