Food Review: Violet Oon's Kitchen at 881 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 279893

July 17, 2012

Do you know who Violet Oon is?

If you do, you are all set. For me, the first time I've heard of her was actually a week back when I saw on Facebook a friend's photo of a chalkboard menu, the signboard and a caption - "best meal of the year".

Of course I had to ask where because it is so new it wasn't listed.

And then I googled and found out that she is Singapore's Food Ambassador, Celebrity Chef, and apparently quite well-known by Singaporeans!

Maybe she was the English version of "Fang Tai" that used to appear on Channel 8 cooking shows every day at 4pm.

So of course I had to check it out. The place is just down from the 6th Avenue stretch and next to a Bar Bar place. First impression is that this place is very stylish. I really liked the decor, which reminds me quite strongly of P.S. Cafe's.

It was really crowded on the Saturday night that we were there. Filled with families who knew about this place via word of mouth, just like us? Every single table was occupied. No kidding. They also had a small space outdoors for alfresco.


There were also homemade cookies and jams in delightful packaging for sale at the counter/bar.
This was the counter. Very nice!


Well, on to the food! Since this is not on the internet, I thought I'll better upload the menus here for reference. They have 3 - Lunch, Dinner and Light Bites.

This is the Menu Part 1/2 for Dinner Tues to Sunday 6-10pm, weekend lunch 11.30pm-3pm.

Dinner Menu Part 2/2 

And then, Lunch menu 1/2 from Tues-Sunday 11.30am to 6pm

Lunch Menu 2/2. They are just slightly different from dinner's. 


The tea menu from 3pm to 5.30pm daily. For all you little nonya tai-tais out there!

Looks like quite the plethora of choices! I was slightly stumped with it. The guy who attended our table (who looked like the son-in-law of Violet's) was quite friendly and said our choice of the Beef Rendang ($22) was very good. And I ordered the Chicken Buah Keluak ($22).

OK but so here's the thing. We waited. and waited. and waited. In eager anticipation of the food. We also saw Mdm. Oon in the kitchen.

But after 30 minutes, the food is still not here. We had checked on it with the staff 25 minutes in and they told us "5 more minutes". Then finally, it arrived!


So the Rendang was quite well-flavored and the gravy filled chock full with spices. But what we didn't understand was how something like this which you scoop out from a pot will take 30 minutes. 

The beef was also made from the softer, almost jelly-like parts of the cow which my dining companion did not really enjoy, though I heard it is quite common for rendangs to be prepared with that type of meat.

I rather enjoyed my chicken buah keluak. On just an objective food level, yes the quality is there. Again, the magic lies in the gravy of the buah keluak. The chicken was a tad bony and dry though and barely had 3 substantial pieces. Salad was an afterthought. Rice was average.

My problem with this beautiful dish is that it is up-classed Nonya food but the portions were tiny for the price of $22. I understand I am paying for everything else instead of just the food, but it just left me wanting a little bit more.

Quite a nice touch however was when the same guy who attended our table came over after our food's served to apologize for the long waiting time. He could have just ignored that fact, but acknowledged it instead which I felt made up for it a little.

Perhaps it was that that made us go for the dessert - the sticky toffee date pudding with vanilla ice cream ($12). Wrong choice. The cake was really soft and sweet and had bits of dates inside, which did not add any flavor at all. The ice cream was average Wall's/Nestle ice cream, no vanilla bean type. Marmalade Pantry's Sticky Toffee Date pudding is much much better.


Alright so I am at a dilemma as to what rating to give it. Thing is, the food is actually good for the main dishes. The service was actually quite attentive and friendly too. However, the price and the waiting time and the poor dessert makes me think twice about going back.

What do you think? Is this a thumbs up or thumbs down?


Violet Oon's Kitchen
881 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 279893
+65 64685430
Open Tues-Sun 11.30am-10pm (check the menu for food timings!)
Closed on Mondays

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5 comments

  1. It seems quite pricey considering the portion.

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  2. Thanks it is very good blog...Very good blog Recipe in it

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  3. Didn't have a good experience in the restaurant. Bought a jar of jam with late Sep expiry. The cashier subtly swapped it for another jar with earlier expiry. Plain dishonesty to me.

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  4. Wow, so chic. How much did it cost you?

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  5. It's like fusion peranakan right, would you recommend?

    ReplyDelete