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Nonya Bistro-Wine Bar: Heavenly Chicken Rendang
The Nonya Bistro-Wine Bar features cooking drawn from dozens of cultures and takes great pride in celebrating (and cooking) Adelaide's diversity. The main focus is probably Malay cuisine, with a nod towards neighbor Thailand. The name "Nonya" comes from a malay-chinese term denoting a woman of prominent or social standing.
This is a small little establishment, and you'll feel more like you're at a small dinner gathering rather than "going out to eat", per se. In fact, the menu states that visitors should "savour the exquisite flavours and enjoy the relaxed ambience". That's pretty much a perfect line to describe an evening at Nonya. The menu adds "Nonya is the place for you to meet, chat, eat, drink, entertain and celebrate". I agree.
Our experience was particularly enhanced by the services of a terrific and attentive young waiter. When I told him that we were somewhat unfamiliar with Malaysian food, our server took it upon himself to insure a terrific experience, offering advice and guidance based upon a careful review of the preferences we shared with him.
Favorite Dish: Let's just share some menu items...
For starters, Nonya 's selection includes..
veggie spring rolls with dipping sauce of rice wine vinegar, gula melaka and
fresh chili (A$5)
wrap of chinese roast duck (with avocado, cucumber, julienne snow peas, toasted
sesame seed and a light hoi sin sauce) (A$10)
penang coconut milk and fish laksa (in a rempah of chili, turmeric, blue ginger, lemon
grass, coconut milk, lime leaves, tarmarind skinds and pineapple) (A$15)
Nonya features their curry dishes. The menu includes the following gem of curry wisdom: "curry in a hurry, there's never a good curry made in a hurry" Nonya also adds that their masterpiece is "not your average onion and capsicum sauce curry". The menu also WARNS that curry dishes are "on the menu until we sell out", so you'd best "be early if you want to curry it home".
Nonya Curry Dishes, all A$18
Penang Lime Leaf Chicken (with chili, turmeric, lemon grass and blue ginger)
Gulai Ayam Kapitan (captain's curry of chicken with candlenuts and tamarind)
Kurmah of Chicken (with blue poppyseeds, cloves, star anise and cinnamon)
Penang Nonay Chicken (highly spiced with potatoes and coconum milk)
Malay Chicken Rendang (lightly spiced...not a "wet" curry. A true Malay classic)
(We enjoyed the Chicken Rendang)
Malay Braised Beef Shin (with chili, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, curry leaves, tamarind)
(another dish we loved)
Other entrees include
Red Curry of Roast Duck (with blue ginger, lemon grass, chili, coconut milk, lychees) A$20
Char-grilled kangaroo (with bubble & squeak root veggie puree and onions,
caramelized in balsamic vinegar) A$20
Compote of Prawns (with sliced onions, lemon grass, blue ginger, chili, lime leaf,
turmeric and caramelized pineapple) A$23
Want dessert? (all are A$10)
Warm pineapple tart (with sago gula melaka and passionfruit)
coconut carmel custard (with black rice and a spiced fruit combinations of figs, pears
bananas and orange)
pears poached in red wine (and burnt caramel)
carmelized pineapple (with caramel ice cream)
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