Take a walk along the Peranakan Trail to sample all things Peranakan in Singapore. You’ll begin with a visit to the Spice Garden located at the original site of the first Botanic Gardens at Fort Canning Park. Have a stroll through the Spice Garden before heading back to the At-Sunrice academy (a culinary centre dedicated to promoting pan-Asian cuisine and culinary skills), where you can join a cooking class to learn the intricacies of Peranakan cooking, influenced by techniques adopted from Malay and Chinese kitchens.
Next, make your way to the Peranakan Museum on nearby Armenian Street, for a full cultural immersion into the heritage, culture, language and costume, as well as the important traditions and rituals of the Peranakans. With the finest and most comprehensive collection of Peranakan artefacts in the world, you’ll discover all that you need to know about this unique fusion culture.
The Peranakan Trail typically encompasses the Joo Chiat area of Singapore, where you can absorb the relaxing atmosphere of this part of town, often associated with Peranakans and Eurasians. Coming to Joo Chiat Complex, you’ll find stores like Guan Huat Lee, which sells all sorts of kitchen utensils and crockery, Nyonya-inspired knick knacks, red wooden clogs and wooden moulds used to bake mooncakes (round pastries with assorted fillings that are popularly seen during the Mid-Autumn Festival) and Kway Guan Huat, one of the rare makers of popiah (spring roll) skins.
For accommodation around the area, visit Le Peranakan, a boutique hotel housed in a row of conserved shophouses. Located at 400 East Coast Road, it features authentic Peranakan design, with rooms crafted in Nyonya and Baba styles.
The Joo Chiat and Katong districts in Singapore also pay homage to the fascinating background of the early Peranakans, whose opulent costumes, embroidery, beadwork, jewellery and furniture are a significant part of their culture. Today, you’ll find beautiful Peranakan fashion and decorative items at Rumah Bebe, which comes replete with intricate woodcarvings and furnishing in the beautifully restored house.
Finally, end your Peranakan Trail at dinner-time, trying fine Peranakan cuisine at the well known Peranakan Inn on East Coast Road, or Chilli Padi at Joo Chiat Place. Remember to order the fish head assam curry and nasi goreng buah keluak, for a taste of two of the more famous traditional Peranakan dishes.