Chong Wen Ge Cafè – A Simple Peranakan Cafe Beside A Temple!
I have a thing for anything peranakan. Even when I conduct food tours for our overseas friends, one of the venue I would recommend is to go Katong, the enclave with strong Peranakan culture. So when I was planning for an upcoming food tour around Amoy Street and passed by Chong Wen Ge Cafè which is next to Thian Hock Keng Temple, I knew this is going to be my favourite stop.
The name “Chong Wen Ge cafe” plays tribute to the ‘Institute for the Veneration of Literature’, Singapore’s first Chinese school. Sharing the same building as Singapore’s first music box museum and Peranakan tile gallery, Chong Wen Ge cafe is also part of Thiam Hock Keng temple complex, that was gazetted as a National Monument in 1973s. Upon entering the Chong Boon Gate, I was already mesmerised by the authentic Peranakan tiled flooring.
A cup of Teh C Special is needed for a hot weather like Singapore. The beautiful three layers is made from gula melaka, evaporated milk and brewed black tea. It is really unique and we seldom see this in Singapore. The menu is all about local favourites. We wanted the Nyonya Otah Loti ($4.80) but it was sold out, so we had Nyonta Achar Loti ($3.80) instead which was a little too “gelart” for us, probably because of the tanginess from the achar. But it will probably pairs better with the usual nasi lemak and not bread.
If you prefer your mee siam to be rich and hearty, you’ll like Chong Wen Ge Cafè’s rich and robust Mee Siam ($7.80). The sweet tangy tamarind gravy was unabashedly bold and served with rice vermicelli paired with tiger prawns, beancurd, eggs and fresh beansprouts. The bee hoon was delightfully springy and absorbed the gravy well. The assortment of nonya kuehs is made fresh daily ($1.50/pc or $6 for 4 pcs). I thought the ondeh ondeh was a little too small to get a good bite but the red ang ku kueh and kueh dar dar are quite decent.
Chong Wen Ge Cafè
Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068619
Opening Hours: 110:00 am - 7:00 pm daily.