Nostalgic Portuguese treats in PJ


De Souza’s husband and son help her run Sabrozu Cafe. — Photos: GLENN GUAN/The Star

TO THE Kristang community and many who grew up in Melaka, pang susi is a treat that holds nostalgic memories and is usually only found within the Portuguese settlement in the historical state.

While it may resemble a curry puff, Lydia De Souza said pang susi differed in many ways as the baked pastry was filled with spiced meat.

“Pang susi traditionally has a minced pork filling.

“Some use Spam (canned meat) or debal curry,” said the woman behind Sabrozu Cafe.

“But mine is made with minced chicken as I want my food to be enjoyed by the masses.

“I also make a sardine version for those who prefer a little heat.

“I use a blend of yellow Japanese and local sweet potatoes in my pastry dough, while my filling is seasoned only with salt, pepper and cinnamon.”

Some versions of pang susi feature candied winter melon, coriander powder, five spice powder and ground nutmeg in its spice mix.

“In the Kristang language, pang means bun, susi is sister and sabrozu delicious,” said De Souza, a retired advertising manager.

“Because pang susi is labour-intensive and difficult to make, it can only be savoured during special occasions such as Easter, Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries.

“The sweet potatoes have to be cut and mashed into the pastry dough.

“The filling is prepared separately, before being wrapped in the pastry then baked.

“It takes me about six hours to make 80 pieces.”

On the story behind pang susi, she said that nuns (sisters) in the early 1900s making unleavened bread for Communion service gave some of the extras to a church helper. That bread was then turned into a bun with savoury filling.

De Souza had been presenting pang susi and other baked treats as gift baskets to her family, but decided to start Sabrozu Cafe as a home-based business after receiving multiple requests.

It offered De Souza an opportunity to support her family, as business at her husband Felix Too’s advertising agency was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“He surprised me when he announced that he had leased a lot at the Central Park food court in Dataran Sunway for Sabrozu Cafe.

“It was an impulsive decision.

“But my husband and my sons, Brandon, Joshua and Gavin, are around to help,” she said, adding that running a cafe had been Too’s dream.

“I used to take orders and make pang susi only on weekends.

“But with the cafe, pang susi is available daily though the quantity is much higher on Fridays and Saturdays.”

Sabrozu Cafe offers Kristang and home-cooked specialities such as chicken kapitan, chicken pongteh, debal curry, chicken rendang and fried chicken.

For tea time, there are treats such as banana bread with walnut, chocolate chip banana bread with walnut, banana bom (Sabrozu’s version of cekodok), anchovy bom, and soon, bolo de limao (lemon cake with cream cheese).

Pang susi, chicken kapitan and chicken pongteh are permanent menu fixtures, while debal curry and bolo de limao are available on special occasions.

“Feedback from customers has been positive so far.

“Some said they had not had pang susi in 10 or 20 years and that the sweet-savoury treat takes them back to their childhood days,” said De Souza.

Pang susi (either filling) is priced at RM2.50 per piece, RM10 for four pieces and RM24 for 10 pieces.

Banana bread is priced from RM15 for five slices and from RM29 per loaf (about 10 slices).

Hot meals are priced at RM9.90 per set. It includes a choice of chicken dish, rice, acar and a drink.

Sabrozu Cafe is located at 1-1, Central Park, Jalan PJU 5/13, Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

Parking is available within the Central Park building.

It is open from 11am to 7pm daily, but closed on Sundays.

For details, WhatsApp 012-314 0436.

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Kristang , Portuguese , Melaka

   

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