Can you say you’ve had a true blue Singaporean meal without a dash of chilli? We didn’t think so. For local establishment Violet Oon Singapore, chilli and condiments take centrestage as the company expands its range of merchandise with a brand new line of sauces and sambals to spice up any meal!
Made in small batches using homemade techniques and the freshest of ingredients, the new range of sauces and condiments takes inspiration from the typical Singaporean home kitchen. Likening them to Western salt and pepper, Violet Oon Singapore CEO Manoj M Murjani believes that similarly, chilli and soya sauce are necessities for any Asian meal. Shares Murjani: “Violet Oon Singapore is excited to add our in-house condiments to our line of merchandise, which are specially selected to showcase diverse Singaporean flavours. Must-haves in every Singaporeans’ kitchen, our international diners can now also introduce these Asian condiments to their own collection of pantry staples back home.”
The range of sauces includes the piquant Violet Oon (VO) Chilli Sauce ($15) and Premium Soya Sauce ($15), naturally brewed with non-GMO soybeans of the highest quality, free from MSG, preservatives, additional colouring or flavouring. Meanwhile, crowd favourites at Violet Oon Singapore restaurants, the fiery, fragrant Goreng Chilli ($17) and spicy, chunky Sambal Bajak ($19) will also join the premium range of sambals and condiments.
At a tasting we attended, we got a chance to try each of these condiments ourselves, adding them to Violet Oon Singapore appetizers such as the Grilled Chicken (with Goreng Chilli), Crispy Kurobuta Pork Fingerling, Eggplant with Impossible Minced Meat, and Barramundi (with Sambal Bajak). Each condiment adds a real kick to each dish, and goes well to enhance all the flavours. There’s just the right amount of spice, and even though your tongue may be tingling with the burning sensation, we’re still always ready to go for the next scoop. One imagines that these sauces and condiments make for a great addition to the kitchen for both new and seasoned chefs, elevating any meal they choose to whip up for guests or for their own home cooking.
“At Violet Oon Singapore, we take pride in the quality of our condiments and sambals made with fresh spices and herbs which have been specially curated to showcase the Singapore Culinary Heritage. They help to shape up and complement the flavour of any dish, whilst introducing complex flavours to the simplest of dishes. We are thrilled
that our diners can now bring them home to their loved ones and get creative with how they would like to integrate the sauces into their favourite dishes,” shares Violet Oon, Culinary Curator and Chef at Violet Oon Singapore.
These sauces are also served alongside the newest additions to Violet Oon Singapore’s Nyonya Lunch menu, which introduces Perakanan family specials – the Nyonya Hay Mee and Nyonya Assam Laksa, available daily and exclusively at ION Orchard. Both dishes use fresh herbs and spices to create the “rempah” mix (spice), and locally sourced kelong-farmed prawns and barramundi, and act as a tribute to the way Peranakan grandmothers of yore did.
This Nyonya Hay Mee Soup ($29) is a tribute to Nyonya homemakers who would lovingly braise the soup for long hours over a charcoal stove for the weekly Sunday family lunch, where multiple generations would gather for a home-cooked meal together. The classic prawn mee then gets a revamp here, beautifully presented in a large bowl of yellow Hokkien noodles and rice vermicelli topped with tender slices of Nyonya Tauyew Bak (pork belly slow-braised in soya sauce) and juicy, Singapore kelong-farmed prawns.
As for the soup itself, this dish utilised a unique prawn bisque made from freshly peeled prawn shells and heads fried with garlic, before being boiled for hours. With the bisque served in a porcelain gravy boat, diners can choose how much of it to add to their noodles, and how much of an extra kick of flavour they want with the saucer of sliced chilli padi and soya sauce on the side. Garnish with deep-fried shallots and Bak Pok (pork crackling) to bring a blend of textures and flavours to every bite.
And for the Nyonya Assam Laksa ($29), what makes this dish stand out from the usual versions one might be used to is the use of Spanish mackarel instead of sardines in the gravy, for extra flavour and texture without overpowering the dish with a fishy taste. The gravy also blends ground lengkuas, turmeric root, shallots and belacan, allowing it to be thicker and better stick to the vermicelli noodles used to make it even more delectable.
With laksa leaves, bunga kantan (pink ginger flower) and slices of dried assam gelugor as well as tamarind juice steeped in the gravy as well, every bite leaves a tang in one’s mouth with the medley of flavours that go into it. Throw in some umami-laden “hay ko” (black prawn paste), a pan-fried fillet of fresh Singapore kelong-raised barramundi, and chilli sauce, squeeze some limau ketsuri lime juice for a zesty final touch to complete this modern take on the traditional assam laksa.
With all the rich food and spicy chilli sauces we just ate, it was only right to end off with some desserts for a sweet respite. We had a taste of Violet Oon Singapore’s Pineapple Tarts, rum balls and a layered Pandan Gula Melaka Cream Cake, none of which were too heavy on the palate and left us quite satisfied. With Violet Oon Singapore’s new range of condiments and sauces, now, anyone can now spice up their life (and Sunday lunch get-togethers) with a dash of chilli.
Violet Oon Singapore is located at ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #03-22/#03-28/29, Singapore 238801, open from 10am – 10pm (last order 9.30pm). The Nyonya Sunday Lunch collection is available daily from 11pm – 6pm.
Violet Oon Singapore Pantry Staples are available at both the ION Orchard outlet, as well as Jewel Changi Airport (78 Airport Boulevard, Level 1, #02-205/#02-206, Singapore 819666) For more information, visit their website here