VioletOon is a fine-dining sit-down Peranakan restaurant with branches in ION orchard and Changi Jewel. Today’s I am checking out VioletOon National Gallery restaurant here at Singapore National Art Gallery. Dining with art you may say.

Welcome to VioletOon at the National Gallery
Welcome to VioletOon at the National Gallery!

At first impressions, the National Kitchen by Violet Oon is decorated in sleek elegance. It spots a combination of dark which give sit a luxurious feel. The menu items. The restaurant itself is tucked within the galleries of the Singapore National Art Galleries, It is located on the south side of the building facing the Padang, by the City hall foyer on the second floor. Moreover, you can see small glimpse of the Padang from the restaurant’s tiny side windows.

Moreover, the restaurant positions itself with an upmarket offering. Notable the prices of the items on the menu are priced accordingly, so do expect to pay a premium here. Fine dining course menu in a rather posh and elaborate setting fitting of that of the Peranakan culture we come to know of in Singapore.

Who is Violet Oon

Notably, Violet Oon is Singaporean chef born to Peranakan parents in Malacca Malaysia. The restaurateur grew up in Singapore and is food writer known for her food columns, cookbooks, and restaurants specializing in Peranakan cuisine. Notably, she has been the food ambassador of Singapore since 1988, specialising in Peranakan cuisine.

À la carte Mains

Diving into their dishes, a typical dishing experience at VioletOon would involve a potpourri of meats and vegetable dishes paired with rice, in typical Peranakan style. Recommendations includes Chap Chye ($16). It is a classic Nyonya festive dish of mixed vegetables and bean curd skin braised in rich prawn bisque.

Chicken in Chilli oil, one of the more spicy dish offerings here. Not for the faint of heart
Chicken in Chilli oil, one of the more spicy dish offerings here. Not for the faint of heart!

Moreover, recommended meat dishes includes Garam Assam Fish ($24). It is a red snapper fish dish with fillets cooked in spicy sour gravy with slices of pineapples and ladies fingers. In typical VioletOon fashion, it is topped with pink ginger flower. Additionally, do try their Buah Keluak Ayam.

VioletOon National Gallery Seafood dish with ladies fingers.
Seafood dish with ladies fingers.

Furthermore, it is a classic Nyonya spicy and tangy chicken stew with buah keluak infused with fresh root spices of lengkuas and turmeric. Also, it does set you back quite a hefty $25 just for the dish. Topping up chicken dishes great for sharing includes VO’s curry chicken ($19). It is chicken stewed in Nyona curry power, curry leaves and coconut cream.

"VioletOon

Additionally, if you like seafood, an interesting dish worth trying would be their Udang Goreng Chilli ($33). It is a savourful Angka prawns dish. Your shellfish is tossed in spicy fragrant chilli Padi garlic Rempah. It is one of their few good dishes I would recommend.

VioletOon National Gallery Udang Goreng Chilli Prawns ($33)
Udang Goreng Chilli Prawns ($33).

It can get spicy!

As with Peranakan food, food is generally on the spicy and oily side. Also, dishes like sambal prawn and vegetables do comes with heaps of generous servings of Sambal which might be tad bit overwhelming dish after dish loaded with chillis. Thankfully, there is free-flow of water if need be. Also, I would suggest to avoid the appetisers, these includes traditional delicacies such as Ngoh Hiang ($18), and a plate of Kuay Pie Tee ($17).

Desserts

Wrapping up your main courses is a selection of desserts. I would recommend the desserts to go after your meal as it is a great way to wrap up your mains with something sweet. But if you are comfortable spending $15 each for what is essentially a small serving of cake.

Stewed veges
Desserts
Got cake

Dessert offerings include their Gula Melaka Tea Cake with coconut Ice Cream, as well as Sugee Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Both are priced at $15 per plate. Here, you get a Gula Melaka Tea Cake Served With Coconut Ice Cream. Also, it is topped with toasted coconut flakes and gula melaka sauce.

Additionally, the restaurant is not very big and does fill up pretty quickly. Also reservations typically do book out weeks in advanced, especially on peak weekends, so do reserve a table. Notably, you can take an opportunity to explore the halls of the National gallery during your visit. They are free for Singaporeans, only that certain galleries do required ticketed entrance, but it is a good reason to check out the galleries here if you have not.

VioletOon National Gallery Restaurant interior
VioletOon National Gallery Restaurant interior. It has great service to boot too.

Morever, service is excellent and the staff are attentive to your needs, as well as serving up dishes from the kitchen in rather record time too. Also, a recommendation is to have your dishes with rice, particularly their Jasmine rice at $2 a bowl. It is tastier than plain rice and does help alleviate the spiciness of some of the dishes. This is particularly if you are sensitive to spicy food.

National kitchen menu
Olive rice
Bokalat

Do keep an eye on your orders!

Things can get rather expensive rather quickly dining here at VioletOon. With each dish stacking up $20 to $30 each, you can expect a typical dine-in here to set you back in the realm of $200 – $250 for dinner 4-5 persons for a 6 course sharing meal. Which is comparable to the price of a low-mid tier hotel buffet. The premium price point does set you back quite abit and the dishes does all add up quite significantly at the end. After all, what you pay is what you get.

All in all, if you are a Perankan food lover and simply do not mind spicy food, dining at VioletOon National Gallery shall be a joy for you. The good news is that you do get quality authentic Nyonya cuisine coupled with great service to boot. It is probably one of the best Peranakan restaurants in Singapore to savour and enjoy. This is one worth recommending for. But still, you do have to pay quite a premium asking price which makes it difficult for me to give it an all-out recommendation overall.

Verdict:

Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
National Kitchen by Violet Oon Locality Map
1 St Andrew’s Rd,
#02–01 National Gallery,
Singapore 178957
Opening hours: 12- 5pm, 6- 11pm

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