Weets Eats: Simple yet tasty treats at Oon's
Violet Oon is the godmother of the local culinary scene.
From writing about it as a journalist in her younger days, to opening the lauded National Kitchen later in life, she has become our ambassador of food.
That knowledge serves her well in her latest venture - Violet Oon Satay Bar and Grill at Clarke Quay.
The restaurant combines the best-loved dishes from her other two restaurants, and she adds satay and grills here.
The dishes are not fancy but the ingredients are.
The Daging Panggang Sambal Hijau ($50, grilled beef with green chilli sauce) may be simple, but it's made using 200-day grain-fed Black Angus ribeye steak.
The meat upgrade is great, but for me, the toppings made it work. The garlic confit added creaminess and the chilli sauce injected spice and acid.
Satay may not be your idea of restaurant food, but Oon doesn't disappoint.
The classic version is the chicken ($14, which is so good you want to cram two sticks into your mouth at once).
The variants are beef ($18), pork (Hainan style, $16), prawns ($20), and my favourite, tripe ($15).
The tripe is poached, marinated and finally grilled over charcoal. Expect a lot of chewing and subtle flavours.
The Nasi Goreng Nyonya ($22) is an example of Oon's attention to detail. The cucumber here is diced, with skin on, the way it was done in the past.
The rice here comes in two versions. Order the pedas (spicy) version, but be warned that the spice level will test most limits.
The rice is coated in an aromatic paste, without it ending up too oily.
You must try the Buah Keluak Otak ($16).
It is not a pleasant looking dish - basically a shiny loaf of black - but the taste is unforgettable.
The nut is infused with spices, minced prawns and coconut milk, so there is a combination of flavours: Nutty, sweet and chocolatey.
The desserts here are worth exploring too. The chendol ($15) is great, but the Kueh Beng Kah ($10,) deserves a special mention.
A sticky tapioca cake with a gula melaka sauce and coconut milk, it has a spongy texture.
Violet Oon Satay Bar and Grill
#01-18 Clarke Quay
Opens 6pm to midnight