Kebaya Dining Room: A clever update on Nyonya cuisine

By Helen Ong - The Malaysian Insider

2012 December 17

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 17 — It had to happen, although it took someone with vision and drive to do it: a restaurant in Penang which serves Nyonya food in elegant, classy surroundings. Chris Ong, who has been upping the ante as far as boutique hotels here are concerned – he is the creator of the charmingly-restored Clove Hall, plus the casually chic Muntri Mews and Noordin Mews – has added yet another feather to his cap: Seven Terraces on Stewart Lane.

One of the many stunning pieces of furniture in the dining room.
The air-conditioned ground floor of this amazing new 17-room Straits Chinese hotel — a first in Penang — houses the Baba Bar (how’s that for a name?) at one end, and the Kebaya Dining Room at the other. It really is the latest in-place in town, opened just three weeks ago, and I was privileged to be the first foodie to be invited to check out the “contemporary Straits Chinese cuisine” served there.

It’s certainly not your average Nyonya restaurant with some token memorabilia dotted here and there. Like the rest of the formerly dilapidated but now skilfully refurbished building, it’s artfully furnished with gorgeous pieces, some genuine antiques and others specially commissioned from local craftsmen. The sweeping wooden staircase which leads off one end of the inner courtyard is a stunning example.

An avid collector of old Nyonya and china ware long before it became fashionable to do so, Chris has amassed a huge amount of porcelain, and put them to good use. Specially designed display cabinets are strategically positioned to show off some gorgeous blue and white pieces, and he has put the platters and serving dishes to good use, so apart from the food itself, do take note of the platters, plates, bowls and saucers they come in.

Otak Otak as you have never seen it presented... delicious.
What does he mean by “contemporary”? “I’ve taken Peranakan food back to its essence,” he explained, “and reinterpreted it.”

................. details at source: Kebaya Dining Room: A clever update on Nyonya cuisine

Seven Terraces,
Stewart Lane, George Town, 10200 Penang
Tel: +604-264 2333; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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