Nonya food is actually a blend of traditional ingredients of Chinese food and Malay spices and herbs. Nonya cuisine is eclectically seasoned and different from Chinese and Malay food.
The Ikan Assam Pedas or Spicy Tamarind Fish is a classic Singapore and Malaysia dish. The base flavour of assam pedas is sourness and spiciness that definitely whet your appetite. Unlike the regular thick curry, this fish curry is light, tangy, spicy, appetising and best served with steamed rice. At Candlenut, it uses Kuhibarra ocean barramundi fillet cooked in a spicy tangy gravy with baby okra, brinjal and honey pineapple. To be frank, this dish seriously whetted my appetite that I fell in love with this dish. Though it was a little pricey, this dish is worth it. (Food rating: 5/5)
A typical nonya / peranakan dish - Ayam Sioh Bakar is also known as Chicken with tamarind and coriander. The chicken is marinated in tamarind and roasted coriander seeds. The poultry was brought to grilled over charcoal and served with charred green chillies and a tangy sauce from the marinade on the side. At first bite, the chicken reminded me of my grandmother's nonya rice dumplings. The flavour was sweet and tangy that kept you asking for more. The poultry was tender and juicy and the breast fillet attest to that. I was amazed and enjoyed the dish very much. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
Though all the dishes were amazingly delicious, this dish - Beef Rib Rendang came top in my list. This dish is a dry caramelised curry cooked over long hours with spices and turmeric leaf garnished with Serunding (also known as spiced coconut floss). Serunding can be found in dishes like Nasi Sambal Gorent or more commonly Lontong Sayur Lodeh. Back to the beef rib rendang, the rich spice fragrance coupled with the tender beef cubes were superb combination. As you chew the beef cubes slow, the fragrance exploded in your mouth. The first thing it came to mind was my granny's beef rendang. It was food for the soul. (Food rating: 5/5)
Babi Pongteh is a typical Peranakan dish which uses fermented soy bean paste as its main ingredient. It is braised together with potatoes, soy sauce and palm sugar gravy over low heat for long hours until it is tender. Unlike Dong Po Pork, Babi Pongteh has a rich sweet and savoury flavour that you can eat it with steamed rice. The tender pork literally melted in the mouth with its rich flavour that awakes you in plalate. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
The Assam Sotong served with baby squid stir fried with squid ink, tamarind and shrimp paste and garnished with fried shallots and chilli strips. Tamarind and shrimp paste gave the dish a nice tangy and savoury taste. (Food rating: 4/5)
The total damages was S$130.00 that excluded the delivery fees. To be frank, I enjoyed all the dishes. The home delivery services actually puts the food to test and Candlenut deserves its one Michelin star. Well done!
Address: Block 15,16,17, 18 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Food rating: 4.5/5 👋 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Recommended dishes: If I have to choose my top two dishes, I recommend Beef Rib Rendang and Ikan Assam Pedas. One is hot savoury and the other is tangy savoury.