Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School is the first of its kind in Penang. Equipped with individual, purpose-built workstations, this allows for a memorable hands-on cooking experience. Tucked away in a secluded corner of an award-winning garden, the cooking school is surrounded by a lush forest with a glimpse of the Andaman Sea.
Under the guidance of experienced and professional chefs – each specialising in a variety of Malaysian cuisines – you can learn to cook local favourites such as Nasi Lemak, Penang Assam Laksa, Beef Rendang, Char Koay Teow, Chicken Tandoori to name a few, and even concoct refreshing spice-inspired beverages.
Morning class | 9.00am
Afternoon class | 1.30pm
0900 | 1330 Live Guided Tour of the Spice Terraces
0945 | 1415 Complimentary tea @ Bamboo Garden
1000 | 1430 Cooking Class
1230 | 1600 Meal @ The Patio
Time may vary due to complexity of dishes and differing range of abilities of each guest. We also encourage you to visit our Gift Shop (by the garden entrance) before or after class to pick up some spices and treat yourself to something nice!
Guest Chef Faten Rafie
Guest Chef Rohana Turner
Resident Chef Jamie
This month’s menu: Penang Curry Mee
Learn the intricacies of making Penang Curry Mee, a mouthwatering soup-based dish made up of coconut milk, local spices, shrimp stock that’s enjoyed with yellow noodles and rice vermicelli. It’s a local hawker favourite especially enjoyed by the Chinese!
1330 Live Guided Tour of the Spice Terraces
1415 Complimentary tea @ Bamboo Garden
1430 Cooking Class
1600 Meal @ The Patio
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What Our Students Say
I took class with Chef Jamie on 16 February. It was fantastic. It ended up being a private class due to some no-shows. Jamie is a first-rate cook with extensive experience in fine dining, with all the attention to detail that entails. Her knowledge is deep and wide, and she’s not afraid of the science of the kitchen, either (I noticed a well-worn copy of Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, and felt right at home). Her familiarity with many cuisines and exacting techniques helped me understand the processes of Malaysian cooking. Here, she returns to her roots and shows you how to cook local Penang dishes like the Malay Auntie you wish you had. Under Jamie’s guidance, I nailed it. And I do mean guidance. YOU do the cooking. All of it. You’ll arrive to an impeccable mise en place but you’ll do the rest. Don’t worry, she’ll talk you through it and you’ll nail it, too. This is a dish I will actually cook at home. If you’re not a beef-eater any meat will work. I plan to try it with lamb. I learned a lot about local ingredients, relationships and life cycles of spice and herb plants, and their place in the kitchen. As an added bonus, near the tea stop, there’s a stream where you can let little fishes gnaw on your feet like they do in a spa. All in all, an excellent day, and I will do it again next time I’m in Penang.
by Jeff Kosty (Bangkok, Thailand) / 19th February 2019
My daughter and I travelled to Penang late December and attended a walking tour of the spice garden then a cooking class with Rohana. Malay Satay and Peanut sauce class with a number of other people from around the world. You really have to do this as its really enjoyable the knowledge you receive from just walking around the spice garden, then trying some tea before heading off to the air conditioned kitchen to enjoy some cooking. Later then being above to enjoy your food among other participants. Thanks to Rohana you were fantastic we both enjoyed your lesson and humor along the way. If I go back to Penang I would love to do another cooking class here.
by Gennet (Perth, Australia / 22nd January 19
It was fun to cook together with our chief Jamie and learn more about the local dishes and cooking styles. We got a lot of explanations with the recipe and had a great dinner at the end. Also the garden tour with all its explanations nice and very interesting.
by Thomas L (Stuttgart, Germany) / 13th May 2018
The Spice Garden and its affiliated cooking school was a one of a kind experience! First we spent 1 hour hour roaming through the spice gardens and understanding all of the different herbs, plants, and spices that make SE Asian food wonderful. Then we had a wonderful instructor Bee teach us how to make Assam laksa from scratch. Bee was great at guiding us and answering our questions. She was also wonderful to our kids (ages 4 & 1) who accompanied us to the class. Highly recommend to anyone stopping by food paradise, aka Penang!
by Alexander / 15th June 2017
Looking for things to do while on holiday in Penang, we booked a morning cooking class and tour at The Spice Garden. From their website, chose our preference of dishes being offered on different days and chose Malaysian. After a delightful walk through the gardens with a fantastic and extremely informative guide, we attended our class— only my friend and I, so received very individual attention from our teacher, Rohana Turner. With all ingredients already laid out, we produced three very tasty dishes, using an array of natural spices under her excellent guidance. Not only an excellent instructor, Rohana’s warm, friendly manner made the experience such fun. Once completed, we enjoyed the fruits of our labour, yum! A visit to the spice shop is a must, and surprisingly inexpensive. Would definitely recommend this experience for all. Thanks, Spice Garden staff.
by Chris (Adelaide, Australia) / 8th June 2017