Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Nyonya Weekend at Fun Bee Park

Next weekend on the 5th to 7th July is an exciting moment for food lovers in Brunei as Fun Bee Park organises Nyonya Weekend! Nyonya cuisine is a traditional culinary art, comprising of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cultures – an art which they say is dying as few know or passed down the best kept secrets of Nyonya cooking. I have to agree – Nyonya cuisine has been one of the difficult ones due to lack of publishing on this particular genre of cooking. How many of you had actually tasted good authentic Nyonya cuisine and tried to replicate it at home – only to realize there’s not much information on it?


As a foodie I am very excited to announce that Fun Bee Park has invited a famous author and Nyonya cuisine expert, Pearly Kee from Penang to give a hands on cooking workshop to those who wanted to learn the secrets of Nyonya cuisine! She is the author of the cookbook – A Nyonya Inheritance – and the popular host of the highly rated Penang Homecooking Class in Tropical Spice Garden. She has taught people from around the world about Nyonya Cuisine and invited to host cooking classes in many countries.


Pearly Kee’s cooking classes in Penang includes selecting fresh ingredients from the local markets – and is widely recognized and rated by many across the globe. She is well liked for her attention to detail on the little details that makes or breaks the dish – teaching one the flavours and essences of ingredients. The most important knowledge when it comes to cooking!

nyonya schedule

There are various workshops organised by Fun Bee Park to learn authentic Nyonya dishes for small groups. These workshops are hands on cooking classes and are limited to only a maximum of 8  per workshop! Better register before the slots are taken! Click on the image above for a better view.


For those who are not into cooking but wish to sample authentic Nyonya cuisine can sign up for the Nyonya Night on 6th July Saturday Night for a 5 course Nyonya cuisine which includes mouth watering Kari Ayam Kapitan, the delicious Sambal Goreng - Prawns cooked in white sauce, cashews, lemon grass, tamarind and coconut cream served with spicy chili sauce – while enjoying cultural showcase of Nyonya costumes and accessories. Nyonya Night is limited to only 50 people – first come first served!

You can also join a morning culinary session on 7th July Sunday morning for a demo and tasting of the iconic Assam Laksa and Nasi Ulam, limited to only 50 people as well.


Interested in learning how to make authentic Assam Laksa? Yes please! Sign me up! Below is an extract from one of Pearly’s cooking workshops in Australia.

“Everybody loves a bowl of Laksa and Pearly’s is a Nyonya Assam Laksa based on a very clean, spicey broth without the addition of coconut milk. The spice mix we prepared for this consisted of all the usual suspects like fresh turmeric, lemongrass, chillies and shallots. For some the introduction to prawn paste or belachan came with the initial shock of that nasty odour that comes with it, which one soon grows to accept as it is a key ingredient in not only this style of cuisine, but other Asian styles as well and the dishes cannot shine without it, as stinky as it is. For the stock we learned how to make our own tamarind paste, easily done by dropping the pods into some water to soak for a little while then gently squeezing the pods creating a lovely fresh paste, fresher and cleaner in taste to anything you buy off the shelves ready made. The stock also includes the use of ginger flower or torch ginger.  Most of us in the class had not even seen or used this very pretty herbaceous plant before and were excited to learn how to use and prepare the bud.  We all added it to our list of ingredients we could now identify and name next time we were wandering around the Asian food market. We used fresh tuna in this soup which keeps it very light and together with all of the various spices and herbs, makes for an extremely healthy dish. Coconut milk was optional apparently but I don’t think anyone missed it.”

See more about Pearly’s cooking class in A Tavola Cooking School at the winery in the King Valley -

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I would say this is a good opportunity to learn from a well respected expert in the art of Nyonya cuisine, which requires a lot of understanding and attention to detail. For those who love food, you get to try an authentic Nyonya home cooked meal specially prepared by the master herself. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Tickets for workshops and Nyonya Night are available for purchase from Fun Bee Park, Unit 6&7, Ground Floor, Sempurna Complex, Jalan Batu Bersurat and IA Salon, Mall, Gadong. Call 245 7729 or email for more details!

Pearly teaches in 2 places, one in Tropical Spice Garden and the other in her own home. Pearly homecooking school is rated in Tripadvisor as the number activity to do when visiting Penang. She also teaches in Tropical Spice Garden.

Pearly is on a quest to complete cooking 300 dishes within 30 month.
Her monthly dinners have limited to only 20 pax. Once a month, she cooks, serves and tell you story with nyonya tales of the past. Some makes the guest laugh loudly, some makes them shake their head in disbelief. So come and dine with Pearly if you are in Penang.

You also can read from many bloggers writing on her classes here, both TSG and her Penang homecooking class at home.

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