It also marked to a new beginning of a new hybrid community that boasts a unique heritage, amalgamating cultural ethos of two distinctive Asian races – the Chinese and the Malays. That community is widely known today as the Peranakan Chinese or Baba and Nyonya.
Albeit oftentimes being associated with Malacca, the Baba and Nyonya community has spread their wings across all corners of the country, notably in Penang, Malaysia’s Pearl of the Orient.
Like the Malays, apart from being known for their famous traditional attire the Nyonya Kebaya, the Baba and Nyonya community is also known for their fondness on spicy and savoury foods – an obvious proof of cultural assimilation that took place more than 600 years ago.
Among notable dishes that are synonymous with the Baba and Nyonya community, also famous among gourmands across the region are Pong Teh Chicken, Buah Keluak Chicken, Tim Duck, Bak Chang and Sei Bak, just to list a few.
Nevertheless, fans of authentic Baba and Nyonya cuisine will be enthralled to know that for a limited period, PARKROYAL Kuala Lumpur will be holding a Baba and Nyonya Food promotion called “Best of Malaysia: Nyonya Cuisine by Chef Debbie Teoh”.
Held at the Chatz Brasserie, the promotion will showcase Baba and Nyonya cuisine in its truest and purest forms by Chef Debbie Teoh, a true-bred Malaccan Nyonya who is equipped with 17 years worth of experience. Debbie, whose father is a Malaccan Baba and mother, a Penangite Nyonya, is known for her forte in both southern and northern Nyonya cooking styles.
Apart from being a chef, Teoh is also an author, a foodie, a food stylist, ambassador for the Baba and Nyonya cuisine and culture, as well as a Nyonya food consultant for Tourism Malaysia. She is also an entrepreneur, running her own home catering business.
While there are many restaurants serving Baba and Nyonya dishes, finding one that serves authentic Baba and Nyonya cuisine, even within the state of Malacca is akin to finding a needle in a gargantuan haystack. Let alone finding one in a cosmopolitan city such as Kuala Lumpur.
Reason being most restaurants or food establishments is using modern techniques and technology when preparing the dishes, which subsequently draws away the authenticity of the foods.
However, fans are assured to be delighted by the authentic Baba and Nyonya banquet whipped up by Chef Teoh and her team as all dishes are prepared according to traditional way with tender and loving care.
For instance, the prawn balls used in her Hu Pio soup is handmade and hand-rolled rather than machine-processed; meats and vegetables are hand-cut and the fish stomach for her Gulai Perut Ikan is fermented by the chef herself.
For those who are seeking for the perfect Buah Keluak Chicken – a chicken dish with dark gravy and Indonesian black nut paste – your quest shall come to the end as Chef Teoh will mesmerise you with her own interpretation of the famous dish. Expect thick and rich gravy made from coconut milk with tender and juicy chicken cutlets and whole buah keluaks (Indonesian black nuts) containing black creamy and wholesomely taste paste.
Buah Keluak Chicken aside, Chef Teoh will be introducing for the first time a new signature dish called Pais Buah Keluak. From the outside, the dish may look similar to Otak-Otak, another signature Baba and Nyonya food as it is wrapped in banana leaf.
However, unveil the wrapping and you will be surprised that the filling is purely made from the black nut paste – a seriously tempting treat for fans of the Buah Keluak.
Served in buffet style and with the exception of dishes such as Gulai Perut Ikan and Pais Buah Keluak, fans can look forward to savouring signature Baba and Nyonya dishes such as Fish Tempra, Masak Lemak Udang Nenas, Nasi Kunyit with Chicken Curry and Sambal Kiiam Hu, Laksa Lemak Melaka, Gulai Kiam Hu Kut, Pongteh Chicken, Kapitan Chicken, Pai Tee, Ju Hu Char, Nasi Ulam, assorted kerabu, Geram Assam, Tim Duck, Hu Pio Soup and Masak Lemak Sukun.
To quench your thirst or to subtle down the spiciness of the dishes, wash it down with two special drinks – a tea-like infusion derived from lemongrass and Umbra juice – that will refresh your palette and throat.
The buffet dinner is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6.30 p.m. t0 10.30 p.m., priced at RM 125.00 nett for adults and RM62.50 nett for children. However, fans will be thrilled that Parkroyal is offering the buffet dinner at an amazing promotional price of RM85.00 nett per person for adults.
On the weekends, Hi-Tea is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m., priced at RM 78.00 net for adults and RM 39.00 for children.
Diners will also have the privilege to enjoy complimentary Nyonya cuisine cooking classes, demonstrated by Chef Teoh before the Hi-Tea commences with prior reservations.
Pais Buah Keluak and Gulai Perut Ikan are available as a la carte dishes and priced at RM30.00 nett for Pais (serving of two) and RM35.00 net per bowl for Gulai and comes with steamed rice.
Now, before you embark on your quest for the authentic taste of Baba and Nyonya cuisine at Chatz Brasserie, here’s a little fashion tip: Put on that delicate, richly embroidered Nyonya Kebaya top on and pair it with a pair of designer skinny jeans. Slip into your chic pairs of stilettos and clutch the quirkiest bag you have in your collection. Don’t forget a pair of cat-eyes shades and add five cucuk sangguls around your chignon. Ah yes, do eat to your heart’s content!
For reservations, please call 03-21470088 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
PARKROYAL Hotel Kuala Lumpur - 54, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur