Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen in Joo Chiat is a casual neighbourhood diner serving their signature Nyonya Beef Rendang, Grilled Sambal Barramundi, Ayam Buah Keluak and other Peranakan dishes. It is suitable for family meals, group gatherings or solo dining.
Peranakan in Joo Chiat
According to NLB’s Singapore Infopedia, Joo Chiat’s “association with the Peranakans can be traced back to the early 20th century when many Peranakan families from the Neil Road/Tanjong Pagar area shifted there. Since then, the area has been closely linked with the Peranakans.” It is thus not surprising to find many Peranakan restaurants in Joo Chiat – such as Guan Hoe Soon and Chilli Padi. Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen is another restaurant in Joo Chiat for nyonya food.
Located in a row of shop houses built post-Singapore independence, Old Bibik’s restaurant in Joo Chiat is open and airy. The furnishing and decor are basic and the place has a neighbourhood family restaurant atmosphere.
Old Bibik’s Menu
Old Bibik’s was a business started by two army friends in the defunct Lavender Food Square back in 2009. Its nyonya style chicken, and beef rendang, made from a generations-old secret recipe, were the star attractions. Old Bibik’s in Joo Chiat still serves the signature dishes but now has a representative Peranakan restaurant menu including standards like ayam ponteh, itek sio, ikan assam pedas and chap chye.
Below are pictures of the simple menu of Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen. A link to the online menu is at the end of this blog post.
Rice Sets at Old Bibik’s
In many Peranakan restaurants in Singapore, the food comes in dishes for sharing. That often means that the restaurants will not be suitable for solo dining. Even if there are two of us dining, one may not like fish and the other may not like duck and the compromise will mean we end up ordering the same few dishes – like ngoh hiang and chap chye. We were thus happy to see noodle sets and rice sets on Old Bibik’s menu. We ordered a Combo Chicken & Beef Rendang Rice Set ($11.90) and a Crispy Pomfret Fish Rice Set ($13.90). No GST or service would be added to the bill.
The Combo Rice Set came with curry chicken as well as beef rendang with egg, archar and a generous amount of sambal belacan. The beef rendang was tender and had robust complex flavours. It was delicious. The chicken with thick aromatic curry sauce was also good. The Combo Rice Set was really enjoyable.
The Crispy Pomfret Fish Rice Set was essentially the same as the chicken & rendang set except that we got a whole fish in place of the beef and chicken. The fish was well marinated and fried till it was dark brown. The fish had tender inside but it was the crispy crust that really made it delectable.
We had Soy Cendol ($2.50) to round off our meal. It was a rather unusual take on chendol – combining chilled soya bean curb or tau huay with chin chow, red beans, barley and the green chendol worms. It was not bad but we would still prefer the traditional chendol and traditional tau huay separately.
Overall we think Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen offers good unpretentious Peranankan food. The beef rendang and curry chicken deserve their accolades. The prices are not cheap but reasonable. We would be eating at Old Bibiks’s restaurant in Joo Chiat again.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen
328 Joo Chiat Road #01-02
Opening Hours:12 noon -10 pm
Closed on Tuesdays
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog