Tucked away in this row of shophouses in the Binjai Park residential area, Ivin’s has been here since as far back as I can remember. Other than the signboard, the rest of the restaurant seems to have remained the same over the past 20 years.
The menu has also remained largely unchanged (as far as my memory can tell). Which is a good thing because you come here knowing what you want and knowing what to expect. This is a place to go for familiar, comfort food not to try something new.
The two Peranakan staples – the Ayam Buah Keluak ($6.50) and Nyonya Chap Chye ($4.90) were good and tasty. The chicken was a bit dry but once you smother it with the heavy and oily gravy, all is forgiven. Each serving only contains two pieces of buah keluak which we happily attacked with our forks. We were pleasantly surprised by the beautiful presentation of the Chap Chye. It seems that this humble mixed vegetable dish can be made to look this good.
The assam fish with lady’s fingers, Ikan Masak Assam Pedas, ($5.20) was the weak link of today’s lunch. Not only was the portion quite small, the fish tasted a bit too fishy for our liking. The last dish, another Peranakan staple, the Itek Tim ($5.80) was delicious with the duck blending so well with the salty, sour taste of the preserved vegetables.
It was a satisfying lunch in a peaceful residential neighbourhood. The total bill of $25.68 was reasonable. There is no service charge and you should be able to find free parking nearby. Here are pictures of Ivin’s menu.
Average price per person for lunch : $13
Ivin’s Peranakan Restaurant
19 Binjai Park
Tel : 6468 3060
(Closed on Thursdays)