BaBa Chews Restaurant @ Hotel Indigo Katong
Baba Chews Restaurant is the signature restaurant of Hotel Indigo Katong. It features modern and traditional cuisine of the region with focus of the Peranakan flavour. Visit here in the morning and they serve international breakfast buffet for the hotel guests, and hop on for some traditional coffee and treats for afternoon tea or bring your family and friends in the evening for traditional Peranakan dishes.
I visited the restaurant with the aim of trying their Peranakan food together with my family of 6. The restaurant has a sense of history for my family, my dad used to be a police officer who have served his duties at the hotel and it is quite sentimental for him to return to the place to dine. The Baba Chews restaurant is located in the skeleton of the old Joo Chiat police station which is preserved to retain the historical value it has to the Katong area.
Before we go on about the food, The restaurant has a nice funky modern design with the bar taking center stage in the restaurant.
We were first served traditional crackers with sambal belachan. It is disappointing however to note that the crackers were soft and not crispy.
We started with a myriad of appetizers, breaded crab cakes with chilli crab sauce, Kueh Pie Tee and traditional five spice roll. The crab cakes were good, filled and stuffed with succulent crab meats. The Kueh Pie Tee was so so, the vegetables were not braised as much as I liked and were just lacking a punch. The 5 spice roll is weird, the traditional beancurd skin wrap was replaced with some breading which crumbles when we tried to lift it, leaving a messy mess. Taste wise it was ok.
Moving to the the mains, we ordered the Iberico Short Ribs Pongteh, braised chap chye vegetables, Ayam Buah Keluah, Sambal squid and Penang Fried Kuey Teow.
The pork ribs were very good, it was nicely braised and not greasy, the meat was juicy, succulent and flavourful. I could say the same for the chap chye (mixed vegetables), beautifully braised.
Sadly, the Ayam Buah Keluak was very disappointing, the sauce was not rich, it felt watered down, the chicken was just plain and very dry. We did not even manage to finish the piece that we brought to our plate.
The sambal squid was great, fresh crunchy squids flash fried with tasty sambal, cant go wrong with that. I had better Penang Fried Kuey Teow elsewhere in Singapore.
The main disappointment of my dining experience here, had to be the desserts. The Chendol was miserable, it did not have the traditional rich punch of coconut milk and Gula Melaka, what was served was very very bland. The durian pancake was so sweet and the durian puree tasted artificial and factory made.
In overall, I was disappointed with the meal at Hotel Indigo, what was meant to be a birthday meal for me did not impress me. I hope to be back sometime soon to have a second review, hopefully this time, the food would be better.