Tropical Spice Garden Cooking Classes - Penang

A first of it’s kind in Penang, the school is custom-made with individual purpose-built workstations that allows for a memorable hands-on cooking experience.

Tucked away in a secluded corner of the gardens, the cooking school is surrounded by jungle trees and wildlife, a small herb garden and a glimpse of the Andaman Sea.

Under the guidance of experienced and professional chefs – each specialising in Nyonya, Malay and Indian cuisines – you can learn to cook local favourites such as Nasi Lemak, Assam Laksa, Chicken Tandoori and even concoct refreshing spice inspired beverages.

As classes are limited to 10 persons, chefs are able to provide a personalised approach. Though the menus follow authentic and traditional methods they are taught in such a way that you are able to recreate the delicious dishes at home.

Morning classes begin at 9am with a complimentary guided tour of the Spice Terraces . This is followed by a pitstop where you can relax over a steaming cup of herbal tea sweetened with stevia leaves.

Once the tour is over, you will be taken to the cooking school where you will learn to prepare an array of delectable dishes from scratch. As the heat goes up and the AC comes on, you will be engulfed in a cloud of fragrant aromas that will have your stomach grumbling in anticipation.

Lunch is served at The Pavilion when you can indulge in the foods of your labour.

To round off your day, a visit to the Gift Shop is advisable as they have quite an impressive selection of herbs and spices. Individually sourced and imported from the best point of origin – cinnamon sticks and black cardamoms from Sri Lanka, vanilla pods from Bali and cloves and nutmeg from Penang – the spices are neatly packed and sealed for your convenience, so you can buy some back even if you plan on taking them overseas.

The Kitchen is set in a specially designed building shaded by jungle trees and a lush garden

Able to accommodate up to 10 persons per class

Fitted with 10 cooking stovetops [20 hobs], 1ovens, 2 large refrigerators, 1 outdoor grinding stone station, 1 outdoor grilling station

Coffee & tea facilities



Tuesday – Sunday (Closed on Mondays)

9.00am – Live Guided Tour of the Spice Terraces

9.45am – Complimentary tea @ Bamboo Garden

10.00am – Gift Shop

10.15am – Cooking Class

12.30- 1pm Class Ends & Lunch at The Patio

Time may vary due to complexity of dishes and differing range of abilities of each guest


Please Note:

If you’re just as excited and as passionate as we are about cooking, sign up and reserve a place at our cooking school. However, to make the reservation as smooth as possible and to meet all expectations, please do read the below:-

We buy the freshest ingredients from the morning market and some chefs are down very early! We really do need your reservation the day before (24 hours minimum) to make sure your station is well prepped.

Please call us by 5pm (one day prior to the class) to make your booking.

If you miss the 5pm deadline, we will try our best to attend to your enquiry but no promises! Do try to keep within 5pm where possible.

We understand you may have young ones under your care. Speak to our team about our policy of having kids in the class. We will try to help you around this.

Dining Only Guests. We welcome dining guests to dine with you and Chef after the class. It’s best they tour the gardens whilst you cook, and re-unite with you at the Patio over a good lunch. But please let us know in advance so we can prepare enough ingredients. RM60 nett for adults & RM35 for children

Cooking Class rates include a guided tour of the gardens and spice terraces, recipe sheets and an apron but does not include transport to the gardens and fro.

If you are booking for 2 PAX & ABOVE ,

1. Book your class with the form

2. Please click on the link given for online /payment/

The booking is complete only upon receipt of payment.

If you are booking for 1 PAX ONLY

1. Book your class with the form

2. Don’t pay yet! Do wait for an email confirmation from our team as we need 2 guests to start a class

Cooking with Children

Children 8 – 14 years of age is allowed to share cooking station with the parents during the class with additional charge. Children 15 years of age and above are considered an Adult and will be charge under Adult rate and be given an individual cooking station. Children below 8 years of age are not allow to participate in the cooking due to safety reasons.

All children will be required to sign a disclaimer before they begin their class.

Children aged 7 and below are strictly NOT allowed in the Cooking School during class time.

Guest’s food allergies and dietary restrictions must be made known upon making enquiries

Getting There

The public buses which come directly to the Garden are No. 102 Rapid Penang (Airport – Teluk Bahang – Airport) and No. 101 Rapid Penang (Weld Quay – Teluk Bahang – Weld Quay).

Free parking is available along Teluk Bahang Road. Buses are advised to arrive at the Main Gate to drop off visitors before parking. Only authorised vehicles are allowed into the Garden.

Except for personal photography using handheld cameras and camcorders, photography and filming in the Garden is strictly by permit only. Photography and filming for educational, commercial, production etc use in permitted upon request and prior arrangement

Cancellation Policy (Cooking Demo):

(1) Bookings received without deposit shall be deemed as a tentative booking subject to changes/ cancellation by TSGCS.

(2) In the event TSGCS receives a confirmed booking with payment which collides with the tentative booking for the cooking demo, TSGCS will inform guests and proceed to cancel the tentative booking (should there be no participation). There shall be no cancellation fee incurred in this instance.

