[Penang, Malaysia] Rasa Sayang Nyonya Cuisine, Moulmein Road

Amidst a plethora of faux new Nyonya places proliferating in George Town these days, itโ€™s a pleasure to finally come across one which serves the real thing!

๐—ฅ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฎ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ก๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜†๐—ฎ ๐—–๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ on Moulmein Road, Pulau Tikus, just opened its doors on 6 Feb 2024. Its kitchen is helmed by Madam Ooi Beng Kee, 58, a Teochew but whoโ€™d been able to master Penang-Nyonya cookingโ€™s nuances pretty well.

Itโ€™s wonderful to find a place run by non-Peranakans, but who are able to understand the characteristics of Penangโ€™s unique Nyonya food culture.

These dishes were gleaned from my four visits here in the past seven days:
Pork-rib curry - wonderful fall-off-the-bone pork-ribs. The curry spices were not strong enough for me, but the texture of the meat and gravy made up for it.

Jiu hu char - shredded jicama with dried cuttlefish, carrots and shitake mushroom, served with lettuce wraps and sambal belacan as a side-condiment. One of the best versions in town.

Tau eu bak - soy-braised pork belly. This is a Hokkien dish which had been adopted into Penang-Nyonya cuisine, and is one of the most popular items ordered in most Nyonya restaurants here.

Otak-otak - annoyingly steamed in metal bowls, instead of wrapped in banana leaves before cooking. But the soft, custardy texture and gentle spicing were spot-on.

Lor bak - crisp-fried 5-spiced meat rolls in soy bean sheets (yuba). One of the better-tasting versions in town.

Inche kabin - spice-marinated fried chicken, done very well here.

The fried chicken were correctly served with homemade Worcestershire sauce-cut shallots-red chilis here. Perfect. Most of the fake Nyonya places served chili sauce as a dip - itโ€™s completely wrong.

Curry Kapitan - this popular chicken curry is usually the piece de resistance of any Nyonya meal in Penang. Surprisingly, the version here was a fail: weak spicing and lack of chilis. There is no typical piquancy from lemongrass, galangal, chilis and belacan (fermented shrimp paste) here. Too bad.

Perut ikan - lovely herbal fish stomach stew, one of the best in town.

Kiam hu kut gulai (salted fish-bone curry) - very good rendition, second-best in town after Winnโ€™s Nyonya a couple of streets away in the same Pulau Tikus neighbourhood.

Eggs Belanda - fried eggs with molten centres, smothered with a tamarind-and-onion-inflected sauce. A pretty respectable version here. My fave is still from Ceki on Sri Bahari Road.

Non-Nyonya dishes
We were surprised to see some non-Nyonya dishes on offer here, so decided to give them a try:

Mui choy kau yoke - Hakka braised pork belly with preserved mustard leaves. We surmised that the dish was put here to please Chinese diners who may want something more โ€œfamiliarโ€, rather than an out-and-out Nyonya spread.

Ladyfingers in sambal belacan - a local Penang staple which is found in most casual eateries, be they Malay or Chinese.

Tofu with leeks - not sure what to make of this dish: it was supposed to be a classic Teochew dish, and should be Madam Ooiโ€™s specialty. But it came across as a neither-here-nor-there rendition where dark soy sauce was added to darken the gravy - a big NO-NO for this dish! I wonโ€™t order this again.

The restaurantโ€™s compact menu had only two dessert items on offer:

Bee koh moy - known as pulot hitam in Singapore and Malacca: sweet black glutinous rice, served with fresh coconut milk. The version here was pretty good, with the addition of dried longans when cooking the sweetened black glutinous rice.

Bubur cha cha - this was average-tasting, although the delicately-cut taro, sweet potato and yam showed the kitchen crewโ€™s attention to detail.

Rasa Sayang Nyonya Cuisine
64, Jalan Moulmein, Pulau Tikus, George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6012-854 8799
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm daily


You think itโ€™s OK then? :grinning: :grinning:

More hits than misses. If only they could get everything right, theyโ€™d be the best Nyonya in town. Itโ€™s frustrating that they could do many dishes so very well, but the few which they got wrong were simply disastrous.

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MOUTH WATERING NICE!!! :+1: :+1: :+1: :yum: :yum: :yum:


Still waiting for you to come to Penang, Charles!

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I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s annoying because the prep is a departure from tradition, but for me, it would be because the scraping of metal utensil on metal bowl would send shivers down my spine at every spoonful. I can barely eat Korean nyaeng myun (chilled noodle soup) in the traditional metal bowl without the hairs standing up on my arms. :grimacing: