I’ve been to Violet Oon’s Kitchen (Bukit Timah) and National Kitchen (National Gallery) and I loved my experience at both places. The food was top notch and the interior was beautifully done up. This newest addition in Clarke Quay was supposed to be a little more casual with their focus being their selection of satay, many of which is not available at the other restaurants. Do not be mistaken, this is not a tapas bar. They do have main dishes, grilled items and carbo dishes as well, so you can have a proper meal here. You can even bring your grandmother here. All 3 Violet Oon restaurants serves offers a different menu, with only some items overlapping. However, the standard is the same across all 3 and I am impressed with the consistency.
They have either coconut rice ($2.00++) aka nasi lemak, or jasmine rice ($1.00++). The nasi lemak was the obvious choice because I love nasi lemak.
Pork Satay Hainan – $16.00++
Pork tenderloin was used and this had a good balance of tender meat and juicy fats lightly charred on the exterior. This could be my favourite one. The juicy charred pork lard was the best part of course, and a lot of control is required to eat this in moderation.
Beef Satay – $18.00++
Using 150 day grain fed black angus beef, this beef satay was very tender and so flavourful. It’s nothing like those you find on
Chicken Satay – $14++
I don’t really like chicken satay from hawker stalls because the chicken they have is usually dry and not so flavourful. I tend to prefer pork or mutton when having hawker satay. However, Violet Oon’s version was well marinated so that the chicken is flavourful and juicy. It is not my favourite but I won’t mind eating this for variety sake! All these meat satays are served with spicy peanut sauce topped with grated pineapples. The sauce was special and not like the common ones we find everywhere else. I didn’t expect this to happen but every last drop in these 3 bowls of sauce was polished clean!
Prawn Satay – $20.00++
This wasn’t like typical satay, but more like 3 whole grilled tiger prawns. The sauce was kind of different as well, not sure how to describe it but it’s not like the other satay sauce flavour. Don’t think of this as a satay dish but just think of it was grilled prawns and it was good, though not a must try.
Chendol with durian pengat sauce – $15.00++
Firstly, this is a non-durian blog. I requested for the durian to be removed and they placed in a separate bowl. I convenient kept it out of my frame. Secondly, the chedol was really good. Usually chendols in other restaurants just do it anyhow, because dessert isn’t their main thing, sometimes using supermarket standard green stuff and often times the whole thing just came off as too sweet and nothing special and highly artificial. But this chendol was of a different level. I do not really care much about the other toppings, so just gula melaka, green stuff and coconut milk is enough for me and these 3 items were so good. The portion is good to share among 2 pax for sure!
VO’s Ice Cream with Cashew Crunch – $10.00++
One scoop of gula melaka and coconut ice cream each, topped with toasted cashew and gula melaka syrup. The scoops were huge and ice cream was smooth. Yes it’s good ice cream but the chendol stole the show.
I know satay is famously street food in Singapore, but to keep prices low, they do not use good quality meat. This restaurant standard of satay takes the simple street dish to new dimensions by using good quality meat and refining the flavours. It may cost 10 times more per stick but it also tastes 10 times better! (However, each stick way bigger than a regular street sized one, like maybe 3 times the size, so this is costs only 3 times more if you see it that way). It is worth trying I feel, for an occasional treat! It definitely isn’t all just branding for sure, this leveled up satay is really of a different level.
Do make your reservations ahead of time as the restaurant can get pretty busy, with both tourists and local people, though I must say it is easier to get a table here as compared to the other 2 Violet Oon restaurants! When I came at close to 9pm, the restaurant was almost full and diners were still streaming in. If you’re lucky though, you might even be able to walk in.
Overall: Exceptional satay and equally good desserts
Violet Oon Satay Grill & Bar
3B River Valley Road
Monday to Sunday
(Last order for food 10.30pm
Last order for drinks 11.30pm)