Malacca Food Guide For Beginners – 15 Best Places To Eat In Malacca
Boosting an array of multicultural heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures, Malacca is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage city. It was here that colonial forces first made contact with Malaysia, eventually shaping the country into its current economic and political system. Watch history come to live by exploring Malacca on foot to get the best experience of this old town. Malacca’s weather is hot and humid throughout the year so sunglasses, caps and light clothing are recommended. The attractions are easily accessible and it’s convenient moving around on foot, via their trishaw, buses or taxis. A trishaw ride is reminiscent of the days gone by. You should try it at least once! Besides their deep roots in history, the Malacca foods here are mostly influenced by Peranakans. We’ve hunted down 15 eateries that are worth checking out!
This stretch of shop houses was once renowned for selling antiques. However, over the years, they have turned to clothing, crafts, as well as coffee shops, cafés and restaurants. The best part of Jonker Street is the night market that falls only on Friday and Saturdays nights from 6pm to 12am. This vibrant and crowded night market sells everything from tasty treats to cheap keepsakes. You can check out the following eateries that are of walking distance from each other in the vicinity of Jonker Street!
Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball
Address: 18 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am to 3pm and Sat, Sun & PH 8.30am to 4pm.
One of Malacca’s most celebrated dishes is chicken rice balls. You’ll never miss this local specialty at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah coffee shop due to the lines of eager diners outside the eatery throughout its opening hours. Interior-wise, this eatery embraces the Malaysian-style coffee shop décor with an open kitchen concept where you’ll hear the continuous chopping sounds made throughout your meal. Wooden chairs and marble-top tables occupy the floor space. With such a simple interior, Chung Wah’s food takes centre stage!
Only steamed chicken, together with super soft rice balls and chilli sauce are served. The ordering process is very straightforward. Just state the number of persons and you will be served almost immediately. The chicken rice balls were moist, slightly sticky and full of fragrance, so much so you can eat it on its own. Don’t be too picky on its shape as each individual rice ball is tediously hand-rolled. Just imagine the number of rice balls the diligent hawker has to roll daily. The chicken was juicy and the soy-based dipping sauce was delicately salty, with a lingering sweet after-taste, which we found unique and distinctly different from the ones we have in Singapore. Unfortunately, we were not impressed with their chilli sauce that lacked the fiery kick. It’s more watery, more piquant, less spicy and much saltier as compared to Singapore’s version. However, it still pairs brilliantly with the chicken and rice ball. We paid 31.90 Ringgit for 2 persons.
Address: 88 Jalan Hang Jebat , 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 9.30am to 5.30pm. Fri & Sat 9.30am to 8.30pm.
While exploring the streets of Malacca under the scorching hot sun, Jonker 88 is a good spot to take a break. The draw to Jonker 88 has to lie with its rustic and nostalgic interiors. The place runs like a self-service food court where we have to find our own tables before queuing up at the stalls to buy food. We stumbled upon this café while catching the 8TV HoChiak show so we decided to give it a try. It is well-known for its Cendol, typically made of coconut milk, green starched noodles with pandan flavouring, shaved ice and palm sugar (Gula Melaka). In addition, it also serves dishes such as Nyonya Laksa and Yong Tau Foo. The Cendol comes sprinkled generously with palm sugar and coconut milk while the green starched noodles and red beans are hidden below the shaved ice. The two signature Cendol are the Baba Cendol (4 Ringgit) and the Baba Durian Cendol (5 Ringgit). Rumour has it that they serve the best Cendol in Malacca but honestly, we thought this was pretty mediocre.
