Penang is all about food. Considered by many as the culinary heart of Asia, people come from all over the planet to wait in line at Penang’s chaotic hawker stalls, hungry for steaming laksa soups and trademark chicken rice. And for good reason; with an eclectic cuisine that mixes Chinese, South East Asian, Indian and Indonesian flavours, it’s simply delicious. There really is no better place in the world to take a cooking class, and during this half-day lesson you’ll create some real Malay classics.
The next best thing to eating in Penang is learning to create its signature dishes yourself. You’ll spend this experience in Penang’s Tropical Spice Garden for a few hours of food-fuelled bliss. Hidden away amongst the fragrant spice plantations, the cooking school sits in a beautiful spot with views of the Andaman Sea in the distance. The school harvests herbs from its very own gardens, so every ingredient is freshly picked.
This is Penang’s first custom-made cooking school with personal workstations and acclaimed professional chefs, so you’ll be in truly expert hands. While it is state-of-the-art, there’s a homely, country-kitchen feel to the school. Classes are limited to just 10 people per lesson and you’ll learn to rustle up authentic recipes handed down through generations. You’ll be shown the traditional techniques to create each dish - but don’t worry - you’ll be swapping the grindstone for an electric blender when it comes to doing it yourself.
Classic Nyonya cuisine blends Chinese ingredients with aromatic Malay and Indonesian spices. The result is mouth-watering; think tangy, herbal, fiery and fresh at every bite. Light with lemongrass, sweet with coconut milk and sour with tamarind, it’s totally unique.
Malaysian Indian cuisine, on the other hand, is heavier and richly spiced, accompanied by lentil dahls and wholewheat rotis, making for sweetly pungent comforting dishes - there really is something for everyone.
After a tour of the spice gardens, you’ll hit the kitchen to cook up some of Malaysia’s most famous dishes. Amongst others, you’ll try your hand at Nasi Lemak, coconut-soaked rice, and delicious, sour Assam Laksa soup. Afterwards, you’ll sit down for lunch in the shady gardens, where you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. With your personal recipes in hand, you can carry a little taste of your holiday home to your own kitchen.