Rare occurrences are usually reserved for those who are after the reality of Extra-Terrestrial existence or the Blue-collar lottery winner.
Exceptional occurrences happen for folks who are meeting together for the very first time, for dinner hosted at a private dining household, to taste dishes our Peranakan grandmothers once cooked for us.
Specially for those who are used to Bibik’s way.
And then there is Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka, not a popular dinner choice compared to other refreshments. But this dining group is seasoned enough to taste it neat without treating it with a mixer and the results were surprising as the herbal aroma won diners over.
Nonya Bong’s Chef Jeffrey Chia operates from his home kitchen at Choa Chu Kang, offering private dining sessions, as well as takeaway and delivery services. He specializes in Peranakan cuisine.
At the start of dinner, a diner commented that every family do cooked the same Peranakan dishes, but with some variation. The Kueh Pie Tee starter had won the heart of one diner, whom was initially skeptical about the vodka.
The ever popular Buah Keluak had praises from around the table with multiple helpings onto fragrant white rice. Chef Chia commented this dish often have leftovers, but thanks to a Peranakan cuisine fan, it was polished off. The Sambal Prawns with Chef Chia’s unique chilli and belachan blend had diners purchasing his sambal as we said goodbyes.
Liver balls made with minced pork and liver wrapped in pork caul had doctors’ warnings ignored for the evening. Next came the Sambal Hati and Sambal Bling Bling with helpings scooped in ease as dinner conversations (and alcohol) flowed freely around the table. Stories were shared about the ingredients, as Chef Chia patiently coaxed us to eat more, while educating diners on the painstaking preparation of Peranakan cuisine and of course, many of his slap stick stories cooking for the rich, famous and the influential.
The Nonya Chap Chai is cooked and seasoned to perfection, which diners also discussed if it will taste better overnight, this shows how each Peranakan household tweak cooking methods, recipes and serving options. Next came the Beef Rendang, well, the gravy is more popular for this dish with the coconut rinds texture evidently playing within the tongue, using first squeeze coconut milk, like first cold pressed Olive oil, to cook twice over brings back memories of food sold during school fun fairs back then.
The only dish that diners ate in near silence was the Kiam Chye Duck Soup that Chef Chia served in mid-course, just as the Chinchalok, Sambal belacan, and his Upgraded power Sambal belacan kicks in, the soup mellows, comforts and prepares the diners for dessert.
A unique pairing of Zubrowka vodka with Poached Pear and Mango flavored sherberts, remaining Gula Melaka source from Sago Pearl Pudding with Teh Tarik and Chendol flavoured ice cream, created an unintentional delightful fusion for diners who are Peranakan, pseudo Peranakan, wannabe Peranakan or Punjabi Peranakan.
Thanks to #BottlesXO for the wonderful Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka Szarlotka Cocktail set, which the writer intends to stock up seriously. 29 minutes delivery with NO minimum order and NO delivery fee is a saviour when dinner gets edgy and chilled alcohol can douse sensitive conversation topics. Catch hold of Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka and other lovely treats during the month-long #PolandShiok festival.
Yes, Bibik, Shiok is not to be said by a girl at the dining table.
Photo credits : Khush groupies