Babachews is a restaurant inspired by our neighbourhood. The name ‘Baba Chews’ takes inspiration from Chew Joo Chiat, a wealthy Chinese landowner known as the ‘King of Katong’ who in 1917 allowed the use of a road through his land for public, which is the Joo Chiat Road we know today. Various other roads and landmarks in the vicinity were also named after him, such as this very building, which was formerly the Joo Chiat Police Station (1928 – 1987).
Chew Joo Chiat married a Nonya, Tan Quan Neo, after moving to Singapore. Nonya or Nyonya is an honorific for Peranakan women and Baba for Peranakan men, a majority of whom are Straits Chinese – descendants of Chinese migrants who settled in the Malay archipelago and inter -marrying with local Malays. Smaller Peranakan communities of other ethnicities – the Phuket Babas, Indian Hindu Peranakans, Indian Muslim Peranakans, Eurasian Peranakans exist as well.
Paying homage to this unique culture, we have put together a menu of traditional and modern cuisines from places that have influenced Peranakan cooking, along with a small selection of Western favourites to cater to your preferences.
We hope you enjoy the food as much as we had fun putting this together.