Visiting Penang has become an annual affair for us the past 10 years. And when we are in Penang, we make it a point to either lunch or dine at Nyonya Breeze Restaurant. Nyonya Breeze is a nyonya cuisine restaurant we were introduced to by a close friend who had spent time working in Penang and recommended the restaurant to meet up and dine. ‘Nyonya’ refers to South East Asian woman of mixed ethnic descent, especially a woman with a Malay mother and Chinese father or vice versa, and ‘nyonya food’ refers to spicy Malaysian/Singaporean cuisine consisting of a combination of Malay and Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques.
Nyonya Breeze restaurant started off in one of the old style houses by the beach (I suppose that’s where the inspiration for ‘Breeze’ came from) situated next to the Naza Hotel Penang along Jalan Tanjung Bungah. The business partnership somehow turned sour over time; and Rose, the chef, managed to retain the use of the restaurant name, formed a new partnership and relocated to the present premise at Lorong Abu Siti. The restaurant is simply decorated with Nyonya memorabilia, photos and long table and stools/benches, creating a ‘Chinese inn’ dining ambience. All Nyonya Breeze dishes are cooked according to Rose’s recipes, handed down from her mother. Business is running well since and Nyonya Breeze have opened a second bigger outlet at Straits Quay, where Rose now spends most of her time. Somehow, we like the ambience of the Lorong Abu Siti restaurant and its surrounding attractions and we choose to frequent this outlet to the other.
We loved the food at Nyonya Breeze from the first visit, and we have been back year after year ever since; over the years we got to know Rose a little better when we got to chat with her when she is not busy helming the kitchen. If I have to sum it up, I would say Nyonya Breeze’s food is simple, authentic and taste great, the dishes’ taste derived from choice selective ingredients and cooking technique true to the nyonya heritage, not by use of artificial seasoning and enhancers –
the easy way out for those who are either cutting corners or lack proper technique.
To cap it off, prices are reasonable and service is attentive and prompt with a smile , what more can one ask for 🙂 ?
Do pay Nyonya Breeze a visit when you are in Penang and looking for a restaurant serving good local food at reasonable prices, I doubt you will be dissappointed.
(the Lorong Abu Siti restaurant fills up rather quicky at lunch and dinner time on weekeends, do call and reserve in advance)
Here are photos of some of our favorite dishes …. enjoy 🙂 !
All photos Fuji X-E1 with XF 35mm and Hoya Close-Up Filter