Archive for the ‘Peranakan Cuisine’ Category

BY CK Lam

Besides dubbed as the top state for hawker food, Penang also offers places to indulge for high-end flavors. Follow me as I uncover the luxurious flavors in the island.

Chin’s Stylish Chinese Restaurant

A flamboyant restaurant at the end of Church Street Pier, Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine serves cuisine leaning towards the Hunan and Szechuan style. The restaurant is run by Dave Chin, a long time entrepreneur in restaurant business and has earned several prestigious awards in his London restaurant during the 8o’s and 90’s.

High-End Flavours of Penang at Chin's Stylish Chinese Cuisine, Penang by what2seeonline.com

Four Happiness

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BY CK Lam

Mimi Nyonya Laksa is a popular little eatery in Penang for many office workers lunching around the area. The eatery, located on the ground floor of Wisma Central, was named after the owner.

Many are obviously drawn to their Nyonya delights. The daily specials are available on a rotating basis. The nasi ulam cooked with generous sprinkling of fresh herbs, garnished with daun pudina (mint leaves) and red chillies, is a firm favourite among the customers. The combination of carrots, onions, daun limau purut (chopped lime leaves), serai (lemon grass), daun kaduk (wild pepper leaves), daun kesum (laksa leaves), daun cekur (sand ginger leaves) and grated coconut layers the complex flavours of this rice dish.

Nyonya Delights at Mimi Nyonya Laksa by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

The newly opened Seven Terraces in the heart of World Heritage Site is Penang’s newest boutique hotel. Sitting on Stewart Lane, this hotel by hoteliers Christopher Ong and Karl Steinberg is converted from a row of seven C19th Anglo Chinese terraces houses.

Seven Terraces offers guests a boutique hotel experience with its Peranakan and contemporary design and its many Baba Nonya and Chinese antique furniture and collectibles. The hotel comprises a restaurant, bar and 18 air-conditioned suites with modern amenities.

Seven Terraces & The Kebaya at Stewart Lane, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Tucked in the heart of George Town’s Noordin Street is Little Kitchen @ Nyonya. The charming restaurant housed in an old two storey shophouse with a distinctive heritage façade, serves home-cooked Nyonya dishes.

Little Kitchen @Nyonya serves Nyonya Peranakan dishes by what2seeonline.com

 

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 12th July 2011.

The recently opened Nyonya Breeze Desire restaurant in Straits Quay carries on the tradition of Peranakan cuisine associated with Penang. The food are similar to that at its outlet in Abu Siti Lane.

Cooking Nyonya food has always been a meticulous affair and Nyonya Breeze Desire had the cuisine prepared with great attention to detail, balancing flavours and taste. The impressive range of dishes include nasi ulam, inche kabin, sambal goreng, asam pedas and braised meat.

The dishes came in large and small portions. I chose the latter. The starter was a plateful of jiu hu char or stir-fried sengkuang (RM13.90) served with fresh lettuce and sambal belacan. The gravy had hints of mushroom, carrot and dried squid. All in all, a perfect dish.

Plate of stir fried sengkuang, served with  lettuce and spicy sambal belacan_resize

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BY CK Lam

A rich and colorful Peranakan wedding!

Baba-Nyonya wedding ceremony is fast disappearing and forgotten by many except for a handful of the older generation. In the heritage town of Penang, there has been a strong call for couples to revive this heritage by taking their vows in this traditional style. Won’t it be a lovely change for couples to wed in a truly unique traditional showcase of rich and colourful Baba-Nyonya culture?

Baba-Nyonya Wedding with a Peranakan Dining Experience by what2seeonline.com

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The Wok Cafe may sound familiar to many Penangites as this restaurant is the outlet to the Hot Wok Restaurant along Burma Road in Penang. It is housed in a corner shoplot situated in the bustling Kota Damansara township, a new residential and commercial address. Together with a few friends, we went there to savor their Penang Hawker Food and Nyonya cuisine, courtesy of Uncle Robert Yeoh and his son Mervyn (the chef).

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***The restaurant has since closed down.

Many of you would definitely be familiar with Hot Wok! The name is associated with the abundant of Nyonya food coupled with beautiful decorations and authentic Peranakan ambiance.

Customers who have frequented the restaurant in Penang knows that Hot Wok Nyonya & Local Cuisine has established itself as the premier restaurant in serving authentic Peranakan or commonly known as Nyonya food from its earlier years in Gurney Plaza and later shifted to Tanjung Tokong. Now they still continue serving their customers in a double storey pre-war house along Jalan Burma, near to the many food eateries of Nagore Road and New World Park.

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Welcome to a gastronomic food journey at Hot Wok

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New World Park located in the heart of Georgetown has been billed as a everything-under-one-roof project. It currently houses a number of restaurants, a couple of franchise eateries, a performance pavilion, boutiques and last but not least, the Hawker Center! Food crawling is a good idea as there are plenty of dining options and you can move from one outlet to the other sampling the food Penang has to offer. With the Chinese New Year around the corner, this entertainment outlet, decorated in red has a number of exciting events all lined-up.

The events to usher in the Year of the Ox :

1) Lion Dance – 17th, 31st January & 3rd February (2pm, 8.30pm & 2pm)
2) China Acrobatic Troupe Show – 23rd, 24th, 29th January & 6th February (9pm)
3) Traditional Chinese Orchestra Performances – 21st & 23rd January (8.30pm)

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2nd August 2008 marked a very special day for all floggers in Penang! We collectively decided that this was the time to meet up and put a physical image on those virtual faces.

The dinner gathering was at Hai Nan Town Restaurant which offers “Nyonya and Hainanese” delicacies in town. Located by the jetty at Weld Quay with a stunning view of the marina, Church Street Pier and QEII, I reckon this beautiful seaside place needs not much introduction as many bloggers have reviewed about it. However, just briefly, this restaurant opened its doors in 2006 after their first outlet in Sungai Nibong . I arrived there earlier, taking the opportunity to go snap-snap before makan-makan.

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Beautiful view of Church Street Pier, QEII and the marina from the restaurant.

Tanjung City Mirina and Church Street Pier main enterance Tanjung City Mirina and Church Street Pier with QEII at background

marina ferry marina yatch

Ten of us turned up that day looking splendid, and it was such a joy seeing everyone in person! Here are among the floggers who made it… :D

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Buzzingbee and  Lingzie

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Me and Carrie of Cariso – the birthday girl in pink

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Gill Gill and Jason – the loving and friendly couple

The rest of the gang included Penang Tua Pui and Criz Lai – unfortunately they turned up that night with “photo shyness”.

Well, time was ticking and our tummies were growling already! Thus, time for dinner! After much deliberation, we made our choices and it wasn’t long before we were served. Dishes that we had were typical Nyonya and Hainanese cuisines – Fried Spring Roll, Asam Curry Fish, Mangkuang Char, Fried Mixed Vegetable and Inchi Kabin (fried chicken served with Worcester sauce).

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These adorable floggers took some extra effort to share some sweets and desserts. Criz brought some mini-tarts while Buzzingbee shared her home-made fruit tarts with us. I have to say that it was absolutely delicious! We also celebrated Carrie’s birthday with this absolutely scrumptious green tea cake.

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It was indeed a fun-filled night. I am really happy getting to know this new group of friends. To our new friendship, cheers! Really enjoyed myself. Here is a little token that I have made to commemorate this very first gathering for all you guys who attended this little party.

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I was slightly disappointed to see that the other floggers could not make it; with commitments here and there as well. No matter, hope we can see each other on the coming gathering arrangement on the 20th of September! Lastly, a big thanks to Lingzie for organizing this event and making all this possible! Hope the semangat makan-makan among the floggers in Penang will continue on!

Tanjung City Mirina and Hai Nan Restaurant

Hai Nan Town was indeed a great place for entertaining friends and guest. For those interested, the details are listed as follows:

Hai Nan Town Restaurant
Address: 8A, Pengkalan Weld, Penang.
Tel : 263 8633

The Lone Pine Hotel is located along Batu Ferringhi and it is within walking distance to restaurants, shopping outlets and Penang’s famous ‘Ferringhi Night Bazaar’. The cozy hotel has its rooms facing the sea and the beautiful garden shaded by Casuarina trees.





There are two dining places in this hotel and we had our dinner at The Bungalow which offers local, international and also Hainanese cuisine. The restaurant offers outdoor and indoor sitting areas with simple furnishing and decor.
We requested for the outdoor sitting area under a big canopy so as to get a clearer picturesque view of the sunset and watch the on-going activities on the beach front. People are having fun riding up and down the stretch of beach on four wheelers and horses. These activities are hardly seen down town.



