Peranakan Restaurant Kin is housed within Straits Clan at Outram. It is helmed by veteran chef Damian D’Silva who employs traditional cooking methods, recipes and ingredients. D’Silva is also in charge of Folklore, which is on our list of 10 Best Restaurants in 2018.
The food is served in communal style, so you require at least 2 people to eat at the restaurant. There are lunch set ($48++ per pax) and dinner set ($98++ per pax) but they also serve a la carte dishes: Starters ($12-$20), meats and fish ($18-$38), vegetables ($10-$18), and desserts ($12-$20).
We were there for the lunch set.
The servings are really, really small. For starters, there is a choice of 2 out of 4 starters. This is meant to be shared between the people at the table.
We picked a meat and a veg starter. The Hakka fried pork is crispy but not greasy. It is delicious but nothing extraordinary, and rather similar to the ones you can get at a cze char place.
Daun Pegaga is a salad of Asian pennywort, tomato, winged bean in a calamansi lime dressing – piquant and interesting.
There are three main dishes: two meats and a veg. The Ayam lemak chilli padi uses kampong chicken–which is more muscular, less fatty, and thus slightly tougher–braised in chilli padi, sand ginger, and fresh coconut milk.
This is rather spicy, and my eating companion couldn’t take it. I don’t like food so spicy that it overwhelms the flavours of other ingredients and meat.
The babi masak assam is pork belly and ribs braised in preserved bean paste, tamarind, and Chinese mustard.
It is earthy and slightly pungent with just a hint of sourness. A different palate of flavours that we are used to, different but nice.
The blanched okra is doused in dried prawn sambal, with some (I think) sundried tomatoes which adds depth to the dish. This dish has a slightly fermented smelly flavour, which I like.
I ate kueh kosui (steamed gula melaka tapioca starch) at another Peranakan restaurant a few days before this and that kueh kosui looks similar to this in that they both use large grated coconut. (Some kueh kosui use finely grated coconut.) My heart sank because that previous restaurant’s version was terrible.
Fortunately, this rendition is amazing. It is so soft that you have to pick it up gingerly or it will slide off your dessert fork. When it enters the mouth, it dissipates into a soft molten of gula melaka, not extremely sweet, but sweet enough to give you a sugar high.
Comparing Kin to Folklore, I prefer the latter. Kin’s portions are miserable that I still felt hungry after the meal. Kin’s food is also more refined/delicate than Folklore’s, but Peranakan food needs to be hearty and homely as served at Folklore. In being refined, Kin loses that heartwarming Peranakan family-meal heritage.
This is not to say that Kin is no good. Look at my ratings below, and you’ll see Kin scores excellently across the board. Kin’s food is still very delicious but personally, I find refining what is already perfect a waste of effort – gilding the lily.
We pay for our own food in our anonymous reviews.
Straits Clan Lobby, 31 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089845
tel: +65 6320 9180
12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10.30pm, closed Sun
Price / value: 5.5/10
Decor / ambience: 8/10
You may be interested in…
–The Blue Ginger, Great World City: Peranakan Restaurant Since 1995 Opens Second Outlet
–Godmama, Funan: Modern Peranakan Food for the Youths
–Indigo Blue Kitchen, Shaw Centre Orchard: Peranakan Restaurant by Les Amis
–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.