On the other hand, the Nyonya Asam Laksa (7 Ringgit) fared better and we noticed that almost every table had a bowl of Laksa. It tastes slightly similar to the sourish Penang Laksa with Asam broth and was fiery spicy that we finished our meal breaking out in perspiration. It comes with prawns, fishballs and beancurd skin. If you prefer your Laksa broth with a stronger coconut milk fragrance, go for their Baba Laksa (6 Ringgit). This tasted similar to those that we have in Singapore. Feeling more adventurous? You can opt for the Baba Laksa Kahwin Nyonya Asam Laksa (7 Ringgit) which consists of a mixed broth from both the Baby and Nyonya Laksa.
East and West Rendezvous
Address: 52 Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 5.30pm daily.
This famous Nyonya Zhang shop might be located in the vicinity of Jonker Street but it is off the more popular stretch hence, you might have some difficulty looking for it. Trust us, the search is worthwhile! We ordered a Nyonya Zhang and one cooling bowl of Cendol for sharing (totaled up to 10Ringgit).
Indeed, this Nyonya Zhang lives up to its reputation for being the best in Malacca. Although it is medium-sized, the fillings are generous, packed with homemade meat, mushrooms and the must-have ingredient – wintermelon, which elevated the overall fragrance with hints of sweetness. The Nyonya Zhang is very well-prepared with its glutinous rice cooked to perfection and maintaining the consistency of being soft throughout while the spices are rich and flavourful. This addictive Nyonya Zhang that sells like hot cakes cannot be missed! If you’re wondering where the blue colouring came from, we assure you that it isn’t artificial colouring. The Nyonya Zhang gets its bluishness from a flower called Bunga Telang aka blue pea/butterfly pea flower.
Don’t forget their Cendol which we felt, was much better than Jonker 88’s. It isn’t overly sweet yet you can taste the distinctive Gula Melaka infused in the Cendol. We love the fine texture of the shaven ice and really enjoyed their generous drizzling of Gula Melaka along with fragrant coconut milk all over the Cendol. Under such weather, this is the perfect thirst quencher!
Lung Ann Refreshment Kopitiam
Address: Address: 93/807, Lorong Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 8am to 4pm daily. Closed on Thursdays.
Having grown up with very traditional and old-school grandparents, we’ve been under the influence of starting the day with kaya toasts and two soft-boiled eggs. We’ve also learnt how to enjoy a cuppa strong, thick and aromatic kopi. This coffeeshop certainly brought me back to those days of sitting at old and worn out coffeeshops with my grandparents in Singapore, sipping a good kopi or teh while enjoying our usual breakfast set. Oh! How I miss those times before the drastic increase in cafés that are killing the rustic vibes.
This coffeeshop uncle is the third generation and according to him, there will be no one else who will take over when he retires. The young generation simply prefers cafés. We really admire this hardworking coffeeshop uncle who takes 3.5 hours to make his kaya which includes the process of stirring it till it turns brown, smooth and caramelized. You will notice him slicing the old-school bread personally as well. For as low as 7.70 Ringgit, we had a kopi, an iced milk, two slices of kaya toasts and two soft-boiled eggs.
Loh Yong Moh Restaurant
Address: 32 Jalan Tukang Emas , 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: 5.30am to 1pm daily. Closed on Tuesdays.
According to one of the servers, this is probably the first and the oldest Dim Sum restaurant in Malacca. Ever since 1936, business has been picking up and till date, remains thriving among locals and tourists. Don’t expect a restaurant ambience as the setting is old-fashioned and looks similar to the common coffee shops we get in Singapore. There is no menu and servers will approach customers from table to table, parading arrays of piping hot steamed or fried dim sum on large trays. These servers came regularly with myriad of interesting-looking dim sum to feast the eyes. All you have to do is just point out what you want, as easy as ABC. Certain items have to be specially requested for though, such as the salted egg custard buns, char siew buns, lor mai gai etc. Unfortunately, century egg porridge was already sold out when we reached at 11am. We settled for a few items and concluded that the salted egg custard buns are one of the best that we have ever savoured. Other items worth recommending are the otah-otah, ngoh hiong and lor mai gai. Just skip the har gao and siew mai, not very impressive. Prices range from 1 Ringgit to 4 Ringgit per item. Overall, this restaurant certainly offers customers an extensive range of dim sum and is extremely cheap! What’s not to like about this place? Remember to go as early as 8am so as to avoid disappointments from items that have ran out of stock.
