1st July 2013.
Singapore Armed Forces Day.
Candlenut Kitchen was one of my favourite restaurants along with Black Sheep Café and Dezato. I was saddened by its closure in January 2012 followed by Black Sheep Café’s in July in the same year. Dezato, affected by the Tohoku earthquake saw a slight increase in prices and the removal of some of my favourite desserts. Hence, it was excellent news when I found out Candlenut Kitchen is finally going to reopen in June and I have been trying to catch up on the news of its opening. The Peranakan restaurant used to be housed in a quaint, cosy shophouse before moving its current premises at the horrendous, hideous and swanky Dorsett Singapore.
Fortunately, like a lotus in a muddy pond, Candlenut Kitchen decided to keep its interiors simple and elegant with a touch of Peranakan ornamentation. However, it was not as cosy as its former Neil Road’s location. I am also happy to find the menu still as affordable as before and there isn’t an attempt to complicate its food, the menu features classics that one would find familiar like Kueh Pie Tee, Ngoh Hiang, Assam Fish, Babi Pongteh and a few more new items such as a Wok-Fried NZ Beef Striploin and Grilled Chicken (perhaps to cater to the less adventurous guests in Dorsett Singapore)
Without hesitation, I went for the Yeye's Kari (14.00++ SGD) , 4th generation recipe from the chef’s great grandfather, where yeye means grandfather. White coconut curry of chicken with green chilli padi, green peppercorns and kaffir lime leaves. The curry was very robust in flavour but it wasn’t as good as I remembered. The chicken wasn’t as tender and it was much more peppery.
On the other hand, the Mum’s Curry (14.00++ SGD) was a winner. This curry is so demanded by friends and family that it has become a must-have at every special occasion. Fresh local chicken red curry with potatoes and kaffir lime leaves.
The chicken was very tender and soaked with the flavours from the curry which was equally superb by itself. The hearty red curry goes very well with rice (free flow with the main course orders). The addition of kaffir lime leaves also gave the curry a pleasant herbal flavour.
Just as you thought the good stuff ends there, wait till you had the desserts. Calvin had the Durian Soup (9.00++ SGD) while I had the phenomenal Banana Caramel Pudding. In retrospective, the Banana Caramel Pudding maybe “boring” but going avant garde is not what Candlenut is trying to do as explained by its menu, it is heartfelt food prepared “Just the way Popo and Mum taught us.”
And its Banana Caramel Pudding (9.00++ SGD), a symphony of ginger crumble, home-made gula melaka ice cream, steamed banana cake with caramelized banana was really good. It may have the look and feel of a western dessert but the flavours and textures reminded me of having a nice freshly baked traditional banana cake or a really good local dessert with gula melaka.
Needless to say, I will be coming back again.
Here are the visuals:
331 New Bridge Road #01-03
Monday to Friday
12pm to 2:30pm ∞ 6pm to 10pm
Closed for lunch ∞ 6pm to 10pm
Closed on Sundays and