The Legend Nyonya House

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Having bought a voucher through Groupon earlier, today's lunch leads me to The Legend Nyonya House (娘惹传承) at Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia). This restaurant is located within walking distance from Black Kettle and China House. The Legend Nyonya House specializes in authentic Peranakan (Nyonya) cuisine. The kitchen is staffed by a third-generation Nyonya chef.
Stepping into this restaurant, I can feel a sense of nostalgia in its décor. Within the air-conditioned dining room are Nyonya-style elements such as marble-top tables and chairs, tiled flooring, wooden room dividers, stained glass and electric lanterns with tassels. If I were to nitpick, the only blemish is poor soundproofing due to substantial echoing off the hard walls.
After placing our orders, we are treated with complimentary appetizers. Jeruk Bawang is pickled onion served in sweet syrup. Sour plum is added for tangy appeal. Meanwhile, Acar Rampai is made from pickled cucumber and carrots in julienned form. Sesame seeds and crunched peanuts also help to draw appetite.
Moving on to main dishes, Jieu Hu Char (炒沙葛鱿鱼, RM18.00) is a salad of shredded cuttlefish, jicama and mushrooms. The mixed ingredients are typically wrapped with lettuce before being eaten. Lime and sambal (chili paste) are provided for diners who prefer extra flavors.
The next dish is a popular Nyonya favorite: Kapitan Chicken (甲必丹鸡, RM25.00). Chicken and potatoes are cooked with thick curry gravy which is just fairly spicy but saturated with flavorful savoriness. Gravy ingredients include coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves.
As for pork, Tau Ewe Bak (黑酱油猪肉, RM25.00) is highly recommended. With the right combination of lean and fatty portions, the pork belly cutlets are braised with dark soy sauce which has honey-like sweetness. Overall, this dish is similar to Chinese char siew (叉烧) but is significantly more flavorful. The aroma is enticing too.
Nyonya Brinjal (娘惹茄子, RM15.00) is another signature dish here. Slices of aubergine are stir-fried briefly so that they remain juicy. Cooked aubergine is then topped with Nyonya-style spicy sauce which complements rather well.
Kiam Chye Arc (咸菜鸭, RM5.00) is derived from duck stock. The clear soup also contains pickled Chinese mustard (榨菜). It is advisable to consume the soup while it is warm, because the soup's saltiness is overpowering when it cools. In addition, I also prefer some degree of pungency from peppercorn in addition to sheer saltiness.
As for warm desserts, Pengat (彩虹西米, RM7.00) is made from coconut milk and sweetened with gula melaka (palm sugar). The milky dessert contains sago jelly pearls, banana, taro as well as 3 types of sweet potato. The Pengat's taste is on the milder side; I usually prefer more gula melaka. Meanwhile, Pulut Hitam (黑糯米, RM5.00) is another warm dessert made from black glutinous rice. Unfortunately, the dessert is not as thick as it should be.
Overall, the main dishes at The Legend Nyonya House are remarkably satisfying. However, the desserts are somewhat lackluster in my opinion. This is an area which the restaurant may need to improve on. While Peranakan cuisine is served from 11:00am to 10:00pm, the restaurant also serves steamboat from 9:00pm till closing.

Address: 2, Gat Lebuh Chulia, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-251-9598
Business hours: 11:00am-3:00am (Sunday-Thursday), 11:00am-4:00am (Friday-Saturday)

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