This September, go Nyonya at Pulai Springs

Pulai Springs Resort pays tribute to the Straits-Born or Peranakan culture by presenting a buffet in the theme, Nyonya Pergi Makan that features traditional family recipes garnered from two true-blue Peranakan chefs.

Make a weekend date to enjoy Nyonya cuisine at the
Nyonya Pergi Makan buffet held at the Cinta Terrace
At the resort, I meet with two Babas*: the resort’s Executive Chef Kenny Lim, a Peranakan who partnered with guest chef, Chef Barnitus Ang, another Peranakan from Melaka, and pooled their resources to prepare a range of menus for good old-fashioned Nyonya cuisine.

*Kindly note that members of the Peranakan community in Malaysia address themselves as Baba Nyonya, and Nyonya is the term for women while Baba is for the men. The word Nyonya is often generally used to mean Peranakan.

The Peranakan culture here was mainly derived from inter-marriages centuries ago between the Chinese and Malay communities to create a unique cross-cultural blend, not only in its language, traditions, crockery and costumes but also in its cuisine.

A section of the buffet for hot dishes
In the former Malay Peninsular the main centers of Peranakan culture started in Melaka, Penang and Singapore.

The traditional Nyonya cuisine to be featured in this Nyonya Pergi Makan buffet, will be served only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the first two weekends in September.

Much effort is being put into arranging dishes in this theme, served in sections for appetizers, soups, main course, desserts and the live-cooking stalls.

Chef Kenny tells me that fresh ingredients like buah keluak that go into preparing traditional Peranakan dish, Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken), have to be sourced from a supplier in Melaka.

Note: Buah Keluak is the seed from the Kepayang tree. The black powder dug out from within the seed is a delicacy, an acquired taste and an essential ingredient in Peranakan cuisine.

Chef Kenny is also pleased to share with me, two of his family recipes which are served with pride in this spread.

Kerabu Telur Goreng is made from a family recipe
Sup Ayam Kentang (chicken and potato soup) is a family favourite which is fondly known as Sup Ayam-O (as in kopi-O), which speaks of the purity of this soup.

The main ingredients are just chicken and potatoes brewed with ginger, onions, garlic and tauchu, a preserved soya-bean paste.

Another family favourite is in the appetizer section. Chef Kenny points to the Kerabu Telur Goreng or fried egg salad, a simple but satisfying family recipe that he often serves at home.

There are also local salads and appetizers like fruit Rojak, Nyonya Acar (pickled vegetables), Glass Noodles Kerabu, Otak-Otak, fresh greens and Ulam-Ulam local greens to savour with a range of pungent dip sauces like Sambal Belacan.

Nyonya Asam Pedas with sea bass served hot from here!
The combined effort of Chef Kenny and Chef Barnitus has created a menu of hot items like Nyonya Nasi Ulam (rice), Ayam Pongteh (chicken), Sambal Udang Petai (prawns), Sotong Masak Lemak Cili Api (squid), Terung Sambal Udang Kering (eggplant/brinjals), Telur Cincaluk (egg omelet) and Nyonya Chap Chai (mixed vegetables).

I’m familiar with the Asam Pedas (tangy and spicy) fish served here during the Ramadan month so I’m ready for a fresh taste of Nyonya Asam Pedas, prepared with Ikan Siakap or Sea Bass fish, in a distinctly Nyonya flavour.

Nyonya Curry Laksa served hot for this live-station
As in the Nyonya Asam Pedas where bowls, filled with chunks of fresh fish, slices of ladies fingers and brinjals are served piping hot from a live-cooking station, the Nyonya Curry Laksa – noodles in light curry gravy – are also prepared and served on the spot.

Another popular live-station in this buffet spread is where refreshing tumblers of Coconut Shake are prepared and served.

In addition to jellies, puddings, cakes and fruit cocktail, the buffet also serves a menu of popular Nyonya kuih (cakes) like Ondeh-Ondeh, Seri Muka, Kuih Talam, Kuih Chendol among others and desserts like Sago Gula Melaka and warm broths like Bubur Cha Cha.

Tasty tender chicken in a serving of Ayam Pongteh
The Nyonya Pergi Makan buffet promotion is presented at the Cinta Terrace restaurant located on Level One of the Cinta Ayu Suites in Pulai Springs Resort, for lunch (12pm to 2.30pm) and/or dinner (6.30pm to 9.30pm) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in early September 2019.

[Please refer to poster above for dates and details!]

This themed buffet is affordably priced at only RM35 net per adult and RM17.50 nett per child aged 4 to 12 years. For every five (5) paying adults, one dines for Free. 

For more info and reservations, Tel: +607 – 521 2121, WhatsApp Tel: +6016 733 2918 or email:

Pulai Springs Resort is located at 20km Jalan Pontian Lama, 81110 Pulai, Johor.

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