Thursday, 30 November 2017

Best Nyonya Food in Johor Bahru JB List. Grace's

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If you are shopping in IKEA Tebrau, and if meatballs and chicken wings ain't your cup of tea, why not take a short 5 minute drive around the corner to Jalan Harmonium 12 for one of JB's best Nyonya food shops.

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The best way to find your way to Grace's Mama Nyonya is by WAZE App. It will take you to right here at this spot at Jalan Harmonium 12. Grace's is the corner shop and there is no signboard at the moment. When you come here, especially during brekky and lunch, you will be surprised at the crowd even though the shop is a little inconspicuous, tucked away in a quieter side of JB.

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Grace heads the kitchen, making Nyonya dishes inspired by mother-in-law Doris' recipes. Grace personally makes the dishes the traditional way which requires a lot of manual labour and time. Like every mama's home kitchen, the day's menu is rather limited, serving different dishes and Nyonya kueh everyday.

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Grace is a no nonsense chef with a lot of pride. All the sauces and sambals are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. There are no factory supplied ready made premixed nonsense. You can taste the difference straight away with the first spoonful.

You can call Grace at 016 716 7190 to find out the dishes of the day but I wouldn't want to bother her as she will be busy cooking. Anyway, everything Grace makes is nice. Trust me. Trust Grace, like you would trust an omakase chef like that lah 😄

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Today, Grace served asam pedas fish, sambal sotong petai, sambal lady finger, and nasi kerabu - two of us, we wiped the dishes clean. For desserts, she offered kueh talam, pulut tai tai and chendol. So, we ordered everything loh 😄

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Asam Pedas Fish. It's a small ikan selar (yellowtail scad) in an appetising savoury sourish spicy asam pedas sauce.

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The little fish was fresh and I like it that Grace used asam gelugur which has a gentler sourness than the sharper tasting tamarind (asam paste).

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Sambal Sotong Petai.

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Sambal Sotong Petai is one of my favourite dishes and I will order it whenever it is available.

Grace makes a fine version of this dish. The squid was fresh, as were the subtly bitter crunchy stinky beans. The sambal sauce was mild and well balanced with savoury spicy flavours.

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Sambal Lady Finger.

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The blanched lady finger was soft crunchy with subtly sweet juices inside. The sambal chili was savoury spicy with a nice crustacean savouriness from dried krill (small prawns) in the belacan.

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We ate the dishes with Nasi Karabu (a Kelantanese Peranakan dish).

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The rice coloured blue with butterfly pea flower is tossed with all the condiments and accompaniments giving us a mix of savoury, sweet and spicy flavours with every bite.

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You miss out a lot if you leave Grace's without tasting her Nyonya desserts 😜

This Kueh Tai Tai is glutinous rice given a bluish tint with butterfly pea flower, cooked with coconut milk and served with kaya (coconut jam). Layers of rich sweetness.

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Red Bean Kueh Talam. A sweet layer cake - coconut milk on top and red bean paste below.


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Nyonya Chendol. Crushed ice generously topped with homemade pandan "worms" made with pandan puree and rice flour, boiled red beans, and gula Melaka served in a bowl filled with fresh coconut milk.

Our total bill for all the food today came to RM55. Two of us, we ate till we were totally full.

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4-Star (out of 5). A humble eatery, Grace's Mama Nyonya in Desa Tebrau is my go to place for Nyonya food in Johor Bahru. It is home cooked food prepared by a skilful, passionate chef.

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Restaurant name: Grace's Mama Nyonya 
Address:  20, Jalan Harmonium 12 Taman Desa Tebrau, Johor Bahru 
GPS: 1°33'55.1"N 103°47'41.9"E | 1.565308, 103.794968 
Tel: 016 716 7190 
Hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm (Sunday closed)

No pork, no Lard, no Halal cert  

Date visited: 30 Nov 2017  

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