O’nya Sayang (review)
This is my second time eating at this nonya food establishment, if I can call it that. My first impression of it was that they were more like fast food, quick nonya peranakan eats for the modern gourmand in a hurry. Perhaps that’s the niche that they set themselves to serve.
Their meals are cooked communally in the pot with the sides cooked at the sides (pun intended). It’s actually a very open and simple set up. The eatery whips up traditional peranakan favourites in a matter of minutes. In fact they have managed to piecemeal the entire preparation process to the critical five minutes. That’s about as much time anybody on a tight lunch hour would give any one eatery. It’s like make it in five minutes if you want me to patronize your stall again. Ironically peranakan cuisine is not known to be associated with quickness or smart culinary short cuts.
Most of their foods are typically cooked and stewed over long periods. So to have it prepared in five minutes, something’s gotta give.
In this case, I suspect it’s the quality. But even more interestingly they have somehow managed to ensure that that was not compromised. So it is nice to know that they care about their foods as much as they cared about their bottom-line.
I had their Ayam Buak Keluak which is a traditional favourite that is synonymous with peranakan cuisine. Do this right and you can assume that everything else in the shop will carry that old familiar flavour. The chicken is of course well cooked but not to my liking which kind of shows the level of skill of the cook. The Buak Keluak was excellent. I don’t remember the taste so vividly with the other peranakan restaurants but O’nya has set the standard for me. Everything else is forgivable. Ha! All in, they have managed to retain the flavour of peranakan cuisine, and that is a good thing.
There’s one outlet at Tampines Mall that I went with colleagues. I think I might go there again to try something else. Maybe the rendang.