There’s plenty to like about Peranakan (Nyonya) cuisine, an amalgamation of Chinese, Malay and Portuguese influences in one cauldron. To date, the best Nyonya food I’ve tried still comes from my mother in-law’s kitchen. She makes delicious ayam pongteh, ayam buah keluak, popiah and Nyonya laksa, among many others. 🙂
Pity she has no interest in opening a restaurant because if she did, I would love to help her run the front of restaurant. While I daydream, there is a new Nyonya outlet in Bangsar – Straits Food Company, operated by the same people who run Baba Low 486 in Lorong Kurau. rif and I had a quick lunch there a recent weekday as I was in the vicinity for a work meeting.
I like that they kept things simple. The interior is basic yet spacious, with large windows for natural light to come through. I went for my usual – Nyonya laksa with a mix of yellow noodles and vermicelli and he, the Nyonya rice set. The set comes with a portion of rice, sambal ladies finger and a choice of meat/seafood dish. He chose the ayam goreng kunyit, seasoned with salt and turmeric, and deep fried till crispy.
My laksa came with cockles, beansprouts, tofu puffs, half an egg and a single prawn. Not too bad, but the spicy-sweet coconut milk gravy could be thicker. I love my laksa thick, spicy and santan-rich, like the one my mother in-law prepares. But this version is less cloying and of course, less extravagant.
The popiah is good here. For RM4.50 per roll, you get a generous portion of jiu hu char, julienned cucumber, beansprouts, sauces and chilli. Flavour packed and full of oomph. By the way, this is a pork-free establishment, so no lard is served.
Also decent is the cendol; finely shaved ice with green cendol strips, marinated kidney beans, santan and drizzles of thick Gula Melaka. Always the best way to end lunch, I feel.
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Food: 6/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Like Baba Low 486, the food is pretty decent. Try the laksa and popiah when you’re there.
Straits Food Company
2 Jalan Abdullah,
Off Jalan Bangsar,
Business hours: 11am to 9pm (closed Sunday)