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Malacca Food Review – Peranakan heritage and food

By 31/01/2017 No Comments

Malacca Food Review – Peranakan heritage and food

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Malacca – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a history of more than 500 years as a trading hub between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. Influences of the West, especially the Dutch and Portugal, are evident in many parts of this old town.

This is our third visit to Malacca in the past few years, we booked in the same Hotel Puri Melaka, this is a boutique hotel only a stroll away from the famous Jonker Walk and near to the historical district.

Hotel Puri Melaka

The hotel is a restored Peranakan house which once belonged to the decendants of an eminent philanthropist and rubber plantation owner, Tan Kim Seng. We liked the beautiful and intricately baba decorated interior with its spacious rooms.

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There is no shortage of good food in Malacca and our food trail started right away from the moment we checked into the hotel.

We visited many recommended good food places in Malacca and we have highlighted those we think worth the visit.


Highly recommended:

Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice 

Jonker 88 curry noodles 

Kedai Nyonya Chendol – Number One Kopitiam 

Nadeje cafe


Recommended:

eHa juice & veggie bistro

Heng Huat Coffeeshop wanton noodles 

Roadside kuik (make shift stall along the road side)

Soon Yen Nyonya Kuek 

Soon Yen Duck Noodles 


If you have space with your stomach, go ahead to try the below stalls or restaurant.

Lung Ann Refreshments- Kaya Roti

TasteBetter

Rong Mao Tea House (榮茂茶樓) 

60 East and West Rendezvous 

Eleven Bistro Restaurant

Poh Piah Lwee


Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice melaka-6

Located right across the popular San Shu Gong shop, this is the most popular chicken rice shop in Malacca. It’s top of the chart with good reasons. Chop Chung Wah uses only kampung chicken which is much tenderer and juicier but less meaty, so be prepared to enjoy gnawing strips of flesh off the bones. The well-seasoned birds were full of flavour from the sauce doused over it. Do take note the kampung chicken is small in size and the minimum order is half a chicken even for a single person serving.

malacca kampung chicken

The rice balls are equally good if not better than the chicken. Each ping pong sized rice ball was encased with the essence of the chicken aroma and had us popping one ball after another into our mouths. However the size of the balls have shrunk by half over the years since we first visited… 🙁

The dipping chilli was fiery hot but one of the best chilli we have tried so far. Don’t miss it.

A: Chop Chung Wah
No. 18, Jalan Hang Jebat,
(Jonker Street) 
75200 Melaka.

H: Opens daily from 8.30am to 3pm.

Jonker 88 malacca Jonker 88

Another shop along Jonker street that is forever packed with patrons, famous for the baba laksa and Assam laksa, it took us some time to secure a table and we went straight ordered the upsize Special Jumbo baba Laksa RM10.5 and Special Jumbo nyonya Assam Laksa RM10.5.

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The wait is worthwhile, both noodles served in a relatively big bowl, the laksa was topped with fried tau kee, a hard boiled egg, prawns and chicken. The laksa and assam gravy were succulent in taste.

A:
88, Jalan Hang Jebat
Malacca 75200

H:
Friday and Saturday 9:30AM–8:30PM
Sunday to Thursday 9:30AM–5:30PM

Chendol

You can find chendol everywhere in Malacca, every eatery shop will have their own creation but mostly run of the mill standard.

Kedai Nyonya Chendol – Number One Kopitiam 

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Opposite the famous Hoe Kee chicken rice ball, the small shop could easily missed. The interior features all the Coca-cola collectibles giving the shop a distinct character and ambience.

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The chendol is a lot more flavorful than the 60 East and West Rendezvous or other chendol we had tried. We can truly appreciate the lingering aroma of coconut and the fragrance of gula melaka that topped on the shredded ice. The bowl of chendol could be more delicious if not for the hard texture of the red beans. Regardless, it was still one of the better ones around the Jonker Street and the only chendol stall we never failed to visit on every trip to Malacca.

