|O'nya Sayang @ Paya Lebar Square
O'nya Sayang at Paya Lebar Square is the second sister restaurant from the Dulukala Peranakan Restaurant that made its name in Beauty World Centre Bukit Timah. While Dulukala Peranakan Restaurant is a family business that cooked all its food in its property, O'nya Sayang provide a more modern bistro casual dining atmosphere. This outlet, in the newly open Paya Lebar square is the second branch after the Tampines Mall outlet.
|Kebaya - Wall Decoration
O'nya Sayang is founded and helmed by Executive Chef Zhan Ho, a third generation Peranakan Chef. He basically grew up in the kitchen and learned how to cooked authentic Peranakan cuisine from his mother. Due to certain constrains in operation, O'nya Sayang incorporate modern F&B method such as central kitchen to control the quality and the consistency of its dishes. In line with the current trend, he also created new dishes using traditional ingredients.
|Ayam Keluak Fried Rice Set
We started our tasting with Ayam Keluak Fried Rice Set ($14.90). The set come with fried rice, ayam buah keluak dish, achar, sambal and prawn crackers. This is an creative play on from the traditional Peranakan Dish of Ayam Buah Keluak. The rice is al-dente, tasty yet not overpowered by the cut fresh chilli in it. It has a good Wok Hei (breath of the wok) and the ayam buah keluak is tender and succulent.
|Bakwan Kepiting Soup
Bakwan Kepiting Soup ($12.90) and Lor Bak Noodles set ($12.90) follow soon. The bakwan kepiting balls are springy and flavourful. The broth is robust, however you can't really taste the crab meat. More like a pork ball instead. The Lor Bak Noodles provide a different option to the normal rice dishes in a Peranakan restaurant. Noodle is thin and springy, goes nicely with the lor bak sauce. The braising sauce was light and not overly sweet. The set also come with Otah, where it has a nice texture and you actually have a good bite of the fish in the otah.
|Lor Bak Noodles Set
Babi Pongteh ($13.90), Chap Chye ($10.90), Assam Fish ($16.90) and Seafood Chilli Garam ($15.90) are typical Peranakan traditional dishes. Pork Belly are used in the Babi Ponteh Dish. Bean paste here is very subtle and not overpowering, while the fats from the pork belly is just lovely. The chap chye is all right, the vegetables complements each other and absorbed the braising liquid.
Like most Peranakan dishes, it tasted better with fully white rice. Check out mine, decorated in Goat outlook by Little Miss Bento, who recently published her bento book.
|My Meehhh Rice, decorated by Little Miss Bento
Seafood Chilli Garam looks like a Peranakan Seafood Combo Hot plate. The Chilli Garam is secret family recipe from Chef Zhan Ho. Looks slightly oily and it packs of spicy punch. You can find ingredients such as prawns, octopus and batang fish. One bite and I quickly reach for my water to put down the fire in my mouth. For Assam fish, red snapper was used. The assam is combination of sweetness and tanginess from the tamarind sauce. Similar taste to Gulai Ikan for Indonesian dish. Its good.
|Seafood Chilli Garam
Beef Rendang Bread Bowl set ($12.90), another new idea using traditional ingredients. The beef rendang stuffed into bread bowl produced by a traditional bakery. It is then baked to crisp, with a unique rough texture. The rendang is sweet and tender. It will be better if the chuck of beef contain more fats, so the meat does not look dry. There is a additional curry on the side if you want to dip your bread into it. I like the presentation.
|Beef Rendang Bread Bowl set
|Check out the beef rendang inside the bowl
Of course the meal won't be completed without the peranakan desserts such as Chendol ($4.90), Chendol Ice Cream ($5.90), Sago Gula Melaka Ice Cream ($5.90) and Ondeh Ondeh 5 pcs ($5.90).
|Chendol Ice Cream
The ice cream in the desserts are actually coconut ice cream, sourced by Chef Zhan Ho, which use Thai coconut. The ice cream is creamy like coconut cream but with a well balance sweetness. Meanwhile the Gula Melaka used is the Indonesia version that give more intense flavour but reduced in sweetness. It is nicely complement Chendol and Sago Gula Melaka. Kudos to the Chef that willing to look outside of the box to keep improving its dishes.
|Gula Melaka Ice Cream
We actually made a mistake in tasting the ice cream version of the Chendol first. When we get to the traditional version of the chendol, it was just blown away by the ice cream version. For the onde, a warning must be given here. Don't cut it, just pop the whole ondeh in your mouth. Make sure you close your mouth before you bite it, as it just explode in your mouth. The skin is slightly dry, probably it was displayed all day.
|Chendol - Traditional Way
Overall, I really enjoyed our meal here. The traditional and modern Peranakan Cuisine is good, and the ice cream desserts are a must try dish. There is not much different in quality between the dishes we ate here with those cooked in the kitchen premises. I hope Chef Zhan Ho keep pushing the boundaries of Peranakan Cuisine and come out with more modern Peranakan dishes. So if you are in Paya Lebar Square, give this place a try. Cheers!!
Thank you very much to Hannah Chia Food Trail and O'nya Sayang team for the invitation.
Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Budget per Person: $11 – 25; $26 - $50