Violet Oon's Peranakan dishes aren't crap lah. It's more of how her kitchens execute the dishes which can be inconsistent on a day-to-day basis. The issues at the restaurants seem to be more operational. I was okay with the interpretation of food at her restaurant at Bukit Timah. Of course if you visit, expecting flavors of Guan Hoe Soon, Peramakan or the old Baba Blues, then you're going to be sorely disappointed.
There're so many mixed reviews about National Kitchen by Violet Oon that I had to try it for myself. It's small, but beautifully done up. But the wood and tiles don't help with controlling noise levels. It's very noisy at both lunch and dinner. Kinda tempted to wear ear plugs and tonight I did. Well, dunno about you, but I've gone by a few times and enjoyed the food at National Kitchen. No pork or lard used. Menu offerings also hold familiar items from Violet Oon's Bukit Timah restaurant.
Took the man to the restaurant for dinner when he had a window between conference calls. I knew he'd appreciate the Guinness on tap here. Heh. Tasted pretty all right. Orderd conservatively. The kuay pie tie were dependably nibblelicious. The man was pleased with both beef rendang and sambal eggplant. Spicy enough without the overkill. Happy to see my favorite buah keluak noodle (spaghetti) on the menu. It was still oily at the bottom though. Ugh. I wish the kitchen would go easy on the oil.
Had to order idly with coconut and tomato chutney. We were curious! While the idly were the tiniest ones around, but they were surprisingly decent. (Can't beat Murugan's lah.) The idly were, how should I put it without going into the technical details of how to make idly/idli and what makes it good... anyway, they were sour enough. Yup. Sour. The surprise was the fish curry that came along because we randomly asked for sambar, but of course they didn't have it. The servers were so lovely to give us a small bowl of nicely tangy fish curry on the house.