Candlenut Dempsey Road – Michelin Star Peranakan Restaurant’s new location
COMO Dempsey is a new kid on the block at Dempsey. It is quite a large “kid” and it has moved into two blocks, Blocks 17 and 18 Dempsey Road, to be precise. According to their website, “…COMO Dempsey is a lifestyle destination that nurtures and cultivates creativity in fashion, food, directional design and new concepts.” As at the time of this post, two of the food concepts have opened for business. Candlenut Dempsey Peranakan restaurant is one of them. They had been awarded a one Michelin Star in the 2016 Singapore Michelin Guide. They moved out of their former premises at New Bridge Road to the new Dempsey location a month or two ago. Read our post on Candlenut at Dorset Residences here.
The new COMO Dempsey enclave takes up two entire blocks at Dempsey. One block is still under renovation. They are at roughly where Huber’s Butchery used to be. Huber’s is still in Dempsey but had moved to a new block about a year ago.
The interior of Candlenut Dempsey is bright and spacious. The decor is a blend of modern and ethnic. Some parts of the floor are paved with Peranakan styled tiles.
Here are pictures of the Candlenut Dempsey lunch menu. We selected a few Peranakan staples.
Keropok was served while we waited for the food.
The bakwan kepiting soup ($14) was lightly flavoured. The two crabmeat balls were quite bland. A bit of sambal belachan would remedy that, but none was served. We found out that the belachan had to be ordered – at $2 per 20g! We hope this is not a sign of things to come at Peranakan restaurants in general.
The $2 sambal belachan.
We had to try the buah keluak dish. Its long name is “Buah Keluak of Braised Local Chicken, Peranakan Signature Black Nut Sambal”. The buah keluak contents had been de-shelled and cooked with the pieces of chicken. The gravy was black and did not look attractive at all but the taste was extremely good and complex. Three pieces of chicken were served. They were nice and tender. Being lazy people, we were quite happy not to have to dig out the good bits out of a shell and therefore prefer this method of cooking buah keluak.
Another staple Peranakan dish which we had to try was chap chye ($18). This was very well made and we would highly recommend both this and the buah keluak dishes.
We also tried the Chincalok Omelette, Spring Onion ($12). We could barely taste the chincalok or spring onion in this dish.
For drinks, we tried the Thai coconut ($6) and lemongrass ginger drink ($5). The coconut was really flavourful and refreshing. The lemongrass drink was quite diluted in taste. We would stick with the coconut in the future.
We had the coconut snowball ($12) for dessert. This was recommended to us by our young and enthusiastic server. It turned out to be a good choice. A ball of coconut ice-cream with a core of raspberry. A sugar-frosted Shiso leaf provided sweet and minty highlights to the taste. A very good and sweet item to bring our meal to a close. Lunch at the new Candlenut Dempsey restaurant was a pleasant one. The new premises are much nicer and more accessible than the old one. Some things from the past were brought over.