[Penang, Malaysia] Nyonya dinner by Eden at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion

The 3-day Penang Exchange 2022 arts & craft festival drew to a close last Sunday with a charity dinner at the lush Pinang Peranakan Mansion, with the Crown Prince & his consort from the neighbouring state of Perlis in attendance.

The Pinang Peranakan Mansion is a lavish museum, but on this particular evening, its spacious atrium and courtyard were re-fitted to host the special charity dinner (priced at RM,4000/ US$860/ £755 for a table of 8), with the proceeds going to a fund to assist local artists, many of whom were affected by the COVID pandemic lockdowns in the past two years.

Our dinner that evening consisted of:

  1. Appetiser platter - deep-fried prawn rolls, steamed crystal prawn dumplings, steamed chicken “siew mai”, and Nyonya “kerabu” spicy salad with white fungus
    We realised from the onset here that Eden Catering (one of Penang’s oldest party caterers) utilised Malay chefs to cook a Straits-Chinese (or Nyonya) meal.
    Taste-wise, the flavours are closer to Malay-style cooking. The textures of the “siew mai” and “har gow” (crystal prawn dumplings) were mushy. The shape of the “har gow” was also rather strange, and so was drizzling the tops of the dumplings with chili sauce.

  1. Double-boiled chicken & fish maw consomme - the soup course turned up to be the best for this evening., with crisp clear flavours.

  2. Nyonya chap chye (mixed vegetables) - this is just stir-fried mixed vegetables, and certainly not the more heavily-flavoured Nyonya-style braised vegetable dish we were expecting.

  3. Chicken curry Kapitan with fried mantou - another strange Malay-style preparation, with none of the characteristic flavours of curry Kapitan, which tend to have strong citrusy overtones of lemongrass, and the scent of kaffir lime leaves.
    Serving the curry with fried man tou buns was a nice touch, though.

  4. Sambal udang ala Penang - fresh (but shell-on) prawns in a very spicy sambal sauce. Way beyond my chili-tolerance level here.

  5. Steamed fish with asam laksa - extremely fresh fish, but the asam laksa sauce seemed muted. Loved the fresh vegetables and herbs on the garnishes, though.

  6. Dessert: Bubur cha cha with fresh fruits

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
29, Church Street (Lebuh Gereja), 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Eden Catering Penang
Tel: +604-644 7353


Sounds that it was a bit disappointing for you, Peter. A rare occurance.


Looks like a lovely setting. Too bad the meal wasn’t as you might have hoped.

Out of curiosity, what setup is provided for shell-on prawns? Assume they are meant to be eaten by hand, just curious if there are wetnaps or one just goes and washes hands afterwards.

1 Like

Following the Malay-style of eating, yes - one has to use one’s hands to eat. But the set-up here was rather lacking - I didn’t see any wetnaps or finger bowls offered. I presume one has to go to the washrooms to wash up afterwards.

I used the fork and spoon provided to remove the shell from my prawn - not very convenient at all.


Eden Catering has a large brigade of chefs. I think for this particular function, which has a large Muslim presence, they utilized Malay-Muslim chefs to prepare a Nyonya (Straits Chinese) spread. But I think the chefs could not bridge the cultural differences between Malay and Chinese, and the result were some very odd-tasting dishes which were neither here nor there.

1 Like