Hungry for good Peranakan food in Singapore? Here are the best restaurants that serve up flavourful, delicious dishes.
History lesson time: The inter-marriages between Straits Chinese and Malays birthed a delicate culture of the Nyonyas (ladies) and the Babas (gentlemen). This was then translated to Peranakan traditional fashion, handmade crafts and, of course, delicious cuisine. Just like the culture and heritage, Peranakan food in Singapore is rich and full of complex flavours. It is, after all, a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cuisines, resulting in a heady and wondrous combination of all things spicy, aromatic and homely. Hungry yet? Look no further for the best Peranakan restaurants to try…
Where to get Peranakan food in Singapore
1. Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant
Step into the welcoming space and you’ll be served a homely meal with a lick of heat – thanks to the signature sambal belacan. Whether you’re heading to the east-side restaurant or the Queenstown cafe, you’ll be dining on delectable dishes. Specialties to try include bakwan kepiting (pork and crab meatball soup), gula melaka assam prawns and Nyonya fried chicken wings.
Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant, #01-03, 11 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427744; Chilli Padi Nonya Cafe, #06-21, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, ground level, Singapore 119620
2. The Peranakan
Executive chef Raymond Khoo and his team serve a menu curated from three generations of delicious Peranakan family recipes. Dig into a communal meal of sambal sotong, nasi goreng buah keluak and vegetarian mains such as crab-free ‘crab’ cakes and braised tofu.
The Peranakan, Level 2, Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, Singapore 238879; order online for delivery
Helmed by chef-owner Malcolm Lee, the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan resto offers superb traditional dishes with a modern, elevated spin. But if you’re looking for the complete dining experience, go for the Taste of Candlenut menu to savour dishes like wagyu beef rendang, ikan gulai (snapper fillet curry) and gula melaka cake.
Candlenut, 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676; available for delivery
4. Violet Oon Singapore
Helmed by renowned food connoisseur Violet Oon, her eponymous bistro celebrates Singapore’s rich cultural diversity. The chic and iconic restaurant serves Nyonya staples like ayam buah keluak (braised chicken in black nut gravy), dry laksa and sambal eggplant. Oh, and make sure you leave room for dessert – must-tries include kueh beng kah (tapioca cake with coconut milk and gula melaka) and pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) with coconut ice cream. Various outlets are scattered across the island, each with their own unique character, but the essence remains the same, with black marbled surfaces, gold accents and framed Peranakan tiles. Psst: Violet Oon is one of the many brands part of Made With Passion, an initiative that promotes our local brands which embody the Singapore spirit of turning possibilities into reality.
Violet Oon Singapore, multiple locations including National Gallery Singapore and Ion Orchard; order online for delivery
For modern Peranakan dining, make a date at Godmama and settle down in the sleek indoor setting or at the alfresco area. Offering a mix of classic dishes and contemporary creations, the restaurant whips up plates like buah keluak fried rice, pork collar satay and tiger prawn laksa pasta to satisfy your cravings.
Godmama, #04-07, Funan, 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179097; order online for delivery
6. House of Peranakan
Boasting three Peranakan dining concepts, restaurant group House of Peranakan has been serving home-style Nyonya food ever since chef-owner Bob Seah established Peranakan Inn in 1985. Tuck into smashing favourites like curry fish head, assam prawns and pulut hitam. Uncomplicated, honest and comforting – just the way we like it. Psst: Some of the guests this place has seen include past presidents and even Thai royalty.
House of Peranakan, multiple locations including East Coast Road and Frankel Avenue; order online for delivery
7. Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant
Known to be one of Singapore’s oldest Peranakan restaurants (it was established in 1953!), Guan Hoe Soon is the go-to place for a no-frills Nyonya meal. Choose from items like ayam buah keluak, sayur lodeh and udang assam pedas (prawns in spicy tamarind sauce) for a good ‘ol time. Heads up, dishes come in three sizes – small, medium and large.
Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant, 38/40 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427764
8. The Blue Ginger
Family-run restaurant The Blue Ginger is one well-known spot that dishes out exquisite Peranakan cuisine. Established in 1995, the Michelin Bib Gourmand name is an oldie but goodie. If you’re a stickler for tradition, head to the original Tanjong Pagar locale for flavourful plates of beef rendang, pork ribs assam and kueh pie tee. But, those keen to check out its elegant, contemporary eatery at Great World can fill up on the outlet-exclusive Nyonya noodles and buah keluak fried rice. All that said, don’t forget to leave space for the creamy durian chendol dessert!
