Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / nyonya

Since Setia City Mall is arguably the most happening shopping center nearest to our residence, we’ve been going there quite a bit. To be honest, shopping mall food aren’t usually in my list of preferred lunch/dinner options, but sometimes you do find a gems among the thorns.

For Setia City Mall, Tuk Tuk and Little Nyonya being some of our favorites, and today we’re going to talk about the latter.

Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed
Little Nyonya at Setia City Mall, almost always packed

It’s easy to want to give Little Nyonya a try when you’re at the mall. It is almost always one of the most crowded restaurants on the lower ground level. The decoration is simple and optimised to packed as many customers as possible, so comfort level may not exactly be on top of their list.

Think of it as a place for quick eats instead of leisure dining with great ambience and you’ll not be disappointed.

asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken
asam pedas fish, asam prawn, two style kailan, rendang chicken

Little Nyonya offers quite a comprehensive list of menu with individual dishes such as nasi lemak, rendang beef with rice, nyonya curry chicken rice and so forth as well as dishes to share ala “tai chao” style.

For the four of us, we ordered four dishes, a starter, and some desserts for dinner.

Apart from asam pedas fish (RM 22.90) which I thought had a good seasoning and base but lacking quality fish (dory was used I believe), the other three dishes were on point. Asam prawn (RM 19.90) had a balance of asam & cooking caramel taste to it, two style kailan was as advertised, and the redang chicken (RM 17.90) turned out to be one of our favorites of the night, really good marinate that seems to penetrate the poultry while not being over powering, we would definitely order this dish again.

pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut
pie tee, bubur cha cha, cendol, pengat pulut

Pie tee (RM 7.50) is a must-haves at any Nyonya restaurant, and this version is well, acceptable.

For desserts, I thought cendol (RM 5.50) was perhaps a little too watery for my liking, it did have a good gula Melaka presence. Others were happy with bubur cha cha (RM 4.80) and the rather rarely seen pengat pulut (RM 5.80). Pengat pisang, pengat ubi keladi, bee koh moy, and ais kacang were some desserts we did not try, perhaps next time.

for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive
for a restaurant this size, the menu is rather extensive

If you find yourself at Setia Alam City Mall, Little Nyonya is certainly a place worthy to spend a meal on, especially when Tuk Tuk is overly packed.

map to setia city mall, shah alam

Little Nyonya
LG-43, Setia City Mall,
Persiaran Setia Dagang,
Setia Alam,
40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
GPS: 3.085229, 101.458629
Tel: 03-3375 8788
Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

Horng and I were both from the same “11200” postcode back in Penang, an area that is called Tanjung Bunga (literally cape of flower). So it was a bit of a wonder why it took us so long to step into the Tanjung Bunga nyonya restaurant at SS2 despite having driven by the shop lots on multiple occasions over the years.

well, my very first address was under the Tg. Bungah postcode
well, my very first address was under the Tg. Bungah postcode

As a rule of thumb, if a restaurant has been there for ages and do very little in terms of decoration or renovation, chances are the food is usually at least decent.

In that sense, Tanjung Bunga Penang Nyonya Cuisine is one such places, the interior is rather basic but clean, with air conditioning system that sort of works.

curry fish head, asam prawn, perut ikan
curry fish head, asam prawn, perut ikan

Tanjung Bungah restaurant offers pretty much all the essential Penang  nyonya dishes. For the five of us, we ordered five different dishes for dinner. Serving time was actually pretty fast, with the first dish arriving some 10 minutes after ordering.

Curry fish head with garupa was rich, spicy, and true to Nyonya style, comes with a plenty of vegetable and even mint leaves. Fried asam prawn was prepared the way my mom would, which also reminds me of the version at Kah Soh – retaining the sweetness of tiger prawns while infusing the dish with just the right amount of dark soya sauce and asam.

