I discovered an old gem recently at Novena recently. Apparently, I was told by Jeffrey, one of the owners, that they have been open 9 years! Funny how I have always passed it eating the Hong Kong Family restaurant on its left or Prawn Mee to its right but deselected Novena Peranakan Cuisine.
They run a set lunch/dinner at $12.90, with 3 mains (1 each from 3 different lists), 1 drink and 1 dessert.
Been there twice now! And these are the dishes:
1) Assam Pedas Fish Meat – so good I repeated on second visit!
Assam Pedas, literally meaning “sour spicy,” is a classic Malaysian/Indonesian dish. It is supposed to be sour and fiery hot, and this dish didn’t fail to live up to its name. Rich and sour punch with every mouthful of fish and curry. This dish at Novena Peranakan Cuisine tastes extraordinarily satisfying and has become one of my favorite top fish curries in Singapore (alongside Ocean Curry Fish Head @ Toa Payoh Lorong 4 and Hong Kong Street Chun Tat Kee)!
2) Kangkong – First visit/ Nyonya Chap Chye – Second visit
Both were fresh and well cooked but personally prefer the garlic fried kang kong because the chap chye was tad too sweet. Then again, that is true Nyonya chap chye style.
3) Ayam Goreng – First visit / Ayam Buah Keluak – Second visit
The Ayam Buah Keluak is a traditional Peranakan dish – chicken pieces cooked with “keluak” nuts (nut which comes with a black rough shell exterior, but oozes a piquant liquid inside). The nut taste is unique and for me, an acquired taste after few tries.
However, my preference between the 2 is the ayam goreng! Crispy on the outside but soft and tender inside! And no frozen taste nearer the bones that accompanies some fried chicken.
Dessert – Chendol and Pelut Hitam
Great home cooked tasting Peranakan food, and good value for $12.90/pax.
Novena Peranakan Cuisine
Address: #01-02, Novena Gardens, 273 Thomson Road
Operating Hours: Daily: 11:30 – 15:00, 17:30 – 22:00