[Malacca, Malaysia] Nasi Ulam Tok Panjang at The Bendahari

Literary fans converged at The Bendahari in Malacca last weekend for the 2nd Baba-Nyonya Literary Festival (18-20 March 2022), an event held concurrently in Singapore, organized by the Peranakan Association of Singapore and its counterparts in Malacca.

One of the interesting food-related events there is the Nasi Ulam Tok Panjang, featuring a nasi ulam (rice salad) platter by Jennifer Tan of the famous Donald & Lily Nyonya Restaurant, a regular at the World Street Food Congress Jamboree organized by Makansutra Singapore.

The Tok Panjang setting here was somewhat a bit of a misnomer, though. Usually, a Tok Panjang, which literally means “long table” will be laden with a variety of elaborate festive dishes.

The one at The Bendahari here was rather a simplified mini-Tok Panjang, with the guests being served a bento-like platter of “nasi ulam” accompanied by a variety of side-dishes:

Nasi ulam (rice salad) itself consisted of cooked rice, tossed with finely-cut/shredded:
shallots, lemongrass, kafir lime leaves (daun limau perut), turmeric leaves (daun kunyit), basil leaves (daun selasih), dried shrimps, birds’ eye chilis, ulam raja, sand ginger (daun cekur), wild betel leaves (daun kaduk), torch ginger (bunga kantan) and fresh turmeric root (kunyit).

The side-dishes arrayed around the mound of “nasi ulam” were:

  • Ayam goreng berempah (spiced, fried chicken)
  • Achar (pickled carrots, cucumber)
  • Telor rebus (hard-boiled egg)
  • Sambal udang (chili prawns)
  • mint leaves and fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Sambal belacan (chili-fermented shrimp paste dip)

Desserts were:

For some reason, the side-dishes here were much spicier (chili-hot) than we were comfortable with - perhaps Jennifer Tan overestimated the chili-tolerance level of the mainly Baba-Nyonya diners.

The Bendahari
Lot 143, 149, Jalan Bendahara, 75100 Malacca, Malaysia
Tel: +6011-2609 3921