Many of us have dreams but how many of us have the courage to live the dream? Aunty Anne, about to turn to her 70, managed to realize her dream for operating her very own Nyonya restaurant recently. She did not manage to realize her dream in her younger days due to family commitment. A very chatty and passionate lady whom shared with us stories of herself and the restaurant. It is impossible for her to run the restaurant all day long, thus, the restaurant opens from 11: 30 am to 2: 30 pm only. Set Lunch (Rm 18.50 nett per set) is the only option, together with a few choices of add-on. Limited quantities available daily but justifiable with the labor-intensive Nyonya dishes and no, she does not believe in cookie-cutter approaches. While there are many versions of Nyonya dishes out there, claimed to be as authentic as they can be; Aunty Anne tries to preserve the flavors of the yesteryears by putting everything she learnt into use. If you wish to find out more, talk to the friendly and accommodating lady. Aunty Anne- True Penang Cuisine is tucked within a shop house along Macalister Lane, further down from the famous Xiao Feng Lai Coffee House.
There are three options for Set Lunch (refer to menu at the bottom of the blog post), priced at a flat rate of Rm 18.50 each set. We started off with Aunty Anne's Joo Hu Char and Pie Tee; both shared a common ingredient- Jicama. Joo Hu Char would be saltier by nature so one should start with Pie Tee first. Eat it lest it turns into a soggy piece of pastry. The Pie Tee was pretty standard-average but the bomb was Aunty Anne's home-made Sambal Belacan. Not only was it fiery hot but jam-packed with the aroma of Belacan; giving another layer of dimension to the dishes. We can't help but to request for extra serving of Sambal Belacan.
Both Assam and Lemak Laksas are available here. The Lemak Laksa was jeweled with aplenty of Fish. The creamily-rich, savory-sweet concoction would make any Laksa lovers weak in the knees. Being overly generous with the Laksa Rice Noodles, the ratio of Laksa broth to Noodles was somewhat inappropriate, a tad too dry towards the end. Also, I would prefer my Lemak Laksa to be slightly sweeter, the sweetness was rather soft for this version.
Assam Laksa fared better as compared to the previous version, well, in my opinion (my partner in crime thought otherwise). It has a balanced medley of sweet (from the Shrimp Paste), sour, spicy and savory notes; completed with copious amount of garnishes. The broth was thick and filled with plentiful amount of Fish. Also, it was spicier than the other version.
Nasi Ulam, another choice that provides better value to the set lunch. It comes in a hearty portion, together with two delightful sides- Otak Otak and Acar. Authentic Nasi Ulam should not go with Sambal Belacan, told by Aunty Anne... and so, we obliged. Aunty Anne's Nasi Ulam has a nice twist- toasted Salted Fish; which adds another layer of dimension and saltiness to the rice. The unique distinctive aroma was not easy to discern, pungent spices like Lemongrass, Kaduk leaves and desiccated Coconut were vying for attention. The Otak Otak was not to be forsaken too, it was airy and eggy, generously sheathed in a Betel-leaves cup. Equally delicious was Acar, a crunchy savory-sweet-sour concoction comprised of Carrots, Cucumber, Long Beans and sprinkles of crushed Peanuts.
We wrapped up the meal with a sweet dessert- Bee Koh Moy (Black Rice Porridge) served with a dash of Coconut Cream. The consistency was there, we like the thickness and richness of the dessert, of course, the well balanced sweetness too. However, it could be better with a tinge of saltiness, specifically referring to the Coconut Cream. Another option available will be Mung Bean Porridge.
Drinks included in the Set Lunch: Dried Fig-Drink (left) and Serai/ Lemongrass Drink (right)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad,4 -7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 8.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good) *may opt to park inside the gated area, right in front of the restaurant*
Ambiance: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Address: 67, Macalister Lane, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11: 30 am to 2: 30 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Contact Number: 6016- 489 0024/ 6012- 422 8666