The Tranquerah @ Glo Damansara

July 12, 2016

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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