Image Alt

The Singapore Law Gazette

Bonding at the Kitchen

We had the opportunity to dine at Bonding Kitchen at Orchard Gateway late last year. In addition to being a 忘年会 (End of year party), we also were welcoming two recent additions to our department. So where else could they get a better introduction to the cultural melting pot that is Singapore (and its food) than Peranakan cuisine?

Or so I say. I didn’t have Peranakan food in mind at first, but I chose this place solely because I thought it would be funny to let my colleagues know that we would be having our bonding dinner at … Bonding Kitchen.

And … it turned out pretty well!

I look forward to Chinese New Year because my aunt makes a smashing Beef Rendang. However, due to dietary restrictions of some of our party we weren’t able to have beef, but the Pork Ribs Rendang was a great alternative. The meat wasn’t too dry and ribs are arguably the best part of the pig anyway. I personally prefer it a bit wetter with more “sauce”, but this was delicious too.

Ah, Babi Pongteh. My first experience with pongteh, albeit chicken, came in the form of a green field ration pack oh so many years ago and well … the less said about it the better. I therefore thought thrice about ordering this before a supermajority vote from my group of culinary advisors (i.e. they wanted to eat it) decided the issue. I can safely say that the trauma of pongteh is now well behind me: it was excellent. The belly is arguably the best part of the pig anyway …

I guess Ayam Curry would be the safest choice? This looked so good on the menu that it was the first on the order list, and it didn’t disappoint. Perhaps a tad too spicy for my expatriate colleagues I think, but delicious nevertheless. I’m quite sure we finished all of it.

I always like seeing prawns due to the sheer variety of ways that they can be presented, and the Assam Prawns came out in a little uh … tepee? (I can’t really eat too many though, due to a mild allergy). I don’t remember if I tried this, so I can’t really comment on it. Looks good though?

Nyonya Chap Chye, the staple of peranakan vegetable dishes and the only one I am familiar with. Can’t really go wrong with this, I think. In the background is Sotong Masak Hitam, basically squid fried in its own ink and prawn paste. We did also order a serving of Sambal Petai as well just to try it but it was at the other end of the table so unfortunately I didn’t get to have any and therefore no photo is available

Finally, some Otah, which was excellent, Butterfly Pea Rice for some colour and Pong Tauhu (soup). We also ordered another soup, Bakwan Kepiting (preorders only). I may be committing some sort of culinary blasphemy here, but I couldn’t really tell the difference between the two soups. Both, however, tasted strongly of prawns so regrettably I was only able to have a few mouthfuls.

Prior to this, I never knew that this place existed in the heart of Orchard road. It is located right above Somerset MRT station so it’s very convenient to get to. The place was cosy and while there were a number of empty tables when we started dinner at 6.30pm, it filled up very quickly. Also, just upstairs is K.Star Karaoke, an affordable, family and group-friendly themed bar/lounge where we headed to after dinner. I recommend that too.

Aside from the a la carte menu, Bonding Kitchen also has set menus for two and four people (prices vary according to the number of courses served). They also do delivery (in frozen form though), which would be quite convenient if you happen to be craving something a bit fancier.

Due to our big group (18), we had to place a deposit of $20 per person and pre-order with the restaurant on WhatsApp. They were also able to accommodate some last-minute pull-outs due to illness. Corkage fee was $30 per bottle but said corkage fee can be waived if you also purchase a bottle of wine from them.

Hanwa Singapore Private Limited