Up on Dempsey Hill in Singapore, there’s a nice little hub of restaurants and a gourmet grocery store – it’s a really chilled place to spend an evening.
In amongst them is Candlenut, a one Michelin star establishment specialising in Peranakan cuisine. It’s a place that although sophisticated, feels comfortable – not too stuffy like some of the other cheffy restaurants.
We started with a glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc while we perused the menu.
We were also given some yummy crispy nibbles and dipping sauce:
It was really hard to choose with lots of tempting options like swimmer crab and chicken balls, crab curry, and beef rib rendang, but we eventually opted for ngoh hiang and pork neck satay to start.
The pork neck satay came first and it was sublime – there was so much flavour in the tender melting pork, and the satay sauce coating was perfect.
I did wonder how good ngoh hiang could be, but this version was amazingly good. The combination of pork, prawn, shiitake mushroom and water chestnut was just right, and I would have been in heaven with several plates of these and nothing else.
For mains we chose the chef’s mum’s chicken curry, “four heavenly kings”, and a king prawn gula melaka. Sorry the pictures are not great – the lighting was dim, and I must have been keen to eat!
The curry was lovely, warm, and rich with potato and kaffir lime, very nice with the brown rice that we ordered.
The four heavenly kings was a combination of eggplant, wing beans, okra and taro, garnished with crispy whitebait. Absolutely wonderful. I could have again eaten several plates of this dish – the perfect vegetable accompaniment.
The king prawn gula melaka was where curry meets dessert – a sweet coconut based curry with beautiful fresh prawns – again a perfect dish.
We didn’t have room for dessert, but this meal was every thing we could have wished for. When we are back in Singapore we will definitely return for more goodies in this sophisticated dining room. A great meal, great service and wonderful atmosphere.