Sunday, June 28, 2015

Nyonya Memoirs @ Dataran Pahlawan, Malacca


A Peranakan Love Story




A truly first in Malaysia, Hatten Group presents its fully-interactive live environmental theatre production of Nyonya Memoirs. Featuring a revolutionary new concept of 360 degree Live Peranakan Experience, Nyonya Memoirs is set in the historical city of Malacca at Dataran Pahlawan.


Premiered in May 2015, the theatre production of Nyonya Memoirs runs till 19 July 2015. Hatten Group spared no expense at this RM8million investment, taking on the very best of the production team, the star-studded cast, the theatre set and the costumes. The inspiration for this project is in line with the State Government’s goals to highlight local culture with the main objective of promoting a deeper appreciation for our city’s Peranakan heritage.

It is truly a wondrous theatrical show with musical and dance performances injected into Nyonya Memoirs. The concept centers on the traditions and customs of the Peranakan culture where everything goes by the Baba Nyonya beliefs. Located on Level 3 of Dataran Pahlawan, the Nyonya Memoirs production is amazingly gorgeous. The show is available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday with two show times of 4pm and 8pm respectively.

Boasting of a A-list production team of Atlantic Theatre and Production with renowned director, James Lee, winner of the Best ASEAN Film Award with the musical score directed by Tan Yue Hue, who has worked with international artistes while the cast is coached by Pearly Chua, nominee for Best Supporting Actress at the 43rd Golden Horse Film Festival and the costumes are designed by Beatrice Looi, Malaysia’s top international fashion designer.




My family and I caught a Saturday show in the afternoon at 4pm one weekend. I was really excited when I walked into the theatre. To my surprise, I even met a very good friend, Merryn and her family there too that same day. We were ushered into a long hall decorated with Peranakan heritage.




Showcase displaying Nyonya kebayas with gorgeous embroidery works, hand beaded shoes and intricate jewelry pieces together with a typical Nyonya kitchen and its utensils, intricate wood carvings and finally a typical Nyonya cuisine of Nyonya Kuih had everyone busy clicking their phones and cameras while waiting for the show to start.


We were suddenly greeted by the housekeeper, Tao Jie who boisterously warmed us up with a few information about the cultures of the Peranakan and proceeded to guide us into the set.


Nyonya Memoirs is about a lover’s tale between a wealthy Nyonya girl by the name of Bao Zhu, played by Dorothy Foo and her love for a poor common Baba, Zhang Min, played by Evan Siau. The couple faces the obstacles of the family’s disagreement of their union due to the social differences of their respective lives. Immerse yourselves as the story unfolds through its own magical and musical production through the unusual concept of having viewers watch the show through a moving production set.


Nyonya Memoirs is performed in Mandarin mostly together with a mixture of Peranakan dialect thrown in such as Bahasa Melayu and some local languages. For those who are not well-versed with Mandarin, fear not as there are screen displays all over translating the conversation to English.


As soon as we step into the set, all 600 meters of it cleverly designed to echo the era of a typical Peranakan location, we were drawn to the main area of a garden right in the center of the room. Flanked with a green lawn and trees surrounding the garden, it is the main area of where the show starts off. Surrounding the garden are shops of yesteryears, typical Nyonya household and streets of those good old Peranakan days.



The theatre set is a sight to behold as there were just so many things that really reminded me of my own heritage as my father is a northern Baba himself, whom also just so happen to marry my mother who is actually a  non-Nyonya.




An energetic and smiley storykeeper played by Li Qiang proceeded to gather everyone’s’ attention and rolled out the storytelling of the lovers.



The story kicks off with Zhang Min getting all excited to propose his love and hand in marriage to his beloved Bao Zhu where he even gets the viewer involve by asking them their opinions. As mentioned, this is an interactive production so one may never know if you may just be included in the show!


Here are scenes of the lovers enjoying a serene and happy moment of themselves.


In every family, there will always be a few black sheep of the family whose intent are purely mischievous and malicious. In Nyonya Memoirs, there, they are the uncle and aunt of Bao Zhu, who simply cannot resist to inject their slandering of the couple at every chance they get.




I do have to admire both of Bao Zhu's uncle and aunt, seen here with Bao Zhu's father as they really played their part so well and both are really full of expressions and emotions.


Zhang Min meeting the family for the first time.


A solemn meeting between the lovers...


A scene from a typical Nyonya Tok Panjang in the dining room where Baba Nyonya dines on a feast of sumptuous Peranakan cuisine. This is also where family times were once a must in every household as everyone would gather together for family time. Here it is to celebrate Bao Zhu's mother's birthday.



Here are more scenes of Nyonya Memoirs but there will be no spoilers as one should really go and enjoy the experience yourselves!


Moments of despair from the couples as their family feuds continues with Bao Zhu’s mother, Yue Niang who objects while her father is left with heartache as he see his daughter suffers through the Peranakan beliefs.



The dashing Zhang Min is also left heartbroken…




Moment of hope as the couple tries to elope...




Unfortunately they were caught...




Viewers will be glad to know though that the couple did get their happy ending but you have to watch how they got it yourselves… there are quite a few touching scenes which I omitted here as I was too touch and busy enjoying those moments.




Go with an open mind and soak in the story whole heartedly for an unforgettable experience!


The show ended with the parade of Zhang Min and Bao Zhu’s grand wedding together with all the cast dressed in traditional wedding costumes at the Lover’s Bridge in the mall.





