47/49 Armenian Street
+65 6440 0449
It might be the dining hall dotted with Peranakan antiques and sepia ancestral portraits, but stepping into True Blue – appropriately next door to the Peranakan Museum – is like being invited into someone’s home. And this painstakingly restored pre-war shophouse is one of the best places to experience Singaporean culture on a plate.
Starting with a crunchy banana blossom salad ($16) was the perfect way to prepare my taste buds for the rich flavours of the ayam buah keluak ($18), a tender chicken stew with black nuts. Succulent prawns fried with curry leaves ($15) is one of Chef Benjamin’s signature dishes; it didn’t disappoint. True Blue’s take on chap chye (mixed vegetables, $12) looks deceptively simple, but it’s exactly as the dish should be, the sweetness of the vegetables accentuated by preserved soybean paste.
If your tummy capacity is up for it – and mine always is – have a side of ngoh hiang ($12), a crispy bean-curd roll that typically contains pork. Since this restaurant is halal, it uses minced chicken and prawns instead.
For dessert, do as the locals do and dive into the onde onde (steamed tapioca balls) with creamy durian ($6.50). Or indulge in the kueh kueh platter ($10), an assortment of local sweets. I’m told that the pineapple tarts ($4.50) are to die for.
With belly full, I relaxed with my fresh pomelo juice ($10) and admired the proud effort that True Blue makes to ensure the survival of the Peranakan heritage in this modern city of ours.