Perut ikan, or pickled swim bladder curry, could be slightly richer and creamier, but a passable dish nonetheless.

inchi cabin and paku pakis
inchi cabin and paku pakis

Then there’s paku pakis, or the wild fern shoots, a vegetable dish to fill the vitamin C quota, and one with texture that I always love. The preparation method here is more “lemak” than spicy, which suits us just find as there was already curry on the table.

Proper penang style Nyonya food at SS2's Tanjung Bungah restaurant. My hometown shares the tanjung bungah post code 😙👌 #kyeats #nonhalal #nyonya #malaysianfood

A post shared by KY (@kyspeaks) on

Our favorite dish turned out to be the inchi cabin, or the Nyonya fried chicken. The unique blend of spices and sauce used to marinate this version of fried chicken was just spot on, We wish we ordered more.

Dinner came to be about RM 15-20 per person, which is on par with other similar restaurants, would not hesitate to go back there again.

map to Tanjung Bungah Restaruant, SS2

Tanjung Bungah Nyonya Cuisine
117, Jalan SS 2/6, Ss 2,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.116029, 101.616522
Tel: 03-7877 4531
Hours: lunch and dinner, closed on Thursdays


From this blog, I sometimes get invitation to events hosts by or for certain celebrity chefs and TV personalities, these are usually official or semi official events that are very structured and .. distant, something that I don’t usually enjoy that much.

Well, there’s those, and there’s the session with the Fabulous Baker Brothers who has a show starting October 16, 7:30p m on TLC (Astro Channel 707). Encores every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and Saturday at 10:30 p.m.

Restaurant Limablas at Jalan Mesui Off Jalan Nagasari
Restaurant Limablas at Jalan Mesui Off Jalan Nagasari

Our initial destination of choice was Jalan Alor, but due to the uncooperative weather condition we moved the session to Limablas, and what a great adjustment that was.

Limablas, located right next to “No Black Tie” at Jalan Mesui, is a quaint little Peranakan Restaurant (Baba & Nyonya) run by Uncle John. The ambiance is that of an old Peranakan settlement, from the row of glass bottles filled with ingredients, to furniture, to the antique cash register.

Tom and Henry Herbert of the Fabulous Baking Brothers
Tom and Henry Herbert of the Fabulous Baker Brothers

While parking at Jalan Mesui usually isn’t most ideal, you can always leave your car at the paid parking at One Residence just a stone’s throw away.

Together with Tom & Henry Herbert, the baker and the butcher & chef who make up the Fabulous Baker Brothers, the group was about 20 strong, including PR, important people from Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, and writers/bloggers.

Our session was scheduled at 7 pm, and by 7:05 pm, everyone arrived. I cannot over stressed how happy I was in everyone’s commitment in respecting each other’s time. Being timeliness is often a lost art in many Malaysian.

nyonya tauhu telur, paitee, rojak
nyonya tauhu telur, paitee, rojak

Our dishes on the day were recommended by Uncle John, and it was (I guess) basically almost everything on the menu.

We started out with a few appetizers in Nyonya tauhu telur, rojak, and paitee. These dishes were a little bit sweet, slightly spicy, and positively full flavored. I particularly like the paitee with its crunchy pastry and juicy stuffings, that piece of small prawns on top is a nice touch as well.

ayam ponteh, nyonya curry chicken, kangkung goreng sambal belacan, ayam sioh
ayam pongteh, nyonya curry chicken, kangkung goreng sambal belacan, ayam sioh

Since this is a pork free establishment, there were plenty of chicken dishes.

Ayam pongteh, Nyonya curry chicken, and ayam sioh were the three we tried. They were all distinctively different in taste.

Ayam pongteh is the Peranakan’s version of stewed chicken, a comfort food. Nyonya curry chicken has the same familiar taste I’m familiar with, and I so desperately want some nasi kunyit to go with this. Ayam sioh, or chicken in coriander  and bean paste, is a stronger flavored counterpart that goes really well with steamed rice.

The kangkung goreng sambal belacan at Limablas is another well executed dish, carries a kick that this classic dish should.

cincaluk omelette, sambal udang petai, sambal terung, sambal ikan
cincaluk omelette, sambal udang petai, sambal terung, sambal ikan

Cincaluk omelette is a classic Nyonya dish that anyone should try, the cincaluk (fermented krill) gives it a slightly salty seafood taste that is a little similar to fuyu (fermented tofu). I find it very exquisite.

