If you are seeking out Peranakan food in Singapore, you should be familiar with this name – The Blue Ginger, it is one of Singapore’s oldest Peranakan restaurants established in 1995 at Tanjong Pagar. In 2016, The Blue Ginger received its first Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition and has been holding the unvarying award for the past three years.
This family-run business is currently managed by second-gen owner Teo Shi Kai and in January this year, Kai has unveiled his second outlet at the recently revamped Great World mall. In keeping with his family tradition, customers been to the flagship restaurant at Tanjong Pagar can still find a menu of excellent Peranankan dishes prepared from time-honoured proprietary family recipes at this Great World outlet.
New restaurant outlet, new interiors and new beginnings – The Blue Ginger at Great World takes on a contemporary chic look, but still creates a nostalgic and welcoming atmosphere.
One of the key features at the restaurant is the custom-made rolling gate which you can see in the picture below, as well as the tiled flooring at the courtyard and other intricate Peranakan elements within the dining area – that’s a beautiful way to pay homage the shophouse flagship restaurant at Tanjong Pagar.
All of the restaurant’s china and crockery were hand selected to give customers a real Nyonya experience while dining at the modern interior space.
Picking the right plates can go a long way towards enhancing the food’s visual appeal, especially when the traditional cuisine is usually less vibrant in colours – these handpicked pieces will surely brighten up meal times.
KERABU KACANG BOTOL ($11.50)
#New on the menu – Kerabu Kacang Botol, also known as Four-angled bean salad or winged bean salad is a much-coveted Peranakan dish. I enjoyed the wing bean for its crunchy texture and tasted good when the vegetable is eaten raw.
The spicy, tangy dressing for this side dish is made from ingredients like ground fresh red chilies, dried shrimps, shallots, and lime juice topped with fragrant toasted grated coconut and fresh shrimp for added texture and flavour.
KERABU TIMUN ($8.50)
Another new starter on the menu is Kerabu Timun, a spicy and appetising cucumber salad that is sure to whet your appetite. There are a few essential ingredients in this refreshing salad – cucumbers and tomatoes are paired with chicken gizzards for texture, while the belachan (shrimp) chilli paste adds zest to the salad and holds all the different flavours together.
Even I’m not a fan of chicken gizzards, I actually lean towards to the tasty side on this. Give this dish a try when you are at The Blue Ginger, perhaps this may change your mind on the organ (which I did).
BEEF RENDANG ($20.00)
Next the main dishes, one of meat highlights include Beef Rendang which yields tender chunks of beef shin meat in a thick, rich, caramelized curry sauce made with fresh aromatics and spices such as ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, coriander and cumin.
The beef rendang meat wasn’t the most meltingly tender part I had, but still good and the thick curry sauce has incredible depth of flavour – best eaten with steamed Jasmine rice and flavouring it like saucy curries.
AYAM PANGGANG “BLUE GINGER” ($16.00)
For poultry section, try the Ayam Panggang “Blue Ginger”. The name basically means grilled chicken and the star of this dish for me is the wonderfully-fragrant gravy that goes on top of the succulent grilled chicken thigh, plus all the spice mix ingredients like turmeric, lemongrass, galangal and coriander makes it shine.
PORK RIBS ASSAM ($16.00)
The traditional Nyonya Babi Assam would have appeared on countless Peranakan restaurant menus. At The Blue Ginger, you can also find this dish on the menu, but with a slightly different take. Instead of using boneless cut of fatty meat from the pig’s belly, the restaurant choose to use pork ribs for a meatier option.
You’ll get tender fall-off-the-bone braised pork ribs with tart and slightly sweet taste that will whet one’s appetite again.
TERONG GORENG CILI ($13.00)
I’m not an eggplant connoisseur, but I think I encountered the best sambal eggplant dish in Singapore. This highly-recommended pick features deep-fried eggplant batonnets crowned with homemade fresh chilli paste and drizzle of sweet dark soy sauce, which doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make a great veggie dish.
For people who claim to dislike eggplant, you may become a convert after trying the Terong Goreng Cili here.
SOTONG KELUAK ($22.00)
Not limited to meat and poultry selection, The Blue Ginger also offers delightful seafood dishes, such as the Sotong Keluak – fresh squid tossed in a flavourful and earthy buah keluak, or black nut paste sourced exclusively from Indonesia and spicy tamarind juice. All you need is a bowl of rice to complement and also tastes good on its own.
For those who are unfamiliar with Peranakan cuisine, the meals are always a hearty affair – The Blue Ginger dishes all come in one order size and that means to get the best, come as a group.
Small eaters and lone diners don’t have to frown or worry about food wastage as the Great World outlet is serving one-dish meals include items like Kerabu Laksa, Nonya Noodles and Buah Keluak Fried Rice.
NONYA NOODLES ($15.00)
The Peranakans of the past (including today) would always prepare a bowl of springy yellow noodles cooked in a rich prawn and pork stock with bean sprouts, kang kong and garnished with omelette and cucumber julienne to celebrate special occasions and birthdays. Think of this dish as our local Hokkien mee, but with more wok hei and unami flavours – thanks to its use of fermented soy bean paste.
At The Blue Ginger, it doesn’t need to be a birthday celebration to enjoy a flavourful bowl of longevity noodles.
CHENDOL ($5.00) / DURIAN CHENDOL ($7.00)
Make space for desserts with kueh kuehs selection such as Kueh Salat, Kueh Bingka Ubi, or opt for the must-have Chendol, featuring finely shaved ice with creamy coconut milk, pandan jelly (chendol), homemade red bean paste and generous serving of of palm sugar syrup from Indonesia.
Add on beautiful golden D-24 durian puree if you like the aromatic punch – slurp!
All patrons will be levied $2.80 for rice, pickles and sambal belachan
Corkage charge per wine bottle $25
All prices listed subjected to 10% service charge and 7% GST
THE BLUE GINGER
Address: Great World, #01-106, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Tel: +65 6235 7042
Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm on weekdays, All day on weekends
Seating Capacity: 70 Pax