Ascott’s 30th Anniversary: 30 Recipes by Chef Malcolm Lee

“30 years, 30 recipes”

ascott singapore 30 year cookbook candlenut

The Ascott’s famed serviced residences in the central business district turns thirty in 2014. To mark this significant milestone, The Ascott Limited has collaborated with renown Chef Malcolm Lee of Candlenut fame to create a cookbook featuring 30 Peranakan-based recipes specially for Ascott guests in Singapore and the Asia region.

ascott 30 year anniversary singapore lunch

ascott singapore

We join a table of VIP media guests to enjoy this exclusive home-cooked lunch tasting, prepared right here in the room suite’s kitchen.

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The Ascott Limited’s CEO Lee Chee Koon and Chef Malcolm Lee hosted this lunch session in one of Ascott’s luxurious suites. We also saw the likes of KF Seetoh from Makansutra made an appearance!

Dishes served were picked from their new collaborative cookbook- ’30 Years, 30 Recipes: A Gastronomic Journey.” Most of the items featured in the cookbook are Peranakan, while some others are more local based.

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Peranakan cuisine combines Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend and is well liked by multicultural Singaporeans. Chef Malcolm and his team worked hard to prepare their dishes in this small kitchen, proving that their recipes can indeed be replicated by anyone.

Lets start on some of these simple yet sophisticated dishes prepared in celebration of the hotel turning 30.

ascott 30 wing bean salad

Wing Bean Salad. A refreshing bowl of wing beans tossed with with prawns, crispy fish, shallots, lemongrass, chilli, cashew nuts, mint, coriander with lime dressing. A variety of flavours and texture just within a bowl of salad.

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Nasi Ulam. A seemingly simple dish but behind it takes a lot of preparation in blending the shrimp and salted fish. The end result is a fragrant mixture of rice, herbs and dried seafood goodness.

ascott candlenut chap chye

Chap Chye (Mixed Vegetable Stew). A traditional Peranakan dish with a mixture of mushrooms, sweet dried bean curd, glass noodles and dried lily buds. The recipe was specially tuned towards a less greasy but equally tasty vegetable stew.

ascott cookbook babi ponteh

Babi Pongteh (Braised Pork with Preserved Soy Bean Paste). This is a savoury pork dish with a thick delicious bean gravy perfect to pair with a bowl of rice. I like that not all dishes are overly spicy.

ascott 30 years Bakwan Kepiting Soup

Bakwan Kepiting Soup. For a more Chinese influence, the simple, heartwarming meatball in clear chicken soup is a must try with the cookbook. Meatballs are made with crab and minced pork and gives additional seafood sweetness.

peranakan Ayam Buah Keluak singapore

Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken in Indonesian Black Nut Stew). One of THE signature staple Peranakan dish served in every occasion. Originally presented in the ‘keluak’ nut itself, Chef Malcolm Lee’s version instead is served as a generous smoky paste slathered over the chicken meat.

Buah Keluak takes some getting used to for its strong, earthy notes and might not be for everyone. True Peranakans swear by it though.

ascott cookbook 30 year anniversary singapore

Steamed Cod and Tiger Prawn Otah. My personal favourite of all dishes because it is an innovative version of the typical Singaporean otah. Luxurious ingredients are used to make the paste and instead of grilling, a home kitchen-friendly method of steaming it was used. The end result is a texture similar to steamed egg custard with the aroma and taste of otah fishcake and that familiar coconut fragrance.

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Candlenut’s Signature Chendol Cream. Unlike the usual chendol served with red beans and shaved ice, Candlenut’s rendition of a light custard topped with chendol and gula melaka syrup certainly does pack a punch as well (by shavette). This was more like a panna cotta and extremely smooth.

ascott anniversary peranakan cookbook

Peranakan cuisine takes a lot of team effort and preparation time, therefore it ties closely to the family-oriented culture of Peranakans – every meal prepared with love and sincerity. With its new informative cookbook available in the residence, The Ascott Limited wishes to share the flavours and togetherness of Singapore and Peranakan cuisine to their treasured guests.

KF seetoh makansutra Seth lui

I couldn’t resist taking a photo with this Singapore Makan hero- KF Seetoh.

“30 Years, 30 Recipes: A Gastronomic Journey” will sadly not be for sale on the public shelves, but is made available in Ascott’s serviced residences as well as in libraries in Singapore. Thank you The Ascott Limited for hosting us for this nostalgic lunch.

Ascott Raffles Place: No 2 Finlayson Green, Singapore 049247 | Tel: 6577 1688 | Website