Century Egg Cheesecake with Ikan Bilis & Peanuts is Now a Thing in Penang

Image: Moody Cow Cafe Penang / TripAdvisor

Talk about fusion.

If you didn’t know, century eggs are a Chinese delicacy, and they’re basically duck eggs preserved in horse urine rice husks with salt, lime, and ash for a hundred days (which somehow became a hundred years in its name).

Credit: Moody Cow Cafe Penang (Facebook)

Sambal anchovies and groundnuts (aka “Ikan Bilis & Peanuts”?) seem to be of Malay origin, although they’re enjoyed in many Chinese mixed vegetable stores too. Otherwise, they’re self-explanatory.

Credits: Cooking with Marina Mustafa

And then you have the cheesecake aspect, which has its roots in ancient Greece. Consisting of cream and soft cheese on a biscuit base, it’s actually debatable whether this rich dessert is a cake (names can be misleading).

The culinary experts like to call it a tart, while some argue it’s a pie. (But that’s irrelevant to this article.)

I Have Cheese Cake, I Have Ikan Bilis, I Have Century Egg

Put them all together with a decadent chocolate layer and you get this abomination.

Credit: Moody Cow Cafe Penang (Facebook)

The Black Moon Cheesecake

Can you guess what the “black moon” refers to?

Before we even get to taste it, do you sometimes wonder how in the bloody world did something like that even get conceptualised?

Asian dishes that are both commonly enjoyed in porridge with a creamy cream cheese dessert that’s as western as you can get.

I’d understand if there was a century egg craze like the salted egg yolk or bubble tea one that excites businesses into stuffing the money-making ingredients into every crevice that seems at least mildly suitable.

But no, someone from the Moody Cow Cafe (either a genius or a ketamine addict) did this all on their own.

Conspiracy Theory

Here’s one possible linkage between the ingredients that I can think of: The process of preserving century eggs not only turns the whites into a dark-coloured gelatinous substance (that actually tastes fairly innocuous). The yolk is said to take on a creamy, cheese-like texture with an ammonia and sulfur odour. Maybe they thought that would make the century egg seamlessly blend right into the European dessert.

We’ve often waited for tomorrow for a meal with our family. But what if tomorrow never comes? Watch this and you'll understand:

I have no hypothesis for the rationale behind the anchovies. A sprinkle for good measure, perhaps.

How Does it Taste

According to someone who actually gave it a go, there’s a lot going on with every bite, maybe too much, with the differences in textures and flavours with every component

But it’s not revolting, and she calls it an acquired taste.

In other words, it’s just a novelty; the combination isn’t actually a winning one.

Moody Cow Dessert Cafe

Image: Penang Holiao 槟城好料 Facebook Page

Other than this “cake”, they’re famous for other innovative combinations like the Chicken Floss Salted Egg Cake and Musang King Cheesecake. If you want a sure win, the Cempedak Cheesecake is a popular one.

So if you’re ever in Penang, you know where to go, right?

Address: 170 Jalan Transfer, George Town, 10050 Goerge Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Opening hours: 11-12am daily