We came here a couple of years ago and did not think much of the food then. It serves peranakan or Straits (Chinese Malay) food. I decided to try the place again as it has been a while since we had peranakan food. The place has moved from the earlier location in the same mall.
Peranakan refers to a group of people known as Straits-born Chinese. This refers to the descendants of Chinese immigrants who had intermarried with the local Malay folks. They are found predominantly in Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Many of them speak English and Malay rather than Chinese and the food that they are well-known for, is a mixture of Chinese and Malay cooking, or peranakan. Many of them were well-educated in English and they have managed to preserve their culture till today.
The most outstanding dish out of the three that we ordered turned out to be the bayam (spinach) cooked with garlic. It really was yummy and not at all overcooked as the vegetables still had their crunch in them. The other two dishes were so-so. This place has reviewed quite well for its food and there are other more authentic peranakan dishes that one could try. The other draw were the kuehs that were sold at the counter near the entrance. I love gula melaka and so dessert was a must.
Gula melaka or palm sugar is made out of the sap of coconut flower buds. The sap is then boiled until it thickens and solidified in small bamboo tubes. Gula melaka is commonly used in Malay and peranakan dessert. It can also be used as a sweetener instead of sugar syrup.
Ivins, Heartland Mall, 2nd floor, Kovan, Singapore. The more well-known outlet is at Binjai Park, Bukit Timah.