Time Out says
Premium Peranakan food with the price tag to boot
If you are looking for The Coconut Club’s famous $13 nasi lemak, know that you won’t find the restaurant at its original location. It has since moved to a newer, bigger space at Ann Siang House. Instead, what you will find is its Peranakan sister: Belimbing Superstar.
And as its name suggests, the restaurant has aspirations. It began a year ago, when chef Ben Teo went into the kitchens of others to learn all about Nonya cuisine. Now, he hopes to celebrate this disappearing culinary tradition, by using what he learned to prepare accessible Peranakan food for all to enjoy – slow, laborious cooking process and all.
Thankfully, you don’t have to wait long for the food. Everything is already prepared, splayed out for diners to pick and choose. Ordering is simple: point at what you want, cai png style, and hope that the servers scoop up a generous serving for you. They don’t.
Deciding what to get can be overwhelming, but you will be fine if you stick to the safe, standard fare like sayur lodeh ($3), chap chye ($5), ayam buah keluak ($7.50), and beef rendang ($10). Otherwise, enlist the help of a friendly floor staff who comes ready with recommendations. With their help, we got the stir-fried kacang botol ($6), a winged bean dish that’s rarely found elsewhere, and the jantung pisang ($7), a tropical, spicy salad made from banana blossom buds.
They don’t always get it right, though. The belimbing pork ($7.50) promised tangy notes, but what we tasted instead was meat so overwhelmingly gamey that even the sour fruit could not salvage. We also wished we could trade the overcooked udang nanas lemak ($18) for more hae cho ($5 for 2 pieces) and yam cakes ($5 for 2 pieces) instead. Some people will find the yam cakes too expensive, but almost everyone will find it to be one of the better, if not the best, yam cakes they’ve had. Each parcel comes well-stuffed with yam and pork bits, and is so deceptively soft you almost forget how much you are paying for.
As with all siblings, comparison is inevitable. One glaring similarity is its hefty price tag. Each dish here is charged by the number of servings, and you quickly realise that being greedy adds up. But hey, if you are in the headspace of paying $13 for a plate of nasi lemak, then maybe spending $20 on Peranakan economical rice doesn’t sound so bad after all.
8 Ann Siang Hill
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sun 11am-3pm|
|Do you own this business?|