INDOCAFE Review: Michelin Peranakan Restaurant In Newton |
Restaurant Reviews

INDOCAFE Review: Michelin-Approved Peranakan Restaurant In Newton

10th January 2024

INDOCAFE has authentic Peranakan dishes in Newton

Image credit: @indocafesg

One of only four Peranakan restaurants to be featured in the Michelin Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand 2023, INDOCAFE was praised by the guide for its quality Penang-style Peranakan dishes. Recently, we were invited by the restaurant to try the fare—this was an opportunity I jumped at since I was a fan of the cuisine.


And so I found myself entering the white colonial building that houses this acclaimed restaurant, ready to feast on Peranakan fare.

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INDOCAFE has a few tantalising starters to choose from, and so to let us sample the best of these, the restaurant served us a piece from three appetiser dishes: the Ngoh Hiang ($19++), Otah Otah ($16++), and Kueh Pie Tee ($19++). Note that if you actually order these dishes, you’d get more than just the single piece you see below—these were just our sampling portions.


My favourite of the bunch was the kueh pie tee, pictured above in the middle. Filled with crunchy turnip, this pastry was topped with crabmeat, dried prawns, and a touch of chilli sauce and kecap manis. The result was a bite-sized explosion of umami and sweet goodness. I also enjoyed the chunky, moist, and piquant otah, but the ngoh hiong was not as impressive—it was a little on the drier side.


Now on to a fantastic soup dish. The Itek Tim ($14++), essentially a salted vegetable duck leg soup, blew me away with its complex taste.


The potent sourness of the pickled mushroom greens and the savouriness of the duck, coupled with the aroma of nutmeg and brandy, make each sip a flavourful punch. Also, the tender duck leg in the broth was a delight.


We moved on to the mains, the first of which was the Indocafe Wagyu Beef Rendang ($38++).


This slow-cooked Wagyu beef was seriously soft—it felt like the meat came apart upon the slightest chew. As for its flavour, each chunk of succulent goodness had the nutty, buttery characteristics of great rendang. I did wish, however, that its aroma could’ve been more pronounced.


And then there was the Ikan Sambal Bunga Kantan ($39++), which saw Patagonian toothfish deep fried, then bathed in sambal and Thai sweet and sour chilli sauce. Do note that while there are just two pieces in the picture above, it was yet another sampling portion—you will receive five pieces of fish, should you order this dish.


This was another excellent dish. Crispy at the edges but fork-tender as a whole, the codfish was well prepared and elevated by the aromatic, spicy, and sweet-sour combination of sambal and Thai chilli.


Finally, there was the Dry Laksa ($26++), a soupless rendition of the classic noodle dish.


Sadly, this dish wasn’t on par with the rest that came before it. While the creamy laksa sauce was indeed fragrant and carried a strong coconutty flavour, I felt it got jelak way too quickly. The rice noodles, which were cut into smaller pieces, were way too thin and flimsy to feel substantial.


Even the red prawns here were far from stellar, as weren’t juicy nor were they particularly meaty.


Thankfully, we ended the meal on the high as we were served our dessert, the Signature Kueh Salat ($15++). A sticky blue pea-infused glutinous rice cake base was topped with a smooth and vibrant green pandan-flavoured custard layer to form kueh salat, and two pieces of that were joined by coconut custard ice cream. The result is a sweet, fragrant, and well-balanced end to our Peranakan feast.

Ambience at INDOCAFE


INDOCAFE’s interior is decorated with symbols of Peranakan culture, such as kebaya, Peranakan embroidery, and select furniture. As such, it has a nostalgic, timeless look that adds to the dining experience somewhat. It is also quite spacious and comfortable, making it suitable for family dinners, work lunches and more.

INDOCAFE is a five-minute walk from Newton MRT Station.

The verdict

Though the dishes are certainly expensive, INDOCAFE offers an excellent range of Peranakan dishes. If you’re willing to pay for it, you’ll be treated to a wonderful dining experience.

For other great Peranakan eateries, read our 10 best Peranakan Food places in Singapore listicle. For another Michelin-approved Peranakan restaurant, read our The Blue Ginger coverage.

Address: 35 Scotts Road, Singapore 228227
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10:30pm
Tel: 9430 7307
INDOCAFE is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Melvin Mak.
This was a media tasting at INDOCAFE.

INDOCAFE Review: Michelin-Approved Peranakan Restaurant In Newton
  • 8.5/10
    INDOCAFE Review: Michelin-Approved Peranakan Restaurant In Newton - 8.5/10


– Excellent Peranakan dishes
– Culturally rich and comfortable setting

– Dishes are generally pricey

Recommended dishes: Kueh Pie Tee ($19++), Itek Tim ($14++), Indocafe Wagyu Beef Rendang ($38++), Ikan Sambal Bunga Kantan ($39++)

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10:30pm

Address: 35 Scotts Road, Singapore 228227

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