Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · Diplomacy

Cross Culture · Food · Research 🇸🇬 Tony Boey johorkaki@gmail

Nyonya House by Rempahs @ Balestier Plaza · Home Cooked Style, Authentic Peranakan Food @ Coffee Shop Prices


Uncle Bob stumbled upon Nyonya House by Rempahs @ Balestier Plaza and jio-ed (rounded up) the makan kakis (buddies) to try out this little restaurant. All five of us enjoyed ourselves to the home cooked style Peranakan dishes. Thanks Uncle Bob for the good find 🙏

Stall name: Nyonya House by Rempahs @ Balestier Plaza

Address: Balestier Plaza, Balestier Road, #02-01, Singapore S329802


Nearest MRT: 15 minutes walk from Novena station

Tel: 8820 2353 ☎ Alice 9834 5569

Hours: Opens 11:00 (lunch only)


Balestier Plaza is a worn commercial-residential complex along Balestier Road. The commercial floors were relatively quiet, occupied mostly by barber shops, salons, renovation contractor offices, maid agencies, curio shops and such. Some of the shop lots were vacant. The place felt extra cold because of its "emptiness". If not pointed out by Uncle Bob, I would never have guessed that there is good food inside.


Nyonya House by Rempahs on level 2 is a no frills shop lot restaurant. I
t's really just a kitchen, and some simple tables and chairs where customers are served. You know me...., I get excited by good food in unlikely places.


We were supposed to be a party of seven. While waiting for the last two to arrive, we smelled a waft of coconut milk and pandan leaf fragrance. The sweet aroma filled the room and it actually got me off my chair to find out more from Alice Chua, the owner of Nyonya House by Rempahs. Alice was cooking nasi lemak rice which she tinted subtly blue with butterfly pea flower.

Though Teochew by birth, Alice's husband is Peranakan. For over forty years, Alice cooked Peranakan dishes for family and friends under the tutelage of her Baba father-in-law who is a passionate home cook like Alice. Alice left her banking career last year to pursue her passion in cooking and running her own restaurant.


Our lunch was well underway when I took this picture 😬 These were dishes for seven people but there were only five of us. The two stragglers forgot that we had an appointment today 🤦 🙄

Anyway, we went ahead with the full works and were prepared to tabao (take away) any food we couldn't finish.


First up was Babi Pongteh. Pork trotter and bamboo shoot braised in soy sauce till soft-tender. I love the soft-tenderness of the skin, fat and tendon which were well infused with complex umami savoury flavours blended with subtle natural fresh pork taste. The intensity of flavours was mild and I didn't notice any cinnamon or star anise (not that I miss them anyway 😛 ).


Ayam Buah Keluak. Chicken stewed in spice blend (rempah) till soft-tender and well infused with savoury earthly flavours from buah keluak pulp and spices like ginger, shallot, garlic, etc.


The buah keluak seeds packed a surprising amount of ground pork and buah keluak pulp which we dug out easily with the disposable stirrer provided. The intensity of savoury bitter earthly flavours was just right for me.

Assam Prawns. We love the tangy savoury sweet assam sauce which had a subtle heat and bright zesty taste. I was scooping up and eating the sauce neat.

The prawns were fresh, tender, crunchy, and naturally crustacean sweet. This was my favourite dish today, actually.


Stir Fried Satay Babi. Thin pork slices marinated and stir fried with nutty sweet savoury spicy satay sauce.


Sayur Lodeh.


Vegetables (carrot, cabbage, long bean, etc) and fried tau kwa stewed till soft in coconut milk, spices and aromatics.


The dishes we had were so tasty that we didn't use this sambal much. But, the sambal was so good that I was eating it neat - love the robust umami savoury spicy taste which was punctuated with bright zesty sourish zing. 


Nothing went according to plan today 🤷 Supposed to have seven pax, turned out only five of us showed up. Supposed to tabao leftovers, turned out we tabao-ed everything - in our tummies 😂 The food was so delicious that we stopped only when everything was eaten.


Alice was so impressed with our amazing feat, she rewarded us with this pulut hitam dessert. The boiled black glutinous rice gruel was sweetened with coconut milk and dried longan which gave it a layered kind of sweetness and an additional tender chewy texture. Nice.


Good Peranakan cuisine eateries are not plentiful in Singapore and they tend to be premium priced. Glad that we found Nyonya House by Rempahs @ Balestier Plaza which serves home cooked style, authentic, traditional Peranakan food at coffee shop prices. Total bill for our food and coffee / tea today came to $126.

Pro tip: If you are coming as a group, I suggest calling Alice ☎ 9834 5569 to arrange the Nyonya dishes you want.


Another of our favourite places for Nyonya cuisine at affordable prices is Charlie's Peranakan Food @ Golden Mile Food Centre 👈 click


Written by Tony Boey on 29 Jun 2022


  1. Nice find! Looks amazing, I can almost smell the aromas!

  2. actually, u didn't mention prices. how much was it all ?

    1. actually buried in the last paragraph lol. everything for $126. Tony

  3. 5 pax Makan session on Wednesday 29 Jun 2022 Time: 11am Nonya Dishes here good. We especially love their Assam Prawns and Pig Trotter with Bamboo Shoot.


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