Peranakan or nonya cuisine is getting more and more popular in Singapore in recent years.
Peranankan cuisine is a fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisine with some Indonesian influences. Early Chinese migrants inter-married with local Malays, creating a cuisine that is known for its richness and complex flavors.
HarriAnns is a three-generation Peranakan Restaurant known for its kuehs and authentic Peranakan dishes. HarriAnns was started by Madam Chia Nga Eng in the 1940s as a way to provide for her children after her husband passed away. She started by selling from a pushcart around Tiong Bahru and then a stall in Tiong Bahru Market.
The business was handed down to Harry, who in turn handed it down to his son, Alan. Alan rebranded the business into the HarriAnns Pte. Ltd. we know today.
Without further ado, let me show you some of the signature dishes of HarriAnns. (Hint: get the dishes with the word “signature”.)
This is Signature Nonya Laksa [$7.50]. I am no expert on laksa, but I am loving the fragrant laksa broth. The coconut taste is pretty strong, balanced by equally-strong curry. The noodles are al dente with generous amount of ingredients.
Signature Ayam Buah Keluah [$12.90] is an acquired taste. Keluak is native to the mangrove swamps of Southeast Asia. Its fruit is poisonous when fresh, but edible after fermentation. HarriAnns is very generous with its keluak, you can find three whole pieces in there. Its unattractive black color belies its unique aroma. The chicken (ayam) pieces are tender and well-cooked.
Nonya Chap Chye [$2.50] is supposed to be an iconic Peranakan dish, but I was quite disappointed with HarriAnns’ version. It tastes very ordinary, I won’t waste my money on this even thought it is not expensive.
My first introduction to Peranakan cuisine was through its deserts. Kuehs are steamed Peranakan cakes known for its fragrant aroma and bright colors. The orange square is Kueh Getuk Ubi [$1.30], the red oval-shaped is Ang Ku Kueh [$1.10]. The small balls in the plastic tray are Ondeh Ondeh. All the colors are derived from natural ingredients, no food coloring is used. Coconut and glutinous rice is present in almost all Nonya kuehs.
I am no expert on Peranakan food, but the generous serving size and tastiness of the food makes HarriAnns a restaurant you can always count on for good food.
HarriAnns Nonya Table (Suntec City)
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City Mall #01-416A, Singapore 659245
Addresses, telephone and opening hours of HarriAnns’ three other outlets and main office can be found here.