Candlenut serves updated Peranakan dishes in a modern elegant venue. We had a pleasant dinner there but we felt that it was not always a good idea to tinker with traditional recipes.
Candlenut at Dorsett Residences has a great location at the foot of the Bukit Pasoh enclave and right next to Outram Station. It has an impressive modern glass front and the interior is clean and simple. There are some Peranakan elements and nyonya paraphernalia but none of the ornate decor we usually see in some other Peranakan restaurants.
The menu has all the traditional Peranakan standards like Babi Pongteh, Bakwan Kepiting and Chicken Buah Keluak; plus modern interpretations such as French Duck Breast Rendang and Wok fried Beef Striploin with Laksa Leaves and Chilli.
The Mum’s Curry ($14) we had was curry chicken with potatoes & kaffir lime leaves. The curry sauce had complex flavours and there was more than a hint of tartness. The chicken meat was not flavourful and it might be because the chicken was not left to simmered in the curry sauce for long enough. We did not really enjoy the curry dish and felt that it was a case where updating the traditional recipe did not yield a delicious result.
The Wok-Fried Gula Melaka King Prawns ($24) were nicely presented. Two large prawns, half-shelled, cooked with coconut butter sauce infused with gula melaka, lemongrass, coconut, herbs & chilli were delicious. At $12 per prawn, we were glad that the dish did not disappoint.
The truly traditional Chap Chye ($12) was very well braised and tasty. The humble dish of cabbage with mushrooms, sweet & dried bean curd, pork belly and black fungus was cooked just right in prawn stock gravy and was most enjoyable. Their sambal was also very good.
It was a pity that we did not have room for desserts. Chef-owner Malcolm Lee has some innovative concoctions – such as Buah Keluak ice cream and Steamed Banana Cake & Ginger Crumble with Gula Melaka ice cream.
Candlenut’s efforts in creating innovative flavours are to be applauded. However, the outcomes of innovative actions are inherently unpredictable. If you have a certain idea of what Peranakan food should taste like, then Candlenut may surprise you – some dishes may be bewilderingly disappointing while others may be unexpectedly good.
Food : 3
Service : 3
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating : 3 TOPs
Average price per person for dinner : $32
331 New Bridge Road #01-03 Dorsett Residences
Mon – Fri :12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Sat : 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays
Tel : +65 8121 4107
Nearby Stations: Outram Park
The Ordinary Patrons
Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat