Image

Nyonya.love, Bandar Kinrara Puchong

If there’s one cuisine I think best represents Malaysia’s storied history of immigration and assimilation, it’s Peranakan, or Nyonya, cuisine. The Peranakans (also called Straits Chinese) are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled mostly in Malacca and Penang in Malaysia, parts of Indonesia, as well as Singapore in the late 18th to early 19th centuries. Many Peranakans intermarried with locals, adopting Malay customs as their own. As such, Nyonya cuisine is an interesting blend of Chinese influences and cooking techniques, paired with Malay ingredients and spices.

20220703_192953

For those craving authentic Melaka-style Peranakan food, Nyonya.love at Bandar Kinrara dishes out popular favourites the likes of Ayam Pongteh, Nyonya Curry Laksa, Nasi Lemak, kueh, and more – served in a cozy and intimate setting that’s perfect for get togethers or casual hangouts. The fam and I were here for my aunt and uncle’s 50th anniversary wedding, and we got to try a wide variety of their specialities.

20220703_172012
20220703_172003

The restaurant’s interior is spacious, with tables adequately spaced to adhere to social distancing rules. The grey concrete walls and floors boast an ‘unfinished’ look which is the in thing these days, but it lends the space an air of elegance. The counter also features interestingly-shaped concrete nooks made to look like traditional Peranakan tiles. The industrial look is spruced up by cozy wood accents and lots of plants, while cute decorations – such as the colourful tiffin carriers at the counter – add character.

20220703_172101
20220703_174737
20220703_172344

The aunts had ordered two platters of traditional Nyonya kueh for sharing. The vibrant colours of these assorted bite-sized snacks were as much a feast for the eyes as they were for the stomach. My favourites are the angku (‘tortoise cakes’ – glutinous rice snacks filled with mung bean paste) and kuih kosui (steamed rice cake made from tapioca flour and rice flour), as they have a chewy texture.

20220703_175713

Once all the fam members had arrived, our meals were served. I had the Nyonya Curry Laksa, which came in a humongous portion. In hindsight, I should have shared this with someone else because although it was tasty, I struggled to finish the noodles. The curry is notably different from regular curry laksa – as you can tell, the curry was lighter in colour, creamy but not cloying, and I could taste the distinct blend of spices such as turmeric, lemongrass, onions, and shallots. The bowl also came with generous servings of fish balls, tofu pok, shrimp, and a dollop of sambal for that extra kick.

20220703_180109

The Hubs and Pops both had Nasi Lemak Rendang Ayam. The coconut milk rice was tasty, but the star of the dish for me was the chicken rendang. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and the rendang was rich and creamy.

20220703_180327

Our mains alone were enough, but then the aunts also ordered some pai tee. These crispy snacks are shaped like top hats, with the crunchy shells holding braised jicama within. The contrast of textures makes it super addictive to munch on!

20220703_180740

The Bro’s Curry Chicken with Roti Jala. Compared to the rendang, which has a thicker texture, the curry is more soupy and is more savoury.

20220703_181816

Nyonya acar traces its roots to India, where the dish is known as achar (or literally, pickles). Pickling vegetables has long been a practice in ancient India, and with the spread of Indian culture via powerful Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, the cuisine spread to Maritime Southeast Asia.

The version at Nyonya.love is very refreshing – there’s sliced cucumber, carrots, pineapple, and cabbage (?) in a sweet, sour, and savoury sauce, topped with sesame seeds. I think it’s perfect as an appetizer, as it really whets the appetite.

20220703_183736

Rounding off the meal, we shared a bowl of cendol. Sweet, cold, and refreshing – what more could one ask for?

20220703_185750

The restaurant also allowed us to cut the cakes we bought from Torte by Linda, which is located within the same building. Try their medovik (Russian Honey Cake) – it’s too die for!

20220703_185947
Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary!

Aside from awesome Peranakan food, we were grateful for how accommodating the Nyonya.love team was as well in making our occasion a memorable one. 🙂 Definitely a recommend spot for when the craving for Peranakan cuisine kicks in!

NYONYA.LOVE

B-LG-5, Eight, Jalan BK 5a/3, Bandar Kinrara, 47180 Puchong, Selangor

Open: Tues – Sun (11.30AM – 7.30PM)

Happy Mother’s Day @ Taiping Lang, Puchong Jaya

Happy Mothers Day to all mums around the world! It’s not easy being a mum, so it’s not too much to have a special day to honour and celebrate all that she has done for you and the family.

