Tonkin was, for centuries, the name of a fertile delta of the Red River known as the northernmost region of Vietnam. This is where their casual dining experience begins, where bright flavours, fresh textures and rich aromas converge in every healthy bite.
More than escaping into the past, they celebrate a living legacy—much like Hanoi’s 36 lanes that began a thousand years ago and still flows with trade, craftsmanship and everyday life to this very day. Spices from far away awaken ingredients harvested just this morning. Recipes handed down from one generation to the next come alive as simple comfort fare through modern approaches and techniques. Vintage charm enriches a contemporary atmosphere where you may dine quickly or linger as you wish.
The latest dining addition to Tiong Bahru is House of Peranakan Petit, a modern and intimate Peranakan setting along Eng Hoon Street - a former Peranakan enclave. Established by the House of Peranakan Group of restaurants, this third branch is borne from a desire to offer top notch Peranakan heritage food in an area that has forgotten its Peranakan roots and inundated with hipster cafes.
Established in Katong in the 1980s, the House of Peranakan Group of restaurant is a pioneer in Nonya cuisine, managed by a pure Peranakan family for more than 30 years. Inspired by his mother’s culinary skills, Bob Seah wanted to share his family’s culinary culture with others. He established Peranakan Inn in the 1980s, one of the earliest Nonya restaurants in Singapore housed in a charming pre-war Peranakan shophouse built in 1937, which is still serving piping hot Nonya cuisine in claypots today.
Over the years, the restaurants have received accolades from the Asian Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. It has hosted distinguished guests from past Presidents to overseas dignitaries. The most recent VIP was Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Chef and owner, Bob Seah, is 75 years and a serial restaurateur. He is still cooking and establishing new restaurants at this age, and he makes it a point to go to the market every morning to get the freshest ingredients for the restaurants. This is the true meaning of active ageing!
A pioneer in the Peranakan food community, Bob has created many Peranakan-inspired dishes such as Selar Sambal Fish stuffed with Rempah, Nonya Crayfish, Assam Prawns and Long Beans Sambal. He also introduced the concept of serving home-cooked Nonya food in claypots 30 years ago!
Proudly conceptualised by Chef and Owner, Bob Seah - a fourth generation Baba who had watched his Nonya mother cook, and his daughter Bee Leng, – the menu at House of Peranakan Petit includes traditional Nonya dishes such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Nonya Chap Chye, Garam Assam Fish and Itek Sioh. In addition to that, Bob has created several Peranakan-inspired dishes such as Scallop Lemak, Crayfish Nonya Mee, Bob’s Pork Bun and Curry Crayfish.
Are you a fan of the reality TV show MasterChef? Well, the inaugural winner of New Zealand MasterChef, Brett McGregor, came all the way to House of Peranakan Cuisine to learn from Bob how to cook the Babi Assam. They are probably the only Nonya restaurant in Singapore that serves this rare and unique dish of belly pork flavoured with belimbing (sour fruit), beanpaste and traditional spices.
There is a juxtaposition of traditional and modern touches to the restaurant. Peranakan furniture and antiques are set amidst Peranakan hues of turquoise and white. To showcase and support Peranakan art, the owners are collaborating with young Peranakan artist, Carolyn Law, to display her Peranakan-inspired art in the restaurant.
FYR Cycene Ond Drinc (pronounced as FIRE Kitchen And Drink) is the newest casual dining restaurant in central business district.
Against the backdrop of Chinatown’s historic allure, FYR promises an intriguing experience that harks back to a simpler time. Rustic décor and storied wall murals lend the restaurant a distinct olden-day charm. Even its moniker is as old as time — it is the etymology of fire. Fire is one of the most important elements in life, especially in cooking. They aim to peel back the layers of complexity to produce food that can bring you a lot of joy.
All of FYR’s cuisines and dishes are whipped up using the Josper Charcoal Oven. This culinary practice pays tribute to a time when food was cooked atop wood chunks and over a roaring fire. The chefs of FYR use lychee wood, which gives the dishes a wonderful smoky note that is tinged with sweetness.
FYR purveys an array of authentic, modern cuisines that perfectly captures the European culture. The chefs opt for herbs and spices found in the Southeast Asian region and use them to enliven the dishes. The dishes, varying from grilled meat to seafood, will be an instant hit with Singaporeans, who possess an inclination towards spicy food.
Some of the mainstays at FYR include: Baked Freshly-Shucked Oysters: noble sweet paprika, roasted garlic, chilli padi, spring onion and calamansi all lend a distinctive quality to the fresh and succulent oysters. Grain-fed US Holstein Cow Ribeye 365 Days: this glorious slab of ribeye, cooked to perfection, comes with house salad with java curry dressing and a choice of either buttered cassava or mashed potato.
Whole Maine Lobster: this gigantic lobster, sprawled across the plate, is bound to turn heads. The aroma of the shallot lemongrass béchamel will also waft through the air and whet appetites. Seafood Linguine: tossed with al dente pasta is a potpourri of seafood ingredients as well as lobster bisque, laksa leaves and Thai basil.
Wash these great cuisines down with FYR’s special concoctions. The Apple Rosemary is a delightful blend of fresh apple juice, fresh rosemary and infused lemon syrup. The tangy Lime and Mint is a mix of fresh lime, mint leaves and mint syrup, and will help to cleanse palates.
The Ginger Lemongrass, made with lemon tea, fresh ginger and lemongrass, will help to invigorate senses. The sweet Hibiscus Mint features hibiscus tea, fresh apple juice and infused mint syrup.
Another unique concoction that FYR offers is Grilled Fresh Fruit Juice – expect a rich and caramelized flavour as the bartenders grill the seasonal fruits before juicing. Merrymakers can also quaff the restaurant’s fine selection of red and white wines.