Casa Bom Vento – Halal Eurasian & Peranakan Food in Katong
Eurasian cuisine is essentially a fusion of the East and West. It is characterized by strong and rich flavours and often liberally spiced. Each colony – Portuguese, Dutch, British or Spanish has its own favourite dishes. Honestly, I only start to understand more about Eurasian food when I was studying for tour guide course.
Casa Bom Vento is now managed by Lionel, son of original proprietor Gladys Chee. The menu offers a wide range of Eurasion and Peranakan dishes. One Eurasian dish that I have been dying to try was Debal Curry, which many people called it Devil’s curry because of its spiciness. ‘Debal’ refers to ‘leftovers’ in the Kristang language. This dish was created when all the leftover Christmas meats were put together in a hot curry. Of course, now we don’t have to eat it during Christmas as Casa Bom Vento serves it everyday!
True enough, their debal curry ($13 for small) is SUPER HOT. Casa Bom Vento’s version is cooked with chicken, chicken sausage and potatoes, this is spicy without the richness of coconut milk. Because it is a halal-certified restaurant, they do not use ingredients like pork or ham.
I always give salute to Peranakan chef who creates delicious food using their tombok tombok (grinding method). Over in Casa Bom Vento, one of my favourite appetizer is the Kachang Botol Salad ($8) which is raw sliced winged beans with lime. It’s a salad with a medley of ingredients for the refreshing crunchy deliciousness.
The ayam buah keluak ($13 small) is a clear winner. Originates from his Perankan mum’s recipe, Lionel grounded the buah keluak nuts, added into the rempah and simmered for hours to create a thick and rich gravy. The addition of lime and ginger gives the gravy the perfect balance of flavours. I am a fan of stingray and was thrilled by the grilled baby stingray with peppercorns ($20 small). It was a lovely combination of spices, but unfortunately, it wasn’t quite tender on my day of visit and I didn’t have an easy time sliding it off the bones.
As you know, Peranakan kitchen uses lots of tamarind to add sourness to a dish. Itek Sio ($17 small) is a Peranakan braised duck in tamarind and coriander gravy. Cooking duck can be time consuming. To ensure a very fragrant sauce, the restaurant also add adds toasted coriander. It’s fork tender and pairs well with a bowl of rice. Another dish that uses tamarind is the Prawn Nanas ($30 small) with pineapple. We also Special Curry Fish Head (seasonal price) which needs one day in advance.
During my second visit at Casa Bom Vento, I had the chance to truly experience a Tok Panjang meal. During the 12th day of the traditional Peranakan wedding, Tok Panjang celebration is held where families feast the entire day on over 40 dishes. Casa Bom Vento Restaurant is one of the few places in Singapore that still caters to the traditional tok panjang. We had a wide range of Peranakan dishes including devil’s curry, mutton rendang, botol salad, nonya curry lemak, chap chye, mee siam, ayam buah keluak, itek sioh, eurasian beef semor, sayur lodeh and many many more. It’s usually catered for 15 pax and more, please call 3 days in advance to book!
Casa Bom Vento
475 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427682
Tel: 6440 0196
Operating hours: Mondays to Sundays 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 10pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
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