happy national day, all you guys! I’m back from the americas (photos to follow) to celebrate this fantastic day with my favorite little nation, and it seems appropriate to restart programming with this little gem serving up a very local, very traditional cuisine.
blue ginger is an institution for peranakan eating – the result of a fortuitous hodgepodge of cuisines that originated from our forefathers-of-many-lands. reservations are a must for this small two-storey restaurant in a restored building along tanjong pagar, and the food is delicious and authentic.
you start with small dishes of achar – a sweet-sour pickle of cucumbers, carrots and pineapple tossed with chopped peanuts – and it’s good to follow with kueh pie tee, fried shells filled with stewed turnip and topped with a halved prawn.
these little amuse bouches need to be eaten quickly to maintain the integrity of the shell, and will go so fast you’ll need a second order (as we did).
but the beauty of the cuisine is really in its entrees, which emphasises spice use and long stewing times for tender meat.
it doesn’t make for great photography, given almost everything ends up in a brown curry/ gravy, but who cares when you have beef rendang with soft, stringy (this is a key characteristic of well-cooked rendang) chunks of meat; ayam buah keluak, a laborious stew of tender chicken pieces cooked with a southeast-asian nut; and prawns stir-fried in a spicy-tangy tamarind sauce.
our last entree was an assam fish curry, a light variant cooked sour with tamarind paste, without any coconut milk for richness.
to round things off, the entire table ordered the chendol; with or without durian, this dish of shaved ice, jelly and cooked beans sweetened with brown palm sugar rounds things off nicely.
it’s a nice restaurant for both dating and family, and it definitely helps that the food warrants no complaints – just remember to call early for a table, and bring an appetite.
Blue Ginger Restaurant
97 Tanjong Pagar Rd
tel +65 6222 3928
$$$: 50-60 per person (it isn’t cheap, but it does depend on what you order)