We had a friend visiting from Hong Kong a couple of weeks back and E decided to bring them to Novena Peranakan Cuisine for a taste of some local dishes. We were both early, and the moment I stepped into the restaurant, I had a sense of deja vu.
And then I remembered. Many years ago, we had another friend visit us from New Zealand and we had brought them to this very same restaurant (interesting memorable side story involving a bug here :P).
One thing though that has not changed in the restaurant is the grumpy service. Don’t expect for the manager to give you a smile or come when you’re ready to order. He will come when he’s ready, that’s it, and when he’s in front of you, it’s chop chop (tell him quickly what you want).
However, for all its faults, the restaurant does serve some pretty tasty nonya cuisine. We ordered one of their set meals just to make things easier. This is what we had:
Ayam buah Keluak which is stewed chicken with keluak nuts.
Fish Head Curry – definitely a table favourite. The portion was very generous for a table of four people. The curry was truly “sedap” with the right tinge of spicy and sourness to it.
Old school comfort food chap chye – we opted for this non-spicy vegetable dish to even out the amount of spice on the table.
Itek Tim, also known as duck and salted vegetable soup. One of my favourite dishes – salted vegetable soups are the best!
The set menu also came with dessert. At first, we thought that we could choose from the menu, but the manager curtly informed us that there was only one dessert available for that night, which was chendol. Oh well!
It is truly difficult to fault the restaurant on their food. All the dishes we had were delicious, tasty and full of old-school flavours. That is probably the sole reason why we keep coming back and are wiling to put up with the curt service.
Add: 273 Thomson Rd