|Straits Chinese Restaurant
15 Queen Street
#01-03 Tan Chong Tower (Next to Royal Queen Hotel)
Adult : $18.88++ Child : $10.88++
An excellent establishment for your first step into Peranakan cuisine. Then explore the A La Carte Dishes!
My journey to Straits Chinese Restaurant was by no means a mere coincidence. I was looking for a buffet that was well priced, served quality food and located in town. And after randomly scouring the web, Straits Chinese appeared, yet it never occurred to my mind that Peranakan cuisine would be on the menu today.
Being priced at $18.88++ , there was a spread of 21 choices to choose from and one can eat as much as the heart contents. However, the limit for the appetizers to be served only once was a little disappointing. They were good, and each one served packed a punch in their own way.
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Crispy Ngoh Hiang with an extremely juicy and savoury meaty filling.
My first bite into the Ngoh Hiang gave a delectable crunch from the extremely crispy skin and as it went further, a savoury sweet meaty taste could be enjoyed.
Crab Foo Yong Egg
The Crab Foo Yong Egg is probably a new encounter for me as I feel it is more of a Chinese dish than Peranakan. Still, the use of lettuce as a wrap complemented well with the hearty taste of the egg.
Po Piah Goreng
Not too oily and the juiciness of the filling is still retained all in one package. Yum!
Kuih Pie Ti
Now these are good. I wouldn’t mind asking for seconds or thirds for this dish. Somehow, Kueh Pie Ti has always attracted me (must be the allure of everything in one bite size cup). I bit into it and the juices which gathered at the bottom burst instantly. Mmmn =)
Another new encounter. The sambal timoon is well marinated with spices and it leaves one with the whet for more. However, I discerned the cucumber to be a little bitter and that did not complement the spiciness well.
The mark of any Peranakan establishment, the Sambal Belachan. I give my two thumbs up for this. A little salty, a little spicy, just right to add that delicious boost to any of the dishes and excellent enough to eat with plain rice.
Ayam Buah Keluak
Ayam Buah Keluak is probably the most commonly associated dish with Peranakan food. What is most important for this dish (and actually for any other Straits dishes) is the rempah (blend of spices) base where everything starts from. You have a good rempah, you will get a good dish. p>
The gravy was a little spicy sweet and there was the hint of the buah keluak in it as well. Speaking of the buah keluak, the version at Straits Chinese is the blended variety. It contained a well mixed filling of the nut, spices and minced meat. I might add that the balance was good with the nut not too overpowering or the spices too bland. (Though I still prefer the nut being au nature).
Good enough for two servings if you crave for more.
The babi ponteh is basically summed up in one word – soft. I enjoyed the way the meat melts tenderly in the mouth revealing the delightful gravy which the pieces were bast in gingerly.
The satay babi was good, with the meat pieces being easy to bite. The rempah which the meat was fried in had a strong hint of serai (lemongrass) which I enjoyed. However, it could be made a little spicier as I still feel that a little kick was well needed.
J2K3 Award Winner
An award winner on the buffet menu. The otah otah was served up to my table sizzling hot and the oil in the hot plate was literally jumping in excitement. It is a big portion easily shared between 4 people and as I must mention again, there is an excellent blend of the spices and fish paste.
There was a hearty bite in every mouthful and the chilli in it brightened the rich flavour of the fish. Good enough for at least three servings =)
Probably the best otah otah I have eaten so far.
Nonya Chap Chye
Standard fare of Nonya Chap Chye with a well spread of vegetables, beancurd skin, mushroom and dried prawns. Good taste and texture.
ikan Assam Nanas Pedas
Assam somehow makes a very good complement to fish. The tangy sweetness smothers the fresh fleshy goodness of the sea very well. Nonetheless while I give marks for the well made spices and tanginess, I felt that the fish should have at least been cooked together with the rempah for at least 5 – 10 minutes. To me, it was like the gravy was simply poured over a steamed fish and it became like a piano playing two contrasting songs.
If you love soups, Itek Tim should be on your request list. There was a good sour taste from the preserved vegetables and tomatoes and the broth was clear and not too filling. However, I personally felt that the duck should have been simmered longer as the soup needed a much needed duck enhancement to give a much richer flavour.
Crispy, savoury and delicious. You can practically finish this is one go. Call for more!
If you are a fan of vegetables simmered in a spicy coconut gravy, Sayor Lodeh would be the choice for you. With tastes very similar to the gravy from Longtong ( i think its the same ), the sweet vegetable suddenly tastes so much richer because of the coconut milk. Though one thing is for certain, this could prob
ably be more fattening than indulging in the goodness of veggies!
Udang Mentega – Fried Butter Prawns. Crispy fried prawns with a lovely buttery texture to it.
Chin Chow (grass jelly) was very smooth, delicious and refreshing. A little on the sweet side but the crushed ice made up for it!
I just love the way the Chendol is so well presented and it taste just as excellent. The coconut was not overpowering and the amount of gula melaka was just nice. Ultimately my most favourite dessert of the day!
I didn’t see this on the buffet menu, but Straits Chinese does serve excellent Nonya Kueh. Soft, sweet and satisfying. A very good way to finish the meal in all its traditional sense.
To my thoughts, Straits Chinese Restaurant is a great way for any beginner of Straits food to take their first step into the Peranakan gastronomic culture. Being a buffet serving, popular dishes can be ventured into first and after which, a wide variety is made available from the menu to scour out the favourite.
Yet if you are a hard core buffet lover who insists on quantity rather than a selected variety, Straits Chinese might not be the place for you.
It is a good place for family gatherings with the restaurant being spacious, homely and the food being in overall very good. Hunger for Peranakan food? Take a look at Straits Chinese Restaurant.
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