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Monday, May 26, 2014

Ivins Ivins

Our initial plans was to try out some Peranakan Cuisine in Tanjong Pagar but we ended up here instead in Bukit Timah area as I was told Peranakan in Ivins will be of a pocket friendlier choice.

Tucked away in the estate of Bukit Timah, Ivins was rather inaccessible for some, perhaps if the nearby MRT station has completed, things will not be the same anymore.

Ivins Ivins

When stepping into the restaurant, I thought I had switched the time machine into the 70s. The place was furnished with Peranakan flavours, dull colors and wooden furniture.

While having high expectations, our first dish Nonya Chap Chye did not really meet up to the expectation. These stewed mixed vegetables were cooked in soy beans sauce, contained in an earthen claypot. Though the Chap Chye was braised and soften, they were insipid and the level of sweetness  as well as taste could not match up to what we had previously from a Peranakan Restaurant.

Nonya Chap Chye - $4.90
Ngo Hiang was pretty average. If not for the sambal chilli that paired the dish well, I would have skip them and save some stomach space for others.

Fried Ngo Hiang - $4.20
The presentation of curry fish head was perhaps the best out of all dishes due to its color combination with purple from the brinja, red from the chilli, greens from the coriander leaves and lady fingers with orange curry. The Red snapper fishhead was fresh and tasty, a perfect choice to match up with the bowls of rice we had.

Curry Fish Head - $23
One of the signature dish in a Peranakan Cuisine, Ayam Buah Keluak.  Came in claypot forms with few pieces of braised chicken in the thick spicy tamarind gravy with only 2 Buah Keluak nuts availabl. Given the small pot portion and the limited amount of Buah Keluak, it was a challenge to share among us.

Ayam Buah Keluak - $6.50

The meatball was soft but there were only 1 available while the rest is fishballs and sotong ball. However the main attraction of the dish is still on the Hee Peow ("aka fish maw") amongst the cabbage clear soup, such portion was just too little to divide among us.

Hee Peow Soup - $5.80
Lean pork stew in a rich brown gravy and was rather sweet.

Babi Pongteh - $5.80

It was quite stunning to see desserts available at $1.20 per bowl, cheaper than the hawker centres until we saw its portion. Well, its smaller than the portion of a rice bowl. Their dessert has nothing special in particular and tasted the ordinary.

By the time we ordered the desserts, some of the hot desserts like Burbut Terigu was already sold out.

Tau Suan tasted ordinary with 4 cut fried fritters topped the little bowl.
Tau Suan
Having such a kid size bowl for desserts has its added advantage as it allowed diners to have more room for other desserts. Pulut Hitam or what we often called "Orh Juk" was ordinary , having black glutinous rice in coconut milk and was not too sweet to taste.
Pulut Hitam
Probably, this dessert may be something different from the usual hawker stores. I had my first try of banana desserts in coconut milk. It tasted sweet and again, luckily its portion is small and we are sharing, if not its really filling.

Pengat Pisang
Here comes the cold desserts but we have to skip the finely shaved snow ice here. A bowl of typical Buboh Cha Cha, lessing out the red and green tapioca flour which makes the bowl looks dull. Nonetheless, we still have the yellow and orange sweet potatoes in diluted coconut milk where little translucent sago were still found. This can be requested to be served in either hot or cold.

Bo Bo Cha Cha
Another cold dessert we were sharing after dinner was their chendol. This is known as their all time favourties in the menu, served with green jelly bits and red beans in coconut milk as well as brown sugar.

Overall, I would say that their price was indeed cheaper than most Peranakan Restaurant however their service was still abit lacking as there were many times we raised our hands fanatically and no one came to check out on us. Though no service charge was rendered, still there are more room for improvement.

Comparing one of its competitor selling Peranakan Cuisine in Beauty World, also in Bukit Timah District I will still prefer the other.

Rating: 3 / 5

Location: 19 Binjai Park Singapore 589827

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