Melaka food blog — Experience Melaka delicacies, arrived at by Trishaw
Malacca (Melaka), Malaysia is both beautiful and wonderful, like something out of a fairy tale. Half of the city is designed in traditional Asian architecture, with exquisite carvings and brightly colored Chinese-style houses that were formerly home to wealthy Chinese merchants. The rest of the neighborhood looks like a little European village, complete with windmills, Victorian fountains, and modest red buildings. A trishaw (three-wheeled passenger vehicle) tour is the best way for travelers to see Malacca and experience the variety of local cuisine.
Baba-Nyonya — Fascinating Combination
Malacca used to be a lively metropolis teeming with the most powerful merchant families in Asia. When wealthy businessmen from all over the world arrived, Chinese merchants took the opportunity to start enterprises and dwell in this fertile area. They married local women and instilled their culture in the city. Since then, this location has been a melting pot of Malay and Chinese civilizations, as well as Dutch, Portuguese, British, Thai, and Indian influences. The term “Baba- Nyonya,” which refers to both the people and the cuisine, exemplifies this fusion of cultures and flavors. In Mandarin, Baba means “father,” but Nyonya means “mother” in the local tongue. Baba Nyonya foods are well-known, particularly in Malacca and Singapore (meanwhile, in Penang, you can experience a very different culinary style altogether, which is Asam Laksa).
We had our first meal in Malacca at Restoran Peranakan, which serves famed Baba-Nyonya delicacies. Baba-Nyonya foods are quite recognizable to a Vietnamese like myself owing to the Chinese culinary influences they share with Vietnamese cuisines, as well as the same common components such as onion, mushroom, garlic, pepper, lemongrass, and red chilli. For a Vietnamese visitor like myself, a few delicacies in Malacca will make you feel like you’re back home. You may also see antiquities from the Baba Nyonya people, such as an old palanquin, mirror, or screen, at Restoran Peranakan. The trip was totally worth it.
Restoran Peranakan Melaka
Address: 107 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Malacca, Melaka, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 6-284 5001
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 18:30 – 22:00
Street-foods in Melaka Old Quarter
Walking merchants with massive bunches of bananas may be found right in the town center. Don’t miss out on the delectable flavor of fried banana! A large bag of fried bananas and sweet potatoes costs roughly 2RG (around 12,000VND). Although these fried bits are a touch greasy, the exquisite flavor will quickly compensate for any guilt. While we are used to enjoying fried pressed banana with a crispy outer shell in Vietnam, they do things differently in Malaysia. Bananas are chopped into thick slices and fried here to form the fragrant “Goring Pisang” (fried banana).
Cendol was another food we loved throughout our visit. Cendol is a chilly, sweet soup that is quite popular in Malacca. I could see the same enormous signs with “Cendol” scrolling across their fronts no matter where I stood, day or night, near the market or on any given street. Cendol is a black bean sweet soup with coconut milk that is comparable to Vietnamese black bean sweet soup. The coconut milk is simmered with pineapple leaves to generate a natural vanilla flavor, which helps making the cool Cendol as delightful on a hot day. It was an incredible experience.
Another dish that drew my attention while roaming around Malacca was apam balik. This meal is comparable to peanut butter pancakes or crepes. Pounded peanuts are combined with brown sugar and shaped into a cake before being roasted. After that, the roasted cake is divided into little pieces. Corn is sometimes used for stuffing by bakers. Unless you have a peanut allergy, apam balik is a must-try dish in Malaysia. The texture of the cake is both crunchy and silky. Overall, it’s a basic yet pleasant dinner.
There are two meals in particular in Malaysia that make customers feel as if they are witnessing an art presentation. They are roti canai and teh tarik, which are frequently served together. Locals commonly start their days with a cup of tarik tea and a roti canai cake. Do not pass up the opportunity to observe chefs deftly kneading and rolling wheat powder to form roti canai cakes. Following your tour to the Malacca Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary, you may have complimentary teh tarik tea and a selection of traditional pastries. This initiative aims to increase tourism in Malacca. I got to see millions of butterflies and snakes while sipping a cup of hot tea.
How to get there? From Kuala Lumpur capital city, take a bus to Malacca, taking about 1.5 hours.
- Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum
- A’Famosa Fort
- The Stadhuys
- Taming Sari WatcThe Stadhuyshtower
- Malacca Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary
- Restoran Peranakan (Baba-Nyonya dishes) 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca
- Jonker’s Walk Night Market (open only at weekends)
- Bars, night clubs and small cafes are located along Malacca river.