[Malacca] Restoran Tong Sheng – Best Zi Char Restaurant in Malacca
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so when we were in Malacca, we headed straight for the famous zi char restaurant that locals frequent – Restoran Tong Sheng. Prior to our visit, we were already warned about the ridonkulous waiting time. The restaurant starts its business at 5.30pm, but the queue starts forming an hour before it even opens. We arrived at 5.40pm, and were only seated around 9pm.
Run by a father (Master Lee) and son (Chef Lee) duo, Restoran Tong Sheng is established in 2009. Master Lee has been honing his culinary skills since the age of 12 as a hokkien mee chef. And, thankfully, Chef Lee has inherited his father’s talent and the spirit of innovation in creating new dishes. Look forward to indulging in Restoran Tong Sheng’s well-known cheesy prawn meehun and fresh milk crabs.
Restoran Tong Sheng is the pioneer of Cheesy Prawn Meehun (RM35/70/105) in Malacca. It is inspired by Hong Kong’s Lobster Cheese Noodles. Chef Lee uses huge prawns instead of lobster as the main ingredient. The cheese melts nicely into the slightly watery gravy and the mix has just the right amount of creaminess. It isn’t too thick so you won’t find the taste overwhelming after a few mouthfuls. The freshness and sweetness of the prawns are distinct. There’s even prawn roe scattered around the dish. True enough, Restoran Tong Sheng’s Cheesy Prawn Meehun is so well executed that we have zero complaints.
Fresh Milk Crabs were served next, and the minimum order is 2 crabs (seasonal price). The gravy is very unusual, with a hint of tanginess. It is highly recommended as you won’t find something like this in Singapore. The lightness of the gravy allows us to fully savour the crustacean sweetness. We were very surprised by the size of the crabs, and the amount of juicy meat and roe they contain. The only downside is that the dish is served with complimentary toasted bread sticks instead of fried man tou which we thought would have paired better with the gravy.
The Fried Fresh Squid with Garlic (RM7 per 100g) is another dish that will definitely knock your socks off. The portion of squid is so generous! Coated in a light, crisp batter which gives the perfect crunch and depth of flavour, the fried chewy squid is slathered with minced garlic to accentuate the fragrance of the dish. On days when I’m too starved to wait for my mains to be served, this fried squid will totally satisfy that restaurant-appetizer itch!
The final dish we had was the Salted Egg Yolk Beancurd (RM15/25). It is basically steamed tofu with prawns, topped with powdery salted egg yolk and spring onions. The bits of salted egg yolk added more flavour to the tofu, and also give the dish a different texture. It is best eaten with a bowl of fragrant white rice.
The standard of dishes served at Restoran Tong Sheng is very consistent, but we wouldn’t queue 3.5 hours again. It is best to arrive around 4.30pm, and be among the first batch of diners to be seated in the restaurant. The pricing is reasonable, and the food is excellent. If you’re visiting Malacca for a weekend, you have to try Restoran Tong Sheng at least once.
Restoran Tong Sheng
Address: No. 377 & 378, Jalan Taman Melaka Raya 6, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka
Phone: 06 - 286 7811
Opening Hours: 5.30pm to 11pm. Closed on alternate Mondays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.