A Nyonya, A Cookbook & An Anniversary!
Time flies… a favorite Nyonya restaurant of mine turned One recently! It was a double happiness affair at The Tranquerah where the restaurant held a lovely event to celebrate Chef Florence Tan’s launch of her new cookbook and the restaurant’s first anniversary.
The Tranquerah oozed with heritage charm that evening as the whole restaurant was set with old school memorabilia, authentic Nyonya cuisine and guests dressed in sarong and kebayas! Chef Florence had also prepared a sumptuous feast from the recipes of her new cookbook, Florence Tan’s Best Nyonya Recipes.
Stay tune for a gorgeous recipe from the cookbook at the end of this post…
The Tranquerah is synonymous with Malacca Nyonya cuisine, serving dishes of southern Nyonya from Chef Florence’s recipes. Having visited the restaurant a few times here and here, dishes are as authentic as it gets. Besides authentic cuisine, the ambience is unbelievably charming with lots of recycled furniture, décor, memorabilia and old school treats.
The lovely Chef Florence was busy autographing her new cookbooks for guests as I arrived. She looked as beautiful as ever… must be all that delicious Nyonya food! Wink, wink!!
Check out her latest cookbook, Best of Nyonya Recipes, showcasing an array of gorgeous and almost forgotten recipes. Recipes in this book are simple with easy to follow instructions. Sectioned into basic categories like Fish, Chicken, Seafood, Vegetables and Desserts, one should be happy to find lots of delicious Nyonya recipes like Otak Otak Belanga, Fish Pais, Tempera Chicken, Sek Chicken, Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple, Kerabu Lady’s Fingers, Mango Patchree, Bubur Cha Cha, Kuih Genggang and more to name a few.
Here’s wishing a very Happy 1st Anniversary to The Tranquerah and many more to come…
The Tranquerah Partners, Alan, Uncle John, Florence and other partners
Guest lingers for some photos while the rest enjoy the evening with lots of food, candies and a candy making session!
Alan Yun & another Partner… don’t you just love their outfits!
Alan and Florence
Alan, Florence & Zoey Rahman
Alan, Florence & Nelson
Chef Zam and Sidney Kan
Sidney & Zoey
That evening, we tasted signatures of The Tranquerah with Ayam Pongteh, Otak Otak Belanga, Gerang Asam Stingray, Asam Prawns, Squid Curry, Chicken Curry, Sambal Belachan with raw vegetables and a very delectable Mango Patchree.
Every dish really stands out in flavors with lots of spices used. My first time savoring Otak Otak Belanga, mackerel fish paste cooked in curry, a truly sumptuous dish that made me want to eat more rice. Gerang Asam has always been one of my favorite at The Tranquerah while Ayam Pongteh remains the classic in my heart.
Mango Patchree wowed me tremendously as this innocent looking side dish packed quite a punch in flavors. Strongly sweet, sour and spicy, I had fallen hard for this dish. Guess what? The recipe for Mango Patchree is in the latest cookbook so I have included the recipe at the end of this post… its Seriously Good!
Remember these lollies???
Dessert was lusciously prepared Nyonya Cendol! I like how the coconut milk is fairly thick and rich, embodying the silky strands of Pandan cendol and creamy red kidney beans…
Ah… sweet childhood memories… a blast from the past! Candies, Rabbit sweets, iced gem cookies and even those small tubes to blow bubbles… I believe the adults had a great time reviving their childhood memories while the children enjoyed these to the fullest!
Here’s another old time favorite… Ting Ting Candy or Gula Ketuk. It’s really hard to find one now and Leo, 23 year old, was purposely hunt down by The Tranquerah team to make this nostalgic candy for guests that night!
The art of Ting Ting Candy is almost gone but I am very impressed that this young man decided to continue his father’s legacy to make this candy. He cooked the candy mixture till caramelized and deep amber before swirling the mixture in a wok placed on top of water. Once the candy mixture has cooled to the correct temperature, he uses a Y-shaped tool to hang the candy and pulled till it oxidized and turn to the hard candy we all know. Guests were definitely amazed and charmed by this candy maker!!
I was given a small piece that was still slightly warm. It was still pliable and taste really lovely. Once totally cooled, the candy hardened, therefore one has to use the steel utensils to break up the candy making the infamous Ting Ting sound!
Mango Patchree by Florence Tan
6 ½ Tbsp Cooking Oil
3 sprigs Curry Leaves
2 Tbsp Sugar
¾ tsp Salt
3 Green Chilies – deseeded & cut into triangles
3 Red Chilies – deseeded & cut into triangles
Poached Mangoes (prepare a day in advance)
600g Small Unripe Green Mangoes – peeled and deseeded
1 ½ tsp Salt – dissolved in 1 litre water
450 ml Water
1 Tbsp Salt
Finely Ground Ingredients
10 Dried Red Chili – deseeded, soaked in boiling water for 20 mins
3 Red Chilies
2.5cm Fresh Tumeric – peeled
4 Tbsp Coriander or Cilantro Powder
5 Shallots – peeled
1. Prepared poached mangoes a day in advance. Halve the mangoes and soak in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
2. Bring water, sugar and salt to a boil in saucepan. When the sugar has dissolved, add mangoes. Cover saucepan and remove from heat. Do not boil mangoes again of they will become too soft. Leave to cool overnight.
3. Heat oil in wok. Fry finely ground ingredients and curry leaves until fragrant. Lower heat and add 5 Tbsp syrup from the poached mangoes, 2 Tbsp sugar and ¾ tsp salt.
4. Add chilies and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add poached mangoes.
5. Leave curry to mature overnight before serving.
Serves 4 -6
Psst… there is a Pineapple Patchree recipe too in the book! There are lots more awesome recipes so make sure to check out Florence Tan’s Best Nyonya Recipes cookbook available at all leading bookstore.
Thanks to Alan, Chef Florence and The Tranquerah for an evening to remember… It was definitely a Blast from the Past and a New Memory! J
62A-G, Red Carpet Avenue
Encorp Strand, Jalan PJU5/22
Kota Damansara, 47810, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 603 – 6142 4106