Daisy’s Dream Kitchen
If you are very involved in the local theatre scene, you would probably know about Dim Sum Dolly’s Selena Tan. She is a good actor, but do you know, her mother Daisy is a good cook! They used to have a stall in Tiong Bahru Food Centre but has already closed down in March to focus on running this new restaurant — Daisy’s Dream Kitchen.
Daisy’s Dream Kitchen is located under a West Coast HDB block. It is fully air conditioned and people can sit back and enjoy home-cooked fare in a comfy living room-like setting. It is still a family-run operation. Daisy grew up in a kampong surrounded by Peranakan, so she learnt her recipes from the neighbours. Her son, Ray, runs the kitchen mostly, while Daisy will go around each table to greet the customers.
I was there for lunch on a lovely Sunday together with my tour mates who travelled to Guilin and Yangshuo recently. One of the tour members, Evelyn, is a baba so she recommended us to have lunch at Daisy’s Dream Kitchen.
First up is Daisy’s Ngoh Hiang ($8) which is very highly raved. These Ngoh Hiang balls are made of pork, prawn, onion and water chestnut deliciously rolled with beancurd skin and fried golden brown. They are very juicy and crunchy, love the chilli dipping sauce that goes with it.
Bakwan Kepiting ($5 per bowl) is a must-have dish in many Peranakan households during festivals such as Chinese New Year. These meatballs pack a punch with the perfect combination of pork and crab meat in a chicken and bamboo-shoot broth.
Babi Buah Keluak ($10) is a must try in the menu. The fruits of the nut is lovingly dug out and mixed with minced pork instead of chicken. It is very well braised, seasoned with the right spices and is served with tender soft pork bone ribs and a delicious gravy made from Daisy’s Special Rempah.
Chap Chye ($8) has a combination of cabbage, lily buds, black fungus, fried beancurd sheets braised for a long time. I like the softness of the vegetables. However, I find that the taste of the fermented beans is missing, which is a real pity.
Everyone loves the Sambal-stuffed Fried Fish ($12) which is deep-fried Ikan Selar stuffed with Sambal Belacan. It is very addictive! The fish meat is very firm and the homemade sambal sauce is very shiok!
The spicy and sour Assam Chicken ($10) is cooked with Daisy’s Special Rempah. The sauce has a good balance of sweet, sour and spicy and very rich in rempah. I was hoping there was more gravy.
The star of the meal is surprisingly the Black-Ink Sotong ($12). This is Daisy’s Mum’s winning recipe. Fresh baby squid is tenderly cooked in its own ink. You can get the crunch when you bite into the squid rings.
The weather was very humid that Sunday so we each had a bowl of dessert. Bobo Cha Cha ($3) was yam and sweet potato cubes served in coconut milk and sago. I do agree that it tasted better when served hot because we didn’t like the ice cubes added into the dessert. It dilutes the Bobo Cha Cha, perhaps they can just place it in the fridge to serve cold.
I enjoyed my bowl of Pulut Hitam ($3). This creamy dessert made of black glutinous rice served with coconut cream. However, I find that it is too pricey.
Here’s a shot of us with Daisy. Doesn’t Selena looks like her?
A group shot with the tour mates. I am the youngest in the group and of course, the uncles and aunties treated me very well.
Craving for some peranakan food already? 🙂
Daisy’s Dream Kitchen
Address: 517 West Coast Road #01-571
Tel: +65 6779 1781
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