Since we're house-sitting for Pops, going to Ivins to eat has become a lot more convenient due to the proximity of the location to Pop's home. The food at Ivins is authentically good, the prices are cheap (no GST or service charge here), and the restaurant, though basic in design, is comfortably air-conditioned.
We ordered the Duan Keledek Lemak ($6.50), sweet potato leaves and sweet potato in coconut gravy, which was surprisingly delicious. We loved how the mild sweet potato leaves complemented the creamy mildness of the coconut milk and slight spiced flavour of the gravy.
Of course we got our favourite Peranakan dish, Babi Pongteh ($8.90), stewed pork belly in soy bean gravy. The BF says that Ivins version is as good as his aunt's, which is saying a lot, because his Peranakan aunt is an amazing cook.
The Sotong Sambal ($7.50) was disappointingly mild. There was no "kick" in the sambal, and it was more piquant than spicy.
The Pulot Hitam with Vanilla Ice Cream ($3.50) was very good and authentic (longans are added to the black glutinous rice dessert, the way most traditional Peranakans cook it), though I prefer the non-vanilla ice-cream version. This was like the Peranakan version of American root beer float.
Update 31 Dec 2011: Ivins has been replaced by Irvins Seafood, a cze char restaurant previously located at River Valley Road
Ivins Nyonya Specialties
Peranakan Casual Dining
No. 4 Jalan Leban
Upper Thomson Road
Tel: 6451 4622
Open daily from 11am to 3pm for lunch and 6pm to 10pm for dinner. Closed every Thursday.