Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Tranquerah @ Glo Damansara

The Tranquerah is currently our favourite reason for visiting the new Glo Damansara mall; helmed by a husband-&-wife team, the restaurant maintains a legacy of Nyonya recipes handed down through generations of a Peranakan family from Malacca.

Longtime fans might remember that The Tranquerah first opened in September 2011 at Kota Damansara; it moved to Glo Damansara this year, retaining its colourful cultural charm, with an evocative decor of batik chops, kuih moulds & oil lamps - the ideal setting for an Instagram shoot, with an intricately nostalgic sweep that makes nearly every corner worth exploring.

The menu succeeds in bringing the flavours of Malacca to KL: Ayam Pongteh (RM35 for a 'small' serving that a few customers can share) makes for a satisfactory introduction, with tender chicken, potatoes & mushrooms stewed in soybean paste gravy, though our best bet here is the Ayam Buah Keluak (RM33), confidently rich & robust with the intense earthiness of the 'black nuts.' We also like the Itik Tim (RM36), a capably executed version of the classic duck soup with tangy preserved vegetables.

Seafood shines as well, with the freshness of the produce complemented by the spicy dimensions of Peranakan cuisine: Recommendations include the Bawal Hitam Goreng Cili (RM35 for about 300 grammes), Sotong Masak Lemak (RM28) & Sambal Udang Petai (RM45), best savoured with liberal servings of steamed rice to soak up the lip-smacking sauces.

The selection is extensive, so come here hungry or bring the entire family to feast on the Cincaluk Tasting Platter (RM65), an ensemble of chicken, prawns & squid coated in batter that's infused with the unmistakable brininess of fermented krill. The shrimp omelette (RM20) is a can't-fail crowd-pleaser that everyone will enjoy with some thick, textured sambal belacan (RM3).

Don't skip the vegetables: The Kangkung Lemak Keledek (RM18) is undeniably delicious, pairing leafy greens with sweet potatoes in a coconut gravy with a fiery kick. We'd happily have it again, but what we love even more are the sweet potato leaves, uniquely cooked with sambal keluak for a full-bodied depth of flavour (RM18) - one of our top veggie dishes of 2016.

Desserts run through the essentials of the genre, blowing both cold & hot - respectable renditions of Cendol, Sago Gula Melaka, Ais Kacang & Bubur Cha Cha (RM7.90 each), conjuring memories of consuming these in a kopitiam or by a street stall on a sultry afternoon.


Coffee enthusiasts seeking a different way to get their caffeine fix should check out the house black, made with a blend of Malacca-roasted beans, served with options like Gula Melaka, butter or condensed milk, which each conveys an interesting distinctiveness to the coffee. Beer & wine are also available. All in all, we're encouraged to see the food of our hometown make its mark in another location; many thanks to The Tranquerah for having us here.

The Tranquerah
LG09, Lower Ground Floor, Glo Damansara, Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. 
Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 03-7732-5633


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12 comments:

  1. Ya...from the name I was expecting something Melaka related, nyonya and yes, I was right! I super-duper like...everything!!! Yum! Yummmm!!!

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    1. Suituapui: me too! a well-prepared meal of nyonya cooking makes for a happy dinner indeed :) and yep, the tranquerah takes its name from that well-known street in malacca :D

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  2. That's a truckload of food you have here....and all looks great! I like the cute way they serve their coffee here....so old-school with iced gems ^_* ....but with butter? I can't imagine what that tastes like...but I can imagine the oily sheen on my lips...yucks? ;D

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    1. Contact.ewew: heh, actually the butter works in this case - it's an old-school habit that my grandfather used to practise too - the important thing is that the coffee needs to be super-hot - once you stir the butter in well enough, it adds a flavoursome, satisfying creaminess to the beverage :)

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  3. I like the decor. Looks like you had a lot of food, just the way I like to eat hah..hah.. I have never had buah keluak before, so I am curious. Butter in coffee? That would be something like bulletproof coffee. Don't think I would like it.

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    1. Phong Hong: yep, it was fun photographing this place ;) and ya, the best peranakan meals are when we order everything for everyone to share, heh :D i love buah keluak - it's one of my favourite ingredients in malaysian cooking. the tranquerah is one of the few places in kl that serve it, and it's worth trying - it tastes very distinctive & (for me) delicious. plus, glo damansara is near your usual haunt of damansara uptown, heh :D the buttered coffee is actually quite OK - our entire table was fine with it, hehe ;)

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  4. We visited the old shop once and we quite enjoyed the food. Maybe it's time to visit this place again. :D

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    1. CK: ya - especially since Glo Damansara is easier for you to reach compared to Kota Damansara :D

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  5. Food & environment looks good. But price abit on steep side.
    My late grandfather used to add butter into his black coffee! :-)

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    1. Melissa: yeah, prices at peranakan restaurants generally can be relatively high ... i think it's worth it here though, since portion sizes are quite filling and the quality of the ingredients is good :) it sounds like our late grandfathers were the same :)

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  6. Those food definitely can make me drooling, especially the sambal petai!

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    1. Choi Yen: hehe, i love nearly anything with petai too :D

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