[Penang] Nyonya lunch at Sinkhek @ Gusto Cafe

Sunday lunch today was a casual Nyonya meal by former home delivery caterers, ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ธ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ธ ๐—ฃ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—–๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ, but who now offers dining-in service in collaboration with the folks at Gusto Cafe.

The dishes we had were certainly very much tastier than Iโ€™d expected for such a new place (dining-in only started on 15 Oct 2022) - all served freshly cooked a la minute.

What we had:
:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜‘๐˜ช๐˜ถ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ - the quintessential Penang-Nyonya dish of finely julienned jicama, braised with equally finely julienned dried cuttlefish, which imparted an intoxicating umami aroma and flavor to the dish.
The version here at Sinkhek also included carrots and shitake mushrooms, and the essential sambal belacan condiment that gives the dish a sharp chili kick!

:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜–๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ-๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ - the Nyonya spiced fish pudding - the version in Penang-Nyonya cooking would normally see it wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.
But the version here seemed to tilt towards Singaporean/Malaccan Nyonya version, where itโ€™s baked instead, giving the dish a firmer texture.
I quite liked it, as the flavors were clear and distinct: fresh turmeric, galangal, coconut, fish. Absolutely delicious.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜“๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ - this dish is called โ€œngoh hiangโ€ in Singapore-Nyonya cooking, an allusion to the Chinese five-spice powder used to scent the marinaded strips of pork loin which are then wrapped in tofu skin, and deep-fried.
The ones here were some of the very best Iโ€™d ever tasted!

:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ช ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ช, with โ€œang moh tau euโ€ Worcestershire sauce plus cut red chilis dip.
These were actually bread sandwiches filled with minced pork, dipped in a light egg batter and deep-fried. Very good rendition here.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜Ž๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ช ๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต - this fiery sour-spicy-sweet fish curry, cooked with pomfret fillets and okra, fragrant with torch ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, chilis and tamarind, was very well-done here. Pity that the okra used were a bit tough and under-cooked.

:small_orange_diamond: ๐˜’๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฎ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ - the cold rice vermicelli salad, tossed with chili, toasted coconut shreds, and belacan.
Itโ€™s served with a whole fried tamarind-marinated fish - again, an allusion to the chefโ€™s Singaporean/Malaccan Nyonya cooking approach, as Penang-Nyonya never pair kerabu beehoon with a side-dish of meat or fish.

We were the first guests to arrive at lunch today, but were told that the ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ (spiced fried chicken) dish was already all booked-out in advance! Too bad.

Desserts served here were not Nyonya - just ice-cream with toppings. We chose two different options.
Biscoff & Gula Melaka (palm sugar) ice-cream

Passionfruit & coconut ice-cream

Overall, an enjoyable Nyonya meal, in a very casual (almost rustic) al fresco garden setting.

Sinkhek Peranakan Cuisine @ Gusto Cafe
4, Jalan Sungai Kelian, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6011-1681 4841
Opening hours: 10.30am to 3pm Tue to Sun. Closed on Mondays.