Nyonya Cuisine – Perut Rumah Kelawai Road, Penang

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 Kelawai 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.

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 area is vast and comfy while cleanliness takes the top spot. All these gave 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 that there are only a few pieces of 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 (creamier).


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

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 Kelawai
10250 Penang

Tel : 04-2279917
***Updated July 2015: Perut Rumah has since shifted to Jalan Bawasah (opposite Chime Heritage)