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.
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!
The Peranakan buffet dinner spread was delightful, with the popular favourites such as kueh pie tee, ngoh hiang, etc. Loved the interior as well. It was elegant and relaxing, so we could eat more. Will go back!
Food was excellent . The wagyu beef rendang was especially good. Ambience was good, suitable for a nice leisurely lunch . Service was quick , responsive ; impeccable
Wide variety of Peranakan dishes to order from. Portion per dish was ideal for sharing. One of the more authentic Perankan places I’ve dined at. Don’t be fooled by the old colonial house exterior. It’s really comfy and classy inside.
the food and items being sold are truly authentic,fragrant and delicious! my whole family love the food! (:
Thank you for the lovely food and great hospitality. We wanted to try the local Singaporean cuisin, and this is the right place. From the architecture, to the interior design and to the food, it's full of culture that we were after. The place is quiet and feels exclusive, and not to mention that it's in walking distance to Orchard Road, as well as their 5 star service. I will definitely go back again.
Everything we had from the “buffet” was as fresh and delicious as one could want. The staff are very helpful and friendly. This was our second visit, with friends from the US, and they were as happy as we were. Best beef randang ever, love the kalamansis-dressed young mango salad, kueh pie tee, and the amazing condiment for the prawn crackers, not to mention the glutinous black rice dessert. Hope to get back soon!
My friend wanted perankan food so we decided to try Indocafe. We had the ala carte dinner buffet. Quality of food was good, especially the udang assam goreng, babi ponteh & ayam buak keluak. Slight disappointment was the chap chye as it was on the soggy side. For dessert, we had the burbur char char & pulau hitam which was a nice ending to a very tasty meal. Cosy colonial ambience that takes you back in time. No complaints on the service. Will go back again!
This is a very nice restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and decor. The staff are very friendly and the service is excellent. We arrived during a rain storm and they came out with umbrellas to help us into the building. The food tastes wonderful and there is a very good wine list. I have no hesitation in recommending the Indocafe to anyone.
The ambiance is very pleasant, calm and soothing. The service is attentive and efficient. The food was good. The char kuay teow wasn't oily. The white carrot cake was smooth. The bubor chacha wasn't too sweet. The oyster omelette was correctly done--not dry and not wet. It's a good place to take an overseas visitor if you need to impress. The ambiance and service make up for everything, like the prices. Valet parking available.
The service was impeccable and the food was deliciously mouth-watering. We were in a group of 8 and had loads of fun trying out the various dishes and the desserts! Personally I would recommend the Assam Laksa noodles because it is not too rich in flavour (it would have been difficult to do a la carte buffet if most of the dishes were rich in flavour).