Restaurant Ole Sayang, Melaka

Melaka Kids

I was in Melaka over the long weekend with my better half and the kids.

Melaka HB Ling

Her parents were also with us and so we decided to have a nice Nyonya dinner at Restaurant Ole Sayang in Melaka.

Restaurant Ole Sayang

This local restaurant actually serves wonderfully delicious food but has often been disparaged due to their bad service. This is primarily due to the fact that the place is constantly packed to the brim with people.

Reservations

The reservation was listed down as “Elaine”. smirk We got rather good service coz the owner’s wife came to attend to us. I believe the staff might be a tad overworked, which is why the comments come in as such but if one of the proprietors serve you, you’ll be alright. She actually told me not to order the large portion of their otak-otak in a warm, friendly and confidential tone. Haha.

Pandan Rice

That’s just a bit of a harmless confidence trick though since she’s actually a very good businesswoman. They even bring their delicious keropok over to each table to see if they want any to take away after your meal. That doesn’t detract from the excellent food though. It may not be for everyone since it’s noisy at times and crowded but if you’re looking for awesome Nyonya chow, you can’t go wrong.

Ayam Ponteh

Ayam Ponteh (RM 26)
This is the classic Peranakan dish of chicken cooked Nyonya style. They do it very well in Restaurant Ole Sayang, it was very hearty and delicious. I ate three (3) plates of rice from the gravy alone! It’s a famous local Malaccan recipe and we all loved it.

Asam Pedas Fish Head

Asam Pedas Fish Head (RM 75)
The fish is a species called kurau locally and the spicy broth goes very well with it. I was hesitant about ordering it in the classic style since it can be a bit hot but everyone seemed to like it so that was good.

Itik Tim

Itik Tim (RM 35)
This is half a duck simmered with savory pickled vegetables for a sour and appetizing soup course. It did its job well, which was to open up our appetites. The duck meat and bones isn’t edible (well, technically it is, but it’s not palatable) since all the moisture and goodness has been sucked out to be in the broth but it’s not meant to be eaten anyway.

Otak-otak

Otak-otak (RM 11.50)
This was the only thing which wasn’t up to par. The otak-otak seemed to be a bit off that day. The ratio of santan (coconut cream) to fish paste seem wrong, there was too much of the former so you could only taste coconut milk. Maybe that’s why the owner told me a small portion would do. *shrugs*

Sambal Udang Petai

Sambal Udang Petai (RM 28)
I love petai and I love shrimps. There’s nothing better than combining the two together! It makes for a spicy dish with a oeuvre of “smelly bean” (which is what petai is called in Chinese). It goes very nicely with the pandan scented rice.

Cincaluk Omelet

Cincaluk Omelet (RM 14)
The omelet went down very well with the kids. I liked it too but mostly left it for the kids coz they didn’t eat much from the other dishes. They can be a bit picky with food, kinda like me when I was young. You tend to grow out of these things (personally didn’t touch vegetables until my late 20’s) so it’s all good.

Chap Chai

Chap Chai (RM 22)
This is the Peranakan style preparation of vegetables and our last order from the Greatest Hits (TM) of Nyonya cuisine. There’s transparent rice vermicelli lining the bottom of the dish – I thought that was a very nice way to absorb the flavors of the gravy.

Huge Cendol

Huge Cendol (RM 30)
This is calculated according to the number of people. It’s RM 3 per serving (you can also get individual ones) so if you have 10 pax like us, you can opt for a huge mound for everyone. This was liberally doused with the awesome gula Melaka (palm sugar) and even though the kids made a collective spur-of-the-moment group decision not to have any (eh?) the adults all finished it. I myself had 5-6 servings.

Restaurant Ole Sayang Melaka

I had thought I had over ordered for everyone since we had 10 pax (but 4 of them were kids, so it’s 6 adults) but we managed to finish everything, even the gigantic portion of cendol. There was nary a scrap of meat left (except for the duck carcass in Itik Tim) and the plates looked licked clean. I’ll go again for the food alone. You’ll love this place if you don’t mind a bit of ambience (noise) and you’re looking for traditional Nyonya fare.

