Can you be romantic here in Penang? Absolutely! Just going for a cup of coffee can be a romantic event. When I was thinking about a romantic getaway in Penang for Vivi, I got an amazing idea. Actually, the idea was so obvious I couldn’t pass it up. Vivi was super excited about the Nyonya cuisine we tried here in Penang and over the last few days, I was hearing nothing else but how good it was.
Peranakan is Her Thing
Actually, she likes more than just the cuisine, she finds the Peranakan culture in general to be pretty interesting. So I did some research and I believe I found one of the best experience of Nyonya cuisine. There is a guy who has, not such a conventional restaurant but more like a home kitchen with a kind of museum experience. Yes, you read it that right.
This place is actually an old house, where his grandfather lived with his three wives. The story itself is incredible and we weren’t surprised about spending a whopping five hours there! We got the house tour, a rich historical description of his grandfather’s life, a lot of information about Peranakan culture, a cooking class and, of course, an amazing lunch. Vivi was as happy as a clam. She was also involved in the cooking class, where she prepared the Nyonya rice salad and, I must admit, it was delicious. And it wasn’t an easy task.
There should be 100 thin cuts of 5 cm long herbs leaf rolls. Well, she didn’t get 100 slices out, but she was amazingly good with 93 slices. Even our host was amazed, he also gave her a prize for this task. In the kitchen they prepared 11 dishes for us which were all amazing and here is my review of this restaurant.
And this outstanding dining experience wasn’t the only surprise I got for Vivi: the date started in the morning when we headed off to the Peranakan Museum – Pinang Peranakan Mansion. We were able to observe an amazing old house with many well-preserved objects from the Peranakan golden era. We could see how they lived and what the traditions of these interesting people were. It is kind of funny how they tried to live like westerners, while still preserving some of their old habits. Their life was certainly rich and glamorous and their greatest legacy is without a doubt the Nyonya cuisine.
Vivi liked how decorated their houses were and how nice they were dressed in that time. Women wore a colorful long blouse known as baju panjang with matching beaded slippers called kasot manek. Those shoes are modern even nowadays and I won’t be surprised if I saw them in the new D&G collection. This museum satisfied Vivi’s curiosity about the Peranakan’s house and how people really lived back in those days. If you will ever have an opportunity to visit this museum, I highly recommend it. If you like photography of this place, here you can check our gallery.
Hidden Bar For the End
It was early evening and I saw Vivi was still full of energy. This girl just doesn’t get tired when she is excited! So I decided to add a special ending to our romantic getaway. I took her to a place with curtains and a statue: she was standing there and had no clue what it was about. Her guess was that we came to an art exhibition that only had one exhibit. Well Vivi, look closer.
Behind the curtains, there were hidden doors which lead to the Manchurian styled hidden bar. There we enjoyed a neat cocktail and enjoyed the theatric atmosphere. Sadly, that day there was no live performance, which I had been hoping to for. Usually, they have opera live performance, which would have been spot on for Vivi. Nevertheless, both of us enjoyed our time there anyway. Vivi’s Romantic getaway in Penang got to the end and she was enjoying it all the time.