Heng Huat Kopitiam
Address: 127 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 11.30am daily.
There are so many different variations of Wanton noodles in Asia. In Malaysia itself, there are already distinct differences in taste when comparing Kuala Lumpur wanton noodles and Malaccan wanton noodles. Kuala Lumpur’s soy sauce wanton noodles hovers on just savoury and salty while Malaccan wanton noodles is more complex in flavour, with the addition of chilli and accompanied by a delicious pork broth. No black sauce is added to Malaccan wanton noodles. The sauce is white instead and you can opt for a spicier version which packs a really good punch! The combination of ingredients ranging from pork lard, vinegar, sugar, minced garlic etc completes the bowl of wanton noodles, perfecting the nostalgic taste. The accompanying dumplings were tasty and the hawkers were very generous on the meat fillings. The soup was thick and rich in flavour while the striking red char siew was tender, with a tinge of sweetness. We enjoyed this value-for money wanton noodles a lot. Only costs 4 Ringgit for the small portion, which you can choose between ordering their dry or soup version. Well, we preferred the former!
Jonker Street Night Market
Address: Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: 6pm to 12midnight only on Fridays and Saturdays.
We’re pretty sure this bustling night market needs no introduction as this would be on the list of almost all tourists’ itinerary in Malacca. The roads of Jalan Hang Jebat will be closed to motor vehicles for these two nights. Both sides of the street will be lined up with many colourful stalls selling food, accessories, clothes, crafts and cheap keepsakes. There are way too many things to see and eat so let us help by narrowing down your food options to what we feel are the top three eats at the night market. Firstly, you’ll definitely be attracted to the humongous colourful trays of steamed siew mai stacked beside each other. The different colours represent different flavours and we really enjoyed their yam, otah and century egg siew mai. It only costs 5 Ringgit for 5 siew mai. Moving on, walk down all the way to the area where a big stage is set up for karaok performances and you’ll find the char kway teow hawker aunty. We love the sinful noodles which were very savoury but it’s missing out on the wok hei. The small portion costs 4 Ringgit while the medium portion costs 5 Ringgit and the large goes at 6 Ringgit per plate. Located not far from this char kway teow stall lies the BBQ mutton stall. We liked that the mutton was full of flavours and tender though this was slightly more expensive. For 16 Ringgit, we had 5 slices of BBQ mutton.
Just keep an eye out for Madam King’s departmental store and you’ll be able to spot a row of street stalls along the back alley beside the departmental store. Revisit the nostalgic days of sitting on tiny stools arranged between drains and notice the motorcycles constantly riding past, just inches away from knocking you down, while having your meal. You need to be adventurous and ignore the food hygiene level to try the food stalls here. We were initially hesitant about visiting these street stalls but we’re glad we paid them a visit. The dishes were superb and extremely affordable! As the day gets darker, the back alley gets busier too. Just for the record, we did not end up with food poisoning or stomach upset after patronizing these street stalls.
Address: Jalan Bunga Raya Lane
Opening Hours: 6pm to 11pm daily.
A couple of seashells can be eaten here such as “siham” aka cockles (2 Ringgit) where you can choose to have them half cooked, normal or fully cooked, “lala” (2 Ringgit) and sea snails (2 Ringgit) etc. We love their “lala” as they were fresh and meaty. For such a low pricing, we just can’t think of any reasons to argue. We tried their century egg with ginger slices (1.50 Ringgit) and these were really good as well. The star of this street stall is actually their Cuttlefish with Kang Kong (5/7/10/15 Ringgit), which can be ordered either with boiled or grilled cuttlefish. After our very first mouthful, we understood why this dish appeared on everyone’s table. You really have to try it personally to experience the goodness!
