Serving up a National Obsession: Peramakan

What better way to show off Singapore to visitors than with food? Instead of just sticking to Newton Circus, try these eateries too, where great cuisine and sights are served.

Growing up in a Peranakan household, Chef Kathryn Poh Neo learnt that “well-bred Nyonya girls must learn to cook, sew and keep house”. So, while most children were playing masak-masak, little Kathryn was actually preparing food. Today, the owner-chef of two PeraMakan restaurants holds strongly to her belief that good Peranakan food comes only from a Nyonya’s home. Her restaurants – one at the idyllic Keppel Club and another in the Peranakan enclave of Katong – are extensions of her home, where each dish is lovingly cooked and tasted to ensure that they stay true to the originals passed down by her mother and grandmother. Such love enables Chef Poh Neo and her chefs to laboriously soak, clean and dig out the buah keluak nuts, add spices, then diligently fill them back in before cooking. The same goes for sourcing and extracting the natural dye from blue pea flowers to colour the fluffy apom berkuah pancakes. PeraMakan’s regulars swear by favourites like ayam buah keluak ($16), babi pongtay ($14), beef rendang ($16), petai sambal udang ($12), nasi ulam ($16, advance order required) or ikan garam assam ($16). My pick from the selection of desserts is the durian pengat ($6) which is definitely the one made for me to love.

  • Address: Level 3, Keppel Club 10, Bukit Chermin Road S(109918) (Main Outlet)
  • Opening hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm daily
  • Reservations: 6377 2829
  • Website:
    May 12, 2012
    Ryandall Lim
    Norman Ng
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