Restaurant Peranakan, Aunty Koh Cendol, and the Melaka road trip

peranakan restaurant melaka

Restaurant Peranakan is the aptly named place known for it’s Peranakan cuisine. It’s often been cited as the #1 place to go for Nyonya food in Melaka. Peranakan (or Straits Chinese) is a distinctive racial group in Melaka – it comes from Chinese settlers marrying locals and is an entire culture unto itself, the hotbed of which lies in Melaka.

peranakan restaurant

Nyonya food is conglomeration of Chinese and Malay food, but there are some really unique dishes they call their own. I had lunch here while on a road trip to Melaka.

restaurant peranakan

Peranakan Restaurant has a really nice décor which reflects the heydays of the Baba Nyonya clan.

Ayam Buah Keluak

ayam buah keluak

This is perhaps the most well known Nyonya dish. It’s chicken cooked with kepayang tree nuts. Buah keluak is actually poisonous before being prepared for cooking. It prompted a lot of Googling when I mentioned that coz someone ate the inside of the nut.

buah-keluak

I like this dish – it’s a very rich and flavorful one due to the buah keluak. I ate some of the insides of the nuts too – it’s sourish and contributes to the flavor of the chicken. Peranakan Restaurant makes the best ayam buah keluak I’ve had.

Ayam Pongteh

ayam pongteh

I’ve had this at Donald & Lily’s Authentic Nyonya Food too but that pales in comparison with Peranakan Restaurant’s version.

Ikan Tenggiri Asam Pedas

ikan tenggiri asam pedas

This is a really good and spicy fish dish that I found worthy of mention – it’s cooked with brinjals, tomatos, and ladyfingers and has a sweet, spicy and sour (more towards the latter) gravy that goes very well with rice.

Udang Lemak Nanas

vivid prawns

This is a very rich dish of shrimp cooked with pineapples and lots of oil. I set the camera to Vivid and it almost hurts my eye to look at it.

udang lemak nanas

Here’s one that’s easier on the ocular devices. ;) It’s also one of the dishes I’ll recommend at Peranakan Restaurant.

Nyonya Chap Choy

nyonya chap choy

It’s mixed vegetables, nothing special here.

Kangkung Belacan

kangkung belacan

This dish has strayed into mainstream Chinese cooking that a lot of people forget it’s Nyonya origins. If you want the most authentic version, I guess here’s where you go.

Taufo Peranakan

taufo peranakan

I’m not a huge fan of tofu but it disappeared pretty quickly so I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s pretty good if you like the stuff. ;)

Fo Yong Tan

fo yong tan

I think this is the egg omelet unless I’ve completely messed up my bearings. Forgettable.

Sambal Bendih

sambal bendih

Okra with a splash of sambal on top. Simple, but good.

peranakan restaurant food

I spent the whole time piling my plate with all the different stuff so I could take a photo. Their flagship dishes are really good, while some are mediocre, but IMHO, Peranakan Restaurant is the place to go for authentic Nyonya food if you’re in Melaka.

nissan almera

I was there on a the Eat, Play, Drive road trip with a bunch of other bloggers. We drove down on several Nissan Alameras. I had the opportunity to drive the IMPUL tuned one (which is my main ride, with a very auspicious plate too – WXN 6330). Simon, Joshua and Kelly (another group) was kind enough to let me drive the stock Nissan Alamara for a stretch.

nissan almera eat play drive

I prefered the Nissan Alamera tuned by IMPUL that was issued to my group – there’s keyless ignition and the specs are pretty decent. I found the acceleration to be a bit lacking, but as they say, it’s not a sports car, but a sedan that’s surprisingly affordable for its class. I was quite impressed by the price of the car for it’s specs.

nissan almera impul

Thanks for the invite Hui Ping! :)

auntie koh cendol

This was also where I had the famous Klebang Original Coconut Shake and while we were driving there, we also stopped by Aunty Koh’s Cendol. This place churns out really good cendol – perfect for a hot day!

auntie koh

It’s primarily manned by a single woman – the aforementioned Aunty Koh. Cendol is a shaved ice dessert with squiggly green jelly and kidney beans (we use red beans in Sarawak).

aunty koh cendol

Gula Melaka (caramelized palm sugar) gives it that distinctive sugary sweet taste, which is tempered by santan (coconut milk).

melaka cendol

You’ll be amazed by how many people come here for the RM 3.50 (large) cendol.

aunty koh

I was tempted to have two (and I think I did have two) but I also heard that this place is famous for it’s taibak (RM 1.50) – which is a very simple shaved ice dessert made with red and white flour squiggles. I found the taste very similar to something we have in Sibu called “wu wei tang” (5 taste soup) which is another shaved ice dessert that has dried apples and other misc ingredients among it.

taibak

It’s simple but refreshing.

cendol melaka

However, I still prefered the cendol at Aunty Koh Cendol. They claim to be Melaka’s best cendol and I’m inclined to agree. I’ve had cendol in lots of places from Penang to Kuantan (click on the tag cendol) and this is among the top ones I’ve had the pleasure of eating. :D

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22 thoughts on “Restaurant Peranakan, Aunty Koh Cendol, and the Melaka road trip

  1. That probably was cincaluk omelette. I love nyonya food…but the last one I went to was disappointing – it was soooo good when I went in the 90’s – a famous & popular place, Mako.

    Ooooo….the cendol looks soooo good! Had ang tao peng in Auckland – NZ$8.00 and it wasn’t even nice. Tsk! Tsk! Watch out for my post on that! LOL!!!!

