The love for Nyonya Cuisine is so real, we have gathered some of the best picks on our Top 10 Nyonya Restaurants in KL this time around! From Pai Tees and Ayam Buah Keluak to Ju Hu Char here are some of the best Peranakan restaurants in town.
Top 10 Nyonya Restaurants In KL
A bit of History
When the Chinese landed on Malaysia’s shores, they brought with them a pantry of spices, a cache of recipes and a deep knowledge of the culinary arts. The Chinese immigrants settled predominantly in Malacca, an important port at the time and Penang, a thriving city.
Cooking was in their blood and every street and every corner of these cities became home to a Chinese-run restaurant. In the following years, this first band of immigrants married with the local Malay people and thus, the Nyonya were born. Nyonya cuisine swiftly followed. The Chines began to use local herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables in their dishes, which also become much more richly spiced, influenced by spice-loving Malaysians
#1 Nyonya Laksa @ Limapulo Baba Can Cook (Halal)
Boasting charming old-school vibes and decades-old recipes whipped up by their veteran cook, Uncle John will make sure you had a good time with his charm while you snuggle into their re-purposed and renovated 1940s shophouses which resembles the Malay kampung days with its nostalgic interior setting.
While you’re settling down, let their state known Nyonya laksa which holds the recipe that has been passed down from one generation to another whisk you away with their the wonderful aroma of the simmering ground chilies, turmeric, galangal, candlenuts, lemongrass, and other “secret” ingredients with coconut milk for hours to achieve the perfect thickness. Heartwarming is the only word to justify this experience!
#2 Rendang Madness @ Sri Nyonya
Resembling a room of Chinese Home, Sri Nyonya speaks to you through their home-cooked blessings prepared by an 84-year-old Man and his lovely wife who makes us realize age is just a number to look past! Known to serve utterly amazing beef or checking rendang paired best with Uncle James roti canai that he has been mastering for 3 decades now, expect creamy, rich, falling-off-the-bone meat complemented with a crispy base and savored till the bowl is licked to none!
Mixed with spices and herbs, everything here is as close as it gets to the original owner back in the days. So if you’re in the mood for some flavorsome authentic MSG-free dishes, head down to Sri Nyonya and let Uncle James take you through a time you weren’t here to witness!
#3 Udang Sambal Petai @ The Tranquerah
This little-known restaurant along the outdoor strip of Glo Damansara is a gem for Nyonya eats. The quaint decor is set against large wooden tables, best suited for dinners with friends and family alike. Paying attention to every last detail by even replacing the light switches to the old, traditional ones is designed with wooden windowpanes, batik chops, oil lamps, and cement flooring to best reflect old Peranakan houses,
But we ain’t here for the decor. We here for the sambal udang or udang sambal petai and they do not disappoint! It has an incredible depth of flavor with all its seasoning and homemade sauce, with the prawns cooked to tender perfection.
Not only that, the use of petai too gives it a richer, deeper and a whole lot more addictive taste profile. All and all, this dish is certainly worth the order and goes great with some warm white rice. Perfect for the petai devotees!
While you’re at it: Give their Ayam Buah Keluak a try. A Nyonya delicacy, made with the unique flavored Buah keluak with stewed aromatic, chicken curry. One of the very places serving this authentic Nyonya dishes!
#4 Gula Sagu Melaka @ Old China Cafe
With a vibrant gallery of the decadent Peranakan settlers in the State back in 1857, Old China Café makes a perfect cultural sojourn for those who are new to this unique group of Chinese-MalaysiansOld. Located on Jalan Balai Polis, this Nyonya restaurant is famous for its Baba Nyonya cuisine which features interesting fusions between Straits Chinese cooking and Malay delicacies.
One of Old China’s best-sellers is the all-time favorite, Sago Gula Melaka which consists of plump-up sago, coconut milk, and gula Melaka (dark palm syrup). Priced at only RM7.90, the combination of rich coconut milk and sweet Gula Melaka is a perfect palette-cleanser after a heavy lunch or dinner.
#5 Nasi Ulam @ Sarang Cookery
With fans from all over the world, Sarang Cookery outdoes themselves with their Nasi Ulam beautifully presented over a lovely banana leaf platter of steamed rice that’s been well-crafted with an intricate variety of local herbs, vegetables, prawns and dried fish. With the combination of lemongrass, wild pepper leaves, shallots, baby shrimps and other spices, this nasi ulam will take you back to its original taste of Malaysian cuisine and make you wanna thank the gods and traders for gifting us with spices!
A well diverse set of raw ingredients giving an invigorating texture that’s tasty, wholesome and a fine way of getting vitamin minerals and protein nutrients in your body. The best part is, you have the option of learning it and get the fam excited for dinner this time!
