Dinner at Candlenut

We came here for J’s birthday dinner :) I gave her a choice of restaurants in the Tanjong Pagar area and she settled on this Peranakan one. It’s nestled in the quiet spot that is Dorsett Residences, unobtrusive and demure but serves some pretty good food that was affordable to boot.

Their starters all sound amazing and so we ordered four of them, starting with the kueh pie tee [$8]

Which you get to assemble yourselves so the freshly fried shell does not get soggy.


Some delicious turnip and hay bee filling


With garlic chilli and coriander for garnishing.


I put together the cups for the three of us. You should come in a party of 4 since so many of the dishes here seem to be served in fours (the Satay, the Kueh Pie Tee)


They used chicken thigh for the satay [$10] and it was really juicy, though it looks a bit like American styled saté that is super meaty and inauthentic. These were marinated all the way through though and very tender


Also served with their delicious chilli peanut sauce that comes with some pureed pineapple in the middle – an interesting twist!


We ordered Yeye’s Curry[$14] which is pretty mild, somewhat like a Thai green curry. I was initially apprehensive because of the green chilli padi in this dish as stated in the menu but it was totally not spicy at all. Certainly not as much as the sambal kang kong, which we ordered, and was FIERY (more so than typical zhi char places outside).


The turmeric wings [$8] were delicious, freshened up with a spritz of calamansi. Most of the fat had rendered (as I prefer it to be) and the spice coating was perfect. They served about 6 of these.


The ngoh hiang [$10] here is one of the best I’ve ever had. A little stingy on the honey sauce but you can certainly request for more. For some weird reason they retrieve your ngoh hiang plate (half eaten) to ladle more of the sauce on top – why don’t they just serve it in a new dish like normal restaurants? I have no idea. Still, this is highly recommended – it’s juicy and crispy and stuffed with pork and mushrooms and chopped water chestnuts.


We tried the duck soup [$6]- actually the first time I’ve tried duck soup with salted cabbage. This is because a certain Mr Lock HQ only cooks duck soup for girls he likes and does not bother to cook for his friends of 15 years.


The pork cheek glazed with kecap manis [$14] was delightful if a bit overgrilled. Pork cheek when braised is tender and melty, this one was a bit more elastic/tough but still delicious with the saffron and goes fantastically with the chilled green apple salad on the side (which I thought was cucumber)


We had the milo bar [$9] for dessert – the menu is not very descriptive of what a milo bar is exactly but it’s got a truffle type texture (coated with milo powder) but the center is less melty than the typical buttercream filling of a chocolate truffle. It comes with chopped nuts, chocolate coated pop rocks, candied cashews, and some vanilla sauce. This was delicious and just the right amount for 3 people (after the humongous spread we had).


Everyone had a great time with the pop rocks.

Every table gets an enamel tureen of steamed rice to eat with all the dishes, family style. There is no charge for the rice and you can request more if the sambal kang kong gets too hot to handle.

I really like the quaintness of this restaurant and the Peranakan decor. Our bill came up to $120 because well, we ordered a LOT of things to try. The portions aren’t that big (as you can see from the photos), but I wouldn’t recommend this much for 3 people :P Maybe 2-3 appetizers would be good enough.

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