The Ultimate Food Guide To Melaka, Malaysia

Kuih Lapis | © Adamlee01 / Shutterstock
Kuih Lapis | © Adamlee01 / Shutterstock | Adamlee01 / Shutterstock
Photo of Lu Yin Wai
7 November 2017

Melaka is not only a historical town, but Malaysia’s undisputed food mecca. People make weekend and day trips out of their culinary excursions, which often become stomach-filling, belt-busting extravaganzas. Everything from Hainese chicken rice balls to sweet, cooling Cendol is on offer on Melaka’s streets, making this small town the ultimate smorgasbord for Malaysian food. Savour the diverse delicacies found here by following our handy guide – you may want to invest in some eating pants.

Peranakan Cuisine

Peranakan cuisine is made with the use of Chinese and Malay ingredients, such as coconut milk, tamarind and herbs and spices. Distinct cooking methods are used to give impactful flavour to the dishes. Dishes like assam fish, stir-fry vegetables cooked in sambal and pai tee (mixed vegetables served in crispy pastry cups) represent the Nyonya community’s culture, and ‘feels like home’ food.

Enjoy the Peranakan cuisine at Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine, Cottage Spices Nyonya Restaurant, Nancy’s Kitchen Restaurant, Kocik Kitchen, Manis J Nyonya Restaurant and Donald & Lily Nyonya Restaurant. The staffs will suggest delightful dishes; we recommend making advance table reservations to avoid disappointment.

Cottage Spices Nyonya Restaurant: 171, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-283 5040

Nancy’s Kitchen Restaurant: 13, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-283 6099

Nyonya cuisine at Donald & Lily Nyonya Restaurant | © chee.hong/Flickr

Satay Celup

Immerse yourself in a satay celup experience by dipping skewered meat, vegetables and seafood into a pot of hot and spicy peanut gravy. Pick your favourites by ordering or selecting from the counter and start putting them into the mouthwatering gravy. What’s best is to enjoy them during the nights or on rainy days. We suggest having satay celup at Capitol Satay Restaurant and Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup. It is better to come early, because tables fill up quickly during peak hours.

Capitol Satay Restaurant: 41, Lorong Bukit Cina, Bandar Hilir, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-283 5508

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup | © chee.hong/Flickr

Café Food

Take a break in between exploring Melaka by relaxing at the cafés. The cafés have their unique interior and food and drink specialties that make your afternoon relaxation complete. Enjoy the delicious pandan and gula Melaka (palm sugar) pancakes and admire vintage interiors at Daily Fix Café. Savour comfort food in Kaya Kaya Café and Geographer Café. Have your coffee with sweet treats at Backlane Coffee. For something interesting, why not order your coffee at the mini caravan at Mods Café. There are seating areas for you to relax while enjoying your coffee before continuing your food-hunting adventure.

Geographer Café: 83, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-281 6813

Backlane Coffee: 129, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-282 0542

Vintage interior at The Daily Fix | © David Russo/Flickr

Chicken Rice Balls

Restaurant, Malaysian
Chicken Rice Ball served with steamed chicken and bean sprouts | © Yun Huang Yong/Flickr
Chicken Rice Balls are one of Melaka’s signature dishes to try. Inspired by Hainanese Chicken Rice, the rice balls are served together with bean sprouts and steamed and/or roasted chicken. At Hoe Kee Chicken Rice, you can also order assam fish as an additional dish to your meal. Enjoy the affordable Chicken Rice Ball at Huang Chang Chicken Restaurant, but make sure you come early; it often gets overcrowded and stuffy inside the restaurant. If you prefer to be in a comfortable environment, we recommend going to Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball, a halal restaurant. It also serves Nyonya dishes such as sambalprawns and assamfish.

Nyonya Laksa

Nyonya Laksa consists of rice noodles cooked in mild or spicy coconut curry broth served with fresh prawns, sliced fish cakes, fried tofu, bean sprouts, half-boiled egg and sambal. We suggest savouring the mouthwatering Nyonya Laksa at Baba Low (served with homemade sambal chilli on their signature Nyonya Laksa), Calanthe Art Café (known for its crispy fried bean curd skin and mini fried fishballs) and Yung Lai Siang Restaurant (serves plenty of toppings on top of rice noodles in light coconut curry broth).

Nyonya Laksa at Donald & Lily Nyonya Restaurant | © chee.hong/Flickr


You’ll find plenty of delectable desserts in Melaka. Start off by eating shaved ice cendol served with condensed milk, gula Melaka syrup and pandan rice-shape jellies to beat the heat. Try cendol at Jeta Groves Nyonya Delights (serving normal and durian cendol), Christina Ee Cendol (also sell homemade pineapple tarts) and Aunty Koh Cendol (open on Saturdays and Sundays, starting from noon till sold out). Have your afternoon tea and take away a wide array of homemade kuih-muih at Baba Charlie Nyonya Cakes and Perhentian Kuih Kampung.

The most delightful treat, that you cannot miss out on, is Nyonya Zhang, a meat dumpling with minced pork belly and fat. Savour these delicious dumplings at East & West Rendezvous Café and Michlle Soo Authentic Nyonya Chang.

Jeta Groves Nyonya Delights: 115, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-282 1526

Christina Ee Cendol: 29, Jalan Hang Lekir, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia, +60 6-281 2023

East & West Rendezvous Café: 60, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Indulge with Cendol to beat the tropical weather in Melaka | © LWYang/Flickr

Indian Food

Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Tandoori Chicken at Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan
Tandoori Chicken at Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan | © Vincent Chow/Flickr
Fulfil your Indian food cravings by having your meal at Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan. You will see an open kitchen where the staff is busy roasting the delicious tandoori chicken. Order yourself a plate of tandoori chicken and plain or cheese naan served with sliced onions and cucumbers and a small plate of curry sauce. Ask for spinach curry to go with it. Once you bite into authentic tandoori chicken, it will blow your mind. You might want to come back for another round before you leave Melaka.

Hakka Cusine

Restaurant, Chinese, Asian, Malaysian, $$$
Laksamana Hakka Zhan Restaurant, a short walk away from Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan, is known for serving Hakka cuisine. You will be taken back in time due to its traditional interiors relating to Hakka culture. The recipe in Hakka cuisine is passed down from the owner’s father-in-law. The ‘home’ dishes are made into scrumptious meals for locals and travellers. We recommend ordering Local Traditional Mutton, Steamed Jenak Fish Teochew Style, Hakka Yong Tau Foo, or Claypot Eggplant with Basil Leaves. Order their signature Traditional Mutton Steamboat if you are in a huge group.

Duck Noodle

Cafe, Malaysian
The uniqueness of Duck Noodle is the taste of duck meat and broth. The egg and/or flat rice noodles are cooked together with slices of duck meat and bean sprouts. Either you want to have your Duck Noodle dry or in herbal broth. Enjoy the delicious Duck Noodle at Soon Yen Coffee Shop and Tengkera Duck Noodle. Bite into the chewy noodles and drink the herbal broth which tickles your taste buds. Spice things up by adding a few slices of pickled green chilli or chilli sauce. At Tengkera Duck Noodle, have hard-boiled eggs, tofu, and innards (such as intestines) as your side dishes.

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