A new dawn seems to be breaking at a restaurant which has changed hands in recent months and is already winning praise from diners.
We’d set aside Friday night as date night for the girls, and with Baba & Nyonya having opened up in what used to be The Sunrise restaurant in Kingsley Park Terrace, this was the ideal opportunity to try it out.
The restaurant has only been open for a few months, but already has a warm and homely feel when you step inside.
Its chinese predecessor had been a favourite of mine, but it’s always good to spice things up and I was looking forward to seeing whether they could live up to that.
The website describes it as the only Malaysian restaurant in Northamptonshire and reviews on Trip Advisor are pretty good so it looked promising.
For starters we shared Pie Tee (£7), four crispy cups filled with king prawns or vegetables and served with a dipping sauce.
We went for the vegetarian choice, which was brimming over with finely shredded vegetables.
It didn’t take long to dip and devour, and we could easily have ordered a portion each given they were so moreish and gone in a moment.
There were various soups and a couple of second courses to consider, but we went straight for the mains and it was a wise choice, given the more than generous portion sizes.
Customers can pick from a range of marinated and stir fried dishes with chicken, beef, pork, prawns, squid or vegetarian.
We both went for the Malaysian Kari (£8.50), a traditional Malaysian spicy curry with roasted potatoes.
I plumped for the prawns while my friend, who has only recently returned from a trip close to the border with Malaysia, went for the vegetarian option with tofu.
Her recent jaunt to that side of the world could have made her a tough critic, but she said it was wonderful and while she couldn’t finish it all, the staff were happy to give her a doggy bag to enjoy the leftovers later on.
The fish version was equally good, with good sized prawns coated in a creamy sauce infused with spices without being too hot or overpowering.
Our curries were accompanied by egg rice (£4) and Nasi Goreng Kampung (£6), a Malay fried rice which came with prawns.
These sides were a perfect antidote to the warmth of the curries, which was washed down with a bottle of reasonable house white.
We glanced at the sweets but decided against it so we didn’t ruin what had been a very enjoyable meal.
During the evening, the staff were really attentive despite nearly all the tables being taken.
The restaurant was filled with chatter and laughter as parties savoured the food as well as the atmosphere.
Not only were the staff very efficient, they were also happy to stop and explain any dishes we were unsure about and made recommendations for what to try.
Even on our way out, the staff remained eager to please and we stopped for a quick chat with the owner before heading home.
He said while business was doing well after just a few months, this was only the start and he wanted to build on their success so far.
If he keeps his word, this restaurant is going to thrive and be more than adequate as a replacement for The Sunrise.
DISABLED ACCESS: May need some assistance
COST OF OUR MEAL: £51 (including drinks)
STEPHANIE’S STAR RATING: 9/10
18, Kingsley Park Terrace
Telephone: 01604 711228