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Peranakan and Baba Nyonya in Penang

Peranakan, or commonly known as Baba-Nyonya are descendants of the 16th century Chinese immigrants who migrated over to Malaya. It applies especially to the ethnic Chinese populations of the British Straits Settlements of Malaya, namely Penang, Singapore and Melaka!

Penang’s Baba and Nyonya were colorful and refined, especially their older generations. Their rich yet unique cultural identity was indeed their very own. Drawing from the cultures of Chinese and Malay combined, this culture unfortunately has been dying away over the turn of the last century.

Peranakan Baba and Nyonya at Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Photo Courtesy of Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang

In Penang the Peranakan heritage and culture is well preserved. A lot of their artifacts are displayed in Pinang Peranakan Mansion such as household items, crockery and personal items.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion at

The elaborate fine cooking of Nyonya cuisines using many flavors are available in a few restaurants around George Town. One example of such Nyonya restaurant is Hot Wok Nyonya & Local Cuisine located in Burma Road, Penang.

Penang Nyonya restaurant - Hot Wok at

Penang Nyonya restaurant - Hot Wok at
Zac Teo

Zac Teo


  1. Good to know the Hot Wok is still serving its fine Nyonya cuisine. I have had the good fortune to dine a number of times at two of their locations in Penang over the years. Their early restaurant in Tanjung Tokong (I believe that was its location) was like a small museum with its collection of Peranakan items.

  2. You do have it their previous location right. You can find their present location in Burma Road, right in town.


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