We were hot, tired, hungry and thirsty.....but I had to find a Baba Nyonya restaurant.
I spied the word 'Peranakan' and this restaurant looked nice and cool so we ventured in. The following link explains what Peranakan or Baba Nyonya food is - Peranakan Cuisine
I'm glad we did because the food was awesome and the beautiful ornate surroundings were a pleasure to look at whilst waiting for our meal. I can't remember what we had but we shared everything and it all was sooo yummy! :o) Please have a look at the other photos to experience the full ornate charm.
I totally recommend the Restoran Peranakan.
We happened to pass by this restaruant and wanted to give it a try. The interior has a homey atmosphere even though it is a bit old. We checked with the lady boss to see if they offer ayam buah keluak and are glad they have it on their menu.
We ordered ayam buah keluak(buah keluak chicken)-RM20, otak otak-RM10, steam lady's finger with sambal -RM10, udang lemak nenas(prawn and pineapple cooked in coconut milk)-RM20, rice @RM1.20 each and lime juice @RM3 each.
We were served with little plastic spoons to dig out the paste from the buah keluak's shell. The ladyboss inquired if it was the first time we had this dish because she wanted to make sure that her customers know how to eat the buah keluak. Some of her customers didn't know that the they are suppose to scoop out the paste from the black buah keluak and eat it and they left it untouched. What a waste.
I find the ayam buah keluak a bit disappointing. Usually, the kernels will be removed and grounded to form a thick black smooth paste, seasoned and then stuff the paste back into the shell or mixing it with a little minced prawn and minced pork before sutffing back into the shell. I preferred the natural flavour and don't like the paste to be mixed with minced meat. Kocik's version of buah keluak is cooked without removing the kernel from the shell and the texture of the whole kernel is quite hard. Their gravy was a tad more watery and bland(not much rempah flvour and lacking in the buah keluk's rich nutty flavour) than other's thick perfumed gravy.
Their otak otak's texture has slightly springy texture like fish ball and is also lacking in the rempah's taste. A good otak otak should have a delicate and soft texture which contain more fish and spice. The lady boss recommended their signature sambal on the steam lady's finger but I find their sambal simply forgetable. The udang lemak nanas is not too bad; it had the right amount of coconut milk in the gravy, good balance of sweetness, a hint of tanginess and spices.
After our lunch, we saw the kuehs on display near the entrance and we can't resist buying those colourful kuehs. They were sold at RM0.90 per piece. We bought almost all the type of kuehs available; the Kuehs are good and not overly sweet.
One foodie recommended that the oyster omelette was good and came full of juicy oysters. Another mentioned that the oysters were fresh, not big in size but the generous amount makes up for it. I'm curious to find out if the oyster omelette was really worth it.
The stall was located just outside the Sin Yin Hoe coffee shop. I placed an order for a small plate of oyster omelette (cost RM8) and requested the lady to add more oysters to it. I expect to be charged extra for the request for more oysters but the lady refused citing that these oysters were not farmed and she don't have enough oysters to accede to my request.
The oyster omelette was not too oily, don't have bits of the preserved turnips and not soggy. Taste wise it was not too bad and had that "wok hei". But I found the oysters a tad too small and it was really teeny-weeny. You could see the smallest oyster in one of the photos that I posted. No, the oysters were not overcooked till it shrunk but their size were really small. How juicy can you expect from those small oysters? Even though there were a number of oysters on the omelette but they were far too small for me because I prefer big juicy oysters.
At first glance, there is nothing to shout about when you pass by this shop facade. One could easily pass by this ordinary looking store and giving it a miss. This shop sells nyonya dumpling, durian cendol, kuih and pineapple tarts.
I managed to see the Nyonya dumpling making process at the cashier area and took a photo of it.
Favorite Dish: The normal cendol(without durian) was good, the ice was quite fluffy and the overall sweetness was just right for me. It had the lovely fragrance of gula malacca. I would gladly skip the long queue at Jonker 88 and have a bowl of cendol here.
I was here specially for the Nyonya dumpling and I wasn't disappointed. The pretty blue and white coloured dumpling had generous portion of fillings with an aromatic coriander scent. The pork, mushroom, winter melon etc were all minced up and wrapped with glutinous rice. The blue colouring on the glutinous rice came from the colour extracted from the butterfly pea flowers. There were 2 textures to the glutinous rice; the white part was slightly springy and had a slight smell of alkaline water/lye water. The blue glutinous rice(without lye water) was slightly soft though.
Nyonya dumpling: RM4.50 each
When in Melaka you should try the local style of Nyonya. It is a blend of Chinese, Malaysian and European. Melaka being a port city, served as a meeting place for numerous cultures and was one of the centres of Baba Nyonya culture. The dishes are quite complex and full of spices.
There are many rave reviews on Sun May Hiong Satay house from many foodies. It was said that the satay sauce had pieces of pineapples in it. I had expected the sauce to be similar to satay celup sauce but slightly thicker consistency. This is the type of satay sauce we have in Singapore.
