House of Perankan Petit is possibly going down as one of the year's most wasted eats. A waste of calories, and a waste of time; I walked out of the restaurant, post-dinner, crabby and dissatisfied.
The cooking was clunky and uneven, and scarcely authentic. And what's baffling was how the restaurant managed to draw a full crowd on a regular weekend, notwithstanding its limited capacity. Even more mystifying was its glowing online reviews, and longevity in the brutal world of F&B, which tends to weed out the crap.
That said, service was hospitable and well-meaning. Even if they lacked knowledge of the menu, forgot to hold off the parsley/cilantro/coriander leaves, and were a clumsy mess (they'd spilled a black soy braise on my white skirt while clearing the table, but apologetically offered complimentary Perrier to dab out the stain before it set).
Despite assurances to the contrary by the waiter who took our order, the Otak Otak ($12) was laced with coriander leaves. I couldn't eat this, so my friend doubled up as a rubbish bin. But, he couldn't finish this either; it'd stayed in a steamer about a minute too long and reeked of a fishy odour.
The Nonya Chap Chye ($10), a melange of cabbage, beancurd skin, black fungus, and glass vermicelli stewed in bean paste, was decent, if a little pedestrian.
The tamarind in the Assam Prawns ($18) lent a delightful piquancy to the sweetness of the tiger prawns, which were plump but less than sparkling fresh.
The spicy coconut cream slathered over the Scallop Lemak ($28) was commendable, but then was let down by the overcooked scallops.
I get that the Claypot Chicken ($16) was meant to be a comforting homey staple but it was amateurish. In a way that a teenager in a Sec 1 Home Economics class would be able to do this. So even if this was nice, I didn't think its price point was worthwhile.
The Babi Pongteh ($16) used lean pork stewed in taucheo and garlic. I'm totally on board with the the healthy, "no fatty pork belly" direction the restaurant intended to take, but only if the pork was cooked well and remained moist. Instead, the lack of fat layers highlighted how dry and stringy the pork was.We didn't finish this.
The soups lacked depth of flavour. The Itek Tim ($10), a classic salted vegetables, duck and pork rib soup was grimacingly sour, without the balance of a rich duck flavour.
It was a blessing in disguise that the Bakwang Kepiting ($8), a crabmeat broth with a stuffing blend of prawns, crabmeat, pork, and bamboo shoots in a crab shell, was small in portion. It was too damn saccharine.
We really wanted to give the Pulot Hitam ($4.50), a dessert of black glutinous rice pudding swirled with coconut milk, a fair shake, but this was watery and lackluster. This was the Hubs' favourite dessert but he actually declined a second mouthful.
House of Peranakan Petit
42 Eng Hoon Street
Tel: 6222 1719
Open Wednesdays to Mondays from 12noon to 3am; Closed on Tuesdays