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Memorable Tok Panjang @ Allspice Institute ● Peranakan Culinary Extravaganza

So excited that buddy Jasmine invited me to the tok panjang at Allspice Institute located at Bukit Merah Central in Singapore. Tok panjang are grand occasions, special events for the hosts as well as guests.

Allspice Institute (culinary & hospitality school) 

Address: 162 Bukit Merah Central, #07-3545, Singapore 150162

Nearest MRT: 10 minutes walk from Redhill station

Tel: 6377 9303

Hours: Tok panjang is by prior arrangement / appointment only

The term tok panjang is a combination of Hokkien Chinese and Malay languages. Tok means table in Hokkien and panjang means long in Malay.


Tok panjang which literally means "long table" are held for special occasions such as weddings. Peranakan families trot out their heirloom treasures from memorabilia such as precious antique silver to closely guarded recipes to entertain their esteemed guests.

At the Allspice Institute, they pulled out all stops for guests to experience an authentic, grand tok panjang.

Every detail was meticulously attended to.

For example, the bowls were originals from the legendary Swee Kee Chicken Rice. It's quite a feeling to eat from a bowl so steeped in Singapore culinary history.

Oh... tok panjang is a Peranakan tradition and all dishes served tonight were Peranakan dishes. 

Peranakan means "local born" in Malay and refers to descendants of intermarriages between local Malays and foreigners such as Chinese, Indians, etc. Chinese, for example, came to the Malay archipelago and peninsula in numbers to trade from around the 15th century.

You can have tok panjang for your special day or event too. Just contact Allspice for arrangements 📞 6377 9303.

We sipped on specially concocted mocktails, nibbled on crispy kerupuk belinjo and crunchy achar while getting acquainted with fellow guests. Bitternut crackers are my favourite crispies that always gets me salivating, work up my appetite.

Sambal dip with zesty lime juice to perk up our tastebuds and spice up the dishes to our preference.

Elegant entree on a tray got our much anticipated dinner rolling.

Buah keluak otak otak.

Stack of spiced prawn and fish mousse terrine topped with kepayang nut pulp (black nut) blended with herbs.

Kerabu kim chiam.

Lily bud salad with coconut milk mayonnaise and shrimp.

Kerabu kerang.

Pan seared fresh Hokkaido scallop with bush lime juice, prawn roe and herbs.

Ngoh hiang.

This is an elevated version of a Hokkien icon. Chopped crab, prawn, chicken and water chestnut marinated with Chinese five spice, rolled into a dumpling with dried tofu skin, then deep fried till the outside is browned and crisp.

Hee pio soup.

An extravagantly souped up fish maw soup 🤭

Crab and prawn ball, fish in egg roll, and fish maw in a rich savoury chicken and conpoy scallop soup.

Our mains.

Itek shiok sio.

Slivers of slow braised tamarind infused duck.

Ikan kakap bakar Nyonya.

Baked barramundi fish in coconut milk and spices wrapped in banana leaf.

Kerabu nangka.

Young jackfruit with herbs and citrus dressing.

Nasi ulam.

Boiled rice dyed with natural food colours with herbs and vegetables to complement the mains.

Before we knew it, it was time for dessert.

Cendol modern.

Reinterpretation of a traditional icon. Coconut panna cotta pudding with pandan noodle, red bean, attap seed and gula Melaka (palm sugar).

Ondeh ondeh.

Gula Melaka filled potato ball encrusted with grated coconut flesh.

Apom berkuah.

Fermented rice cake smothered in banana sauce.

Scan to learn more about Allspice Institute, the organiser of this marvellous tok panjang. You can have the same for your special day or event too. Just contact Allspice for arrangements 📞 6377 9303.

Written by Tony Boey on 30 July 2023

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