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Defining the definitive cuisine of Malacca is akin to characterising the people of Malacca itself, if it were to be distinguished using just one word it would be 'diverse'.
The Baba-Nyonya cuisine of Malacca is a gastronomic delight to savour, with dishes such as the Malacca signature dish Cincaluk and the equally tasty Nyonya laksa or otak-otak, ayam pong teh, assam fish, udang sambal petai, kangkung belacan, cendol and pai tee you can be certain you will not feel gastronomically challenged in any Malacca restaurants.
If you fancy trying a savoury Nyonya style satay sauce go to the Satay Celup Nyonya in Taman Melaka Raya and enjoy the great taste of their varied Satay dishes in true Nyonya style.
Also located at Taman Melaka Raya is another established eaterie called Nyonya Makko Restaurant that serves a tasty Beef Rendang and Kangkong Belacan. The Sambal Belacan is also a very tasty dish here and their mouth watering Cendol is my favourite in the city. Reasonably priced menu and good food makes this a safe choice when venturing into the Nyonya cuisine world of Malacca.
Taman Melaka Raya is home to a well regarded Nyonya eaterie called Restoran Ole Sayang that has been established for nearly 30 years. The Ayam Pong Teh and Sambal prawns here have seen customers returning on a regular basis and the Assam Fish Curry is a delight to savour.
The Malaccan 'Nyonya' style cuisine is different to the similarly named Peranakan cuisine served up in either Penang or Singapore in that it utilises more spices and cocunut milk resulting in a spicy sweet taste that is simply delicious.
For the uninitiated Baba-Nyonya (or Peranakan) are the descendants of the Chinese settlers marrying with the local Malay resulting in a merger of cultures that ultimately led to a fascinating fusion of cuisines.
Such diversity on the menus' of Malacca restaurants leads to a wealth of haute cuisine eateries for the roaming gastronome in search of the pinnacle of Malaccan culinary delight.
Defining The Cuisine Of Malacca Restaurants
Baba Nyonya Cuisine
Malay cuisine in Malacca restaurants has a typically southern influence that is similar to that served in neighbouring Negeri Sembilan and Johor, they like it hot and spicy.
One of the finest examples of Malay cuisine can be found close by to the Melaka Raya jetty at the Asam Pedas Selera Kampung restaurant.
Malacca cuisine is a gastronomic delight to savour from the hawker stalls around Jonker Street to the city centre restaurants you will be left salivating and looking forward to your next opportunity to indulge in this uniquely Malaccan style of dining.
Any historical city of merit will inevitably lead to its earlier settlers leaving their culinary fingerprints on the menus of the current day restaurants and Malaccas' colourful past is no different. The Eurasian cuisine available in Malacca restaurants is both bountiful and scrumptious and there are plenty of eateries happily serving these distinct to SE Asia dishes.
The Eurasian cuisine with a typically Portuguese slant tend to be based around fish, seafood and meat with an emphasis on a spicy lime tinged taste, dishes such as Portuguese style baked fish, Debal Curry, Portuguese Sambal Prawns and Baked Black Pepper Crabs are popular examples found on many Portuguese themed Malacca restaurant menus.
For a taste of fantastic Eurasian cuisine that is Malacca and Portuguese fusion style go to Restaurant San Pedro on D’Aranjo Road for their divine tasting Debals Curry (devils curry). The name suggests it will burn your mouth but upon tasting it is a very different curry taste that will not burn but does leave a satisfying impression of the chefs culinary skills. Well worth a visit.
The legacy of the Eurasian Dutch influence in Malacca restaurants has resulted in a less spicy taste sensation than some other cuisines available locally.
Traditionally Dutch cuisine is based around potatoes, meat and vegetables and the Malaccan version has yielded dishes such as Chicken Guilders, Chicken Curry Puff Pusing, Chicken or Beef Croquette, Black Pepper Chicken Pie and Cassava Fries.
I ate here on my last visit to Malacca and I have to say the food served here was fantastic, I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting Malacca that wants to try some tasty local dishes.