Enough of the scenery, now for what we came here for. Dinner! :D

When glancing through the menu, the first item that catches my attention is ‘The Bungalow Duet’. This uniquely named dish (RM19.80) is made up of deep-fried Hainanese Spring Rolls and Batu Maung satay. This dish is accompanied with a delicious spicy sauce, onions and cucumber pieces. I strongly recommend this appetizer dish.


The younger generations may not be well versed with the next dish; the Chicken Macaroni Pie (RM24.00).  Just ask anyone who have eaten it before, this dish might very well put a smile on their faces.

 

How is this dish prepared? Well, this dish can be declared a true fusion between Eastern and Western culinary. Macaroni, carrots, button mushroom and chicken slices are cooked in a special sauce, and then baked with a layer of crust on top. The picture below may give you a better description. I find it not very original because as far as I know, tomato sauce was never use in making the gravy. Still my son love it and heard him saying “I wish I could have it every day!”.

 

The mouth watering curry Chicken Kapitan (RM24.00) goes superbly well with rice. You can really taste the spices and herbs used to cook this dish.

 

Deep fried Inche Kabin (RM19.80), an all time favourite. No questions asked :D

Fried Ju Hu Char (RM17.80). This Nyonya dish is the vegetable dish that we had alongside the meaty dishes.

 

We are entertained by some live music performance during the later part of the night. This is truly an enjoyable and relaxing outing for us, savoring delicious food and watching the sunset! The night scenery is equally as serene as the daytime.



For those who are not too familiar with the Batu Ferringhi area, just check through the attached map.
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Lately we get to see a lot of bungalows in Penang being renovated into restaurants and cafes. A heritage bungalow opposite The Gurney Hotel in bustling Kelawei Road has since been renovated into a restaurant. This new outlet, Perut Rumah serves Nyonya cuisine or better known as Peranakan Food. This type of cuisine is getting more and more popular in Penang. My in-laws went with us for dinner to try out the Nyonya cuisine of this restaurant.

A sense of nostalgia enveloped as soon as you drive into the drive way of the building.


The restaurant is very charming and tastefully decorated. The walls are adorned with black and white family photos, clock and framed mirror. In a corner stands a cupboard with collectibles. Seating was vast and comfy while cleanliness takes the top spot. All these gives the place an upmarket appeal.



The manager of the restaurant gave us a warm welcome and sat us down. There is so much to choose from the menu and we ended up ordering several dishes that most Nyonya food lovers are familiar with.

We started the meal with a spicy and sweet salad of Kerabu Bokyee (black fungus)….very appetizing dish.

Hong Bak …. pieces of lean pork and potatoes stewed until tender with spices in a flavorful gravy. Recommended !

Cincalok Pork – pork slices are stir fried with cincalok (a sour and salty shrimp based condiment), chillies and onions for that savory taste.

The main ingredients of Joo Hoo Char consist of cuttle fish (joo hoo), yam bean (sengkuang) and carrots. All these are cut into fine strips and stir-fried for a longer time, giving it a drier texture and flavour. Best eaten with some sambal belacan.


Nyonya Fish Curry….the curry gravy is less aromatic. I would have prefer it with more spices and laksa flower.

Packets of Hu Pau (otak-otak) …. pieces of fish marinated in spices wrapped in banana leaf and served steaming hot.

Speciality dish of Perut Ikan – hubby commended there was only a few pieces of the pickled fish stomach thus finding the taste a bit flat but nonetheless,  it is still worth giving this a try.


We rounded up our meal with the dessert. The sweetness of this bowl of coconut milk with orange/yellow colour sweet potatoes, yam, beans and jelly starch is just right. It would be perfect if the coconut milk is a little more richer and lemak.

The food are fresh and not over spicy as they do cater to foreigners who were seen occupying two tables besides us on that night. This meal for five cost RM130 which is quite acceptable as this type of food requires a lot of preparation work.

The ambience and atmosphere of Perut Rumah makes it a suitable place for entertaining friends and visiting guests. The business hours are from 11am – 3pm & 6pm -10pm (daily).


Address :
No. 17, Jalan Kelawei, 10250, Penang.

Tel : 04-2279917
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