I'm not sure what prompted me to head the Peranakan way in Johor, I mean the last foray into Malacca revealed a less than stellar experience with their food - irrationally long queues and subpar peranakan food made me wonder what exactly is the draw of the settlement that is known for peranakan food afterall.
Anyhow, Nyonya Restaurant Treats is off the beaten touristy track - infact almost all diners were locals (and somehow that gives me a damn shiok feeling because it ain't invaded yet). Tables are very limited and already at doorstep I was drawn to their cabinet of kuehs. I am a sucker for these handmade goodies and boy, I opened the doors of the cabinet and was overwhelmed by the pandan fragrance. Sold at first whiff.
Tumeric Rice (RM 1.20)
In the face of white or turmeric rice, always pick the latter. Aromatic spices and the fluffy grains already makes me hungry.
Cencalok Omelette (RM8)
Mild in taste, this was a very fluffy omelette.
Fried Petai with Prawns (RM13)
Petai is fondly known as smelly beans in the family - I love the nuttiness and crunch of the beans, they taste especially good with belachan and prawns.
Otak Otak (RM 11)
No peranakan meal is complete without otak and with the fame of Muar otah being the benchmark, this had high standards to meet.
Thick slab of otah paste encasing mackerel flakes. I am not joking when I say this beats Muar Otak flat.
I'd have thought Sambal Belachan (RM 3) was on the house but nobody complained since this was powerfully made and made every dish yummier than yummy.
Fried Kang Kong (RM 8)
Chap Chye (RM 8)
Vegetable stir fries, just because.
Ayam Buah Keluak (RM 19)
Oh. my. holy. goodness. A peranakan staple and I like the gravy best. It is watery but so full of flavor without being too rich and the nuttiness of the keluak nut itself, makes this one dish a must eat and pride of Nyonya Treats.
Pineapple Squid Curry (RM 21)
A must order. Pineapples rocked this coconut gravy dish, sweet, savoury and lemak with squid cooked to such a beautiful consistency. Sold many many many times over.
Cendol with Durian (RM 5)
I was almost apprehensive when durian chendol appeared on the menu - granted how chendols are overrated as long as they get served with gula melaka. Call me noob and this is my first durian chendol with a generous dollop of pungent durian puree right at the bottom of this sweet finish.
With a meal so outstanding, that's how I ended up with 1 of everything.
Kueh Salat (RM 2.10)
The kaya custard was the bomb, wobbly and it dissolved into a yummy puddle. I was so satisfied with just the kaya itself and the pea blue dyed glutinous rice had just the consistency I desired - the biggest bane of eating kueh salat is frowning at either the kaya or rice layer, ah the science behind this!
This kueh talam had just the right ratio of kaya and cream. Don't you ever wish for more kaya? Clearly someone else heard me!
Bingka Ubi (RM 2.10) with a layer of gula Melaka tapioca cake on a steamed tapioca.
Pulut with Sambal (RM 3.60) put all lempur udangs to shame. Fragrant sambal atop a delicious glutinous hill.
Ondeh Ondeh (RM 2.80)
I liked the skin best, chewy and the fragrance of freshly grated coconut! And with all ondeh ondehs, the explosion of surprise within is always needs some anticipation. I have clearly encountered one too many ondeh ondehs that exploded prematurely and sent my gula Melaka filling squirting in weird directions.
Nyonya Treats changed my perception of nonya food for good and without reason, the best so far. Prices are very friendly and the dishes were stellar. Now when will I brave the jams for them again?
Nyonya Treats Cuisine
No. 280 Jalan Simbang