India’s modern Peranakan restaurant, Pandan Club, is now open in Chennai. Master chefs Sashi Cheliah and Manoj Padmanaban of Big Bandha will spearhead the United Fork Pvt Ltd team in curating unique culinary experiences for food lovers.
With whispers of exotic ingredients that highlight the culinary influences of Chinese, Malay, Eurasian, and even Indian culture, the Peranakan menu is a symphony of flavours and spices that Indians find oddly familiar and that pique their palates.
Peranakan cuisine is a delicious culinary expression of cultural fusions, often referred to as Nyonya cuisine. The origins of the Peranakan people can be traced to early Chinese settlements in the 15th century. As a result, their philosophy is closely entwined with Malaysian culture and food.
The interior design is reminiscent of a contemporary interpretation of Singapore’s eastern, culturally rich Joo Chiat heritage site. The iconic Peranakan shades of jade and turquoise are contrasted with modern, warm pink and red tones in fabrics and wall accents, handmade ceramic tiles that were common in the area at the turn of the 20th century, rattan frames that resemble an oriental prayer wheel, and the ubiquitous glass panels that reflect rather than divide.
The space is divided into three distinct zones: the communal dining, which is defined by the high tables that surround the cocktail bar, and the cosy banquette seating, which is warmly lit by a canopy of South-East Asian traditional lanterns. And the private dining area has quite pink walls and is guarded by Baba and Nyonya, just like in traditional Peranakan homes.