Owned by a couple, with the kitchen helmed by the husband who has over 30 years of experience, Simply Peranakan Cuisine has been hit hard by COVID-19, like many in the food and beverage (F&B) scene in Singapore.
Previously situated at Esplanade, it moved to Hotel Chancellor at Orchard on Cavanagh Rd. It was doing fine in the pre-COVID days, attracting tourists and a handful of local regulars who are familiar with the exquisite food and authentic and traditional Peranakan items that adorn the restaurant.
One of the exciting things about Simply Peranakan Cuisine is its offering of more than just Peranakan food, from mutton rendang to ginger and scallion lobster, clay pot chicken rice, foie gras sliders and more. In fact, if a customer can name a dish and the restaurant has all the necessary ingredients, the chef is usually pleased to prepare it.
Taking pride in his kitchen, the chef usually sources the ingredients himself from wet markets around the island. He says he does this because he wants to be assured of the quality of the ingredients.
One example of this is if you have a hankering for Malaysia’s most expensive fish, the Tor Tambroides, the restaurant will prepare it for you for S$1,6000. Of course, you’d have to make a reservation in advance as they would need to source the fish from Malaysia first.
The restaurant has served many distinguished guests, the most notable being former United States President Barrack Obama who stopped by during his visit in 2009 to Singapore. Simple Peranakan Cuisine was one of the restaurants The White House chose before the President’s arrival. It also used to serve catering for various ministries in Singapore.
Hailing from Ipoh, the chef has proven himself to deeply understand Singapore’s local culture. With tremendous effort, he productively plans and prepares various meals for dignitaries, government ministries, and the average regular diners as well.
Unfortunately, while the restaurant’s past is dotted with glamorous and memorable moments, the present appears bleak.
Border closures and restrictions have caused the restaurant’s usual steady stream of tourist visitors has slowed to a standstill the past year and a half. Not to mention the strict social gathering restrictions, which have put a damper on local visitors as well. Despite being located near two MRT stations, the restaurant hardly gets any walk-in customers these days.
On top of that, things became even tougher when Hotel Chancellor was designated as a Stay-Home Notice facility. Now, even walking close to the restaurant can be a scary experience with quarantine facility officers questioning your reason for visiting.
The drought of tourists for over a year and the cap on dine-in groups have led to serious cash-flow issues for the owners. Given the extended dining-in restrictions, the restaurant is facing the same tough problems plaguing many F&B businesses in Singapore, losing its major source of income which used to be from dine-in customers.
So, if you would like to support this wonderful restaurant, consider ordering take out via phone (6836 2388 or 96853388). The restaurant provides delivery or drive-thru pick up.