Uncle Jeff private dine-in home over at Choa Chu Kang is a comfortable 5 room flat where he lives with his wife. Glass is used to partition his kitchen offering a great view of the chef in action.
At present, it is priced at $50 per person for a minimum reservation of 6 people, and it can accommodate up to 12. I liked that there is a ‘no-frills’ menu of 8 dishes and a dessert – Kueh PieTee, Buah Keluak, Sambal Prawns, Otak Otak, Nonya Chap Chai, Bakwan Kepiting, Babi Pongteh, Hati Babi Bungkus and Sago Pearl Pudding with Gula Melaka
The price is a great attraction since Peranakan dishes require more effort and time compared to others cuisines, so ingredient does not come cheap.
Growing up in a family where everything is handmade, Uncle Jeff insists on following the same route, meticulous about only using the best ingredients and cooking the traditional way so much so that he’s a market regular and many stallholders friend. The benefits are fresher ingredients set aside for him. All the dishes are handmade in-house, fresh. From kueh pie tee cups to the coconut milk served in the dishes. You can’t get it any fresher than those that we squeeze from the whole coconut at home. I have to take my hat off to him!
I’m very glad and pleased to have tasted Uncle Jeff’s food. We can sense the passion and pride that goes into his cooking. It is important to add that no MSG was used by Uncle Jeff to cook the delicious food made by him. He believes that it is best to let the dishes sit for 2 to 3 hours and allow the flavor to bloom naturally without artificial seasoning.
The Kuey Pie Tee is a must-order dish, and a great way to start the meal. The crispy cup melts in the mouth and the subtle flavor of bamboo shoots, turnips garnished with prawns and chili sauce makes it a perfect combination. The Hati Babi Bungkus is a gem to the taste buds, these marinated fried liver balls wrapped in pig’s caul were delicious. Mixed with minced meat, the rich taste of liver really stood out, served with home-made achar. The Babi Pongteh (pork belly) is soft and tender, while the ‘taucheo’ (fermented soybeans) gravy is mildly fragrant, deeply savory with a light sweet taste, and pairs very well with rice. Also, Uncle Jeff’s Otak Otak is by far the best compared to all the Otak Otak I have eaten before.
Finally, the long awaited dessert, sago pearls shaped into an inverted bowl for you to pour your own gula Melaka and coconut milk. It’s a dessert that is not often seen and a great way to end the meal with a bang!
We are truly glad to have enjoyed a hearty and comforting good old-fashioned, home-cooked meal.
If you like to know more or planning a reservation, his number is 96191949 and his facebook is https://www.facebook.com/nonyabongtheperanakan/
You can also read “A Chat with Peranakan Chef Jeffrey Chia” on his story of being a chef.