168 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068619
Tel: 8688 3028
Named after the Institute of Veneration for Literature, and situated within the compound of Thian Hock Keng Temple itself, Chong Wen Ge Cafe is an interesting spot to check out for sure.
The cafe is decorated in traditional Peranakan design, from the intricate, colorful tiles to the tableware. Within the cafe or sharing its space are a Music Museum and Peranakan Tiles Gallery, so diners can take in some culture after their meals.
On the menu are Peranakan dishes such as Laksa, Nonya Curry, Nonya Kuehs (cakes), etc. Orders are taken at the counter ourselves, and so is food / drinks collection. Wait for the small beeper to vibrate. There is also a wide range of colourful Nonya desserts to choose from, at the counter.
*Chantal had the Nonya Laksa (SGD$10.80) - piping hot and mildly spicy bowl of springy rice noodles, huge glass prawns, Pacific clams, fishcakes, beancurd puffs, beansprouts and fragrant laksa leaves. The spicy coconut sauce was tasty but not too fiery, rather easy on the palate.
My Nonya Chicken Curry (SGD$10.90) comprised of tender mid-joint chicken wings and soft chunks of potatoes in lightly spicy, coconut-rich curry gravy. The dish was served with a plate of white rice with tangy Achar (pickled vegetables), adding flavours; rice grains were hard so it was like eating Rice Krispies (not sure if that was the deliberate effect).
A platter of 4 Nonya Kuehs (SGD$5.50) to share for desserts - we could choose our own choice of their sticky cakes. We had the colorful Nine-layered Cake, Rice Cake with coconut flakes, some pretty pink agar-agar like cake with coconut bottom, and a cake that resembled Ondeh Ondeh. The desserts were rather enjoyable.
For beverages, *Chantal tried the signature Teh-C Special (SGD$5.50), iced milk tea with robust aroma and was rather smooth.
I had the Iced Peranakan Green (SGD$4.50) - a refreshing fizzy melon soda with cucumber slices - interesting and soothing, went very well with the hot weather and spicy dishes.