Flower Mulan Nyonya Cafe – Penang’s Best-Kept Secret for Delectable Peranakan Food

February 25, 2024

Nestled discreetly beside a charming flower shop is a hidden treasure, Flower Mulan Nyonya Cafe (花木蘭娘惹花藝) — a spot you wouldn’t expect to find tasty Peranakan food. At a stop while we were on a cruise to Penang, I seized the chance to explore the local dining scene with my family, and managed to score a dinner reservation at this gem.

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The walls are adorned with Michelin star accolades, hinting at some seriously good eats. The interior, a blend of old-world charm and vibrant elegance, is bedecked with cascading blossoms and traditional red lanterns. There are intricate Chinese motifs adorning every corner, and I felt like I was stepping back in time, in a good way. The owner is super friendly, and makes sure everyone feels at home.

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The star of our meal was, undoubtedly, the Sambal Tumis Ikan Pari(also known as sambal stingray). Each succulent piece of stingray was generously coated in a vibrant sambal tumis sauce. The combination of chili, tamarind, and aromatic spices infused the dish with a delightful balance of spiciness, sweetness, and tanginess. The tangy undertones from the tamarind cut through the richness of the fish, and the refreshing pairing had us reaching for seconds.

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Equally memorable was the Sambal Prawn Petai, a quintessential Peranakan dish bursting with flavors. The succulent prawns, perfectly cooked and bathed in a rich sambal sauce, were already delicious on their own. However, what set this dish apart was the addition of petai, also known as stink beans, which added a unique and slightly bitter taste profile. While some may find the pungency of petai off-putting, I found its bold flavor to be a perfect complement to the dish, especially when paired with rice.

Another dish that goes perfectly with a steaming bowl of rice is the Nyonya Hong Bak. Here, succulent pork belly, which has been expertly simmered to tender perfection, is infused with a fragrant blend of spices including cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and garlic. Slow-cooked in their signature sauce made with soy sauce and fermented bean paste, the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly promises bursts of savoury goodness.

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Don’t miss the Jiu Hu Cha which presents a delightful medley of shredded dried cuttlefish and turnip. The aroma of the dried cuttlefish, and the subtle sweetness of the turnip went hand in hand. Don’t forget to pair this with their homemade sambal belacan!

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No Peranakan feast would be complete without a comforting bowl of soup, and the Tu Tor Soup with tender pieces of pig stomach in a peppery broth, was just what we were looking for. To conclude the meal on a sweet note, go for the Sago Gula Melaka dessert which enchants with delicate sago pearls, creamy coconut milk and caramel notes.

Beyond its offerings, Flower Mulan Nyonya Cafe stands out as one of the most aesthetically-pleasing dining destinations in Penang, making it an ideal setting for gatherings and celebrations.

Flower Mulan Nyonya Cafe (花木蘭娘惹花藝)

Address: 266 & 268, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Phone: +60 12-472 3671

Opening Hours: 11am to 10.30pm, closed on Wednesdays

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/p/Flower-Mulan-Nyonya-Cafe-%E8%8A%B1%E6%9C%A8%E8%98%AD%E5%A8%98%E6%83%B9%E8%8A%B1%E8%97%9D-100057177500944/