Sambal udang petai was awesome, but my favorite dish of the night had to go to the sambal terung – it was a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Our last main dish of the night was the sambal ikan (with tilapia). Another spicy dish that turned out to be rather decent, but in my opinion, doesn’t live up to the other dishes at Limablas. After all, it is just tilapia.

ais kacang & sago gula melaka, we had a feast
ais kacang & sago gula melaka, we had a feast

Desserts came in the forms of ais kacang, cendul, and sago gula melaka. They proved to be as good as those I’ve tried by the side of Melaccan roads, and it was a shame we had to share them.

Before the end of the meal, Cheng Yi of fatboybakes fed the two brothers some home made durian cheesecake while the rest of us (Nigel, Umei, Josen, Meena etc) watched on, they didn’t manage to finish the slices, but I give them credit for trying tho.

we had loads of fun, the two guys are really friendly and down to earth
we had loads of fun, the two guys are really friendly and down to earth

The two brothers were ultra friendly and very down to earth, we had an awesome session sharing lots of stories over some really impressive food at Limablas. A few glasses of wine certainly helped too, I wish we’ll have more of these kinda meet ups.

map to Lima Blas Peranakan cuisine at Jalan Mesui

15 Jalan Mesui,
Off Jalan Nagasari,
50200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.148872, 101.708399
Tel: 03-2110 1289
Hours: break from 3pm to 530 pm Mon – Sat

Economy rice (or mixed rice) is a dime a dozen, you can find them at every 3rd kopitiam in the country. More often than not, they are just what the name suggests, an economical way to have a few dishes and rice to fill up your stomach.

In another word, they are usually not exactly exciting.

That’s the run off the mill economy rice place, then there’s this Baba’s Nasi Lemak place at SS2’s wai sek kai.

SS 2 wai sek kai, a place with dozens and dozens of food stalls
SS 2 wai sek kai, a place with dozens and dozens of food stalls

While the name is a bit misleading, this super busy stall is in fact, closer to an economy rice outlet than a nasi lemak place. There’s those ‘buffet’ containers with various different dishes, and more people actually order usual steamed rice instead of nasi lemak.

So why is this place special?

Well, the short answer is that it’s super delicious!

here's maybe half of what they cook up everyday
here’s maybe half of what they cook up everyday (except Thursdays)

There are usually over 2 dozen dishes to choose from at Baba’s nasi lemak, and they aren’t always made with very economical ingredients. Here you’ll find some of the more “up market” dishes like “kao yok”, prawns, steamed fish, and even mantis prawns.

I’ve tried more than 10 different dishes from there thus far, and every single one of them was superb. Never too salty or too sweet or too anything, it was always just right.

As the name suggest, the cooking style is closer to Nyonya cuisine, which means you get a good mixture of spicy dishes and those prepared with traditional Chinese food methods.

and every plate is arranged precariously, macam pro!
and every plate is arranged precariously, macam pro!

The operators also seems to take their food very seriously. Every dish is meticulously placed on the plate, with appropriate amount of sauce on the rice.  I mean, when it looks good, you’ll feel more appetizing too kan? Just check out the photos above for some examples.

The down side is though, with the amount of dishes offered and knowing that they’re all super tasty, this economy rice is often not very economical for us. Picking 4 good dishes with rice can sometimes come close to RM 10 per plate.

Yah, it can be a bit pricey, but we kept going back, and judging from the rather long queue every time we were there, quite a lot of people shares the same sentiment. Maybe you should give it a try too? 😀

Happy eating!

map of SS 2 wai sek kai

Baba’s Nasi Lemak
SS2 Wai Sek Kai (hawker center)
Jalan SS 2/61
Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.118491, 101.620787
Hours: daily from 7pm, closed on Thursdays

Baba’s Nasi Lemak

Malacca Peranakan food, or better known as Nyonya cuisine to most, is one of the very few truly Malaysian food hailed from the state of Malacca, and to a slightly lesser extend, Penang too.

