Superb Malaccan-Nyonya food at the beautiful Peranakan Mansion this evening.
It was a long wait for our food on a very busy Monday evening. But it was worth the wait, as we had the tastiest Nyonya fare we’d had in Malacca as long as I could remember!
The restaurant is located in a graceful old townhouse.
We started off with a lemonade, tinted purple using butterfly pea flower
Our dinner spread this evening:
Kueh pie tee - these small pastry cups filled with stewed jicama, shrimps & egg were introduced by the Dutch to the Indonesians, who subsequently brought it over to the British Straits Settlements of Malacca, Singapore and Penang in the early 20th-century. This dish has become a must-have ever since.
The Malaccan version does not have the finesse shown in Singaporean or Penang renditions.
Otak-otak - I love the Malaccan version, as it’s similar to the Singaporean version I grew up with - firmer in texture, rather than the mousse-like version in Penang which is influenced by the Thais.
This very tasty, spiced fish pudding has a smokey aroma, as it was first wrapped in banana leaf, before being charcoal-baked.
Ayam Buah Keluak - the quintessential Malaccan-Nyonya dish: chicken stewed in a complex, heavily-spiced stew given a deep, musky truffle-like scent using the “buah keluak” - large, hard-shelled nuts prized for its dark-as-night flesh.
The version here was the best-tasting version we’d had in a long while.
Ayam Pongteh - this was another chicken stew, albeit a lighter one, flavoured with “taucheo” (Chinese brown, fermented beans). A simple dish, very well-executed here.
Nyonya Chap Chye, served with a side of sambal belachan. The dish was blander than we’d expected. We’d have liked more shrimps and pork to add a savoury-sweetness to the dish.
Singapore-style Nyonya chap chye consists of cabbage, wood-ear fungus, beancurd sticks, sweet beancurd pieces, shitake mushrooms, dried tiger lily buds, glass noodles and carrots
Nangka Masak Lemak - this is a coconut milk-rich, turmeric-inflected curry cooked using unripe jackfruit. It was served with a scattering of golden-fried shallots, and was absolutely delicious.
Chendol - the Malaccan version of this shaved ice dessert, drizzled with fresh coconut milk and Gula Melaka/palm sugar syrup.
Chendol in Malacca tended to be much better executed than the ones in Singapore (which lacked fresh coconut milk) or Penang (which used lower quality palm sugar).
Superb cooking by the kitchen headed by one of Malacca’s top chefs, Chee Keong, formerly of the well-regarded Samfu and the very popular Nyonya 63. The restaurant was absolutely packed, even on a Monday evening.
108, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street), 75200 Malacca, Malaysia
Tel: +6016-792 0000
Opening times: 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9.30pm daily, except Wed (closed).