candlenut michelin star peranakan review

Candlenut is the World’s First Michelin starred Peranakan restaurant

Peranakan cuisine is something many know but aren’t familiar with. Probably even less know that Singapore is home to the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, Candlenut.

Candlenut is high on my wishlist because of its shining reputation, hence I took advantage of their circuit breaker menu where every dish was $20 (prices are back to normal now).

My Star of the Meal, Kueh Salat

candlenut michelin star peranakan kueh salat
Best Kueh Salat in Singapore maybe?

Wew. I haven’t had enough to compare, but this sublime Kueh Salat ($25/200g, $45/400g, $80/800g) thoroughly met my lofty expectations.

That pandan custard felt like dreamy satin which fondled the palate with its heavenly aroma. Concurrently, the mellow saltiness of the sticky but airy glutinous rice provided a sublime counterpoint.

Akin to an elegantly crafted concerto without a trace of excessiveness, and allowed one to revel in Candlenut’s articulately orchestrated mix of flavours and textures. I could practically hear “Blue Danube” reverberating in my mouth.

Candlenut has a fresh take on a storied heritage

candlenut michelin star peranakan assam sotong
The Assam Sotong was full of flavour.

The aptest display of Candlenut’s culinary inspiration was this Assam Sotong ($24). The sauce was impossibly nuanced and boasted of delicate sour notes of Assam whilst lightly washed with gentle brininess.

That sauce brimmed with a depth of flavour as deep as its shade of ocean abyss — perfectly slathered onto the springy and soft baby squid 

candlenut michelin star peranakan chap chye
No this is nothing like cai png store chap chye, it’s next level.

With a robust and rich prawn stock, Candlenut’s delectable Chap Chye ($20) was unlike any other. Perfectly cooked components gave it a nice mix of textures. That crisp soft leafy crunch bolstered by strands of bouncy tang hoon — lovely.

candlenut michelin star peranakan buah keluak fried rice
Fried rice never looked or tasted more special.

A stimulatingly fragrant mix of gentle bitterness and umami from the Buah Keluak underscored this Buah Keluak Fried Rice ($24). The sunnyside up was too perfect but I didn’t regret poking into the yolk, which saw a silkiness coated onto each perfectly separated grain of moist rice.

candlenut michelin star peranakan crab curry
Sweet sweet crab chunks in sweet sweet curry.

Fresh crab swam in Candlenut’s velvety while heart-meltingly sweet Blue Swimmer Crab Curry ($32). Perfumed with intoxicating coconut milk, it also carried a controlled heat that complimented the succulent crustacean chunks.

candlenut michelin star peranakan ayam sio bakar
Tamarind rubbed off quite endearingly on this roasted chicken.

A nice tamarind rub on the skin gave this Ayam Sioh Bakar ($20/half, $32/full) some beautiful umami. Dipping it in the sauce accentuated the juicy meat’s sweetness with a bold piquancy that brought out the flavours more strikingly.

Candlenut displays a phenomenal blend of heritage and culinary innovation worth the detour to Dempsey. Chef Malcolm Lee is obviously a chef proud of his heritage cuisine, but also one with the creative nous to push tradition into new territory.

Candlenut

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  • Address: 17a Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249676
  • Hours: (Daily) 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm

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