Peranakans are descendants of Chinese migrants who first settled in Penang and Melaka, and later inter married with Malays. As such, peranakan cuisine combines both Chinese and Malays influences.
Last year, I celebrated my birthday at this Peranakan fine dining, Kebaya Dining Room, in Penang. The restaurant is part of The Seven Terraces, which is a luxury boutique hotel of Anglo Chinese architecture.
The restaurant itself is also very finely decorated with marble top table (the ones we all used to have in our grandparents’ house), Chinese decorative doors and windows, and Peranakan ornaments.
The restaurant is on Stewart Lane, which is adjacent to the infamous Love lane (with lots of pubs, and street mural arts). Google map location in link.
Walk if you can. The streets here in this part of Penang is very nice to walk. Otherwise, you can easily get here on taxi or Grab.
Tip: Another interesting way to discover Penang is on bike. We like to use Link bike. It is easy to sign up, lots of parking lots around town, environmental friendly, and only cost RM 2 (USD 0.50) a day.
Kebaya does only dinner service. And they serve set menu only, with minimum order of one set per person. It is RM 120++ for a 4 course meal, which includes starter, protein, vegetables and desserts.
For starters, we had Miang kham, and pork Ju hoo char roll.
Miang kham is a thai dish, of shrimp, lime, toasted coconut, and cashew nuts wrapped in betel leaf. Kebaya elevated it by adding salmon roe, which made it extra refreshing to the palette.
Ju hoo char is cooked Chinese turnip with shredded dried cuttlefish. Kebaya added minced pork and wrapped it in rice paper before deep frying it to perfection. This was really delicious, especially when complement with the homemade sambal (shrimp chilli paste).
For mains, we had duck confit, sous vide beef, stir fried vegetables, and tempura vegetables.
The duck confit was served in the most delicious soy sauce broth with star anise, orange and prune. The sous vide beef was juicy, served with tamarind, and gula melaka (palm sugar), albeit a bit too sweet for my liking.
The vegetables were delightful, and the tempura covered in a very light and fluffy batter, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and chilli flakes.
For desserts, we had gula melaka (palm sugar) mousse and deconstructed kuih talam (glutinous rice with coconut jam). The desserts were average. We were a bit disappointed as we were really looking forward to our desserts.
Highly recommended. The food was a very successful attempt to fusion Peranakan cuisine with a bit of Thai and French cuisines. The portions are decent, enough for sharing.
And to top it off, the service was impeccable.
I will most certainly come back again!