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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

When I first got the invitation from foodstreet for a food review session from Peony Garden at Kota Damansara, I did some searches on the internet and but was not able to find any blog entries. So I went to the restaurant with Eiling (who is going to give me some golden tickets) having little to expect.

note: tragically, this place is no longer in operation, it was one of my favorites! (20/9/2010)

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
seven dishes to sample, with original ingredients

As it turns out, Peony Garden serves Northern Nyonya food, which means they are actually from Penang, my hometown. The relatively new restaurant is run by a pair of siblings, Karen and Eugene Chew, whom despite knowing little about blogs and the way of cyber world, were very friendly (especially when we arrived at our common mother tongue, Penang Hokkien).

We were served the unique “green leaves drink” that is made of seven different types of grass and leaves. It tasted pretty refreshing though slightly on the sweeter side. The owners explained to us that many of the ingredients used are sourced from Penang and other states, and Karen cooks everything from scratch, the traditional way, even the sambal is made by pounding fresh chili and shrimp paste by hand.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
Penang otak-otak, asam prawn, curry black pomphret, salted vegetable duck soup

We were then served seven dishes, and I recognized what they were instantly without having to be explained! Tau eu bak (soya sauce pork), asam prawn, curry bawal hitam (black pomphret), salted vegetable duck soup, Penang otak-otak, jui hu char (fried sengkuang with dried cuttle fish), and fried spring roll. These are the dishes I grew up with, the memory of mom working in her kitchen flashes back like a tsunami wave, the familiar smell, the sound of sengkuang sizzling in the wok, and how she always peel the asam shrimps for us. I wish mom was here to have this session with me.

In the taste department, the food actually measured up very well. The asam prawn, cooked with asam and dark soya sauce carries a strong and fragrant asam taste that is slightly salty and sourish, complementing the sweetness of the shrimp perfectly. The fish curry is done the traditional way as well, with black pomphret and a generous portion of laksa flower that adds to the taste. There is no substitute with another type of fish as “lemak” (fatty) taste of the black pomphret suits the asam curry best.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
soya sauce pork, jui hu char, spring roll

I personally always prefer the Penang style otak-otak, and the version at Peony, though not the best I’ve had, was not bad either. As for salted vegetable duck soup, it might take a little used to if you are not accustomed to it, sourish and slightly spicy, I liked it.

Jui hu char is a dish that is cooked by many Penang family whenever they worship ancestors (don’t ask me why). It is best eaten with some sambal and wrapped with fresh lettuce, much like the way you’d have Korean BBQ meat. The deep fried spring rolls actually shares the main ingredient (sengkuang) with jiu hu char, but served with a unique blend of dark soya source and chili that gives it a pretty interesting taste, in a good way.

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you know that I am a pork lover. The tau eu bak here was absolutely fantastic, cooked for hours to the very soft and tender texture, the soya sauce is imported from Nothern state to get the taste just right. Coupled with the original sambal, I had to fight with Eiling till the last piece, it was as good as it is sinful.

Poeny Garden, Nyonya Food at Kota Damansara
green leaf drinks, and eiling with the Peony plate

Dishes are priced from RM 8 to RM 20+, pretty decent even though the portions aren’t big. Authentic foods are hard to come by these days, and I don’t think you can get them any more authentic than here. A family run restaurant that prepares everything painstakingly the traditional way. I am sure I will return.

map to Poeny Garden at Kota Damansara
Poeny Garden is just 5 minutes away from IKEA/Ikano/Curve

The restaurant also host private events and birthday parties. If you like it the old school way with nasi kunyit, curry chicken, and hard boiled egg for your baby’s full moon, they do it too.

Lunch: Tue to Fri 11am – 2pm
Dinner: Tue to Sun 6 – 10pm

Address:
16-1, Jalan PJU 5/10,
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.150886, 101.593237
Tel: 03-6141 8323

Discuss : KY eats – Northern Nyonya Food at Peony Garden, Kota Damansara

  1. Lucky KY! Thanks for this post. I have been waiting for this … can’t wait to try the asam prawn and tau eu bak. *saliva sudah keluar*

  2. hehe~~ .. tempted to go aready

  3. So, you’re going to Made of Honor with Eiling?

  4. looks pretty yum!

  5. ash,
    You’re welcome! :D

    steph k,
    Do it! ;)

    Simon Seow,
    Stop the speculation, you will find out. :D

    YiLing,
    Yes yes, I like it, just like my mom’s food.

  6. Just like Anton Ego eating ratatouille eh? ;)

  7. Anonymous

    I’ve been a regular at this place and would recommend it to everyone else.

