Guan Hoe Soon is one of the last few bastions of authentic dining in the historically Peranakan neighbourhood. Open since 1953, the shophouse dining room stocks a mini-museum of vintage tableware at the back – but, of course, we’re here for the food.
For some pre-meal snacking, we’re presented a plate of too-fresh achar ($3) curiously spiked with the livery notes of chicken gizzards. But as the weathered marble tables start to stack with dishes, the chunky otah-otah ($8) becomes a fast favourite, as is the imposing, must-share portion of tangy assam pedas pomfret ($38). And unlike the soya-rich chap chyes ($10) found elsewhere, Guan Hoe Soon’s tastes almost Sino, with strong tones of shitake and oyster sauce. And if you’re ever tempted to order the fried bakwan kepeting ($12) creation, don’t – Guan Hoe Soon’s forte is in its classics.
Check out our best Peranakan restaurants feature for more.