I was working on Mothers Day. We decided to go for an early celebration with a meal at Taiping Lang, a Nyonya restaurant in Bandar Puchong Jaya.

SAM_9739-tile

Update: This restaurant is permanently closed.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term Nyonya cuisine, it comes from Baba and Nyonya, a community found in Malaysia and Singapore. They are also referred to as ‘Straits Chinese’ or ‘Peranakan’. The Baba and Nyonya were 15th – 17th century Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago and adopted local Nusantara customs along with their traditional rituals, way of dress and food. Their cooking is a unique blend of both Chinese and Malay flavours, making it truly a one-of-a-kind cuisine that you can only find in this part of the world.

We ordered a set meal for three persons and some side dishes. First up was ngo hiang or fried lor bak : a spiced pork and shrimp meat roll wrapped with vegetables in beancurd. The meat was marinated in five-spice powder, giving it a solid, savoury flavour interspersed with bits of carrots and other veggies. The skin was crispy and deep fried to perfection. The version here was done well without being too salty, and came served with a house special chilli dip.

SAM_9740-tile

Next up, Nyonya fried chicken. Unlike conventional fried chicken, this had less skin and was sweet, like it had been glazed with sugar or honey. I’m guessing it was made from village chicken as the size was smaller and the meat was tender and juicy.

SAM_9741-tile

This brings back memories! Jiu hu char is stir-fried jicama with dried cuttlefish, a Nyonya specialty. Although my dad’s side is ethnic Hokkien, my grandma used to make it she learnt it from a Nyonya lady when she was younger. My aunt still prepares it on special occasions, like Chinese New Year.

The jicama had a texture similar to daikon or radish, and the stir frying made it soft as it swam in a broth of its own juices. Apart from dried cuttlefish, the dish also had har mai (dried shrimps) and mushrooms for a chewier bite.

SAM_9742-tile

Sambal fried anchovies. Spicy, with pungent onions and chilli, this was great to go with rice.

SAM_9743-tile

SAM_9745-tile

Otak-otak wrapped in banana leaves. Literally translated, it means ‘brain-brain’ in Malay – probably derived from the dish’s soft, gooey appearance. It is actually a steamed seafood cake cooked with herbs. The cake’s texture is soft but occasionally has big chunks of seafood in them. This one here was not too spicy and the herbs lent it a unique flavour.

SAM_9746-tile

Rice and soup to go along with the dishes.

Overall, Taiping Lang did not disappoint. The menu items are quite limited, but the few dishes they serve are all of good quality. The resto is quite famous as you will see cutouts of newspaper reviews and celebrity photos pasted all over the wall.

TAIPING LANG

19-01, Jalan Kenari 18B, Bandar Puchong Jaya,, 47100, Puchong, Selangor, 47100

03-8076 2686

Tuesday – Sunday (Closed on Mondays)

SAM_9748-tile

I was grumpy on Mothers Day itself because I was working from morning til 10pm at night – but the day started off well because I got to buy a bunch of fresh roses at the event I was attending  for only RM1. Look how pretty they are! I got a pink bouquet for my mum coz she has never gotten flowers from anyone, tbh. (my dad isn’t exactly the romantic type lol)

SAM_9749-tile SAM_9750-tile SAM_9751-tile SAM_9752-tile

If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you’ll know that my mum and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on things. Despite everything, she is still the one I’m closest to in my family, who brought me up to be the person I am today. And I know she will always be there for me, through good times, or bad times.

As a child, my mum was always super protective of me. This didn’t bide well when I stepped into adulthood – I felt suffocated by all the rules and regulations, of the things she imposed on my life ‘in my best interests’. That was often a point of contention between us.  The fights were terrible. I can honestly say that I’ve never fought as much with anyone else in my life. Thankfully, these incidences are becoming less and less.

Over the past year, I’d like to believe that she is starting to understand that I am not always going to be her cutesy five-year-old, whom she can dress up and protect from all the evils in the world. Fledglings grow up and leave the nest : and while I will always be her little girl, I too must leave the nest and go out into the world someday.

I want to be my own person, to explore and fall down and get hurt and learn from experiences. Conversely, as I grow older, I am also starting to understand the fears that a mother feels, and I try to show her that I am able to take care of myself and that she need not worry.

Either way, I’d just like to wish my mum and all the mums in the world a Happy Mothers Day! I know we as kids may hurt you and do stupid things, so thank you for giving us life and putting up with all our antics.