Babas Peranakan – Satisfying Zhap Chye Png Worth A Try
Zhap Chye Png stalls are common sights in coffee shops and hawker centres because of the customizability and economical prices. It’s no wonder that good stalls always have long queues and I usually use it as a gauge to determine if the food is going to be worth the calories. What makes Babas Peranakan stand out is its Peranakan dishes. The perpetual queues are a testament to their authentic Peranakan flavours.
Opened almost a decade ago, Babas Peranakan was started by Mr Tan who was inspired by his Peranakan mother’s cooking. I got there on a Sunday at about 1130am and a queue had already formed (about 8 people in front of me). They have a whole lot of different dishes to choose from so, being a typical Singaporean, I picked my dishes based on what the few uncles and aunties in front of me were selecting. Hot favorites seem to be the sayur lemak (curry vegetables, $1) and fried chicken ($3). You’ll notice that they have a variety of curry dishes including beef rendang, and ikan assam pedas (curry assam fish). I was looking forward to their beef rendang and sambal goreng but alas, I need to watch my weight.
For 2 persons, I got 2 plates of rice drizzled with aromatic curry and 5 different dishes to share. I got their sayur lemak ($1 for 1 person) which sees a generous serving of vegetables and tau pok doused in a light-coloured curry. The curry is sweeter and carries a very mild level of spiciness – perfect for spice-noobs like me. Despite the watery consistency of the curry, it was packed with flavour. I especially liked the lemak-ness of the curry; no wonder it’s so popular! Creamy, aromatic and delicious. Highly recommended!
We also got the fried chicken ($3 for 1 person) which sees a drumstick and a thigh coated in homemade batter, and deep-fried. I noted that the chicken was rather small considering the price, but I liked that it was considerably fleshy. Bite through the light yet crispy batter to get to the succulent chicken meat. It’s so disappointing to eat fried chicken with dry flesh because it’s a waste of calories but this didn’t disappoint and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Their fried egg ($0.50 for 1 person) features a simple fried egg with onions. The diced onions add a nice crunch and flavour to the egg. The servings were rather generous and the egg was well seasoned. They were warm and moist in the center, and the slightly charred exterior offered a nice contrast. Cheap and tasty. Why not?
Wrapped in a thin translucent skin, the fish cake features a well-seasoned fish paste thanks to copious amounts of chilli and green onions. The crunchy pieces of prawn embedded within lend a nice bite and flavour to the fish cake. It comes served with a dollop of their homemade chilli. I didn’t like the chilli as I found it too pungent for me, so I enjoyed the fishcake on its own.
The entire meal cost $14 for 2 of us. Considering the number of dishes we ordered, I thought it was well worth every penny, and I’ll definitely be back. On a side note, they don’t seem to have trays available, but I asked nicely and the uncle went to the neighbouring stall to get one for me.
Address: 335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: 9am to 130pm daily. Closed on Wednesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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