[Review] Kuehntessentially Peranakan Buffet at Sheraton Towers Singapore

March 18, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

For a limited time only this April 2018, indulge in a feast of traditional Peranakan dishes in a special collaboration between Chef Eric and Shermay Lee of Shermay's Singapore Fine Food at Sheraton Towers Singapore.

The term "Peranakan" means "locally born" in Malay and refers to the descendants of foreign traders who married local women in Southeast Asia centuries ago. Peranakan cuisine is the result of blending Chinese ingredients with various local spices, resulting in food that is often characterised by strong and spicy flavours.

Shermay Lee, a sixth-generation Nyonya (the term for Peranakan women) who picked up the ropes in the kitchen from her late grandmother from as early as five years old, is a food consultant and cookbook author specialising in Singapore heritage and Peranakan cuisine. Hence, you can be assured that you will be treated to a gastronomical journey of true blue Peranakan fare during this buffet.

For those who are not familiar, Shermay's grandmother, Mrs Lee Chin Koon, is the doyen of Peranakan cuisine and author of the famous "Mrs Lee’s Cookbook".


1) Keropok and Embing
Start the meal with some crispy Keropok (prawn crackers) and Embing (bitter nut crackers), and dip them into the special chilli sauce from none other than Shermay's Singapore Fine Food of course. Shermay recommended that the Keropok should be paired with Cilicuka (red chilli) and Embing with Sambal Hijau (green chilli), and I followed suit.

As my spoon emerged from the bottle of cilicuka, I was greeted by a welcoming whiff of ingredients such as chilli, vinegar and garlic. I squeezed some calamansi lime into the sauce and it was overall not too spicy. Coarsely ground and made of natural ingredients with no added MSG, this special chilli sauce was based on Mrs Lee’s handwritten recipe from more than 40 years ago. Try Heat Level 3 if you are game enough!

2) Rojak Java and Kueh Pie Tee
Rojak Java is an alternative rendition of the traditional hawker rojak, and consisted of a simple dish of cucumber, pineapple and turnip. Swirl these vegetable sticks in the prawn paste dip and enjoy the crunchy textures!

Each Kueh Pie Tee had generous portions of shredded turnip, bamboo shoot, prawn and pork enveloped in thin, crispy pie shells. Add some chilli sauce to these petite morsels and I promise that you will relish in the explosion of flavours in that mouthful. Certainly one of the must-tries!


A variety of perennial Peranakan favourites and other local dishes like Bak Kut Teh and Chicken Rice are available at this buffet. Below are my favourite 3 items off the Peranakan menu:

1) Nyonya Chap Chai
This may seem like a normal homecooked vegetable dish, but trust me, it was one of the best Chap Chais I have ever eaten.

As I type this review, I can clearly recall the kaleidoscope of flavours from the stewed cabbage, Chinese mushroom, prawns, glass noodles, pork belly and dried tofu skin simmered in a robust soy bean stock. All these ingredients resulted in a savoury dish with natural slightly sweet undertones. Simply divine.

2) Ayam Buah Keluak
Ayam Buah Keluak is one of the most well-loved Peranakan dishes, yet also one that is very tedious to cook. If you haven't tried the buah keluak nut before, its contents are usually pound into a fine paste that tastes like dark bitter chocolate with nutty earthy tones.

Using ingredients such as succulent chicken thigh, pork ribs, this dish was braised with buah keluak nuts and required 3 days to prepare. The buah keluak flavours were less intense than the others I have tried elsewhere before, so it is suitable for those who are trying this dish for the first time.

3) Char Siew
The roast pork in this dish was glazed with Shermay’s specially concocted meat marinade. Containing belachan (seafood and prawn paste), this sauce is one of a kind!

If you would like to try making your own bak kwa (a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product similar to jerky), we heard that this marinade (which can be bought online) is perfect for that too.

Below are another 2 note-worthy dishes:
- Udang Nanas Pedas: Fresh prawns and pineapples doused in aromatic spicy gravy.

- Oven-baked Snapper: Whole snapper cooked with sambal hijau, wrapped in banana leaves, and topped with freshly squeezed calamansi limes.


Complete this hearty feast with an array of sweet treats such as Bandung Rose Jelly and assorted traditional Peranakan Kuehs. Don't miss the Chendol with Coconut Ice Cream from the DIY station!


This buffet features perennial favourites showcasing more than 20 heritage dishes prepared true to Shermay’s and her grandmother's recipes.

Shermay's passion is to bring back her grandma's taste in traditional Peranakan dishes, and she certainly succeeds in this collaboration with Chef Eric.

"Kuehntessentially Peranakan" Buffet

  • Available only on the Saturdays and Sundays from 7 to 29 April 2018.
  • Buffet dinner, from 7pm to 10pm.
  • $68++ per adult & $34++ per child (6-12 years old). 15% off discount for Citibank cardholders.

The Dining Room @ Sheraton Towers Singapore
39 Scotts Rd
Singapore 228230
Tel: 6839 5621

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