The Cast of Nyonya Memoirs


The 360 degree theatre experience is a lovely and fascinating experience while the cast and costumes are equally amazing. Together with the musical and dance performances plus the interactive parts, Nyonya Memoirs is a theatrical production unlike any others we have here in Malaysia. Don’t miss this truly heart-warming and delightful Nyonya Memoirs by Hatten Group!






NYONYA MEMOIRS
Showtime: Every Friday - Sunday, 4pm & 8pm
Venue: Level 3, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall @ Melaka

Ticket pricing*
ADULT
RM52 (mykad holder)
RM66 (non-mykad holder)

CHILD (7 - 15 years old) or SENIOR CITIZEN (60 years old and above)
RM26 (mykad holder)
RM33 (non-mykad holder)

* Terms and conditions apply.

For more information or to book your tickets, please log on to www.nyonyamemoirs.com or visit the Nyonya Memoirs ticketing counter at Level 3, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall or call hotline at + 6018 663 9696. Tickets can also be purchase online or at the concierge of Hatten Hotel & Estadia by Hatten Hotel.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Buka Puasa @ The Living Room, The Westin Kuala Lumpur


Juadah Iftar


As the holy month continues, embrace this buka puasa ritual with more mouth-watering spread at The Westin Kuala Lumpur at The Living Room’s Juadah Iftar Buffet dinner. Savor wonderful indulgences as of Malaysian cuisine’s vibrant melting pot of flavours and aroma whipped up by the culinary team in a modern and elegant ambience.


The all-day-dining restaurant Iftar experience promises a full Malaysian fare with over 15 live cooking station. Savor sumptuous spread of Malay cuisine together with Indian cuisines as well as Chinese and other international fare.


Chef Boobalan Arumugam and Chef Halim Sultan, who are the main chefs responsible for the amazing Juadah Iftar Buffet




Taking center stage at the Iftar buffet spread is traditional Malaysian spread of sumptuous Roasted Lamb with Westin Briyani Rice, Ayam Percik, Ikan Bakar, a host of curries, kerabu, ulam, sambal and more.


Enjoy tender spiced up Roasted Lamb with fluffy spice-infused biryani crowned with cashews and raisin. There is also the tender and succulent Ayam Percik, nicely baked with spices and then smothered in unctuous peanut spiced sauce. Besides the lamb and chicken, a beautiful masterpiece of Roasted Beef Rib makes great enjoyment with grilled vegetables and baked potatoes.


Hit the pots of Daging Gulai Nusantara, Gulai Ayam Kampung Pucuk Ubi Kayu, Ekor Asam Pedas, Ayam Rendang, Sayur Lodeh, Ayam Rendang, Sotong Sambal Petai, Ketam Masak Lemak and Sayur Goreng Jawa with Prawns as these are beautifully rich with flavours and textures. It is certainly an assortment of curries that really sums up authentic Malay cuisine’s unique flavours.


Savor these curries with Roti Jala, Ketupat, Nasi Impit, Lemang or rice as they are the perfect accompaniments to enjoy the rich and spicy curries. Don’t forget to add on the Chicken or Beef Serunding as well.


Check out the live cooking station where Ikan Bakar prevails. Choose the array of marinated fish and seafood and let the chef grilled it up. Savor there with the sauces and sambals. Alternatively next to the grill station is Chicken and Beef Satay Celup Warisan sitting in warming pots of peanut sauce.


More live stations whipping up Chicken Shawarma, Popiah, Roti John, Murtabak, Roti Canai, and Roti Boom fresh so one gets to enjoy these piping hot. There’s stations are crowd pleasers for young ones to adults.


For something hot and warming, enjoy Bubuk Lambuk Super Chicken, Sup Tulang Rawan Pattani, Indian Spicy & Sour Chicken Soup, Mushroom Soup and more.


Then there is the plethora of Aneka Kerabu, Ulams, Ikan Masin, Telur Masin, Sambals, Keropok, Jeruk Buah, Gado Gado, Tauhu Sumbat, Sotong Kangkung and so much more. There are also salads and dressings on the station as well.


The next station to watch out for is the Nasi Kandar station filled with an amazing potpourri of rice to be savored with Daging Kandar, Kambing Kandar, Ayam Kandar, Kobis Goreng Kunyit, Telur Sambal and more. It is literally a haven of flavours of luscious Nasi Kandar.


Besides the Nasi Kandar, there is also an array of Indian spiced fried Sotong, Ayam, Telur Ikan and Ikan Tenggiri Goreng.


More treats from other cuisines include Roasted Duck Mantao, Steamed Whole Fish with Garlic Chive Cream Sauce, Chicken Rice, Char Kway Teow, Dim Sum, Lok Lok, Asam Laksa, Curry Laksa, Mee Rebus and the list goes on…



Moving on to desserts, its literally a room filled with racks of sweet treats from Chocolate Fountain, a majestic array of Fresh Fruits, traditional Malay Kuih Muih, Cakes, Cupcakes, Puddings, Tarts, Jelly, Ice Cream, Ais Kacang and more. A must-have is the Deep Fried Ice Cream where the dessert is whipped up to order and diners will certainly be pleased with the crispy crust and ice cold combination of ice cream.




IFTAR BUFFET
RM118nett per adult from 18 June to 26 June 2015
RM148nett per adult from 27 June to 15 July 2015
*Complimentary for children below the age of 5 years old

Discounts Available
12% for group booking with minimum of 20 diners
SPG members enjoy 20% discount on total food bill.

For further information or reservations, please call Westin dining on 603 2773 8338 or email westindining@westin.com



THE LIVING ROOM
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2731 8333


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