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No. 1 Kopitiam Famous Nyonya Cendol

A: No. 1 Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), Malacca City 75200

T: 06-335 7443 / 013-680 4473

H: Mon to Thurs from 11am to 6pm and 11am to 10pm on Fri to Sun

Lung Ann Refreshments- Kaya Roti 马六甲古里街隆安茶室 melaka-27

It is named one of the places to taste the best traditional kaya roti, unfortunately we can’t fully appreciate it. The thinly sliced toast with kaya and butter was fairly similar to local Ya Kun kaya roti toast. You may find the taste nostalgic, but not something particularly exciting. However, the half-boiled eggs were much better than our local eggs, may be the eggs were freshly laid and that makes the difference?

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Lung Ann Refreshment

A: 93/807, Lorong Hang Jebat,75200 Melaka

H: 7am – 4pm daily, closed on Thursdays

eHa juice & veggie bistromelaka-51

This shop is featured in the popular Taiwanese travel show – Mei Shi Da San Dong for their food. The oyster noodle was immersed in a rich and thick black sweet and savoury sauce, topped with big and juicy oyster, you can’t find it in Singapore and is worth a try.

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The Prawn noodle served with prawn, egg and fish cake, the sweetness of the seafood was evident in every sip of the broth, another dish not to be missed.

3D Durian was simply durian with shredded ice.

A: 57, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Meleka, Malaysia

H: Tues to Sun 10am – 7pm, Closed on Monday

TasteBetter

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Famous for the cream puff and one bite size, the filling or the cream was acceptable but the texture of the puff was not soft enough to melt in your mouth.

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A: 96, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Meleka, Malaysia

H: 9.30am – 10.30pm Fri / Sat and Sun, 9am – 6pm Mon to Thurs

Heng Huat Coffeeshop wonton noodles  melaka-19

It has all the taste of the old time wonton noodles, the chili was quite impressive but unfortunately the noodles were way overcooked and turned out real soggy, maybe this is the type of texture that the locals are used to? Or our bad luck on that day?

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A: 127, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

H: 7.30am – 11.30am daily

Rong Mao Tea House 榮茂茶樓  melaka-22

Forever packed with patrons especially with the tourists, named one of the best dim sum shops in Malacca, we endorsed the freshness of the dim sum but perhaps that is all there was to it.

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In our opinion, the dim sum could be more focussed to create a few signature items rather than a generalised menu that leaves little to no impression.

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A: 32, Jalan Tukang Emas, 75200, Melaka, Malaysia

H: Daily 5.30am – 1pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

60 East and West Rendezvous  melaka-25

Touted as the best Bak Chang in Malacca. In our opinion, the nyonya dumpling was acceptable in general but the overall flavour was not what I would call ‘the best’. Perhaps my tastebuds were too strongly influenced by my baba parents-in-law who made fantastic nyonya bak chang?

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The chendol was ordinary and we believe your stomach deserves something better.

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A: 60 Lorong Hang Jebat, Melaka 75200, Malaysia

H: 9.30am – 5.30pm daily

Nadeje cafe

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Nadeje is popular for its mille crepe. The cakes were silky smooth with featherlike soft texture, not sugary sweet and it reminded us the famous Lady M pastries.

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This is a much visited cafe for their outstanding mille crepe, soft and flavourful. We went for repeat orders just to meet our craving for this lovely cake so if you like the mille crepe from Lady M, Nadeje is not far to it.

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A: G-23B, EG 4 & EG 5, Ground Floor, Mahkota Parade, 75000 Melaka.

T: 06-2843469.

H:Daily : 11:00am – 10:00pm

Eleven Bistro Restaurant 

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We had visited quite a few Nyonya restaurants around Jonker Street but so far there weren’t any that impressed us. Dishes from Eleven Bistro Restaurant fell into the same standard with run of the mill dishes.melaka-34

Whenever you visit Malacca, besides the famous chendol, do ensure you try the egg omelette. The fermented shrimp sauce and the quality eggs ensure a consistent top ranking amongst our favourites here.