    • Yeah, it was actually not too bad but compared to the other awesome dishes like ayam buah keluak and ayam ponteh, it becomes forgettable. It’s a great lunch though! :)

      Good Nyonya food.

      Mako eh, haven’t heard of that place before, but I’ll recommend this one if you like an authentic meal – it’s the best out of all the Nyonya food places in Melaka, unless you happen to find a small boutique secret restaurant.

      Ouch! Heh! I’ve had a couple of lunches and dinners at Malaysian restaurants during my years in NZ and Australia and I can count them on my fingers. There are some good ones but most of the dishes don’t even taste good.

      Will do! Happy New Year buddy! :)

    • Yup! I’ve been on a couple of food road trips around here. It’s a fun thing to do.

      I’ve started doing it when I graduated and even drive 1-2 hours back in my hometown to neigbouring districts to eat a certain dish e.g. Sarikei or Bintangor, which is about that drive time from my hometown Sibu.

      Haha! Yeah, I get what you mean, I always gain a few kgs too.

      Cheers mate! :)

    • Yeah, it is eh? I found it awesome too!

      I thought the timbak was nice but the cendol’s sweetness overpowered it.

      I preferred the cendol too! Cheers Charmaine! :)

  2. thats not the restaurant to go to for peranakan food. you obviously need a new guide in malacca. i’ll take u out next time if you’re buying. we can go hang flowers as well. the flower maidens are better than kl

    • Heh! Sure thing man, I’ve always been hearing about boutique restaurants out of houses that only opens at certain times or on bookings.

      Restarant Peranakan is the best I’ve had in Melaka, lots of other Nyonya food places can’t even compare but as a local you’re sure to know more.

      I’ll take you up on it mate, I’ll buy lunch and we’ll go to one of those secret places that only locals know about or only opens at bookings. Cheers! :)

  3. Peranakan dishes…and I only know how to cook ayam pongteh (and I have to say cook it very well…after all its a simple dish to cook).

    Maybe 2013 resolution is to learn up a few more Peranakan dishes.

    • Nice! I’ll love to try your ayam ponteh!

      There’s a couple of places serving it in Melaka, had a great one once when a work friend brought me to go around the best food places from a local’s perspective (she’s a local).

      She got me to this one house which serves Peranakan food and I don’t know where it is (my dSLR was charging so I left it). I must ask her about these places.

      It’s like little out-of-house operations that only locals know about. Intriguing.

      All the best in your NY 2013 resolutions! :)

    • Yeah, it’s pretty good when cooked eh? :)

      Flavorful and sour, I wonder who figured out to put these nuts into a chicken dish.

      Heh! Yeah, someone at our table ate it too (was it you?) and I had some too. It’s poisonous when uncooked but safe to eat when cooked.

      Cheers Kelly! :D

  4. IMHO the best place to get Nyonya food in Melaka is my mother’s place :P I love Ayam Buah Keluak too and I’ll dig out everything until there’s nothing else left. For Assam Pedas, I like to have it with a dash of kicap, very the best! :D

    • Nice! Home cooked is the best, I’m sure it tastes awesome! :)

      I like ayam buah keluak too, there’s just something about those nuts. Thanks for the tip about the dash of soy sauce!

      Happy New Year Merryn! :D

  5. I’ve got a slight mix of Peranakan Chinese from my pa’s side.

    I recall my late grandma and grandaunts always dressed in fine silk nyonya kebaya complete with gold thread embroidery while attending banquets and dinners (chiak tok) instead of western style attire.

    My aunty would also make kuih such as kuih seri muka/kuih salak, ang koo kuih and pai tee cups during the festive season. I have an aunty who runs a seafood joint back in Kuching who makes a mean inchi kabin.

    A teacher of mine once mentioned that most Peranakan Chinese do not speak Mandarin (do correct me if I’m wrong) and my own late grandma herself could barely understand Mandarin. Teochew and Hokkien is pretty much spoken throughout the family on my paternal side though.

    • Thanks for sharing all that Glenn! :)

      Chiak tok is a Hokkien word right? I mean I’ve heard it called that, though in Sarawak (at least with my group of friends and family) we call it “gio chai” (as in “order food”).

      That sounds so awesome! I’ve eaten a lot of pai tee cups but most of them are pretty awful commercial ones. It’ll be good to have an authentic Peranakan version.

      Hmm…I wouldn’t know about the Mandarin bit myself, but I imagine it’s plausible since the immigration wave was brought by Admiral Zheng Ho, who’s from the Fuzien Province, if I’m not mistaken.

      Cheers and happy new year buddy! :)

  6. These are exactly two place that I’ve not been to in Malacca!!! Thanks for sharing and they will be in my next visit list to Malacca!!! The nyonya food does indeed looks very good, how do you rate the spiciness? As I am from Penang, nyonya food in Penang is tend to be more spicy…

    • Hello Nick! :)

      No worries, I thought the two were pretty nice places, especially for Peranakan food.

      I would say some dishes are quite spicy while some barely register on the spiciness scale. I think you can ask them to tune up the spiciness if you want.

      I’m like you, I eat a lot of spicy food so it doesn’t taste very spicy to me.

      Cheers and happy new year mate! :)

    • Hello Denise! :)

      Nope, we had toooo much food so we didn’t order those two in particular. I would love to go back for some acar though, the thought of that dish itself makes my mouth water. Heh.

      Happy New Year! :D

    • Hey, that’s exactly what it tastes like to me to! :)

      Haha! Good one, sourish rum. Yup, it’s quite sour, it tastes like the mash of bourbon (not that I’ve tasted that before, it’s what I imagine it to taste like).

      Cheers Ken and happy new year! :D

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