The moment we arrived, we were served with ketupat, cucumber, onion and sauce. It was our first visit so we did not know that they will serve you the satay and keep refilling it and will only charge you for the number of sticks you have eaten. We understand the satay shop was full of customers and the waitress were busy, however when we tried to ask them for order they were not polite. Our request for intestine satay was ignored and after making the same request to the third waitress, we were then told that the intestine satay were sold out.
When they placed a handful of pork satay on our plate after much waiting, I finally had my first taste of the satay. The satays and its sauce were very different from the satay that I am familiar with. The satay is savory and lightly marinated; can't taste much of the spices but more original taste of pork. The sauce is slightly savory, tangy and spicy and had pineapples blended in it. It is more pineapple based than peanut based satay sauce. The meat on the skewers were pathetically small with fats sandwiched in between. Since intestine satays were sold out so I tried the liver instead. Big mistake! It was hard and dry and I found it hardly palatable. There is nothing special about the satays and I found it overhyped. Each stick of satay cost about RM0.70. The total bill for 21 sticks of satay and 2 glass of drinks cost about RM21.50. Given the type of service and the not so fantastic satay, I don't think I will be back for more; been there done that.
The satay house is two shops away from Ringo's guest house. The moment we sat down, they served us two bowls of satay sauce and plates of cucumber, onion and ketupat(rice dumpling).
The satay sauce tasted similar to the ones from Sun May Hiong Satay house but it has a much thicker consistency. However, this penanut sauce is different from the usual ones that we had from the other satay stalls in Singapore. The main ingredient is pineapple and is slightly tangy, it used less of the spices and peanuts too. Pineapples were blended and added to the sauce and the satay were not marinated with lots of spices. The satay is more savory than the slightly sweeter version in Singapore or Johor. Personally, I find the satay is not so flavourful but suculent enough, probably I'm more used to the ones with more spices.
We waited for a while and satay were served to us without our need to order it. The concept of eating here is a bit different. You only pay for what you eat and they will count the number of satay sticks on the table. Each stick of satay cost RM0.70 and the herbal drink cost RM1.50. I find the satays and service here is better than Sun May Hiong.
Having read reviews elsewhere about the seafood dishes here, we decided to give the restaurant a try.The few tables (there were only about 4) for dining were already full, so we had to take one of the small tables in the inner area (which was obviously meant to be a bar table) close to the kitchen. The upper floor, though with tables, wasn't being used at that time. In any case, the waiters were friendly and helpful (they speak good English, so no problem with communication), and the orders arrived quicky.
We ordered some small clams, fish rolls, mushroom soup, and the "obligatory" baked fish. The clams and soup were quite okay -- i would say, more like home-cooked food, meaning they tasted as i i expected them to taste, so there was no suprise or aha moment there. Nothing special about the fish rolls -- i mean, you didn't need to go to a restaurant to eat that, it felt more like street food for me. But the fish was someting else! We chose the one which had green ginger and chilies. It was excellent -- perfectly done in a melt-in-your-mouth way, the spices didn't overpower the fine taste of the fish, instead it heightened the subtle flavour of the fish. And the fish was big -- it was even too much for 2 persons (although this was a "small" order).
The fish overwhelmingly tipped the balance to the positive of what would have otherwise been just a regular dinner. In terms of taste, I have nothing to complain about, but what is lacking is presentation. See my photos -- the food don't look tempting or appetizing (even the fish), but it's only because they didn't bother with the presentation, for I can swear that the quality is much better than many other places in the area, and for less the price (our big dinner cost us about 25 euros).
So if you're not up to anything fancy and don't care much about ambience, but want simple but good local food (with fresh ingredients) and attentive service at a very reasonable price, this is the place. Come early because the place quickly fills up.
Favorite Dish: The baked fish (which has the effect of steaming, as they bake it in foil) is superb!
We had heard so much about chicken rice ball before coming to Melaka, that we thought it a must to try. Not having any particular place in mind, we decided to follow our noses to where the locals converged. Judging by the place being full, and with people continuing to arrive (even waiting outside in the rain for empty places), I suppose this was a comparatively good choice among similar eating places in the area, so in we went.
We ordered steamed chicken with the chicken rice ball, noodle soup, spinach, and drinks. Overall, food was just okay, nothing to jump about -- it was more like home cooking. The chicken rice ball, apparently, is just rice steamed in chicken broth. The servings, however, are rather small so a second order may be necessary for a more filling meal. The food, however, is very cheap, so no worries about ordering seconds. Service is fast, the young waitresses don't speak English, but the menu comes with photos so sign language is all that's needed really.
The restaurant is crowded and it is difficult to get a seat. The cendol has nice and thick gula melaka and it is not too sweet. Liked the texture of the shaved ice; not too coarse. The Kueh pie tees are delicious.
Revisit on the 5th Nov 11. I wanted to try the Baba laksa but it was sold out so I ordered asam laksa and cendol. The asam laksa has more ingredients compared to the version from penang asam laksa. It is slightly tangy and the spicyness is pretty mild. The taste is not too bad. The standard of the cendol seemed to have dropped. Also, they didn't add much of the gula melaka and ingredients to the cendol.
Revisit on the 6th Nov 11. Ordered only cendol. The standard of the cendol seems to be inconsistent. There are frozen bits of green starch noodles, they seemed to have taken it from the freezer and not fully defrost.
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