The Dirty Stall


Posted on: September 4, 2010

Ivins is a classic old-time favourite for Peranakan food and many families have been patronising their humble establishment for a long time, including mine.

They first opened their main restaurant at Binjal Park in 1988, later adding another branch at Upper Thomson Road in 1995 which focuses more on Nyonya delicacies.

They’ve had a long time to build up their following and you can see that if you turn up late for dinner. There’ll be a huge throng of hungry people milling around outside, just waiting their turn to get in.

Their interior decoration and furnishings have not changed since the first day I stepped into Ivins, maybe a decade or more ago. in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it hasn’t changed since they opened.

Honey porkLean pork strips stir-fried in special honey sauce

This is something I always order when I eat here. Sadly it is never served freshly cooked, so the meat tends to be tough but it still tastes delicious with that sweet caramelised crust.

Ironically if you order this when the restaurant is closing, they have to cook a fresh batch just for you and that’s when this small dish is amazing. Hot, tender and savoury, it hits all the right notes.

Bakwan kepetingPork and crabmeat meatball with bamboo shoots in a clear soup

Another one of my favourite dishes, I always order 2 bowls of it because I love it so much! The delicious and hearty soup gets its characteristic flavour from the sautéed garlic and bamboo shoots.

The crabmeat meatballs unfortunately don’t really have that crabmeat taste, unlike the ones from Spice Peranakan.

Nyonya chap chyeStew mixed vegetables with prawns in a soy bean sauce

Yeah this is the traditional Peranakan stewed veggies – mushrooms, cabbage, black fungus, glass noodle, etc. The taste of the tau cheo gets infused into the sauce and pretty much permeates through the vegetables.

Stuffed chilli selarCrispy deep-fried selar fish stuffed with sambal chilli

This dish is priced according to the market rate everyday so the bigger the fish, the more expensive it gets. My family loves this dish but I don’t eat it so I can’t comment. But hey, the taste of fried fish with sambal chilli inside is easy to imagine.

Shrimp and crabmeat omeletteScrambled eggs with shrimp, crabmeat and peas

Nothing much to say about this omelette except it really doesn’t have much shrimps or crabmeat inside 😦 Sadly it is the better choice of telor (eggs) among the others which are even more pathetic.

Otak otak panggangSpicy fishcake grilled in banana leaf

I don’t eat this either but my father always has to order this when we eat here. Quite expensive!! ($5)

Overall this is a great place for a family dinner despite the high prices for somewhat small portions of food. But Ivins has built up its cult following of regulars so it will be around for along time to come.

19 Binjai Park
Tel: +65 6468 3060
Open: Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun: 11.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm
Closed on Thursdays


7 Responses to "Ivins"

Ha ha nothing at Ivins change except its prices 🙂 My family likes the tempra, sotong hitam and chendol.

Hahaha yah the prices keep going up but at least not that fast!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JW, Maureen Ow. Maureen Ow said: I like peranakan food! “@alkanphel: New blog post: Ivins” […]

Why don’t you eat fish & seafood haha.

Actually honey pork is very easy to cook at home. I can give you the recipe if you want. I always cook honey pork at home, so tenderlicious. 🙂

I do! I love seafood, but not the Peranakan kind cos they like to cook it spicy and sambal hahaha

I shall ask you for the recipe later! 😀

as my house is nearer to the jalan leban outlet, i tend to frequent that one quite often …

to be frank, i do find the prices for nonya food still much more affordable than some other nonya .. i think theres one near substation called blue ginger or something .. that was really expernsive and the food was not as good

Ah well I still think overall Peranakan food in SG is overpriced in terms of value for money. But maybe it’s much harder to cook it then other local food? I’ve never tried cooking Peranakan food besides bakwan kepeting.

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