Baba Chews Bar

Baba Chews – Peranakan and more!

{UPDATED 25 SEPT 2016 with Baba Chew’s Weekend Brunch information at the end of the post}

Beware the non-Nyonya who attempts to review Peranakan food. Just as how those of us who grew up on mommy’s Indian cooking would take reviews of Indian food with a bag of salt.

But still, I shall try. After all, there is curry involved.

And actually, Baba Chews doesn’t bill itself as a Peranakan restaurant. Instead, they serve cuisine from the Straits of Malacca, which is why you will see Penang Char Kway Teow sitting happily alongside the Peranakan classic, Ayam Buah Keluak.

And since it’s part of a hotel, items like Butter-seared Salmon and Prawns Spaghetti also feature (rather incongruously) in the menu.

Baba Chews Entrance

The first thing I noticed about Baba Chews was the beautiful, colonial-style building in which it is housed. Walking past the length of the building, with a pearly full moon as the backdrop, you suddenly forget the throngs of Katong-ites milling around next door at Katong 112. (I’m usually one of them.)

Baba Chews is part of the newly opened boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo, at Katong Square. Following through on the Peranakan/Eurasian heritage of the area, pretty mosaic tiles adorn sections of the floor and a stunning bar stands prominently in the middle of the restaurant.

Baba Chews Cosy Corner

Several cosy corners dot the restaurant, but if you’re someone who prefers proper dining table seating, make sure to ask for that when you make a reservation. Despite how pretty the corners look, I don’t think they would be too comfy for a full-on dinner.

Baba Chews Big Bites Dessert Menu

Baba Chews All Day Dining

The Peranakan-focused menu is only available for dinner, although the All-Day Dining does feature some items like Nyonya Laksa and Nyonya Fried Rice. But if you want more of a Peranakan meal, then stick to dinner.

Now what I really loved about Baba Chews was the complimentary (and free flow, I believe as they happily kept topping up) crackers and sambal. That sambal is addictive! I think I ate two pots on my own.

Baba Chews Crackers

We started the meal proper with the Otah Trio ($14), featuring prawn, mackeral and shellfish in 3 different styles. I like the crispy, kataifi-roll but really loved the ground paste version in banana leaf the most.

Baba Chews Otah Trio

We weren’t too hungry so only ordered two dishes to go with some rice. Of course, we had to try the Ayam Buah Keluak ($18) and I really liked the version here! The sourish, earthy taste of the candlenut was very prominent in the dish, and they stuffed each nut with a filling made of minced pork, so it wasn’t just the nut’s paste.

The chicken leg, too, was stewed long enough to satisfy us with its tender, spice-infused flesh.

Baba Chews Chicken and Eggplant

My hubby though, felt that the candlenut taste in the curry was overpowering.

The Sambal Terung ($10) that we ordered was decent, but the strips of fried eggplant was made much better thanks to the sambal they gave with the crackers. I felt that without the additional sambal, the dish just didn’t have a fiery hit.

Speaking of the crackers (again), I think I must have eaten too much of them that I didn’t have room for dessert. Though the Kueh Durian ($12) sounded so good with descriptions of all my favourite local ingredients – gula melaka, coconut, pandan and of course, durian!

Will definitely have to leave room for that next time.

{UPDATED 25 SEPTEMBER 2016}

Made it to the weekend brunch today. At $28 a person for unlimited (yes, unlimited – I kept asking the wait staff if that was really true) orders from the made-to-order Breakfast Menu below, and a buffet line featuring other dishes and free flow juices and coffee/tea, it turned out to be a really good deal!

Baba Chews Breakfast Menu

The mini-buffet features items like fresh fruit juices (apple, pink grapefruit in addition to orange), bircher muesli, muffins, pastries, cold cuts and cheeses, amongst other items.

I made sure to save room for the items off the ala carte menu and it was a good decision. Portions are just right such that if you order 2 items off the menu, you would be full.

We had eggs sunny side up, poached and an omelette too. You can pick amongst a variety of sausages, add on rosti, tomatoes, bacon and so on.

Baba Chews Breakfast Egg

My poached eggs were done just right, I chose the Royale with Smoked Salmon. In fact, I went to the buffet line to get more smoked salmon!

After the savouries, we ordered the sweet stuff like the French Toast, Waffles and Pancakes. I preferred the toast and waffles over the pancakes. There’s lots of fresh fruit and preserves on the buffet line that you can add onto your dishes yourself.

Baba Chews Toast and Waffles

Baba Chews Breakfast Pancake

Featuring coffees from Common Man Coffee Roasters, and TWG teas, it made the brunch all the more special!


Baba Chews:

Address: 86 East Coast Road, #01-01 Katong Square, Katong Square, 428788

Contact: 6723 2025

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/babachewssg/

Opening Hours:

Open daily 6.30am-12am


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