=Penang= Nyonya Private Dinner @ Lebuhraya Bodhi

There is a house in Penang on every Friday and Saturday, you will hear laughter and you get the aroma of good food. It may sound like a fairy tale, but this is where you can find authentic Penang Nyonya food, especially those non-commercialized dishes.

No 2, Lebuhraya Bodhi is the house where Nyonya Su Pei “magic kitchen” is located. At the private dinner, Baba Jerry will try his best to explain every dish that served on the table, while narrating to you the historical background and tradition of Penang Baba Nyonya. Hence this is not just a feast of delicious food but a mind enlightening culinary experience.

Kerabu Jambu Air (Water Apple Salad)
Our first dish of the night is a Kerabu that is not available in the commercial kitchen. Kerabu Jambu Air is the combination of sour and spicy, where the seasonal fruit – Water Apple is the main ingredient that is complimented with finely shredded kaffir lime leaves and lime juice.

Mulberry leaves Drink
The green colour drink is made from Mulberry leaves extract with Pandan Syrup, a mild sweetness with a touch of mint is good for cooling down the body temperature.

This is a Nyonya style fish cake where they use the fresh Gold-Banded Jobfish to ensure the juiciness of the meat, then the wild pepper leaves, turmeric and coconut milk will enhance the flavour of the dish, and the banana leaves wrapping will further enhance the aroma during the cooking process. There are many versions of this Otak-otak out there, but Nyonya style is always spicy and sweet, just like their vibrant culture, always so exciting and colourful.

An Cheang (Pork Belly Sausage)
Gibson has been told that this particular dish cannot be found in any commercial kitchen. Besides the painstaking labour in preparing the dish, this is also a dish that requires true Nyonya skills, where they would cut and clean everything just right, but the secret ingredient for the sausage is the 5-spice powder from their cousin Nyonya Chin See. However, the most interesting part of the sausage is that the pork belly inside is not oily at all but quite crunchy, it is best enjoyed when complimented with radish pickle and chili vinegar sauce.

Curry Chicken
There are 2 secret ingredients in this Curry chicken, namely Belacan (Shrimp paste) and Pork lard. Gibson likes the rich curry flavour with the right spiciness, especially after adding the soy sauce, you get the sweet after taste. It is also served with Ketupat and Pink tortoise mantou (Miku).

Salted Vegetable duck
This is considered the luxury dish in Nyonya cuisine where the dish requires at least 3 days to get the right texture. The dish is soup based and the main ingredients are pork knuckles and roast duck that are cooked with tamarin and sour plum, but please take noted that this is not available in their private dinner menu. So Gibson was lucky enough to have the opportunity to at least have a taste of it.

Ghee Xiang Phong Pheah Fried Egg with Sesame Oil
The dessert of the night is very interesting because this is one of the dish prepared for women during the confinement period after delivery, which means that it is a very heaty dish. The unique part of the dish is that you need to slow cook the egg for at least 45 minutes, in order to allow the egg to adsorb all the sesame oil, while nothing gets burned.

Pulut Tai Tai (Kaya Kuih)
Nyonya Su Pei took the trouble to steam the Pulut Tai Tai with traditional wooden mould, where the glutinous rice that is coloured by butterfly pea flower and then steamed in coconut milk. She also made two flavours of coconut jam (kaya), which is Vietnam palm sugar and Pandan leave version.

Gibson would say that this was the most knowledgeable dinner he ever attended so far, because Baba Jerry is always patient sharing everything that he knows, and you can tell that Nyonya Su Pei has put in a lot of effort in preparing the dishes with the help of all her children. From Right: Baba Jerry, his daughter, Nyonya Su Pei, Nyonya Chin See and Tan Chee Yong.

So this is not something just homemade, but a proper dinner that is prepared to showcase the hidden gem in Nyonya cuisine. If you plan to learn more about Penang baba and Nyonya, this is the right place.

The dinner was hosted by Tropical Spice Garden where Nyonya Su Pei also conducting the cooking class from time to time.

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Address: 2, Lebuhraya Bodhi, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: Baba Jerry 016-4106116
Business hours: Only Friday and Saturday dinner, reservation required.

*Nyonya Food*
May 28, 2016



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