Nyonya

I have never been to Singapore or Malaysia, so when a friend from Singapore visited (a long time ago) and heard from his friends that Nyonya was a good restaurant, I put my fate in his hands and went there for dinner. Since then, I’ve ordered from Nyonya more times than I care to admit. The curt service is more than offset by the interesting presentation of a number of dishes, and if you’re in town and wanting South Asian, it’s worth a trip.

We started our dinner with a dessert called A.B.C. It doesn’t stand for “already been chewed” or “American born Chinese.” It is but ice kachang by another name.

It has grass jelly, agar agar, red bean, corn, preserved jack fruit, and possibly other things all topped with shaved ice, which is then drizzled with coconut milk and syrup. This thing is so good that I order it melted. Well ice doesn’t exactly travel well… but I order it every time. It’s only $3.50.

Next must order dish – anything on the menu that says Nyonya tofu. In this case it’s sizzling Nyonya tofu, which came in this metal dish that was dangerously balanced on top of a flame, which burned for most of the meal. The tofu is actually egg tofu, which is some blend of soymilk and eggs. It tastes like egg custard that’s barely held together by its fried skin.

The way the egg is cooked defies physics. I half expected it to show up during the egg challenge on Iron Chef, but it did not. Some version of this will show up in high end restaurants in no time… just like the xiao long bao technique being used at Alinea, or steamed egg custards at Brushstroke and North End Grill.

Chow Keoh Teow is apparently street food; rice noodles with bean sprouts, seafood, and eggs. Well I love street food.

Chicken in clay pot. It was very tender, but I didn’t get to have much of it because my ravenous boyfriend wolfed it all down. (I’m not mad at you, sweetie)

Nyonya has many other delightful dishes such as their skate that’s been grilled in palm leaves, fried taro cone, the roti telur, etc. But I was planning on having their black sticky rice (Pulut Hitam) for dessert, and they did not have any! And that is why I am making Pulut Hitam tonight. I guess you will see a post about that soon.

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