#6 Otak Otak @ Aunty Nat
Another matriarchal restaurant, a common trait in Peranakan culture, Aunty Nat is located on the quieter side of Hartamas. A hugely popular lunch and dinner joint, Aunty Nat’s menu include Sambal Belacan fried rice, Marmite chicken and homemade otak-otak.
Sporting wooden benches and old pictures in minimalistic wooden frames, the decor at Aunty Nat combines both contemporary and heritage accents, just like its extensive menu that plays on both aspects to cater to different palates.
Address: 7, Jalan Sri Hartamas 7, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Hours: 11 AM to 3 PM, 5.30 PM to 10 PM. Closed on Sunday.
Phone: 03-6201 1833
#7 Nyonya Kuih @ A’Han Nyonya Kuih
Known to have stamped the hearts of little ones for decades with their sweet treats, the decades-old shop has not abandoned its trade and continues to make a plenitude of fresh Nyonya kuih daily.
These days, the traditional (and tedious) art of making kuih is scarce and so we were elated to find A’han Nyonya Kuih. Some of the highlights of this shop include the Pulut Tai Tai (blue-tinged glutinous rice served with coconut jam/kaya) and Rempah Udang/Pulut Udang (a savory mix of spicy dried shrimps and grated coconut stuffed into glutinous rice roll, then wrapped with banana leaf).
The Pulut Tai-Tai (RM1.20) is fantastic when eaten with their thick and eggy homemade kaya, and so are the Kuih Talam (RM1.20), Kuih Lapis (RM1.20) and bright-orange Ang Ku Kuih (RM1.40).
Pouring their hearts into the delicate craft of making these dainty delights, A’Han is takeaway-only but owner Mrs.Lim is completely fine with it if you choose to gobble your spoils down on the spot. Pro tip: Drop in early for your teatime provisions. These goodies sell out by 3 pm!
#8 Chicken Pongteh @ Just Nyonya
With a hint of Nyonya-inspired antique and decorations filling this simple eatery, Tan with his 30 years of experience and learning of culinary exchange with his wife whose grandmother whose of Nyonya descent, began this journey on their own and hasn’t looked back since. Attaining both Penang and Melaka way of cooking here, customers can choose the style for their dishes based on the region.
Just Nyonya doesn’t shy away from the traditional dishes and among the top favorites here are the Ayam Pongteh, Chicken Kapitan, Perut Ikan and Kerabu ladies fingers among others! The Ayam pongteh cooked for more than 2 hours is an unctuous savory and sweet notes are the flagship of the thick bean paste gravy.
Tender chicken pieces and melt-in-the-mouth potatoes cooked in the thick bean paste sauce is literally comfort food for many while they were growing up in the Nyonya clan. This places version has a very good balance of savory and sweetness that the adults enjoy just as much as the young ones. As for the spicy lover, the perut ikan is something you don’t want to miss!
#9 Authenticity @ Little Heritage House Straits Chinese Kitchen (Pork-free)
Affectionately known as LHH, this quaint little eatery in Section 17 is celebrated for its authentic culinary offerings along with a beautiful interior, filled with cultural heirlooms and little charms from the old days.
Perfectly placed heavy wooden furniture, terracotta tile floor, and cabinets filled with old, colorful tiffin carries will elevate your dining experience with both the ambiance and culinary authenticity!
With no use of MSG and pork in order to provide this experience for all races, this restaurant though with a pricier tag without a doubt provides you with a satisfying after effect with their Assam Tumis Stingray, Otak otak, Kerabu Sotong and Assam Tamarind Prawns and Gula Sago Melaka.
Rich with spices, overwhelming in fragrance and humbly prepared gracefully 45 years of experience, a visit to this a place is an occasion on its own!
Read Also: Top 10 Nasi Lemak In KL
#10 Nasi Lemak Nyonya @ Taiping Boy Nasi Lemak
Mornings are always awesome when you have this kind of sight to greet ya! It all began when an electronic engineer decided to quit his job, practice what he’s been inherited by his Nyonya mother, turned his hobby into a passion that everybody began to love that has now branched out to various coffee shops!
How is Nyonya style nasi lemak different than the usual nasi lemak you may ask. There’s nothing spectacular than having a little bit of something sweet, sour and spicy altogether and that’s the magic of spices in Nyonya Nasi Lemak. Complemented with some sambal on a fluffy coconut rice with the obvious need of crunchy ikan bilis, it’s a taste that doesn’t get old!
Address: 12, Lorong Ara Kiri, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 7 AM to 4 PM. Opens daily
Phone: 010-225 0519
In short, here’s the best Nyonya Restaurants in KL you can visit with your family and friends!