Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient The Blue Ginger has launched a second outlet at Great World after its flagship opened 25 years ago at Tanjong Pagar.
Different Peranakan families have slightly different recipes passed down for generations. And this restaurant uses home recipes from the founding partner’s mother, Mrs Vivian Lian.
New to the menu at Great World are two dishes, Kerabu Kacang Botol ($11.50) and Kerabu Timun ($8.50). The former consists of winged beans, blanched and tossed with dried shrimps, shallots, fragrant toasted grated coconut, in a dressing of chilli and lime.
The latter comprises chicken gizzards, cucumber, tomato in belachan chilli paste.
They are Asian salads. Not bad, but they are spicy for me and I’d prefer their traditoinal kueh pie tee ($8, 4 pieces) and ngo heong.
The communal mains are eaten with rice. Sweet and sour Assam pork ribs ($16), braised for hours, is usually prepared with pork belly. They do it with ribs because it is less fatty, but I like the pork belly version elsewhere better. This dish lacks the robustness pork belly has.
Ayam panggang “blue ginger” ($16) showcases chicken thigh first marinated in a turmeric spice mix—they say turmeric can fight coronavirus, right?—then grilled and served in a sauce of coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, and coriander.
It has all the ingredients I like, but somehow, I find this a little bland. Maybe some salt?
The beef rendang ($20) uses shin meat in a gravy of ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, coriander, cumin, and a dash curry powder.
It’s not as spicy as beef rendang elsewhere; this one is more subdued, allowing the layers of flavours to shine. Very tender. Order this.
Terong Goreng Cili ($13): deep-fried eggplant with a fresh homemade chilli paste with a drizzle of sweet dark soy sauce.
It’s not spicy as it looks, even I who cannot really eat spicy food, can eat this.
And it’s delicious: the softness of the eggplant contrasts with the crunchy bits of chilli.
They have the classic ayam buah keluak (chicken in Indonesian black nut sauce, $24) too, but this sotong keluak (squid in Indonesian black nut, $22), the best dish we had that night, is worth trying.
It’s stir-fried with tamarind juice, onions, red and green chillis, and buah keluak. The squid, cooked masterfully, still soft, goes very well with the earthy black nut.
Nonya noodles ($15) are eaten during birthdays and special occasions. It’s very similar to Hokkien mee, yellow noodles cooked in prawn and pork stock.
One of the difference is Nonya noodles has tau cheo (fermented soy bean paste).
It is not too bad, but I prefer Hokkien mee.
Love the generous toppings on the chendol ($5, add $2 for D24 durian): half bowl of green wriggly thingamajig, half red bean paste. Coconut milk with Indonesian palm sugar, not gula melaka.
Unfortunately, the ice is too big, making the chendol crunchy. I’d also prefer gula melaka. The palm sugar just doesn’t have the complexity.
The Blue Ginger has some good dishes such as the beef rendang, deep-fried eggplant, and squid keluak. And it offers something different from other restaurants at Great World.
The Blue Ginger
Great World #01-106, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Tel:+65 6235 7042
M – F: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Weekends and PH: 11am – 10pm
Decor / ambience: 7/10
You may be interested in…
–Godmama, Funan: Modern Peranakan Food for the Youths
–Indigo Blue Kitchen, Shaw Centre Orchard: Peranakan Restaurant by Les Amis
–Folklore, Beach Road: Eurasian-Peranakan Food that is Different from the Rest
–Whole Earth, Tanjong Pagar: VERY SMELLY, Expensive But Excellent Food at the Only Vegetarian Restaurant to Be Awarded by the Michelin Guide
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.