Melaka is a gourmet’s dream with high quality Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine plus some utterly unique Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya food which is only found in the city. While it used to be solely served up in local homes, these days flocks of tourist have brought the demand for this Melaka cuisine into the restaurants and eateries of the town.
Typical dishes are different from the Peranakan of Penang, with specialities including ayam buah keluak (chicken cooked with a bitter fruit) or ayam pongteh (chicken or pork in bean sauce) very popular. Chicken rice ball is another famous Melaka dish which was brought to the settlement by Hainanese settlers from China.
Yet another speciality of Melaka is satay celup, where lok-lok skewered food including crabsticks, fishballs, prawns or meat are dipped not into boiling water but simmering satay sauce instead. And, of course, the ‘devil curries’ of the Portuguese-Eurasian contingent are also found here and popular with fresh seafood.
Some local Malay delicacies that visitors should try include Asam Pedas. Often considered Melaka state’s signature dish, this extremely hot and sour curry is normally accompanied by white rice and eaten for lunch or dinner. Extremely spicy sambals, such as Sambal Belacan, are normally consumed as a side dish with curries. Cencaluk, made from fermented krills, is found near Klebang Beach and can be an acquired taste for those unused to Southeast Asian flavours.
Peranakan restaurants in Melaka
Great quality Peranakan food served in a spacious courtyard by a traditional house. A full range of authentic Baba-Nyonya dishes available.
Celebrity Nyonya Baba chef Kenny Chan opened this Melaka restaurant to great fanfare and it is one of the most popular spots in town for traditional kueh bongkong and apam berkuah.
Home cooking Peranakan dishes including Nyonya pastries and coconut-rich curries in a lovely setting overlooking the river.
Malay restaurants in Melaka
One of the best seafood restaurants in Melaka with crab, fish, prawn, cuttlefish cooked however you desire with grilled, baked, fried, steamed popular. Selection of Malay and Western accompaniment sauces available.
Spacious canteen restaurant in courtyard within Melaka Heritage Square serving cheap and cheerful Malay staples for just a handful of ringgits.
Chinese restaurants in Melaka
Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
This lunchtime Melaka restaurant is one of the original purveyors of traditional chicken rice ball dishes in the city and has a huge local following. Arrive early to avoid waiting in a long queue.
Capitol Satay Celup
As one of the most popular satay celup restaurants in Melaka, visitors can be sure of sampling the real deal here. Take your pick of meat and seafood skewers and cook them in a vat of spicy satay sauce on your table, then just pay for whatever you ate.