The Citiblog

Kebaya brings Peranakan Cooking to Union Square
March 19, 2023, 2:46.09 pm ET


Photos: Kebaya

Kebaya is a restaurant dedicated solely to Peranakan cuisine which is unique to Singapore. Restaurateur and Chef Salil Mehta, whose restaurants include Singapura, Wau and Singlish, is the force behind this latest project. The festive space is anchored by a large picture of koi swimming amongst water lilies with a fiery dragon sculpture set atop the bar.

Peranakan cuisine is found in places like Malacca, Singapore, Penang, and Medan where ancient Chinese and local cultures collide creating unique hybrid dishes made with unique spices and cooking techniques.

The meal begins at Kebaya with Prawn Vadai, served atop lentil doughnuts and coconut chutney seasoned with curry leaf oil; Sate Lilit with Chili Kicap Sambal made with mince beef wrapped around lemongrass root; and Kuih Pie Tee Cups, crispy cups filled with jicama, egg, and shrimp served with a vinegar chili sauce.

House specialties include Nyonya Duck Curry with braised Long Island duck in coconut milk, lime leaf, and tomato; Crab Roast with Dungeness crab, golden egg, curry sauce and fresh Malaysian herbs; Kway Chap with pork intestine, stomach and ears braised in a caramelized soy-ginger sauce; Kerabu Beehoon, thin Rice noodle, in fish sauce, with torch ginger flower, onion and herbs; and Nasi Ulam, Charred Macherel with jasmine rice with toasted coconut, herbs, torch ginger flower, sambal, and dry shrimp.

Vibrant flavors can also be found in cocktails like Tiger Stripe with guava, tequila, spicy gunpowder and lime; and Umami made with mushroom infused whiskey, Amari and citrus. Beers from Hong Kong’s Young Master Brewery are available as well as Peranakan Tea.

Kebaya is located at 20 E 17th St, New York, NY (212) 641-0401. For more information, visit