    Being a Penangite myself, the food served here certainly matches up to the authentic standards, unlike many other places in Klang Valley which claim to have “Penang” in their restaurant name but the taste just does not cut it.

    The Nasi Ulam here is great as well.

  8. Klaw,
    Hahaha, to a certain extend. :P

    Anonymous,
    Ooo I gotta try the Nasi Ulam then! I’m still dreaming of the tau eu bak…

  9. ommggggawwd KY!! I miss jiu hu char!!!!

  10. rynne,
    Now you know where you can get it in KL! :D

  11. oh man, the deco is cool. the chinese word say what?

    btw any big tits?

  12. Sharon N

    eh, u spelt peony wrongly at the map

  13. The portion does not look big for people who eat a lot.

  14. aeroplane1234,
    Stop straying away from main topic again, young man! :D

    Sharon H,
    Yeah I noticed that, but too late already. Hehehe. :P

    David Chew,
    Add big rice lor. hahaha

  15. Nyam nyam, u always have all those yummy post ones

    i hungry already!

  16. how do i get invitation from food street also!! >(

  17. I abso-fking-lutely love this blog! all the foodddddddddd

    argh but it makes me sad to know that im not there to enjoy it!

  18. Hey, thanks for telling the whole world that I’m a glutton and I need to fight with you on the pork! LOL just kidding.

  19. Yeah, I thought of Anton Ego too when I read that part! Okay, duck soup means my Mom would probably like it; so many so-called Nyonya places don’t have it..

  20. Damn you, KY!! Your blog is making me hungry – and that’s quite something considering how I felt when I left Bruno’s.

    Thanks for coming to makan and thanks for introducing me to Su Ann. What a girl!

    Meeting both of you rocked. And I lurrrrve the ringtones!! :-D

  21. Firdauz takes 5,
    And you always have those funny posts :D

    chris tock,
    Cos you’re too fehmes! :P

    elfiejane,
    Thanks thanks, come back to Malaysia then!

    eiling,
    Hahaha, of course you didn’t grow to this height not being a glutton! :P

    Suertes,
    Melaccan Nyonya cuisine doesn’t have it, I think.

    Daphne,
    Hahaha, nice to meet you too, and great to see you breaking your blog reading inhibition!

  22. hungry d!! gotta go try out one day!! haha… not that far from my place.. =p

  23. Nice interior and same goes to the food.
    Cant wait to giv it a try…

  24. No, not really true. There are Malacca nyonya restaurants that do serve it. But not all.

  25. andrew,
    Do it, tell them you read it from here. :D

    angelyee,
    Great!

    Suertes,
    OooO I see I see.

  26. “Melaccan Nyonya cuisine doesnt have it, I think.”

    what sort of nonsense is this…

  27. looks damn good..definitely will give it a try..

  28. Kelvin,
    Hahaha it’s called assumption, baba! :P

    lotsofcravings,
    Do it! :D

  29. foodcrazee

    salivating ;looking at your pic

  30. Wow..never been to that place, definitely will give it a try soon. Thank you KY !

  31. Anonymous

    I believe the Malacca dish of the salted veg soup is Itik Tim

  32. Hey I found a nearby restaurant there PJU 5/12 which serves nice and creative chinese food and the chef is from Guanzhou. I’ll recommend to you to go one day once I get close to the owner first…hehe

  33. foodcrazee,
    *slurps slurps*

    ruehyinn,
    Best! Do it! :D

    Anonymous,
    Ohhh I see. Thanks.

    eiling,
    ooO, hehehe do your magic eiling! ;)

  34. haha…magic can’t do but charm still ok.

  35. Have tried and can’t believed I can get such a good nyonya food outside Penang.
    Although I must admit I have yet to taste Malacca’s style.

  36. eiling,
    Hahaha, okay, do it! :D

    garyng,
    I’m glad you like it! :)

  37. oops, you missed out the “perut ikan” !!!

  38. Ong Keng Bee

    I have tried here, u will be able to get Absolutely Penang Nyonya Food here! Yummy!
    Simply irresistible !!!

  39. bbc,
    I had the perut ikan yesterday, it was good! :D

    Ong Keng Bee,
    I agreed. :)

  40. I been to this restaurant…yummy…especially love the fish curry and spring rolls. My sons love the lobak and tau eu bak….gosh…makes me hungry now :-)

  41. Su Ming,
    Glad you like the place. :)

  42. Looks like a lot of nice and delightful Nyonya dishes from Penang can be found in KL and PJaya … more so with this outlet serving so authentic ones.

    Your blog is very cool and informative! Is it alright if I link yours to mine?

  43. ck lam,
    Yes yes, that’s true. Thanks.
    Of course it’s alright to link to me. :D

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