Richard Rivalee, started himself as a designer and is a well-known Nyonya dress designer. He has won many titles with his Nyonya dresses. Although Richard is a great designer, he has many Nyonya recipes which had been passed down by his granny. With this he has discovered his another talent in cooking.
Richard Rivalee started his own small business at Bangkok Lane years back. Recently, he had a joint venture in his business and expanded it. Now Richard Rivalee owns a bigger restaurant at Time Square, M Mall.
As a designer chef, Richard is very particular with the layout and interior of his restaurant. Each corner in the restaurant is filled with nostalgic Nyonya and Baba touch.
The waitresses here can be seen wearing Nyonya tops to suit the theme of the restaurant.
The design of the restaurant is similar to our heritage building style which has many segments.
The grand chandelier which welcomes the guests at the main entrance of the restaurant.
The second floor is reserved for private function upon request.
Each of the dish was served with butterfly pea flower rice and Asian-style salad with some homemade sambal balacan.
The Asian style salad tasted sourish and spicy which was very appetizing.
Five Spiced Loh Bak – RM20, marinated with Chinese five spices and wrapped with soy bean skin, then deep fried until golden brown and served with homemade chili sauce.
The crunchy outer layer complemented the juicy inner meat which was packed with five spices fragrance. This is a great common street food in Penang.
Nyonya Mixed Vegetable Pickle – RM16, cucumber, pineapple, carrot and cabbage were soaked in some vinegar and sugar and cooked with sourish and spicy sauce.
This is actually what locals called “acar” and it really reminded me of my grandma’s cooking.
Jicama Fried with Cuttlefish – RM18, Yam bean, shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, mushroom slices, cuttlefish and shrimps were stir-fried until soft and fragrant.
In Hokkien, this dish is called “Jiu Hu Char”. Although this dish is a common household dish in Penang, but it is not as simple as it looks as it takes good skills and experience to cook this dish until perfection, which is what Richard has managed to achieve that.
Acar Fish – RM24, the mackerel fish were cooked with vinegar and turmeric, added with some stuffed chili with raw papaya slices.
The common selling point of this dish in other places is the sour and spicy flavour. However, at Richard Rivalee’s restaurant it is his famous raw pickled papaya that makes it outstanding and hard to find in other Nyonya restaurants.
Babi Pongteh – RM28, Nyonya Braised Pork Belly With Fermented Soy Bean Sauce.
There is no specific guideline towards the preparation of traditional Nyonya food. For example this babi pongteh dish, some will use dark soy sauce but some will not. As for my granny’s version, it was similar to Richard’s style which is without the dark soy sauce in it.
Asam Pedas Cook with Kembung Fish – RM24, mackerel fish cooked with tamarind, ginger torch, pineapple and mints.
This dish was very appetizing, I love the gravy which was sourish and spicy. If only the mackerel fish were replaced with stingray it would be even more perfect as while one could indulge in its sourish and spicy soup, at the same time would be busy picking out the bones from the mackerels.
Assam Prawn – RM24, stir-fried prawns marinated with tamarind and dark soy sauce.
The assam prawn was great when prepared using fresh prawns. I love the sour and slightly sweet taste with the nice and tender fresh prawns.
Green Curry Chicken – RM24, the main ingredients of this dish other than chicken will be the pea eggplants and bird’s eye chili.
For spicy lovers this is the dish that must not be missed as the green curry was so hot and spicy.
Fish Stomach Asam Curry – RM24, the fish stomach was cooked with shallots, minced lemon grass, ginger torch, basil, pineapple, French beans and mint leaves.
This is known as “perut ikan” and is the signature dish in Nyonya cuisine. This is a must order if you are in Richard Rivalee’s restaurant.
Sambal Petai Cook with Prawn – RM28, this dish was prepared with “Petai” (Twisted Cluster Bean), winged beans, chili, onion slices, shrimps and cooked with sambal.
Most Malaysians would have tasted or love sambal unless you are living in overseas or you are not a spicy lover. This is one of my favorite dishes which I will come back for it.
Pig Stomach Soup – RM38, the cutlets of pig stomach and pork were cooked with mushrooms, carrots and pickled vegetables.
The spiciness of this soup is considered in extreme level. If you can’t take spicy this is not recommended for you.
Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce – RM28, pork belly and pork cubes were boiled in soy sauce with bean curd until long hours.
This dish is a fusion of Nyonya and Hainanese cuisine. This dish is considered a comfort food to me which reminds me of my childhood which my granny will prepare during festive seasons.
The Nyonya feast that we had on that night at Richard Rivalee’s.
Sago & Gula Melaka -RM12.80, sago in butterfly pea flavor and coated with shredded coconut and served with gula melaka.
I don’t usually take desserts unless the dessert is extremely good. To me, this combination of sago and gula melaka is divine. I have never had a dessert which I will go for second helping or more and this dessert has defeated me. For dessert lovers, this is highly recommended.
Bubur Cha Cha – RM9.90, soy beans, sago, banana, yam and sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk.
This is another traditional Nyonya dessert which tasted good. However, my vote still goes to the sago and gula Melaka dessert.
Overall, this restaurant is dedicated to those seeking for delicious and nostalgic Nyonya food. For me, the dishes here reminded me of my granny’s cooking. This is the place that I would regularly come back for.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
|Price (more stars, more reasonable)|
|Private Room (Private Area)|
Operation hours: 12:00noon – 9:30pm (7 days a week)
Contact: 011-1649 6399
Address: Ground Floor, M Mall, George Town, 10150, Penang, Malaysia