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18 thoughts on “Restaurant Ole Sayang, Melaka

  1. the ever popular real nyonya restaurant in Melaka Raya. U r wise to make a booking least u will be left standing outside :p hope the city wasn’t as jammed (especially with the influx of weekend tourist from KL/Singapore). Still missed Malacca as its a friendly city, many places to unwind and spend family time. Must surely enjoy the food and place of interest.

    • Yeah, it was packed when we were there! :)

      The only free table was our reserved one. It was very jammed coming here though, the road leading to Melaka Raya was incredibly congested. It took us 40 minutes, I think. The turnoff to this place is even worse, in the end I managed to squeeze into a parking spot beside the road and walked over.

  2. The chicken pongteh and fish were so good. Luckily the otak otak was a small portion else we would not able to finish it especially me not a huge fan of it.

    Cendol was delicious although I only have one serving which was satisfying indeed.

    • Yup, I love everything served that day dear! :)

      I particularly enjoyed the ayam ponteh – the gravy was extremely delicious. I could finish the otak otak but was glad it wasn’t bigger also. Haha. Good thing we managed to eat everything though, I had thought it was too much at first, since there were so many dishes. Luckily they did account for the kids and made it smaller.

    • I like otak otak too! :)

      It’s just that the otak otak here has way too much santan so the ratio is a bit off. It’s still nice to eat, it just would be nicer if they hadn’t put so much santan in. Melaka does indeed have the best Nyonya food.

  3. the otak otak seems very pricey.. your melaka post makes me crave for nyonya food.. and to add on, kuching is raining now.. it will be awesome if we can have asam pedas fish head with steam rice ..

    • I’ve had otak otak which were priced even higher! :)

      I don’t think this is very expensive, since otak otak uses a lot of fish and a lot are handmade it should be around this price. I’m dubious of the ones from Otak Otak Place and other chain restaurants coz those are mass produced, not nearly as good or with as much fish paste. I miss Kuching, haven’t been there in years!

    • Yeah, we had a good experience! :)

      However, judging from TripAdvisor and their Facebook page it seems there are a lot of unhappy customers. But then again happy customers often don’t give positive feedback while unhappy ones will so that’s something to keep in mind.

  4. the super huge cendol captured my attention…I like having a nice & refreshing bowl of cendol after meal. LOL, I’m seeing the similar foodie post in “Elaine’s” blog!

    • Yeah, we saw another table order the huge cendol and wanted it too! :)

      Haha! It’s actually a neat trick to bring out the huge bowl with such fanfare so everyone in the restaurant can see it and want to have it for themselves.

    • I remember eating at a Nyonya place with you too! :)

      This was at Lima Puloh beside the Nuffnang office in KL, that was ages ago though. I’ve been back (after their renovations) and the food there is decent too.

    • It serves up good food! :)

      The place is unpretentious, no nice plating or ambience (it’s quite noisy) but the dishes are all delicious and that’s what matters.

  5. I love nyonya…a lot more than many of the rest. This place is endorsed by the Jalan-jalan cari makan tv show – I went twice long long ago. Did not look as nice then, more like a Chinese restaurant kind of decor. They sure have done up the place very very nicely.

    I liked Mako down the street more at the time but the last time I went, it wasn’t great anymore, the people were so snooty, and the place was way too crowded for my liking, lots of Singaporeans – had to queue outside some more. Will not bother going back there again.

    • Interesting! I didn’t know Jalan Jalan Cari Makan featured them. :)

      They certainly didn’t put any banners or such to advertise the affiliation, guess they’re popular enough already and didn’t need the extra buzz since they’re so packed every day that you have to make reservations if you don’t want to wait outside. I haven’t been to Mako before but have been to other Nyonya places in Melaka and I found this to be the best one in terms of food quality. I think it’s just the tourist trade in Melaka, you have to queue up (for hours sometimes) for most popular foods from chicken rice balls to satay celup.

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