Bunga Raya Popiah
Address: Jalan Bunga Raya Lane
Opening Hours: 1pm to 8pm daily.
This is the most sought-after popiah stall in Malacca and do take note that they’re very strict with their “NO PHOTOGRAPHY” policy. The special ingredient that differentiates this popular popiah stall from the rest is the usage of pork lard! Ohmy, such sinful deliciousness! Who can resist even though we risk the possibility of having heart attacks due to over-consumption?! One standard popiah costs 4 Ringgit and each popiah is filled with generous portions of eggs, bean sprouts, turnips, bean curds, peanuts, pork lards and dressed with both sweet sauce and chilli sauce. The crispy and fragrant pork lard tantalized our tastebuds. If you’re familiar with the difference between Hokkien-style and Nyonya-style popiah, note that the turnips used here is in chunks and not shredded while the eggs are scrambled instead of hard-boiled so the style here is a mixture of Hokkien-Nyonya.
Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake
Address: 72 Jalan Tengkera, Pantai 2C, 75200 Malacca
Phone: +60 19-666 2907
Opening Hours: 10.30am to 3pm daily. Closed on Thursdays.
Baba Charlie’s shop might be a little tough to find so please turn on your GPS for navigation purposes, helped us a great deal. The shop is separated into two sections – the large kitchen area where all the prepping and cooking happens and the inner section where all the colourful “kueh” are displayed. You can simply grab a basket and start piling up the “kueh” of your preference! Do note that only a handful of the items are clearly labeled so you might need to approach their staffs for details. We love how conveniently packaged the “kueh” are hence, making them perfect for yourself to take home for snacking or as gifts for family and friends. Our favourites are Ondeh-Ondeh (5 Ringgit for 10 pieces), Kuih Abu Sagu, Kuih Lapis and Kuih Koo Merah. The cost of “kueh” here begins from 1 Ringgit onwards. Kuih Abu Sagu is a layered sago kueh bound with coconut milk, with a middle layer sweetened and flavoured with Gula Melaka. Kuih Lapis is a mixture of rice flour, tapioca flour and mung bean flour flavoured with coconut milk and sugar. The kueh is steamed to set each new layer and there was a good consistency as the layers peeled off and separated easily. Kuih Koo Merah is our well-known Ang Ku Kueh. The best way to savour these “kueh” is to have them with a cuppa hot kopi in the mornings for breakfast, yums!
Sun May Hiong Satay House
Address: 50/50A Jalan Kota Laksamana, 75200 Malacca
Phone: +606-281 7281
Opening Hours: Thu-Sun 10am to 6pm. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
This eatery is one of the more famous places selling pork satay. Situated along a row of shops that aren’t very “lively”, this eatery stands out on its own. The satays are grilled outside the shop, at the entrance, to ensure customers savour the satays hot and fresh! This is a great idea too, as you get to see who’s doing your meat. They serve pork satay, chicken satay, as well as internal organs (pig liver) satay. We only tried the pork and chicken satay (15.50 Ringgit in total). The former is a traditional mix of meat and fat. The charcoal style of grilling leaves the meat slightly charred, with a distinct smokiness. We enjoyed the tenderness of the meat. However, the latter kind of disappointed us a little as it tasted mediocre. It was rather bland though the pork satay was incredibly tasty. This obviously explains why chicken satay is certainly the second choice here. However, the killer here is the warm peanut gravy which contains pineapples, giving you that tangy finish. The gravy is smooth and very appetizing – sweet, spicy and sourish – it’s an explosion of flavours that gets you addicted. You can request for cucumbers, onions and ketupat (rice dumplings) that complement the satay really well.
Pak Putra Tandoori and Naan Restaurant
Address: 56 & 58 Jalan Kota Laksamana 4, 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: 5.30pm to 1am daily. Closed on Mondays.
