An Elegant Lunch: National Kitchen by Violet Oon


We were at National Kitchen in December 2015, and after our meal, wanted to tell everyone about it, and bring our parents, our friends and colleagues. We haven’t been to Violet Oon’s Bukit Timah restaurant, but December and the gorgeous National Gallery building put us in a mood to try National Gallery. We read the menu online, and wanted to order so many things!

But when we were there, reason prevailed. We ordered the idly (rice cake) with chutney, fish head curry, and ju hee char (cuttlefish & vegetables) only to make sure that we had space for dessert.


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Given the celebratory mood, I also had The Collier to start the lunch with. It’s a cocktail with Bombay Sapphire gin, spiced pear puree, cloves and rosemary. The rice cake dish was done with pretty quickly. It is an Indian dish, and for reference, felt like a softer tutu kueh. The cuttlefish & vegetables arrived next, and while Asian food is hard to photograph sometimes, the appearance belies the great taste you get once you dig into the dish. The broth was so flavourful and keeps you wanting more.



The fish head curry took its time to appear but it was the star of the meal. It is not very spicy, so you may not love it if a kick is what you were hoping for. But to us, the aroma of the curry, and the mix of all the spices took us in. We were very careful not to finish our rice too quickly, because we needed it to soak up the curry with. The restaurant was bustling throughout lunch, and it felt like everyone had a good time. But we stayed long enough, and was able to get more shots of the elegant interior.



It is a place you would be happy to bring your mother, father, best friend, enemies, or colleagues to. It is local food but it would impress.

More information: National Kitchen is at #02–01, National Gallery Singapore. Lunch is from 12 – 3 pm, and dinner is from 6 to 11 pm.

For those driving, you should turn left to Coleman Street from St Andrew’s Road. But note that the car park entrance is on the extreme right immediately after you turn left from SAR to CS. So, make your turn carefully, or else just make another round.