The Legacy of Melacca Peranakan food spread
The Legacy of Malacca Peranakan food spread

This brand of food evolved from the blend of Chinese and Malay cuisines through the inter-marriages between the Chinese migrants and local Malay during the 15th and 16th centuries. The usage of Malay spices with Chinese ingredients, or Chinese herbs with the more traditional Malay ingredients are among the unique points of Pernakan food.

Guest chef Florence Tan at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton
Guest chef Florence Tan at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton

While there are various Nyonya restaurants to be found in Klang Valley (in PJ there are Ah Tuan Ee, Bibichick, & Nyona Restaurant all at SS2), there isn’t usually any place where you can sample many different Nyonya dishes at the same time.

kuih lapis, pai tee, kuih koci
kuih lapis, pai tee, kuih koci

But for the month of June, 2011, we’re in luck. PJ Hilton have guest chef Florance Tan featuring her Pernakan food at Paya Serai, and I was among the fortunate ones to be invited to sample the spread just late last week.

popiah basah, nasi kembuli, acar awak
popiah basah, nasi kembuli, acar awak

All the usual suspects are there, pai tee, popiah basah, and a selection of Nyonya kuih as appetizers, with pai tee and popiah made fresh right in front of you too, I particularly love the kuih koci, and while the popiah doesn’t come with lard like this one at Jonker street, they are yummy too.  There’s also very “kao” and rather spicy laksa lemak too.

sambal jantung pisang, ayam pong teh, udang goreng asam
sambal jantung pisang, ayam pong teh, udang goreng asam

I know my mom will love the acar awak, a type of Peranakan salad.

There’s also sambal jantung pisang (banana flower with shell fish), ayam pong teh (a chicken dish in clay pot), udang goreng asam (similar to my asam prawn recipe but with more spices). All these dishes go very well with the nasi kembuli (rice with ghee, cinnamon, cumin powder etc).

the buffet spread at Paya Serai remains, in addition to the peranakan food
the buffet spread at Paya Serai remains, in addition to the peranakan food

If you think that’s a lot of dishes, well, they are but one of the 4 buffet lines at Paya Serai. There’s also the usual raw food & salad bar with prawns, oysters, etc. Pastry, Chinese/Malay food (there’s even tempoyak – fermented durian), Western food, and so forth. The Pernakan food is but an addition to what is already usually available.

ulam, KY & Haze, laksa lemak, and tempoyak (fermented durian)
ulam, KY & Haze, laksa lemak, and tempoyak (fermented durian)

The Legacy of Malacca Peranakan at Paya Serai runs from now till 30th June, 2011. The buffet spread is available for lunch at RM 68++ for adult & RM 45++ for child. Dinner at RM 75++ & RM 45++ for child. Opening hours are from noon to 3pm for lunch, and 7pm till 10:30pm for dinner.

For those who want to get up close to Chef Florence Tan at the exclusive private dinner on 14, 15, and 16th June and have a chance to learn the culinary tips from the good chef, the event is priced at RM 150++ per person. Make your reservation if you’re interested ya!

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Paya Serai
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122


milkadeal June 5

For the slightly more than half of the readers on this blog (who are female, HELLO!), here are some deals from MilkADeal in the Beauty and Wellness section that you might want to check out.

RM 49.90 for 1.5 hours of Swiss Signature 5 element facial + hydrating black clay etc etc (as if I really do know what they mean). RM 68 for Gelish manicure at Damansara Utama, and RM 59 instead of RM 366 for Oxygen facial & ampoule with ultra sound, etc.

I can’t say I understand half of what these days are saying, but the amount of discounts seems pretty awesome. So far I’ve bought some food deals, a Guinness deal, a spa deal, and a car polish deal from MilkADeal, I urge you to check out the site too. (OK they don’t only have just beauty stuff ya, so if you’re a boy.. ) 😀