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Food

Peppercorn: Halal Mala Soup That Isn’t Oily + Chicken Cutlet & Mala Mayo Along Kandahar Street

Last Updated: December 14, 2018

Written by Ashley Pek

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The mala craze in Singapore never ends, and you see new stores popping up every few months. So when Peppercorn opened on the busy street of Kandahar, I wondered how different they could be.

Bringing over dishes they love from China, owners Jaron and James want to introduce their favourite aspects of the food.

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Adopting a Chinese concept in their small restaurant, they used yellow to signify gold and to bring out the cheeriness of the store. The signature dish offered here is a Malatang and like other stores, diners get to pick their ingredients.

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Peppercorn also offers some side dishes, but as they’re new, there might be more exciting dishes coming out soon. Of course, first things first, we had to pick our ingredients for our Malatang. 

Our Malatang came up to about S$20 for two, based on the ingredients we picked.

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The first thing I noticed upon being served our Malatang was how little oil there was. Usually, mala soup comes with a thick layer of chilli oil, but Peppercorn stood out with a less greasy option.

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Stirring in the chilli provided, the broth had a slight hint of peppery spice even though there was minimal oil. Prepared from scratch, the chicken broth was sweet and light. The spiciness is entirely up to your choice, and we went for the medium spiciness which was just nice for us.

It still made me perspire a little, but the soup wasn’t so overwhelmingly spicy that it numbed the palate. This broth greatly resembles the kind of chicken soup I would have at my grandma’s when I was younger.

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What I love about mala is the freedom to pick only the ingredients you like, so we got to try a variety of seafood, beef and vegetables within the same meal.

The ingredients at Peppercorn were fresh, so it was no surprise that the fish was firm and tasted slightly sweet.

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The tender sliced beef, on the other hand, was not gamey at all and had a good chewiness to it. The choices of ingredients went really well with their Malatang, so no matter what you pick, you can expect it to taste amazing.

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Apart from their signature Malatang, their sides include these carefully prepared Scallion Oil Noodles (S$4.50). They believe locals will love it for its light and refreshingly savoury taste.

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Upon stirring, the generous amount of sauce coated every strand of springy noodle. While on its own the noodles tasted slightly under seasoned, when accompanied with the malatang, it was just nice for me.

The light seasoning balanced out the savoury mala broth, making this a good combination to try.

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Catering to our local taste buds, Peppercorn decided to add Chicken Cutlet (S$5) with a side of Mala Mayo to the menuYes, mala-infused mayonnaise! What an interesting combination.

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Unfortunately, the taste of mala was subtle and if you enjoy that spicy kick, this version of mayo wouldn’t meet your expectations.  However, it makes a pretty good dip for the otherwise ordinary fried cutlet.


Not to mention, they’ve also gotten their Halal certificate. Peppercorn offers a well-balanced malatang and it is definitely worth the try. Hopefully, the sides will improve with time.

Expected Damage: S$10 – S$20 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Peppercorn

30 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198890

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Peppercorn

30 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198890

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 9.30pm (Mon - Sat), Closed on Sun

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 9.30pm (Mon - Sat), Closed on Sun


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