CLARKE QUAY - Violet Oon is the undisputed queen of Nyonya cuisine, and she’s wowed us yet again with another venture, the Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill in Clarke Quay. Here she has created an easy-going space where diners can indulge in creative cocktails made with local ingredients, smoky chargrilled satays, meats and seafood, and heritage recipes that have been passed down through the generations.
Why you should come here:
Violet Oon has done pretty much every food-related job you can think of from food critic to food researcher for the National Heritage Board, cookbook author, TV chef and restaurateur, so she definitely knows her way around the kitchen. At her Satay Bar & Grill, native Singaporeans will find old Peranakan favourites on the menu that are sure to bring on nostalgia for recipes your grandma used to make, while expats and visitors can taste the vibrant fusion of flavours that make up Singaporean food.
What we love:
There’s a real easy-going vibe here as the space has a long marble-topped bar where you can chill out with a drink, a long communal table where you can chow down with friends and family and maybe even have a chat with your neighbours, and a private dining area with black leather banquette seating that is only separated from the dining room by a low wall. We also love the open kitchen and grill room that is encased in glass to prevent diners from walking out smelling like the grill.
Then of course, the food is superb—after all, it is Violet Oon behind the venture! You’d be remiss not to try the satay, as this is their signature dish and in our opinion some of the best satay in the city. You can opt for juicy chunks of chicken, Black Angus beef, pork tenderloin, prawns, or honeycomb beef tripe, all marinated in special spices, grilled to perfection and served with complementing sauces. It’s beautifully charred, slightly smoky and nothing like the ho-hum skewers you often get at hawker stalls.
Definitely come a bit early for some pre-dinner drinks, or leave time for tipples after your meal because they’ve got some super intriguing concoctions on the menu like the Jade Bangle with Ketel One vodka, coconut milk, pandan essence and toasted coconut and the Red Light Special with Tanqueray gin, watermelon chunks and floral lemongrass tea.
Cocktails go for about $20++, satays range from $14++ to $20++ for three sticks and mains could set you back anything from $16++ to $50++.