3 Ways To Bring Out The Nyonya In You

Discover this Asian culture in the most enjoyable of ways


1. Walk like a nyonya

For this, you can learn to make your very own pair of kasot manek, which literally translates as ‘shoe beads’. The iconic Peranakan footwear, which dates back to the early 20th century, features tiny colourful glass beads that are usually hand-stitched, and a short, stacked heel measuring an inch or so. Slip yours on and you’ll gelek like the best of them. Sign up for classes at Rumah Bebe’s. 113 East Coast Road, rumahbebe.com

2. Eat like a nyonya

Check out two sumptuous makan spreads you must not miss, because they’re available only till the end of August. Food from the Heart - A Nyonya Blend is Chef Malcolm Lee’s take on nyonya fare with a contemporary twist. The young chef, who helms Candlenut Kitchen restaurant, whips up delights like earthy Buah Keluak Prawns and a lip-smacking Sambal Petai Sotong. Take some time out from eating to eyeball one of six ‘live’ cooking stations and you could pick up some cooking tips too. Make your reservation at 6808 7268 or email thekitchentable.singapore@whotels.com. Entry to Sentosa is complimentary. The Kitchen Table, W Singapore — Sentosa Cove, 21 Ocean Way. From 17-20, 24-27 Aug, 6pm – 10.30pm, $65++ per pax.

Also save tummy room for Singapore’s Culinary Grande Dames at The Clifford Pier, Shermay Lee’s carefully-curated homage to age-old recipes created by three women including her grandmother, Lee Chin Koon. Give your taste buds a little lesson in signature flavours as you sample sedap offerings like Babi Chin with White Rice & Nyonya Achar, Peranakan Popiah and Fish Kedgeree with Three Condiments. Call 6597 5266 for reservations. Till 31 August at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay.

3. Decorate like a nyonya

Take a stroll around the Joo Chiat/Katong area to draw inspiration from the ’hood's Peranakan design accents, then start shopping. Discover bespoke Nyonya-inspired home décor items like customised dining tables, beaded chandeliers or trays at Arthur Zaaro (21 Jervois Close), or shop online for charming finds such as porcelain teapot sets, dinnerware and homeware at Little Nonya Batik. Tote bags and jewellery more your thing? Check out Straits Canopy. And for iPhone cases and wrapping paper, there's always KalaPataCantik!

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