Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ivins Peranakan Restaurant

From left: babi ponteh and sotong assam puteh

I'm not really a fan of Peranakan food, but I strongly believe that people who don't like a particular type of food simply have never had a good version of it before (think of people who say that they hate beer but have only tasted Natural Light). So with that thought in mind, I willingly came to Ivins tonight (19/21 Binjai Park, 6468-3060), as I was assured that this place is one of the best. Unfortunately, the typical spicy fishy coconut stench that whacked me in the face as I walked in the door of the place did little to reassure me. But at least it was very crowded - something must be good about this place.

Sambal KangkongWe started with the babi ponteh, which is allegedly a Peranakan pork classic. It was better than I thought it would be, but the pork was still a bit dry and the sauce was still a bit sweet (it reminded me a lot of beef rendang, which I'm not a big fan of either). But the sotong assam puteh was surprisingly good, featuring a tamarind-based broth and little or no fishiness from the squid. In fact, it tasted more like tom yum soup than anything. And of course, we got the obligatory sambal kangkong, which was also really tasty (and not fishy at all). I gobbled that stuff up.

ChendolTo close off the meal, I got a chendol, which despite the disturbingly unnatural and wormy-looking green things in the bowl, was very refreshing with crushed ice and lots of coconuty goodness. OK, so maybe Peranakan food isn't that bad (I liked three out of the four dishes we got tonight). And I'm willing to come back here again to try that thin meatball-like soup (the food here is really cheap too). I'll just need to select dishes that don't taste like beef rendang, that's all.


Anonymous said...

hi hungryboy

i wonder what's your occupation? u seem to travel a lot.

Mama BoK said...

Miss those kangkongs..!! yums..!

Anonymous said...

You need to try Ayam Buak Keluak and Kepiting Soup. :) BTW those green worms are made from mung beans i think.

I'm half Peranakan and I love these dishes! Peranakan food is kinda rich, so its a treat not to be eaten often!

kiaralana said...

Been there, tried it all.

I loved most of the food I ordered that one time years back.

Unfortunately, license without a car does no good for me. I find it a hassle to travel there again. So everytime i pass by that place on a bus, i'll just tell my friends over and over again that there's a damn good place to eat hidden in there.

Cindy said...

Mm, I've been craving peranakan. If you head East, you can try at Joo Chiat, Peramakan. Their website is at http://www.peramakan. I only had it once but it was very good, small cosy atmosphere and personable service. Bit pricier than other small peranakan places I think.

Anonymous said...

note: there is a variety of peranakan or nyonya food. The singapore variety is a tad on the sweet side. Melacca is different, but still close to Singapore. Penang is world away, bearing more Thai influence. It is, in fact, the best of the bunch. And then there is peranakan/nyonya food from Indonesia -- and as should be expected, the Medan variety is markedly different from the Javanese kind.

Anonymous said...

Another reason to go to Ivins - The cute waiter who wears a different outfit from the rest(not the one with the specs!) I wonder if he is the boss of the place?!

Anonymous said...

The best food I have ever tasted in Singapore was at IVIN's Peranakan.
Living in SG for half a year and forgot about cooking, made us go for food every day and Ivin's is absolutely the best!!!

Alister said...

Food is without a doubt one of the best I have ever had. But be warned. The waiting time is absolutely long! I had to wait 45 mins to be seated and another 20 minutes for the ishes to be served.