Mon - Fri: 12:00 - 14:30
Mon - Fri: 18:00 - 22:00
Sat: 18:00 - 22:00
Closed: Sun & PH
Candlenut Kitchen is a modern Peranakan restaurant that offers authentic Nonya dishes, wine, proper coffee and modern Nonya desserts.
See other reviews at http://thehungrybunnie.blogspot.com
Candlenut's Peranakan fare is exceptional. Familiar favourites and modern interpretations, given equal billing, are executed with both polish and flair. And, prices are wallet-friendly.
BUT, I find Candlenut's restaurant policies lacking in sense. For starters, there is just ONE multi-course set for dinner, with no exceptions for ala carte orders whatsoever. To compound matters, tap water is not served at all, only bottled water is available, so even though we had ourselves a glass of wine and lemongrass ginger juice, we still had to purchase a 500ml bottle of mineral water at the exorbitant price of $4. Honestly, it's a major turn-off that a restaurant is as rigid as this.
Dinner was a Set Tasting Menu ($50) of 12-courses, refreshed seasonally. Even if each course was considerably petite, 12 courses added up substantively to a most value-for-money dinner if I ever saw one.
1) Kueh Pie Tee: very nice
2) Warm Minced Pork Relish, weaved with punchy banana chillis, black peppercorns, aromatic laksa leaf strips, and presented atop a lettuce bed.
3) Grain-Fed Australian Beef Flank Satay burnished in a stickily sweet peanut sauce: so meltingly tender and juicy, I wouldn't have known it was beef if I hadn't been informed otherwise.
4) Tumbuk Prawns, the last of the quartet of appetizers, was served chilled, speckled with laksa leaf, chives, and raw shallots: wonderfully clean and clear; its refreshing overtones enhanced by the starfruit slice.
5) Rawon Soup - fork-tender beef cheeks in a buah keluak-spiked soup spiked with chilli: robust and spicy
6) Chap Chye, a melange of cabbage, sh!take, dried beancurd skin, and glass vermicelli softly braised in a delicate prawn stock: Excellent, one of the best renditions of this classic.
7) Blue Swimmer Crab Curry - impossibly sweet chunks of freshly shredded meat flash-cooked in a mild tumeric coconut milk curry, while kaffir lime leaves lent a piquant touch: So freaking good.
8) King Tiger Prawn, wok-fried with pungent petai beans:succulent, fiery and sweet
9) Ayam Bakar - chicken fillet grilled to a smoky perfection with kicap manis, shallots, and green chillis.
10) The contemporary desserts here were exemplary, like the Candlenut Signature Chendol Cream, a panna cotta-like pudding layered with pandan jelly and sweetened with gula melaka.
11) A lighter option was the zesty Mango Cream with Lime Sorbet, dotted with jackfruit, and sago pearls
Candlenut used to be my favorite Paranakan restaurant in Singapore, but this will be our last visit.
Firstly, service. There was no one to answer the call for us to make an reservation. I even texted to the number to book a table but was told that my reservation was overlooked when we went down to the restaurant. The Philippino waitress and the senior gentleman who served us food were nice though.
Secondly, food. Was being told that there's no more a la carte for dinner so we had no choice. Main dishes were so-so, too sweet for me even bearing in mind it's Paranakan, and the rice was too dry. The portion was reasonable - but we couldn't finish them because of the taste.
Thirdly and most importantly, value. I would be happy to pay for this quality if the price is half, but not over 200 for 3 pax. There are plenty other restaurants with better quality food, ambiance and service with such kind of price, and plenty other Paranakan restaurants with 1/3 of the price and equal qualify food.
Full review HERE
We had heard much about Candlenut and went soon after coming back from Penang to get our fix of Peranakan food. Overall, the food was not bad, but doesn't match up to what we had in Penang :) Our favourite was the coconut curry prawn, and the buah keluak ice cream was an interesting concept that worked.