The world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurantAt lifestyle destination COMO Dempsey, Candlenut serves up elevated, contemporary Peranakan cuisine. Enjoy a dining experience reminiscent of Peranakan banquets of yesteryear – where myriad communal dishes are presented in small servings so every guest gets to experience the complex, rich tastes of Peranakan food. Diners can choose from more than 40 appetisers, mains and desserts from the a la carte menu for lunch and dinner. For those who prefer to leave it to the chef, you can opt for a sensational 10-course tasting menu for dinner. Candlenut has admirers spread much further afield than Singapore, so reservations are always essential.
Please note that Candlenut only accepts bookings up to 30 days in advance and that tables will only be held for 15 minutes.
The flagship in Singapore’s armada of funky new-age Peranakan restaurants, Candlenut presents Singapore’s most emblematic cuisine in a way nobody has before. In its new and larger premises at new lifestyle destination COMO Dempsey, Candlenut is refined and exquisite yet unpretentious and casual. It is one of those restaurants hard to put in a box with a label on it – unless that label is a Michelin Star, because Candlenut is the only Peranakan restaurant in the world to hold one. The brainchild of young superstar chef Malcolm Lee, Candlenut has made waves reverberating well beyond Dempsey, Singapore and Asia – but Candlenut is a place you can still feel the pure passion, unornamented authenticity and desire to enjoy cooking and eating that started it all for Lee.
Candlenut celebrates the fusion of Asian flavours and techniques that is at the heart of Peranakan cuisine. As well as the traditional Chinese and Malay influences, Lee injects plenty of his own intuition to make some downright delicious creations – one favourite at Candlenut’s celebrated Outram Park restaurant was a classic Peranakan buah keluak dish, souped up with sous-vide Wagyu beef instead of traditional pork ribs. The menu changes frequently at Candlenut but whatever it is will probably be one of the most memorable meals you eat in Singapore. The new Candlenut restaurant at COMO Dempsey has an expanded seating capacity of 92, including an eight-seat private room perfect for intimate dinners or casual business lunches, as well as an al fresco dining area. Book a table and head to Dempsey Road to find out what all the fuss is about for yourself.
Great food, nice place! The staff are friendly and helpful.
Excellent service, great food. Book in advance as this restaurant became popular after the Michelin star.
If you are interested in peranakan culture, you can try to have classic peranakan food. New place at Dempsey hill is better condition and fancy interior. Small dishes is not enough so you add various kinds of foods. It is not bad for me. :-)
Every dish was amazing and strong in flavours. Would have enjoyed the meal more if the portions were smaller - we simply had too much to eat.
If I could give Candlenut more than 5 stars I would. The dinner I had here is one of my favourite dinners ever and I cannot wait to go back. The restaurant is modern and spacious. It was close to full when we arrived but didn't feel too crowded or noisy. There is an interesting selection of bottled beers and a small, but very reasonably priced, wine list. Dinner is a tasting menu which some people dislike but I personally love, especially when it is a cuisine with which I am unfamiliar. And what a meal it was! The first course was 4 starters, each just a mouthful or two. There was eel, charred octopus, crab cake and beef satay. Each was delicious but the table was unanimous in that the crab cake was the standout winner. The second course was made up of 5 dishes: soup with mackerel, crab and pork, mushroom kerabu, pork cheek stew, red snapper & baby squid. What a feast! Every dish was exquisite and full of flavour. We all loved the mushroom kerabu. I think the pork cheek was my favourite but I would happily eat them all again, and again! Dessert was a choice from 5 options. I went for the buah keluak ice cream which was delicious. My companions went for kueh salat and the kueh bingkah. Each was very well received. All in all this was an amazing meal and I cannot wait to go back. Excellent value for money as well, 60++ per person, and we couldn't even eat all of the food.
This was my second time visit since this year, and the first since Candlenut received its Michelin star. I was not disappointed as literally all the dishes hit the perfect note. All the dishes have a distinctively peranakan signature to it, e.g. cincalok, sambal, ginger flower, and other spices, despite having a modern Western face. For example, wagyu beef satay and the shell-fish based soup. Amongst a table of great dishes, some of the best highlights of the evening are the pong tau hu soup, lamb rendang, and kuih salat. The service staff also deserve their praises, and Felix was as attentive as the first time I visit. I look forward to visit this place again.
Service staff could be better and more prompt but otherwise pleasant. Waiting time was accepted given that the restaurant was almost at full capacity. Ordered 4 dishes: Buah Keluak Chicken could have been more flavourful. The Asam fish was middling and could have been afforded more spiciness and sourness. Would not order again. Candlenut Chicken satay was the highlight of the meal. The chicken was nicely marinated and well grilled. Satay sauce was good and the pineapple sauce gave it a nice kick. Buah Keluak Ice Cream could only be described as a strange experience. It's something that one needs to try to know how it tastes like but not something that I would want to eat again. Order just 1 to share since the ice cream feels a bit on the heavy side, despite the small serving. Would visit to try other dishes again.
Exquisite Peranakan food - they've only got a tastings menu now without any ala carte menu but the selection was delightful. All 3 dessert items on the menu were out of this world! And all the main dishes were hits! Just 2 minor gripes though. While the staff were polite and professional, they lacked warmth, tact and initiative: - The staff who pointed the toilet out to me did not warn me that the automatic tap wasn't working, so I ended up soaping my hands with no water to rinse :X I had to open the door with my elbow and get a staff to help. She simply told me 'oh not working use (bidet) hose'. I said 'you should have a sign!'. She said "yes 'there' -> pointing at a dainty note ON THE DOOR OUTSIDE telling patrons who would already be inside the toilet that the tap was faulty and that they should use the (BIDET) HOSE to wash their hands. That's kinda gross, especially since some people may use the hose for their intended purpose - to wash their asses. But luckily the staff held it for me so I'm cool! - For a considerably fine-dining place, I personally found the way the staff went around telling patrons that 'belachan is chargeable' or 'hot water is chargeable' abit tactless. Should put it across in a better way. However, all in all the food made up for the minor gripes - just be prepared to pay for the little extras you ask for, and don't use the toilet; and your visit would be perfect.
A delicious and innovative take on traditional Peranakan food that will satiated yet leave one craving for what new tastes can be explored. Serving are smallish which allows one to try more of what Candlenut has to offer on their menu. I recommend the Buah keluak Beef ribs, spicy sambal petai, crispy pork belly and don't forget to ask what specials they have available. finish off the meal with an amazing Buah Keluak ice-cream. Beware! You will often end up eating more than you set out to have!
Candlenut has since moved from its previous location at Dorsett to a sparkling new venue at Como Dempsey. Whilst the lighting, fixtures, and decor definitely added points to the general ambience, my visit to the establishment had been somewhat marred by intermittent service, and hit-and-miss dishes. It is said that it is often harder, and hence, more stressful to retain the Michelin star than to earn a first one. With that in mind, Candlenut would have a long year ahead of them.