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Chicken wings doused with sweet gula malaka, interesting? A savoury dish now comes with the sweetness of the coconut sauce. You either like it or hate it.

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Fish was fresh and completely covered by the special chilli sauce, not too spicy and overall flavour was average.

A: No.11, Jalan Hang Lekir (Jonker Walk), 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

H: 11am – 3am Fri and Sat, 11am – 2pm  Sun to Thurs

Roadside kuih melaka-37

Baba Charlie is popular among Singaporeans when come to nyonya kuih-kuih, however, our experience with Baba Charlie was not too impressive. Perhaps because he is now a tourist attraction, especially amongst Singaporeans, Baba Charlie tends to push the price to the high side. Unfortunately, the standard of the kuih was not exemplary compared to the price.

If you happened to visit Jonker walk over the weekends (Fri to Sun), there is a makeshift kuih stall selling all kind of nyonya kuih near the iconic Geographer Café and operating from around 7am and end before noon that is worth exploring. The nasi lemak came with kangkong. Frankly all the items on the table, be it the kuih or nasi lemak, were all quite unique and worth the try.

If you are looking for more kuih, Soon Yen Nyonya Kuih is another place you can pay a visit.

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Soon Yen Nyonya Kuih

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Soon Yen Coffee Shop is where the locals go for breakfast. With less tourists, the Nyonya kuih is authentic and much cheaper than Baba Charlie, priced are around 20 to 30 cents per piece (Singapore currency) and better quality.

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The stall is not too far from Baba Charlie and is a good alternative to have a taste of local kuih. Do take note the kuih usually sold out before noon and you got to be the early birds to catch the worms.

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Do try the brown-coloured kuih in the photo, not common in Singapore but tastes good.

Soon Yen Duck Noodles

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If you are at Soon Yen coffeeshop for the kuih kuih, do try one of the best duck noodles in Malacca that is located in the same coffeeshop. We like the flavourful gravy and the braised duck, the braised eggs are equally impressive, the hard boiled egg was soft and the herb permeated deeply into the egg yolk. The perfect texture and taste are so good that we ordered ten eggs to take away.

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A: 596, Jalan Tengkera, Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.

H: daily 6am till noon for kuih stall, Closed on Monday

Poh Piah Lwee

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The uniqueness with the poh piah is the extra crispiness from the fried pork lard added, it helped to lift the overall taste.

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Besides the poh piah, you can try the laksa and the bak chang here.

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laksa

The laksa was rich and creamy, you can taste the authenticity in the bowl thought the seasoning could be more intense for a more flavourful taste.

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Bak Chang

The bak chang somehow tasted better than the famous 60 East and West Rendezvous but still fell short of our expectations of a good nyonya bak chang.

A: 14 Jalan Kubu, Malacca, Melaka 75200

H: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Pasar Malam (Night Market) melaka-17

Do talk a stroll along the Jonker Street during the weekend nights (Fri to Sun). This is the best way to experience the local culture and an atmosphere reminiscent of the bygone 70s in Singapore. Do also try out the food from the road side stalls.

Sunday morning Antique stalls 

If you are an early person, do take a walk in the Sunday morning along Jalan Hang Lekir, the street next to Geographer Café to visit the antique market, you can find some real antiques, collectibles and may be some hidden treasures here. Most of the stalls open at around 7am and close before noon. So, be early.

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Our verdict on Malacca Jonker Street Food Trail

The chicken rice ball, chendol, kuih kuih, baba curry noodles and anything related to nyonya Malacca food as well as the rich culture are the highlights of the visit to this old town. It is truly a good place to experience the Peranakan heritage and the nostalgic feel of an old town. Will we be back again? You bet.

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TK

TK

TK and the family loves to eat and believe good food should be shared, together with his daughter's QiQi, both are the main content writers and photographers for the food niche sites. Of course, the important supports from the wife's Ping and the son's Sen got to be mentioned as well, as it is our passion about food and an important catalyst that bond us together as a family.