Whether you arrive as early as 6pm or as late as 12midnight, Pak Putra restaurant will always be packed with customers, both local and tourists. Their open kitchen where they prepare and cook the tandoori chicken was a pleasant sight. If your table is nearby, you can even detect the aroma of the charred chicken lingering in the air. Customers can choose between al fresco dining or their indoor dining (non-air-conditioned). They have a wide range of Naan to go with the Tandoori chicken. We had their Triple Cheese Naan (5.50 Ringgit) which was fluffy and delightfully soft. Hardcore cheese lovers may prefer the ones that are gooey and oozing with cheese but we’re contented with moderation. The delicious Dahl accompanying the Naan was perfectly spiced and a great complement. We learnt from one of the servers that their chicken marination is made up of 12 types of herbs and spices which include almonds and cashew nuts. The Pudina (mint chutney) which accompanies the tandoori chicken (9 Ringgit) is also another secret recipe, prepared with 10 spices, including chilli padi. We really enjoyed their moist and tender tandoori meat.
Malacca does not only offer delectable local fare and street food, there are two places for desserts that we felt are worth recommending, along with where we felt served the best coffee in Malacca!
Nadeje’s Mille Crepes wins any cafés or restaurants serving crepe cakes in Singapore! There are numerous flavours to choose from between non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Each slice costs 12.60 ringgit while 1kg of the cake costs 95 Ringgit. Under the non-alcoholic section, there are flavours such as the Original, made with its homemade custard cream with Tahitian Vanilla beans and fresh cream which enhances its smooth and rich taste and Green Tea, made with high quality Japanese green tea and homecooked red beans, which exudes the real Japanese taste. We had the Mango Yogurt which is a sweet indulgence of mango puree, yogurt and creamy cheese. Under the alcoholic section, there are flavours such as Rum & Raisin which is a moderately sweet taste of preserved black raisin and rum, Tiramisu, a high quality of Mascarpone Cheese from Galbani, Italy to excite your tastebuds and Strawberry Chocolate which we tried. This consisted of black chocolate crepe with white fresh cream and generous strawberry spread topping. We’ve already registered Nadeje’s in our brains so every single time we revisit Malacca, we’ll definitely have a heavenly slice of their Mille crepe cakes!
Located beside Jonker 88, this stall serves the best durian puffs we’ve ever tried! The durian puffs are freshly baked and handmade from scratch to ensure the highest quality freshness possible. Secret fresh durian fillings are made from fresh durian meat with no added preservatives. The durian puffs are recommended to be savoured within six hours from the time of purchase.
三叔公 San Shu Gong Lao Qian Ice Cafe
Address: 33 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 9am to 6pm. Fri-Sun 9am to 10pm.
“Kopi, Tau Sa Peah, to go!” As the “barista” poured the coffee into an empty milk can, the sweet memory of childhood begins. Using an empty milk can as a container for the coffee was the old-fashioned way of take-away coffee during my grandparents’ time. The traces of the leaking coffee from the milk can and its lingering aroma always reminded me of the days back then. San Shu Gong’s coffee is perfect due to their countless hours of careful research and a comprehensive programme to select the best coffee bean and to experiment on the traditional roasting process. We share a cup of their iced cold white coffee (5.80 Ringgit) which was perfect for the sweltering heat. We also tried their iced the tarik (5.80 Ringgit). Watch the “barista” holding a stainless steel cup in each hand, pouring down (“pulling”) the brownish tea from the high lifted cup. The milk tea flowed smoothly into the lower cup, richly foamed and without spilling a single drop of it. Located just beside the famous Chung Wah chicken rice balls, San Shu Gong is an ideal place for coffee afterwards.
With a plethora of affordable food and desserts available at Malacca, no wonder Singaporeans love taking a short 3D2N weekend getaway there! Well, we’re already in the midst of planning to go back to hunt down more amazing eats! For those who will be heading to Malacca soon, we hope our list helps! Have a wonderful trip!