Monday, 10 August 2009

AH TUAN YEE, BABA NYONYA

As I am preparing this post, Malaysia have 32 deaths due to the H1N1 virus. The annual forest burning in Indonesia has started causing many areas here to be unhealthy. The haze is back, making healthy people sick, those with respiratory problems worst and we have the most lethal combination as of now, the H1N1 virus combined with haze courtesy of forest burning both in Borneo and Indonesia. At first, it as one death a week, now it has worsen with one dying every day. Face mask prices soar high, schools are closed and with every fever in a family set everyone on a panic alert. Not a rosy situation here at all. Plans for travel have been on hold and everyone is on high alert. I worry much for the children as there are so many children sick in the school every day, some being sent home and some being quarantined at school. We had 3 scares last week, both DH, son and daughter were all down with high fever, sore throat, vomiting and flu - all symptoms similar to the deadly virus. Luckily everyone recovered fast and well and none went to the hospital. Anyway, I am glad they are all okay and we have to pump ourselves with more vitamins every day.

I wanted to do this post for some time, a favorite restaurant of ours, Ah Tuan Yee, an authentic Nyonya eating place. Nyonya are Chinese who migrated here more than 100 years ago and adopted the local Malay culture and food. My grandmother was a pure Nyonya and we grew up not eating typical Chinese food as she would cook mainly hot and spicy dishes. There is a lot of history in the Nyonyas and Babas but I don't have time to post it now. So, I'll do the food version of a place we eat often.


Miniature Nyonya dresses in frame.


I love this - a vintage tiffin or food carrier in blue.


Like how they used this very old door as their main door.


Bells on doors, typical Chinese decor.


Antique Chinese frames on the wall.


Same restaurant at a different location, I like the outdoor table setting, very 'kopitiam' style. 'Kopitiam' are the in thing in dining now, the word actually mean coffee place or cafe and reminded people how our parents or grandparents used to enjoy dining years ago. Will remember to a separate post on this.


More wall decor / carving at another place.


Somehow blue is a favorite color with the Chinese when it comes to pottery.


A collage of Nyonya food, for Ann and Xue. I think of you both whenever I eat this...though I think Ann would be more interested in my durian post.


Of all dishes, I have to single out this one - their signature dish - 'perut ikan curry' or translated fish stomach curry. Pickled fish tummy - don't ask me what fish or how it's done, I probably don't want to know - cooked with many type of vegetables. Everything is sliced finely and cooked with lots of spices.


I thought of Ann again when I cooked this dish - petai or stinky bean haha!! with prawns and brinjals, and no, I don't eat stinky bean or fruit everyday. However, I don't think it will be fun if I post a burger picture - too boring.


Thinking about the Babas and Nyonyas reminded me of a trip last year to Malacca, a state rich with their history. I am re-posting this picture again, a Nyonya marital bed in red (what else!) picture taken during a trip to the Malacca museum.


A famous restaurant founded in 1911, also in Malacca - red again.


When you are there, hop on into one of these colorful tricycle taxi.


For Annette who is playing with lots of purple now, 2 fav items from home. You will find Annette here at In This life....... - go have a peek at her purple garbage bags which smells of lavender :p
This purple and red chillie plant..


and my table mat in purple with the picture of Angkor Wat in it. BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Annette :D


Well, Angkor or Malacca, bye bye any trip to anywhere for now.

Have a good week ahead....hugs/M