Chef Devi Nadarajan

Devi Nadarajan discovered her passion for cooking soon after getting married (which we can see is very true by the increasing weight of her husband, Raymond). Specializing in authentic Thai cuisine, Devi, has been improving herself regularly by learning and trying out different cuisines, and definitely having a good time sharing her culinary efforts with friends & family. Among her signature dishes are Thai Green Curry, Pandan Chicken and Tomyam Kung

Chef Rohana Turner

Specializing in Modern Malay cuisine, Rohana puts a lot of thought into ingredients, techniques and preparation to ensure quick and easy meals, “I want to share my knowledge but I also want the guests to be able to cook these dishes at home.”

The former Singapore Airline stewardess who learnt to cook at the age of 12, began to teach after moving to Melbourne with her Aussie husband. There she enjoyed hosting weekly potluck dinners with guests whipping up a myriad of Malay Fusion dishes under her guidance.

Her feature dishes includes local festive favourites such as Ayam Masak Merah, Tomato Rice , Begedil, Ayam Masak Lemak, Beef Rendang to name a few.

Chef Viji Reitberger

Viji has been cooking for her family since young and coming from a Malacca Straits Chinese background , cooking at the kitchen with her mother has always been s a part of her growing up life. Now having to travel back and forth Malaysia & Germany where her husband ‘s family lives and having stayed there for a few years, Viji still call Penang her “home”.

For Viji cooking is therapeutic and can give such an awesome feeling of satisfaction…when food prepared with love and devotion. Specialize in Indian & Eurasian cuisines, Viji’s signature dishes amongst are Portuguese Devil’s Curry, Chicken Tikka & Fish Tandoori Masala

Nyonya Su Pei

The intermarriage between Chinese immigrants and local Malays in the 16th century resulted in the distinctive culture of Straits Chinese Peranakan. Community members of this cultural merge address themselves as Baba (for the gentlemen) or Nyonya (for the ladies).

Nyonya Su Pei is a modern day Nyonya with a passion for food and an appetite for locally grown, fresh produce. Being married to a Baba and the oldest daughter-in-law, she was bestowed the responsibility to pass on the recipes and groomed to be the next matriarch of the family.

The Nyonya cuisine is about family recipes that have been passed on for generations, along with stories of the people who cooked them with “love and passion because the person eating the food can actually ‘feel’ the mood of the cook…the motherly recipes has to be emulated 100% so the tastes will linger in their minds every time they think about home-cooked food. If the food was not up to par, the men in the family would just leave the dining table. At first, I felt very disheartened after a whole day of toil (which) nobody appreciated and boycotted my food.

For a culture that embodies such harmonious integration which is seen in the uniqueness of not only the cuisine but also in the fashion and handicrafts, Nyonya Su Pei wishes to find new inspirations and mentors in order to bequeath them to the next generations.

With a goal of adapting sophisticated Nyonya cuisine for the public, she collaborated with Straits Chinese (Penang) Association on a two-volume cookbook: Nyonya Flavours which has been best-selling for five consecutive years, sold in major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore. It has since become a standard guide for the Peranakan culinary community.

For her first ever cooking class in Tropical Spice Garden, it was a “daunting experience to demonstrate my signature dishes of Nyonya Gulai Kay (Nyonya Curry Chicken) and Kerabu Snuai Ya (Mango Kerabu) to four experienced (international) gourmands who have probably seen more of the world than I did but I was determined to convert them into Nyonya food lovers. I could see that they were sceptical watching how this young lass could possibly teach them how to cook but as the time went by, I could see in their eyes that they are getting convinced that I am worthy of my salt.”

Spurred by this success, Nyonya Su Pei is keen on sharing more of her recipes with Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School’s guests. During her free time, she tests and compiles various Nyonya recipes and now has a collection of more than 300! With our 10 working stations, we provide a hands-on environment for that personal experience in learning one of our unique local cuisines.

Nyonya Bee

The intermarriage between Chinese immigrants and local Malays in the 16th century resulted in the distinctive culture of Straits Chinese Peranakan. Community members of this cultural merge address themselves as Baba (for the gentlemen) or Nyonya (for the ladies).

Family recipes that have been passed down for generations by word of mouth, adapted and perfected over time, are essential in making each Nyonya’s dish delightfully unique. TSG Cooking School’s latest addition is Chef Nyonya Bee. Descended from the Peranakan (“born of”) in the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia, her family recipes are influenced by traditions from Thailand, which includes liberal use of coconut milk, tamarind juice, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Visitors to Malaysia who are interested to learn some Nyonya dishes “will be able to appreciate the merits of different ingredients and methods of preparation” as they join a cooking class in Tropical Spice Garden.

Chef Nyonya Bee is excited and glad to see interest in the food that she prepares and is keen to share insights into her signature dishes such as Curry Kapitan (chicken curry), Lor Bak (five spice roll), and Kerabu Bee Hoon (vermicelli salad).

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