During Ramadan, some of us may look forward to breaking fast with a glass of water; others with dates or kuih.
However, there are those who look out for a serving of local specialities that has all elements of a complete diet. Nyonya food is a popular option for the breaking of fast and Penang Village offers reasonable portions just enough to satisfy hunger pangs.
Food presentation is simple, using large claypots to retain the natural flavour of the food and wooden spoons to dish them out. Food here is cooked with fresh ingredients, its lingering aroma waiting through the air the minute you step into the restaurant. So it is not surprising that the place is packed, especially during buka puasa hours.
Waters are also busy at this time, replenishing plates, taking orders for drinks or a la carte favourites or refilling food at the buffet line-up.
Although the sumptuous food at the buffet area is more than enough to fill an empty stomach, some may want to concentrate on a single dish and go for an a la carte order instead.
Co-owner and head chef C.G. Tang has prepared a four-day rotation menu with almost 30 items for buka puasa daily.
While fragrant steamed rice is available for dinner, the chef has also added fried rice and noodles to the line-up.
So, depending on the menu, you could either opt for Char Koay Teow and Kampung Fried Rice or Braised Ee Foo Mee and Nasi Tomato or Singapore Fried Beehoon and Nasi Kerabu or Mamak Fried Mee and Pineapple Fried Rice.
On the day of our visit, we reviewed the spread of Menu C, which offered Chicken Lobak made with chicken breast, turnip, egg, five spice powders, flour and fried onion from the appetisers.
The main couse gets whipped out pretty quickly so if some of the earthen pots are empty, make a second visit, as the chefs are busy in the kitchen preparing the food hot from the wok.
My favourite dishes were Honey Orange Chicken and Kepala Ikan Assam Gulai.
The chicken is first lightly deep-fried, then stir-fried with orange cordial, lemon cordial, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, honey and soya sauce resulting in the golden rich honey and citrus flavoured chicken.
Tang is known for his expertise with fish dishes as the Kepala Ikan Assam Gulai was a hit with diners as hints of herbs and spice played on the tastebuds.
The sauce is sour and aromatic with onion, ginger, lemongrass, galangal, chilli, tamarind, garlic and a slab of shrimp paste to enrich the red snapper dish.
Another unique dish featured on the menu is the La La with Unique Sauce cooked with onion, ginger, red chilli ad lots of tiny anchovies.
carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and snow peas while the Braised Tofu with Crabmeat was thick and nutritious.
We went slow for dessert as there was just not enough space for more. The dessert area offered a selection of Nyonya kuih, Agar-Agar Delight, Pandan Sago Pudding, Bubur Cha Cha, cakes of the day and a platter of mixed fresh fruits.