Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill is a new restaurant of Singapore food critic and cooking doyenne Violet Oon. While National Kitchen by Violet Oon at the national Gallery Singapore concentrates on Peranakan food, Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill at Clark Quay also presents the chargrilled flavours of Singapore’s satays and grilled seafood. The new restaurant looks impressive and the food is decent but our impression is that the target clientele may be foreign visitors rather than locals.
The decor Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill exudes a genteel old world charm. The dimly lit space, with an imposing bar, dark wood panels, old style lamps and black & white tiled floor, has a chic moody atmosphere. Patrons can see food being prepared in the kitchen through a large glass panel. There are a few tables outside in the non air-conditioned walkway.
The low light in the restaurant means that it is hard to take photos discretely without using flash in the restaurant. That is our excuse for the somewhat poor quality of the photos in this post.
Menu of Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill
The menu Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill at Clark Quay is not extensive. There are Peranakan dishes, like Babi Pong Tay, Ayam Buah Keluak and Nasi Goreng Nyonya Pedas, different varieties of satay and grilled seafood. Here are photos of sections of the menu.
Dinner at Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill
Currently, Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill only serves dinner. We ordered the Tau Hu Goreng ($9) and Kuah Pie Tee ($17) as starters. The main events were Pork Satay Hainan ($16) and Beef Satay ($17). We also ordered the Nyonya Chap Chye ($15). GST and service charge would be added to the bill.
The presentation of Tau Hu Goreng was not quite what we expected. The dish consisted of pieces of fried bean curd with the bean sprouts and shredded cucumber on the side. You could have just the bean curd with the peanut sauce or salad with the sauce or combine them all together. The dominant taste was that of the peanut sauce,which was mildly spicy, sweet and quite delicious.
The Kueh Pie Tee were topped with prawns and the sweet sauce and chilli could be added according to preference. The shells of the Kuah Pie Tee were thin and crisp. On the whole the Kuah Pie Tee were enjoyable, though we had better ones before.
The satays were nicely grilled and quite tasty. The pork satay was sweeter while the beef satay was spicier. The zesty satay sauce was impressive – a balanced blend of spices and peanuts with a dollop of blended pineapple.
The chap chye that night was well braised but a little too salty for our liking.
We had room for desserts and ordered the Pulot Hitam with Coconut Ice Cream ($12) and Ice Cream with Cashew Crunch ($10). The latter consisted of a scoop of coconut ice cream and a scoop of gula Melaka ice cream topped with crushed cashew nuts and drizzled with gula Melaka syrup. Both the desserts were not bad but not particularly memorable.
Overall, we think that Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill at Clark Quay is a very nice restaurant with tasty satay. Their prices are not low but it would be a good place to bring foreign visitors to let them enjoy local food in a swanky yet atmospheric setting.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill
01-18 Clarke Quay
3B River Valley Road
Tel: +65 983 9935
Opening Hours: 6pm to midnight
Nearby MRT station: Fort Canning, Clark Quay
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog