Violet Oon…. Well, she’s quite the brand name herself – she’s an accomplished cookbook author and one of Singapore’s home grown celebrities. She’s helmed cafes and restaurants on-and-off over the years with emphasis on what she does best – Peranakan cuisine. Her latest venture sees her teaming up with her family members in opening up Violet Oon’s Kitchen along Bukit Timah Road, just before Old Holland Road, between Bar Bar Black Sheep and Forture Steamboat Restaurant.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen is one of those restaurants that you really, really want to say that you love it so much that a re-visit in definitely on the cards….But, there’s always a But.
To cater to younger patrons, expatriates, and people who may not have been exposed to Peranakan cuisine, Violet Oon has tweaked some of the traditional Peranakan dishes. Modernized, if you will. But just as old is never always gold, modern is never always better.
The Ngoh Hiang was at best decent. Yes…the skin was crispy but it just felt like there was something missing to bring the dish up to another level. At the very least, I was expecting more for the price. But, this comes out rather quickly from the kitchen and is served pre-sliced – great for sharing in groups.
The saving grace however, has got to be the accompanying chilli belachan. If there was one thing that stayed true to tradition at Violet Oon’s Kitchen, it has got to be it. There was definitely a kick to it.
Chicken Curry served with Roti Jala
I’ve not had authentic Peranakan Chicken Curry (out of curiosity, what are the characteristics of an authentic chicken curry?) before, so take this with a pinch of salt.
I did not enjoy the chicken curry as much as I thought I would have. The chicken was fork tender, so that definitely has got my two thumbs up. But, it was far too mild for my liking; both in terms of the level of spicy-ness and flavour profiles. Maybe….. it was just a bad day for the kitchen.
I like Laksa…you know, the creamy, soupy variety. The dry version, less. At risk of sounding like a fickle minded person with my contradictions, this was probably the best dish of our meal. The flavours of a traditional Laksa were definitely there, just presented in a modernised way. Moreover, the prawns were fresh which made it all the more enjoyable.
But between what I’ve come to know as Laksa and Violet Oon’s dry Laksa version, give me the former anytime, any day.
Nonya Chap Chye
We ordered an additional side dish to accompany our mains – Chap Chye. Chap chye is essentially mixed vegetables braised slowly in stock. In my opinion, whilst a lot of work must have gone into preparing this dish, it unfortunately fell flat on much heightened expectations. The stock was not as rich as I would have expected it to be. I’ve definitely had better. This is definitely in contrast to what I’ve read elsewhere – thus my heightened expectations.
There’s one positive though – if one of your guests enjoys or if all your guests enjoy their Peranakan cuisine except you, Violet Oon’s Kitchen serves up non-Peranakan dishes as well, like Shepard’s Pie.
Have you tried Violet Oon’s Kitchen; what’s your take on it? Yay or nay? I’ll love to hear from you!
Violet Oon’s Kitchen
881 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: 6468 5430
Dinner: 6-9.30pm (Close Mondays)