Singapore’s culinary ambassador Violet Oon and her daughter Tay Su-Lyn and son Tay Yi-Ming have done it again. The dynamic family recently launched a new satay and grill restaurant at Clarke Quay near the old Satay Club stretch (next to the main taxi stand).
The setting, which is similar to the elegant and chic National Kitchen, offers a good view of the glassed-in open kitchen where the team fires up the charcoal grill. There are three meat satays in the menu: chicken, pork tenderloin and grain-fed black Angus beef. For each serving, you’ll get three rather large skewers. Marinated with a classic blend of lemongrass, chillies, shallots, coriander and cumin, the sticks of succulent meat are served with a thick ground peanut sauce bound with fresh pineapple puree – which adds a welcome sweet and tangy taste. The pork Hainan satay stands out in particular, thanks to the flame-grilled deliciousness of juicy meat and slivers of fat.
Oon also serves another traditional version of satay featuring prawns and tripe. This is a recipe she learnt from her aunt over 50 years ago. The more mildly flavoured marinade comprises rich coconut cream with a subtle hint of spices.
Other charcoal grilled dishes to sink your teeth into include the hae bee hiam seabass livened up with kaffir lime zest and chincalok relish, garam assam barramundi perfumed with pineapple and ginger flower, and grilled squid with turmeric-infused sauce.
Another new item to try is the nasi goreng Nonya. There is also a more fiery version (nasi goreng Nonya pedas) for those who love a spicy kick. The fragrant rice is tossed with plump prawns and sambal belacan, and partnered with sambal chilli hijau, made with a heady mix of green chilli padi, lime and ikan billis.
Even if you’re about to suffer from a food coma, do check out the dessert list, which is short but divine. Take for instance the handmade chendol infused with pandan extract. The local dessert is elevated with gula Melaka shaved iced, red beans and a generous topping of durian pengat sauce and sweet durian flesh. It’s sinful, and a real show stopper. The gula Melaka and coconut ice cream scattered with crushed toasted cashew nuts is worth all the calories to boot.
Available in the menu too are Oon’s signatures like the all-time favourite dry laksa, kueh pie tee, meatless meatballs, and tender beef rendang.
This new hotspot is a great place to have a casual night out with friends or guests from overseas. The relaxed and charming setting puts you in positive frame of mind. The space also boasts a lovely bar with counter seats. There you can dine solo or linger over a refreshing house-made cocktail created by Yiming.
3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-18. Tel: 9834 9935. www.violetoon.com