Violet Oon’s Kitchen

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Setting
Violet Oon’s Kitchen – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen
After spending years in semi-retirement mode, Violet Oon – Singapore’s food doyenne and authority in Peranakan cuisine – springs back into our radar again, this time with a maiden restaurant project with her grown-up children, Tay Su Lyn and Tay Yi Ming, as co-owners. Taking over the former space of a3 Italian bistro & bar along Bukit Timah Road, Violet Oon’s restaurant – aptly named Violet Oon’s Kitchen – spots a smart and charming colonial-inspired look of white washed walls and marble topped tables against black wood chairs and tiled floor in lovely monochromatic tones. The restaurant’s interior is fashioned by Oon’s daughter, Su Lyn, a fashion designer, while son, Yi Ming, runs the floor.
What to expect?
Shepherd’s pie – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen
Beef rendang – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen

Babi pong tay – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen
Pitta bread with buah keluak tapenade and chilli crab sauce – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen
Dry laksa – Photo courtesy of Violet Oon’s Kitchen

The menu is not what you would expect of a classic Peranakan restaurant for it fuses western-style dishes – like shepherd’s pie, an excellent pulled beef with rigatoni pasta in ragu sauce and desserts like sticky toffee date pudding – with Peranakan dishes that run on dual tracks. Expect perennial Peranakan favourites like the lush and hearty ayam buah keluak (braised chicken with Indonesian black nut); tiles of unctuous babi pong tay (slow-braised pork belly with bamboo shoots and mushrooms) in a savoury bean paste-laced broth; hunks of full-on-flavour beef rendang in an intoxicating coconut milk-bathed spice paste and the chap chye(mixed vegetables) tossed in an addictive prawn stock – yes, Oon executes them all with finesse. But Oon brandishes more than good old classics, her menu also boasts a stash of modern Peranakan creations executed with aplomb – think pita bread with twin dips of prawn-infused buah keluak sambal tapenade and chilli crab sauce, pan-tossed dry laksa with fish cake, tau pok (fried toufu) and heaps of laksa leaves and the sweet and silky bubor cha cha panna cotta. Oon will be introducing a menu of weekly specials so that returning regulars from the upscale residential estate will never have a dull dinner. Violet Oon’s Kitchen is a much-needed addition to Bukit Timah’s rather sparse dining scene – we are rejoicing that we no longer need to make the schlep to Singapore’s eastern fringe for our Peranakan fix.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen | 881 Bukit Timah Road | Tel: 65-6468 5430

For picture story, visit facebook.com/bibikgourmand

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© Evelyn Chen 2013

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