Review: Godmama Breathes New Life into Peranakan Cuisine

Review: Godmama Breathes New Life into Peranakan Cuisine

Heirloom recipes are presented anew for a delectable showcase of Nyonya fare at this trendy restaurant. By Jessica Chan

Peranakan cuisine is an enigma. Challenge most locals to list its foods and you won’t get further than the usual suspects of laksa and otak-otak. Despite Peranakan’s strong cultural influence in Singapore, most notably the Katong enclave, locals don’t have a firm grasp on what makes up Nyonya cuisine. And that’s what Godmama, a modern Peranakan restaurant and bar, wants to change. 

Interior of Godmama. Photo: Godmama 

Cleverly located on the third floor of Funan, a futuristic mall in central Singapore, the restaurant appeals to modern diners with its cosy chic interiors. Indoor and alfresco areas are dressed in a tasteful combination of white and royal blue, and accentuated by aprons sporting a vibrant Peranakan tile pattern. The final piece of the puzzle are the menus. Dishes are presented with its original name, translation and a succinct explanation of its flavour profile, as well as a suggested pairing with the establishment’s “Proudly Peranakan” cocktails. 

Seafood – Sambal Udang, Homemade Otak Otak. Photo: Godmama 

For starters, you’d want to get acquainted with the Keilthy family’s take on popiah. The All-Star Egg Skin Popiah ($6.50) features a delicate egg skin crepe rather than the more common flour wrapper. It adds a distinct sweetness to the filling of cucumbers, coriander, garlic bits, tiger prawns and sliced jicama that has spent four hours stewing in tau chew, or fermented soybean paste. Remember to grab an extra portion of their homemade chilli with garlic to go with it. 

Meat – Ayam Buah Keluak, Babi Assam, Babi Pongteh. Photo: Godmama 

The mains revolve around the concept of communal dining, where the many mains come together to form the ideal Nyonya-approved dinner table. Recreated with finesse by co-owner, head chef and fellow Peranakan Fredric Goh, must-haves include the Babi Assam ($18.90) where generous chunks of pork belly are simmered in an aromatic, spicy and tangy tamarind stew, the Ayam Buah Keluak ($19.90) loaded with the earthy, nutty and cacao-like candlenut and, for seafood fiends, their version of Nyonya Chap Chye ($13.90) with prawn bisque and the Sotong Masak Hitam ($20.90). The latter is a particularly rare dish (not often available in restaurants) of squid tossed in a tangy sauce of its own ink and tamarind. 

Otak Benedict. Photo: Godmama

On weekends, these classics are transformed into brunch favourites. Babi Assam Baked Eggs ($17.90) is what I’d refer to as the Peranakan shashouka, while babi pongteh (pork stewed in homemade bean paste stew) makes an appearance in the Pulled Pork Pongteh Sunny ($15.90). The bar may be void of mimosas, but the invigorating Peranakan Blue ($22) of citrus-laced Brass Lion Distillery Butterfly Pea Gin and tonic makes for an ideal accompaniment. 

Sticky Red Date Pudding. Photo: Godmama 

Those with a sweet tooth can look forward to the Goh’s Sticky Red Date Pudding ($9.90), a refined rendition of the longan red date drink, or the Durian Pengat Buttermilk Pancakes ($18.90) showcasing the traditional coconut milk-based durian compote drizzled atop a swoon-worthy stack of fluffy pancakes. 

The menu, while evidently extensive, is still a condensed look into Nyonya cuisine - by design. Keilthy and Goh regularly updates the menu with their families’ repertoire of time-honoured recipes. TLDR? You’ll want to make return visits. 


Address: #04-07, Funan, 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179097.

Tel: +65 6970 0828

Daily |  11AM-2PM (lunch) and 6PM-10PM (dinner)

Sat-Sun and Public Holiday | 10.30AM-4PM (brunch)

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