As a blue peranakan, I love peranakan food...but I also love Thai food...so what better than a mix of both. Bumbu, with two outlets - one in Kandahar and another right in CBD is one such restaurant.
Right in the middle of the CBD in China Square Central.
The decor is lovely...nostalgic inducing setup, with beautiful peranakan screens adorning the restaurant. The dining area is rather spacious, and a nice, cool respite from the blazing heat outside.
As there were only two of us, we were limited to our choices, so we only had 3 dishes...first, Kin's favourite Olive Fried rice
Nicely flavoured, with bits of black olive. Not as oily as some I have eaten elsewhere. The wok hei is not particularly powerful, but the fragrance from the olives and the rice was excellent.
We had some beef rendang to accompany
Doesn't look much, but this is what I would, colloquially call "power" rendang. The meat used is sinewy, with tendons. The spices wonderfully aromatic, and so well permeate the meat in the seasoning that they become one, inseperable even by taste. This rendang is cooked...no slowly simmered, perhaps at low temperatures so as to avoid burning the spices or the meat, till the sinews are rendered ultra tender, and the tendons almost gelatin. Magnificent. Reminded us of one rendang brought to the university hostel dining table by brothers Richard and Andrew - their mother had prepared the wonderful rendang, and as treasure would share with close friends on the hostel. One of the best rendangs I have eaten...though if I could whisper in the chef's ear...I would ask for a bit more spicy to perk things up a bit.
We also had some ngor hiang
This is a standard dish in a peranakan household, and Bumbu's version proves the cooks are themselves peranakan. The skin is so crispy and light that it crumbles easily. And yet, even though the rolls are deep fried, I didn't find them greasy. A bite into the rolls, a cocophony of flavours are released...principally crab, along with pork and prawns. Very good. I would advice avoiding the sweet black sauce served along with it, and slap on a good wallop of the sambal.
Overall, a very good tasting meal. Great food. I will be back to sample the other dishes. Nice environment, attentive staff providing good service. And at a reasonable price.
p.s. I was told by the manager as we were paying that they will probably close the China Square outlet...rentals are going up and up. But Bumbu's main restaurant in Kandahar will continue to operate.
20 Cross Street
#01-25, China Square Central,
Monday to Saturday (Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday) 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm