15 Malaccan Dishes You Should Try Before You Die

Rich in history... and food too!

Cover image via / Instagram @dermawanekaputra

1. Satay celup

Unlike grilled satay, satay celup is culinary activity that involves dipping raw or semi-cooked skewers of seafood (fish, cockles, prawns etc.), meat, vegetables, as well as quail eggs and an assortment of fish balls into a hotpot of thick satay sauce.

Where: Capitol Satay, Ban Lee Siang, and McQuek's Satay Celup.

2. Chicken rice balls

A fun twist to Hainanese chicken rice, chicken rice balls - ground rice cooked in chicken broth and then rolled into balls - are usually eaten with a plate of steamed or roasted chicken.

Where: Local favourite Chung Wah Restaurant and along Jonker Street.

3. Duck noodles

Duck noodles (with an option to add or replace with bihun or koay teow) are typically served in a fragrant herbal soup. If you prefer to have the dry version, the noodles are tossed in thick gravy and then topped with shredded duck meat accompanied with a small bowl of soup.

Where: Tengkera Duck Noodle Restaurant

4. Melaka-style wantan mee

Unlike conventional wantan mee (egg noodles tossed in dark sauce), Melaka-style wantan mee is tossed with dark sauce AND chilli oil, giving it a reddish hue. The noodles are topped off with BBQ pork slices (char siew) and roasted pork as well as vegetables.

Where: Bukit Cina Wantan Mee @ Dung Fong Coffee Shop, Off Jalan Temenggong, Malacca.

5. Char siew rice

Image via Go Melaka

A fairly simple dish, flavourful and well-roasted char siew slices are served with hot white rice, drizzled with sweet and savoury gravy. You can also opt to have slices of crispy, roasted pork with your rice.

Where: Boon Leong Food Corner and Chuen How Restaurant.

6. Nyonya laksa

Nyonya laksa (also known as laksa lemak) is made with strongly-spiced coconut gravy cooked with chicken and prawns, giving it a distinctively rich and slightly-sweet taste. The dish is usually served with rice vermicelli, prawns, onions, mango slices, chicken strips, and chilli.

Where: Nancy's Kitchen, and Calanthe Art Cafe.

7. Pai tee (also known as pie tee and top hats)

Pai tee is a crunchy flour cup filled with julienned vegetables, omelette slices, and fried shallots. They are best enjoyed with chilli sauce (usually provided).

Where: Various Peranakan restaurants in Malacca, such as Nancy's Kitchen.

8. Ayam pongteh

A traditional Peranakan dish, ayam pongteh is a chicken stew cooked with salted fermented soy beans (tauchu), gula melaka, potatoes, and carrots.

9. Asam pedas with fish

Image via Go Melaka

Fish and/or seafood is cooked in asam pedas soup, made from tamarind juice, chilli, and an assortment of spices. Typically, the dish also includes vegetables such as okra, eggplant, long green beans, and tomato.

Where: Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine, Asam Pedas Claypot, and Cottage Spices Nyonya Restaurant.

10. Portuguese grilled fish and seafood

Available in many restaurants in the Portuguese Settlement, Portuguese grilled fish and seafood involves packing fish and/or seafood with chilli-based sauce and lady's fingers before grilling over charcoal.

Where: Restaurant San Pedro and Restoran J' Splash Five.

11. Fishball lobak

Years ago, one can have their fishball lobak fix anywhere in Malacca. In recent times, the dish has become rather illusive, though you can still catch them in roadside stalls or food trucks. Fishball lobak consists of fried fishballs, crispy crackers, fried beancurd, fried yam, juliennned cucumber topped with a sweet starchy paste and chilli sauce.

Where: Restoran Hock Chin or an uncle who peddles along Jalan Bunga Raya.

12. Coconut shake

Though only established a few years ago, tourists have begun flocking to Klebang just to have a taste of its infamous coconut shake! Coconut water, coconut flesh, ice cubes, and vanilla ice cream are blended into a smoothie, with an option to have it served with a scoop of ice cream on top. A refreshing treat on a hot day!

Where: Klebang Original Coconut Shake.

13. Nyonya cendol

Unlike cendol in Penang, Melaka-style cendol - also known as Nyonya cendol - drizzles reduced gula melaka and santan over its combination of shaved ice, red beans, cendol (green noodle), and creamed corn instead of conventional brown sugar. In certain places, you can also opt to have a dollop of durian on top!

Where: Various eateries and food stalls in Malacca. Also, check out Aunty Koh's cendol, which is said to have the best cendol in Malacca.

14. Putu piring

Best enjoyed when it's still warm and fluffy, putu piring is shaped like a thick, round disc and made from rice or glutinous rice flour with ground peanuts or palm sugar with shredded coconut as its filling.

Where: Putu Piring Tengkera.

15. Nyonya kuih

Nyonya kuih consists of an assortment of steamed or grilled bite-sized snacks such as onde-onde (green glutinous rice balls filled with palm sugar and coated with shredded coconut), colourful kek lapis (steamed layer cakes), ang ku kueh, and many more.

Where: Various eateries and food stalls across Malacca, with the most popular one being Baba Charlie Nyonya Cakes.

What is your favourite Malaccan dish and where is your favourite place to have it? Let us know in the comments below!

Now that you know what kind of foods to look out for in Malacca, make the most out of your Malaccan experience:

How many of these must-try local dishes have you tried?

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