The Blue Ginger, multiple locations including Tanjong Pagar and Great World; order online for delivery
9. Indigo Blue Kitchen
A concept by Les Amis Group, Indigo Blue Kitchen presents comforting Peranakan recipes with a modern spin. It’s all about recreating those nostalgic memories of growing up in grandma’s kitchen! Specials to try include pan-fried assam king prawns, the DIY popiah set and pork belly pong teh. Round up the fam for a lovely dining experience in the warm and inviting space.
Indigo Blue Kitchen, #03-09, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, Singapore 228208
10. Ivins Peranakan Restaurant
The decor at this Bukit Timah restaurant isn’t exactly eye-catching, but you’re not here for the ‘gram anyway. For an affordable price, you can fill your plates with itek sio (braised duck in tamarind and coriander gravy), sambal prawns and curry fish head. Notice a trend? They’re all dishes with gravy that you should definitely mix your rice in… you’ll thank us later.
Ivins Peranakan Restaurant, 19/21 Binjai Park, Singapore 589827
11. True Blue Cuisine
Nyonya recipes at True Blue have been kept in the family for generations, which makes dining here a hearty, homely experience. Chefs overseeing the kitchen include Daisy Seah and her son Benjamin Seck (affectionately known as Baba Ben). Not only is the decor authentic – think wooden windows, “tok panjang” tables and partition screens – but the food is marvellous as well. You’ll be feasting on plates of ayam buah keluak and chap chye (stewed cabbage with glass vermicelli).
True Blue Cuisine, 47/49 Armenian Street, Singapore 179937
12. TingKat PeraMakan
Founded by fourth-generation Nyonya Kathryn Ho, this Peranakan concept has been around the block since 2004. Even though the fancy PeraMakan restaurant at Keppel Club closed in 2020, its casual sister outlets are still dishing out the good stuff. Don’t miss out on the beef rendang or babi pong teh (braised pork in fermented soybean sauce) renditions. The set meals with a main, two sides, a drink and a dessert are pretty value-for-money, too!
TingKat PeraMakan, multiple locations including Owen Road and Alexandra Retail Centre; order online for delivery
13. Lynnette’s Kitchen
While it’s not a restaurant per se, this is one Peranakan private dining experience you should scribble on your must-eat list. It’s an idea cooked up by Lynnette Seah, Cultural Medallion winner and founding member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The concept allows diners to either adjourn to her abode or invite her specially into theirs to prepare a feast of dishes like lamb rendang, baked assam pedas snapper fillet and dry mee siam.
Lynnette’s Kitchen, book online
14. Baba Chews Bar & Eatery
Housed within the former Joo Chiat Police Station, Baba Chews retains much of its colonial charm of the 20s. White walls brighten up the cosy establishment and colourful motif tiles contrast against metal mesh sliding panels that are more contemporary than stifling. But don’t be tricked into thinking this is a traditional Peranakan restaurant. The menu brims with stand-out fusion dishes like Iberico pork ribs pong teh, ayam buah keluak burger and chicken rendang lasagne. End off your meal with ondeh ondeh cake or kueh durian, a variation of kueh dadar.
Baba Chews Bar & Eatery, Katong Square, 86 East Coast Road, Singapore 428788
15. Straits Chinese Restaurant
Serving up authentic Peranakan food in Singapore since 1953, this well-known chain is the brainchild of the Guan Hoe Soon Group (see above). Make sure you try the fatty braised babi pong teh and tangy udang assam goreng (fried prawns in spicy tamarind gravy). The curry fish head set is also a popular pick for catering.
Straits Chinese Restaurant, multiple locations including Cecil Street and Joo Chiat Place; order online for delivery
Located in an elegant, black-and-white colonial bungalow along Scotts Road, Indocafe is a cosy restaurant that whips up good Peranakan food in Singapore. Start off with appetisers like ngoh hiang (deep-fried five-spice minced pork roll) before moving on to signature mains such as ayam buah keluak and wagyu beef rendang. End off with the traditional dessert of bubur cha cha (yam, sweet potatoes and bananas in coconut milk) or chendol coconut ice cream.
Indocafe, 35 Scotts Road, Singapore 228227
Have your fill of Peranakan food in Singapore at these great restaurants!