Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen was started by two army buddies as a hawker stall at the now defunct Lavender Food Square along Jalan Besar sometime in 2010. At that time, the idea was to only serve Rendang set meals and we started with a basic Chicken, Beef and Mutton Rendang. The beginning was tough as we had to learn how to transfer our knowledge in a home kitchen to a commercial platform where quantity, preparation and quality were harder to control.
Photo credit: Karen Wee
I remember there was an informal bet amongst the local vendors at Lavender Food Square that we would not make it past 3 months as turnover was high in the Singapore culinary food scene. However, with everyone’s support, we managed to overcome the odds and survive. Nyonya Rendang set meals were not common at the hawker level and we managed to garner a modest amount of attention amongst our supporters who regularly came back to patronise us.
After 3 years at Lavender Food Square, we decided to expand and opened a Nyonya fast food concept restaurant serving our popular Rendang set meals at 190 Changi Road in 2014. It was a fatal miscalculation as we had underestimated the location. We then decided to expand the menu from basic Rendang sets to a whole array of Nyonya delicacies. However, specialised manpower was hard to find and the menu expanded too fast, resulting in losses for almost 3 years. Towards the end of our lease, we somehow managed to stabilised our menu. The food became much better and there was a regular following. Losses were also minimised but it was too little too late.
Not wanting to give up, we decided to persevere and try again. Recipes were revised and improved according to customer feedback, new menu items were introduced and operational systems were streamlined and implemented. But the most important factor in my opinion, is that we managed to acquire and retain our excellant staff who feels like an extended part of our family.
Today, Old Bibik is located at 328 Joo Chiat Road, #01-02, Singapore 427585 serving our signature Rendang and an array of traditional Nyonya favourites such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Ikan Assam Pedas, Jiuhucha, Chinchalok Omelette and many more… If you’re craving for good value Nyonya food at wallet friendly prices, come down and check us out.