Last weekend, my darling wife S and I enjoyed a fantastic meal at True Blue Cuisine. True Blue is one of my favourite restaurants and easily one of the best Peranakan restaurants in Singapore. It’s a place that S and I like to bring visiting friends to, as well as to go by ourselves for date nights during which we feast on Chef Benjamin Seck’s expertly prepared and always mouth-watering dishes.
Last weekend, we went to True Blue because they were serving a very special set menu. In partnership with The White Card, a membership program that I helped set up that offers special priviliges at some of the city’s best restaurants, and that also organizes regular events, Benjamin had created a menu featuring “long-lost and forgotten” Peranakan dishes. As a glutton that likes to pretend that I’m somewhat intellectual, this was one meal I knew I could not miss.
The menu was simple but satisfying. The first course was jantong pisang sama udang galah, raw banana blossoms with lobster. This was a lovely modern version of a very old, traditional dish. This was followed by a serving of buah paya titek, a very spicy papaya soup. This had an amazing flavour. I’m not a papaya person. To be completely honest, I can’t stand the fruit. But this soup was delicious and the stewed young papaya tasted almost like a sweet daikon. Yummy.
The next course was a small portion of taukwa goreng celop chilli chuka, fried beancurd with vinegar chilli sauce. The beancurd was good and the sauce highly addictive. This was followed by our “main courses”: udang goreng assam, king prawns fried with tamarind sauce; ayam tauyu lada, chicken fried with pepper and black soy sauce; kangkong kledek lemak, sweet potatoes with water convulvulus in coconut milk; and nasi ubi kayu, jasmine rice with tapioca.
All of these dishes were excellent. But the chicken was by far my favourite. I would be happy to have just eaten that with a bowl of rice. Heck, I’d be happy to eat that chicken dish every week, it was that good. It was substantial and savory, while sweet with just a hint of heat. And, from what I understand (from grilling a waiter about how it was cooked), really simple to prepare. This is definitely something I’ll be trying to replicate for weeks to come.
Dessert was the best bubor cha cha sama sagu bijik, sweet potatoes with yam and sago pearls in coconut milk, I have had. It was the perfect sweet finish to a fabulously delicious but also educational meal. Educational because Benjamin had arranged for some friends — authorities on Peranakan cuisine and culture — to talk about each dish and how each fits into the history of both Singapore and the Peranakan people.
These dishes were prepared specifically for this very special night, so you won’t find most on the regular menu. But the food is always good at True Blue. Don’t just take my word for it. Check it out for yourself.
True Blue Cuisine
47/49 Armenian Street
telephone +65 6440 0449