Deliciously Nyonya @ Old China Café

Old China memorabiliaThis restaurant is not a typical Chinese restaurant as you might expect, especially in this part of town just off Jalan Petaling.

Actually it is the ideal place to have Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan food, a unique mix of Chinese cuisine with Malay and Indonesian influences. It takes its roots in the 1900s, when Chinese immigrants marrying Malay ladies in Penang, Malacca or Singapore, were mixing culture and cuisine, creating unique dishes exploiting the best of the two cultures. Typical ingredients are candlenut, Laksa leaf, tamarind juice, lemon-grass, coconut milk.

And the menu covers it all – delicious Laksa, but also beef Rendang, or other specialities such as the awesome Nyonya Nasi Lemak (my favourite, rice with anchovies, egg, rending, vegetables), fish head curry or Kari Kapitan.

A perfect starter is the Top hat (Pie Tee) – a delicate discovery of a thin hat shaped crepe in which you add vegetables and a spicy salsa to your convenience. Another must try is the blue rice (coconut rice), so lovely and delicious – the blue color comes from flowers and just gives it a lovely look, no additional taste.

Delicious and fresh food is thus guaranteed here, along with a travel back in time. The restaurant was home to a guild (association) in the 1920s, and you can still see pictures from this period. And I would be tempted to say that actually everything is from this period, which gives a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere to the café.

You shouldn’t miss it when coming to Kuala Lumpur – tasting Baba Nyonia / Peranakan food is actually part of the culture and frankly, very yummy.

With whom? lovey dovey, friends  Bill

Price range? RM15 – RM30 / dish

Favorite place ? a big round table if you are with friends 


Contact: 11 Jalan Balai Polis, Kuala Lumpur (off jalan Petaling, close to Pasar Seni LRT station)

Opening hours: everyday, 11am till 10pm

Food in KL – old China Cafe – Nyonya – Peranakan