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The First Michelin Starred Peranakan Restaurant Has Desserts That Could Make You Cry from Happiness

September 7, 2018

The word ‘Peranakan’ entered the local foodie lexicon with the opening of Hey Handsome last year, the restaurant helmed by Chef Nicco Santos that focuses on Peranakan cuisine and was quickly lauded as Manila’s best new restaurants of 2016 from an array of food enthusiasts (ourselves included). Interest in the cuisine has also grown in other parts of the world, and the Michelin Guide this year proves that it is more than just a trend, with their first Peranakan restaurant Candlenut retaining its star this year since 2016.

Wild caught baby squid so you know it’s fancy.

Candlenut, located in the posh COMO Dempsey with their distinct white pillars and polished exteriors, has spacious high ceilings and bamboo light fixtures that inspire a feeling of calm. The service is friendly and detail oriented, with servers being very thoughtful to dietary needs as well as overall comfort and enjoyment. The courses were served to us in one go family-style, with the servers telling us in great detail about each dish and answering our many questions. And while we certainly enjoyed our meal filled with surprising savory combinations, we believe it’s their desserts that make Candlenut a dining destination.


We also loved their Textures of Coconut dessert and Buah Keluak ice cream. So make sure you save room.

The chendol (strips of green rice-flour jelly) swims in a delicately sweet gula melaka (or palm syrup) and sits atop a delicate pandan jelly. The whole dessert is reminiscent of taho, which truthfully may be why we enjoyed it so much. The playful textures come together in your mouth to melt into a soft sweetness that is far from overbearing—rather, its subtlety makes our tastebuds beg for just a little more in our next bite. There’s nothing ostentatious in this dessert that is composed of Singapore childhood favorite flavors, but its execution shows a masterful hand that shows that this dessert is worth your visit. To that we raise our dessert glasses to Candlenut’s head chef, Malcolm Lee, for a star well-deserved.


The world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant.

ADDRESS: Block 17A, Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
VISIT: 12NN–3PM daily for lunch / 6–10PM Sundays to Thursdays for dinner / 6–11PM Fridays to Saturdays and Public Holidays for dinner
CONTACT: +65-1800-304-2288 /
SPEND: SGD28–118
FOLLOW: Instagram / Facebook / Website

This article would not be possible if not for our partners from the Singapore Tourism Board, to whom we are deeply grateful.
Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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