The Place Candlenut touts itself as an inspired Peranakan cuisine and I have been wanting to try it for the longest time, given that I am quite a fan of Peranakan fare. Located near Outram Park MRT, the restaurant has a casual setting with a homely ambience.
*Candlenut has since moved to 17 Dempsey Road.
The Food We decided to order all our favourite dishes, and we thought the best starter is the Kueh Pie Tee ($8). The amazing part about Candlenut is that all their paste and sauces are homemade and there is no MSG in their food, which we totally appreciate. I like the idea of making my own Kueh Pie Tee, which also came with braised turnips, pork belly and prawns filling. The crispy cone was one of the main reasons I am addicted to this dish.
Even the Omelette ($12) could look so good, and no doubt, it was damn yummy. Beneath the egg surface contained fresh local herbs, prawns and wok fried mushrooms, which was an awesome combination.
The highlight of our meal were the mains! We tried the Duck Rendang ($24) which was French infused in our opinion, especially with the grilled French duck breast. The rendang paste was the best and it went very well with our rice. The duck breast meat could have been more tender though.
One of my must try in every Peranakan meal is Buah Keluak. The Candlenut’s version of Buah Keluak came with F1 Ranger Valley Wagyu (MBS 7+) beef rib ($24). I was surprised that it did not come with the black nuts but rather, I learnt that this was the candlenut style where the chefs had already done all the hard work to extract the rich buah keluak gravy. The beef was very tender, and it blended so well with the awesome buah keluak gravy. Best.
We wanted to order more dishes with gravy and hence the Yellow Coconut Curry of Crab ($24), which had Blue swimmer crab meat. Needless to say, the curry was very rich and tasty, while the crab meat was quite generous. It was my first time trying Blue swimmer crab meat and it was unexpectedly tasty in flavour.
For desserts, we just had to try the Buah Keluak ($14) ice-cream, made with 80% Valhrona chocolate, topped with warm milk chocolate espuma. I love the rich buah keluak taste, which did not feel like it was too overbearing, thanks to the warm chocolate sauce. This was one of the most unique ice-cream flavours I have ever tried and I could only applaud Candlenut for their creativity and efforts.
Rants The restaurant does look a bit bare, kinda makeshift if I may add. Some touch of Peranakan may bring more positive vibe to an otherwise perfect dining experience!
Will I Return Again? There are not many good Peranakan restaurants in Singapore but we are glad to say that Candlenut has definitely made it to the top of any such list of Peranakan restaurants. I will definitely return when I next crave for a good comfort meal, and of course when my next buah keluak craving kicks in.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
331 New Bridge Road
Tel: +65 8121 4107
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6-10pm
Ranted by The Ranter