Riding the new wave of Peranakan cuisine in Singapore – a period of self-discovery, reinterpretation and invention in terms of culinary culture in the Little Red Dot – Indocafe is perfectly positioned (in more ways than one) to push the envelope when it comes to showcasing the ways that Portuguese, Dutch, British Malay, Indonesian and Chinese influences have played their part in the famously tasty food of Singapore. Located in a handsome colonial-era building – ‘The White House’ – up on Scotts Road in Newton (easily reached from the cosmopolitan action of Orchard), Indocafe is the ideal destination for diners wanting to understand the intricacies of Peranakan cuisine.
Food sounds delicious?
Get a table before they're gone
Great place for authentic nyonya food. Highly recommended. Love it
Good service and good environment ~staffs there well trained and explain each of the dishes to us
Peranakan culture was initially a literal (royal) marriage of two cultures – that of mainland imperial China and what came to be known as the Straits of Malacca – initiated by the union of Princess Hang Li Po of the Ming Dynasty and the sultan of Malacca. This paved the way for waves of migration from China into Indonesia and Malaysia, with of course the intermingling of culinary cultures a vital consequence. Here in Singapore, the widespread ‘genre’ of Peranakan cuisine is particularly influenced by the island city-state’s proximity to Indonesia, and it’s this particular set of ingredients, flavours, textures and aromas that Indocafe champions at its beautiful Newton restaurant, a heritage building along Scotts Road that itself tells a complex tale about Singapore’s modern history.
Penang otah, pulot hitam and bubur cha cha. If these terms mean anything to you – if indeed they get you excited and hungry – then you’re already familiar with Peranakan nyonya-style cooking! And you’ll be pleased to know that Indocafe lists these three dishes among their signature favourites, given a fine dining twist while never betraying their roots. We almost envy the uninitiated, though, for discovering the heartlands of Singapore’s most iconic ‘indigenous’ cuisine is an extraordinary experience. We recommend booking a table at Indocafe’s Newton restaurant and opting for the Peranakan a la carte tasting buffet to sample a wide range of delicacies, or wading into the extensive a la carte menu. Indocafe also lays on a high tea in the British tradition, with the chief exception being that you’re in for a Peranakan fusion kind of afternoon!