Peramakan remains one of our premier Peranakan restaurants favoured even by finicky Nonya matriarchs. With unfailingly good food that's appreciatively well-priced and heartily portioned, conscientious service, and a warm homely ambience, it's little wonder that the lauded restaurant is raved about all over. Although Peramakan has got another branch in the east, I still prefer to drive down to the south to its original outpost anytime I'm hankering authentically traditional Nonya cuisine.
I loved the excellent Kachang Panjang ($12), crunchy long beans with succulent prawns and sambal. Peramakan's rendition was heavy on the belachan and redolent of the charred fragrance of the pounded dried shrimps, a lot headier than I'd expected but delicious nonetheless.
The Ayam Rendang ($14) of juicy plump chicken chunks braised in a spicy coconut sauce was intensely flavoured with tumeric. Even though I felt the gravy could be nuttier and leaned a little too much towards the sweet instead of savoury, we still wiped the platter clean off.
For a more piquant flavour, the Ayam Sio ($14), with tender hunks of chicken softly braised in a tamarind and coriander gravy, was bright and tangy.
The Nyonya Tauhu ($14), with silky smooth egg beancurd deep-fried and smothered in a mildly spicy minced pork and prawn dice gravy, was comforting and saucy.
The Cincalok Omelette ($10) was surprisingly delicate, the use of salty pungent fermented shrimp was controlled and balanced with copious weaves of fresh spring onions and chilli.
In the midst of our current cooler weather, the Bakwan Kepiting ($5), a sweetly delicate pork-laced chicken soup hit the comfort button squarely. A duo of minced pork and crabmeat balls woven with bamboo shoots, the best I've ever had, provided texture. This is likely loaded with MSG but still makes for an absolute must-order here.
The Sago Gula Melaka ($4), served chilled, was the perfect symmetry of creamy coconut milk and smoky gula melaka.
10 Bukit Chermin Road
Level 3 Keppel Club
Tel: 6377 2829
Open daily from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10pm for dinner