Our slow-mo mahjong game yesterday can be attributed to the insane lunch we had prior at @nonyabong private dining. I decided to pick from Uncle Jeffrey’s a la carte menu for my group of mostly first-timers instead of choosing the “Eat Until Pain” and “Eat Until Pengsan” 8 and 10-course set menus. Judging from everyone’s enthusiastic praises, I guess I did very well.
Ordering my personal beloved dishes first was a no-brainer. These included Kueh Pie Tee (every part of it is made from scratch at Nonya Bong), Itek Tim (there’s fresh green chillies and brandy to dress your “kiam chye” duck soup), Sambal Hati (a mash-up of chicken gizzard, liver and heart in a rich, thick lemongrass-scented paste-like sauce), Sambal Belimbing (this feminine creation blazes with a bright acidity), Chicken and Pork Buah Keluak (double protein and fully-stuffed nuts for the win), Sambal Prawns with Petai (the rempah used here is spectacular and that’s why this is my forever favourite), and Wing Bean Salad (very finely-sliced by @icookyoueatishiok, the “kacang botor” is unerringly fresh and crisp, and comes in a pitch-perfect dressing with lime juice and other seasoning, plus prawns and a crunchy nut crumble).
As for the two dishes I decided to order for the first time ever, they turned out to be excellent as well. The Nonya Curry Chicken with its medium-bodied gravy swimming with chicken pieces (not just wings and drumlets), chunks of potato and a couple of tomatoes, was unbelievably aromatic and complex. I was struck by how closely it resembled my late maternal grandmother’s version of the dish - all the familiar spices she used were also in every whiff, slurp and chomp of Nonya Bong’s.
The other new-to-me dish was the Sotong Hitam. I’ve had my eye on it for the longest time and after gobbling it yesterday, I can say it’s been worth the wait. While the squid itself was tender and full of roe (we got lucky as it’s the season), the squid ink gravy was delightfully tangy with a slight sweetness. I loved it.
In the midst of eating, we were accidentally blessed with a serving of Beef Rendang. How fortuitous as everyone ended up enjoying every bite of the aromatic and tender meat.
After Uncle Jeffrey presented the Sago Pudding in his inimitable style, the eight of us inhaled our bowls of tiny slippery pearls in au naturel Orang Asli gula melaka and cold-pressed coconut milk that’s been mixed with some coconut water and a touch of salt. It was also the first time in all my visits that the Sago Pudding was completely wiped out.

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