Violet Oon’s Kitchen – Local Bistro with a Twist
After opening and winding so many restaurants, Singapore’s celebrity chef, Violet Oon, is back again. Located at Bukit Timah Road, the newly opened Violet Oon’s Kitchen is a maiden restaurant project with her grown-up children. Violet’s reputation clearly precedes her, despite only being open for a few months, they were already full on a weekend night.
We started with a basket of Truffle fries ($12) topped with parmesan cheese.
Ngo Hiang ($14) is accompanied by potent sambal belachan (even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, give it a go). Deep fried fresh prawns, crab meat, pork and water chestnut rolls seasoned with five spice powder are wrapped in bean curd skin. Moist inside, crispy on the outside. The ingredients are well balanced, not salty with crunchy water chestnuts inside.
Another traditional Perenakan dish, Chap Chye ($8), has a mix of vegetables braised in a rich prawn stock. The Chap Chye was cooked to the right consistency – not too hard and not overcooked. The vegetables absorbed the flavour provided from the broth.
The restaurant also served full-flavoured Nyonya cuisine, all served with rice and salad. Beef Rendang ($22) has big chunks of beef braised in a melange of spices flavoured with kaffir and bay leaves in a creamy coconut milk. The tender beef cubes are moist and bursting with flavour. It is served with nasi kuning (Indonesian yellow rice) and archara.
Fish Tempura ($24) of baby sea bass is topped with a sweet, sour and mildly hot sauce of chillies, onions, sweet soya sauce and lime. The fish was a tad dry on that night.
Violet’s rendition of Babi Pong Tay ($19) didn’t disappoint. Fatty and decadent pork belly was stewed with dried mushrooms and bamboo shoots flavoured with yellow bean paste, cinnamon and cloves till it was melt-worthy.
There are also local-inspired dishes including pasta-style Dry Laksa ($19) with Sambal Udang (Angka Prawns) with Julliene of Ginger Flower. While the noodles has soaked up all the laksa flavours, the chef was too generous with their pesto leaves, making the dish slightly too salty for our liking.
Pulut Hitam with Vanilla Ice Cream ($9) is way too heavy for me because gula melaka and coconut milk is already premixed into the dessert. We think the vanilla ice cream didn’t quite go well with the pulut hitam.
Burdor Cha Cha Panna Cotta ($9) is our favourite, with all the elements of a bubor cha cha plus a panna cotta, it’s like eating two desserts at one go! But we find it slightly too sweet.
The bistro is decorated in a simple chic black and white, with hints of mosaic and Peranakan tiles giving a clue as to the nature of the eatery.
Overall, this was a good dining experience. The nonya dishes showcased very traditional yet delicious peranakan flavours, though we thought there were rooms of improvement on the dessert. If I was in the neighborhood and need a nice place to eat, I would visit again. However, I do not think I would go out of my way to visit again.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen
Address: 881 Bukit Timah RoadSingapore 279893
Tel: +65 6468 5430
Opening Hours: Tue to Thu, 11.30am to 10pm. Fri to Sun, 11.30am to 12am