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Food

Godmama: Babi Assam + Longan Red Date Pudding At Casual Peranakan Restaurant In Funan Mall

Last Updated: July 19, 2019

Written by Wani

The hype of Funan Mall‘s re-opening saw throngs of Singaporeans doing what they do best ⁠— willingly queuing for the doors to be open. That’s so that they can be the first to experience and share what awaits the rest of us, when we finally have the time and opportunity to visit.

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Well, I had one such opportunity when I was tasked with checking out Godmama, a 60-seater Peranakan restaurant that’s co-owned by Christina Keilthy. She left her corporate job in a bid to preserve the delicious legacy of her Godma’s and Mama’s Egg Skin Popiah.

I went with a friend during the second week of Funan Mall’s opening. I was excited to see how this mall has transformed from simply an IT mall to a lifestyle hub. I was also hungry, so I was anticipating a feast.

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As a welcome drink, I was served the Peranakan Blue (S$22). It’s a concoction created by the winner of The Bar Awards Singapore 2018 Rising Star, who also happens to be Keilthy’s son. The spirit base is Brass Lion Distillery’s gin, mixed with butterfly pea gin (which has lavender, citrus and blue pea flower).

Refreshing as it was, it didn’t get me excited. I could mostly taste the yuzu tonic’s bitter finish, with slight nuances of earthy gin.

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Before I continue on with detailing how the food actually is at Godmama, I have to explicitly state that the wait for our first dish took a heart-wrenching 60 minutes. The table was constantly given a reassuring update that the food will be out in “five minutes”, but those five minutes came and went.

As you know, it’s hard to subjectively judge food when you’re starving, so I would advise you to keep in mind that when this place is packed, you may end up waiting (or choosing to leave altogether).

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When the All Star Egg Skin Popiah (S$6.50) arrived, I was really praying so hard for redemption. But alas, what we got was limp egg skin crêpe that had stewed and caramelised jicama with ​tau chew (fermented soybean paste), cucumber strips, lettuce, crispy garlic bits, coriander, sprouts and tiger prawns spilling sadly on to the plate.

I had to pick up every tiny bit of ingredient one by one, which didn’t do the popiah justice. As such, it was hard for me to say if this traditional family recipe was really an all-star winner.

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Another 10 to 15 minutes passed before the main plates arrived (appalling!), and even then, they were only adequately warm. Before anything else, I aimed my fork towards their Ayam Buah Keluak (S$15.90 as part of Executive Lunch Set, S$19.90 for dinner) ⁠— as we all know it’s a dish that’s quintessentially Peranakan cuisine.

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The chicken itself was enjoyably tender and was easy to rip from its bones. The sauce the chicken was swimming in was nutty, rich and aromatic.

Some of us at the table tried our hand at trying to pry some flesh from the buah keluak but struggled to do so (yes, we’re amateurs).

It was one of the better mains of the evening.

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Although the Ayam Buah Keluak was a contender for best dish of the evening, the Babi Assam (S$13.90 as part of Executive Lunch Set, S$18.90 for dinner) was a unanimous favourite.

The fattier cuts of pork were sought after, and the tangy spiciness was definitely the reason why we kept coming back for more.

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The spiciest dish of all had to be the Sambal Udang (S$17.90 as part of Executive Lunch Set, S$23.90 for dinner). It was almost a neglected dish, especially when everyone was already hangry by this point and was fixated on the meat dishes.

But to my surprise, the spiciness was a nice welcome. In fact, when eaten together with the other rich dishes, the spiciness balanced the flavours out and lent some acidity to the meal.

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I wish that I could recommend their Ngoh Hiang (S$11.90), but for the disappointing portion and the amount of grease it was dressed in, I could barely enjoy its intended flavours.

The mouthfeel was fatty and slick, distracting me from trying to enjoy it.

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The Ginger Flower & Lychee Sorbet (S$10.90) was a welcome shift in flavour. Sorbet is always great as a palate cleanser, and for cuisine as rich as we had, it was gratifying. The peanut crumble at the bottom was an ideal textural contrast to the icy sorbet.

It was an uplifting dessert, simply put.

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If you wish to carry on with heavier flavour profiles, the Longan Red Date Pudding (S$9.90) is an Asian take on sticky date pudding. I appreciated that the pudding was luscious and moist, and made only better with the drizzle of fragrant longan tea glaze.


For the slightly more than one-hour wait we had to endure for our meal to show up, Godmama still held some validation. Perhaps that night, the service suffered due to poor communication, or the overwhelmingly full capacity of the dining room.

Nevertheless, it’s a lesson for them in time management (for both front- and back-of-house) and managing expectations of what they can actually serve in a timely fashion. All that aside, the food was still alright. It wasn’t life-changing, but I would give a thumbs up for the Babi Assam and Longan Red Date Pudding.

Those two are your must-try dishes.

Chope Reservations

Expected Damage: S$20 – S$40 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 2 / 5

Godmama

109 North Bridge Road, Funan Mall, #04-07, Singapore 179105

Price
Our Rating 2/5

Godmama

109 North Bridge Road, Funan Mall, #04-07, Singapore 179105

Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm & 6pm - 10pm (Mon - Fri), 10.30am - 4.30pm & 6pm - 10pm (Sat & Sun)

Operating Hours: 11am - 2.30pm & 6pm - 10pm (Mon - Fri), 10.30am - 4.30pm & 6pm - 10pm (Sat & Sun)

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