Malaccan or Southern Nyonya-style cuisine is surprisingly difficult to come by in KL, despite the relative proximity of the Malaysian capital to the historic city of Malacca.
The Tranquerah at Kota Damansara is the latest attempt by Malaccans to bring their popular cuisine to the competitive culinary scene in KL.
What we had this evening:
- Kueh Pie-tee, which were light and very tasty;
- Chenchalok omelette - definitely the best version I'd had anywhere;
- Kangkung sambal belachan, a Malaysian classic which, sadly, I'd never been able to get used to. So, don't really know how Tranquerah's version measured up to those elsewhere;
- Nyonya chap chai - very elaborate version here - the only complaint I had was that the gravy seemed to have been thickened with cornstarch, Chinese-style, as Nyonya cooking does not have the gooey consistency that the Chinese have;
- Ayam Sioh - very well-done here, with the tamarind flavors delicately balanced against the other condiments. Complaint: smallish "regular-sized" portion served here, which seemed inadequate for the price we paid;
- Otak-otak Malacca - extremely delicious and 100% authentic. Highly recommended.
- Ayam Buah Keluak - didn't quite like the version here as the buah keluak did not have the spiced minced pork-prawn stuffing which I preferred. And the "rempah" spice mix weren't assertive enough, nor the tamarind flavors of the gravy. The ones served in every other Nyonya restaurant I had in Singapore and Malacca were superior to the Tranquerah's. More effort needed to be put in for this very classic Malaccan Nyonya dish!
- Desserts: both the Chendol and Bubur Cha Cha were let-downs. But the Tapay (fermented rice) was absolutely divine!
- Malaccan-style freshly-brewed coffee, sweetened & flavored with coconutty-caramelly Gula Melaka was very good.
Overall, good attempt at presenting Malaccan cuisine to KL folks, but the culinary standards needed to be improved, and the rather high prices may need to be reviewed - I mean: RM55 for a plate of prawns with petai? Gah!!
The Tranquerah Malacca Nyonya Cuisine
62A-G, Jalan PJU 5/22
The Strand Encorp
Red Carpet Avenue, Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603 6142 4106