I don’t quite get the hype and raves over National Kitchen. Most of the dishes are average-nice but definitely nothing spectacular nor memorable. For a truly kickass Peranakan meal, I’ll head to Candlenut any day!
Standard starters such as achar and rojak were good but not great. If you like refined hawker dishes, it’s time to make a reservation here.
Sambal Timun Nanas ($4++)
pineapple and cucumber with chillies, onions and lightly sweet rice vinegar
The most special item we ordered was the “kimchiam” salad. I have never had this combination before – boiled prawns, sweet and slightly tangy starfruit, chewy dried lily buds, all tied together by a spicy chilli dressing. Interesting!
Sambal Kimchiam Udang ($15++)
lily buds tossed in a sweet and spicy dressing topped with prawns and starfruit
guava, sour mangoes, rose apples, pineapple, cucumbers, julienne of pink ginger flowers, jellyfish and crispy crullers tossed in a sweet, sour and mildly spicy sauce
We were expecting the chicken buah keluak to be served with a thick fragrant gravy (maybe I went to Candlenut too many times) but the diluted version here was disappointingly akin to… Chicken curry?
Buah Keluak Ayam ($23++)
classic nyonya spicy and tangy chicken stew and buah keluak nut infused with fresh root spices of lengkuas and turmeric
I first tried the meatless meatballs back in 2013 at Violet Oon’s Kitchen and liked them a lot. Fast forward two years, the walnut and cheese “meatballs” turned out too mushy on my visit and could really do with a crisp crust.
Meatless Meatballs Rendang ($15++)
walnut and cheese dumplings braised in spices flavoured with kaffir and bay leaves in a coconut cream sauce
The description of “cod in laksa sauce” already had me salivating and thankfully, the execution was exactly what I imagined it to be. The fresh slab of fatty cod went very well with the sinfully rich and creamy laksa sauce. May be overwhelming for some people but it’s right up my alley!
Cod in Laksa Sauce ($34++)
baked cod in a creamy laksa sauce drizzled with coriander pesto
National Kitchen by Violet Oon
1 St. Andrew’s Road
#02–01 National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing)
+65 9834 9935