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

A selection of Hors d’oeuvre

chocolate cubes

This is one of the most awesome chocolates I’ve ever had – it’s made of over 80% cocoa, very dark and bittersweet, with a dusting to finish it.

chocolate cocoa

I think a whole bunch of us in Singapore had way too much of these. I know I certainly did, totally ruined my appetite for dinner.

hors d oeuvre

This is pretty good too – it’s a layered chocolate cake and almost impossible to dissect but let me attempt to describe it – it contains layer after layer of moist and fluffy pastry covered with chocolate. I was impressed, it was so light it felt like I was eating mostly air.

lobster shots

Lobster shooters. I liked this one too – awesomely concocted pieces of lobsters with the accompanying sauces and garnishes in one ready-to-drink (eat?) shot.

liquor chocolates

This were the chocolates that had liquor in it – it’s infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I preferred the original high cocoa content chocolate cubes instead but a lot of others liked these. :)

The famous Red Prawn (Ang Heh) durian at Balik Pulau, Penang

red prawn durian

This should be called The Hunt for Red October Prawn. Red Prawn or Udang Merah is known locally in Hokkien as “Ang Heh” – it’s a breed of durian only available in Penang – there’s too much local demand (and exports to countries like Singapore I imagine) for it to come down to Klang Valley.

Thus, after 4 meals before 12 pm we finally drove to Balik Pulau (it’s where the orchards for Ang Heh are) where I ran down to stall after stall only to be told the same thing:

There are no Red Prawn durians. The season just ended.

One stall sold his *very last* Red Prawn durian to a customer just before we came.

balik pulau durian stall

I had almost given up at this point when the next stall claimed to have Red Prawn. In fact, there were 4 of these luscious durians.

red prawn penang

Red Prawn is characterized by it’s red colored flesh and small seeds. It’s not bright red like the Sarawakian local ones, although some can have an orange hue, with just a tinge of red, or striped. I paid RM 45 for one durian – it’s RM 25/kg after a bit of bargaining.

ang heh durian

The durian only had 5 seeds!!!

red prawn

That works out to about RM 10 per seed. It was delicious though, definitely worth it for durian lovers. :)

Suanie got another one to take away, this has more seeds and it’s heavier, cost RM 50. There’s also various other Penang-only durians on offer – you can listen to the proprietor talking about it.

Koh Tsu Koon durian

Koh Tsu Koon is also another famous durian strain but I couldn’t afford to part with another RM 50 for a tiny durian, despite it being famed for having miniscule or no seeds at all, which is a running joke about the ex-Penang CM.

udang merah

All in all, it was a good durian hunt – I got to eat Red Prawn and even though it wasn’t as red as what I tasted on a previous excursion, it’s good. It tastes like Red Prawn.

durian udang merah

Sarawak also has a bright red colored durian (as does Penang, which has several). Red Prawn is pretty good, and at that price point, a bargain compared to overrated durian strains like Musang King.

eating red prawn durian

We sapu-ed two out of the four Red Prawn durians left – it was the end of season for that strain, D15 is still going strong though. :)

Donald’s Durian SS2

durians

Durian runtuh!

durians water

It’s durian season again. :)

donalds durian ss2

I went to Donald’s Durian which is just beside SS2 durian over the weekend to binge on the King of Fruits. The price has gone up since I last went – it’s now RM 10 for the durian buffet…but there’s heaps of people even at midnight!

ss2 durians

You don’t get the good durians like Musang King/Raja Kunyit/D197 at that price though – it’s sold separately, was quoted RM 22/kg here which is quite cheap. Musang King apparently means Elvis Presley, an interesting name to call a strain.

eating durians

The RM 10 durian buffet is everywhere in SS2 now and you can eat to your hearts content on various lower grade durians. It’s a very good deal, and you get tissues and water to go with it. ;)

selecting durian

There’s a lot of the common but relatively premium D24, D101 and Holo/Labu/D163 durians for sale too. Funny thing was, we almost forgot to pay, we were leaving and then I suddenly remembered that we haven’t paid and went back to do so. No one stopped us, probably coz of the crowd. Heh.

eating durian

I’m looking for Durian Botak (D172) and the Sarawakian durian called Kepala Babi (D170) – anyone seen them around? :)

Portuguese Egg Tarts in Macau

choi heong yuen bakery

Portuguese egg tarts are just one of those things you have to eat when you’re in Macau. It’s practically the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Macau and food.

portuguese egg tarts

There are a lot of places selling this delightful snack but one of the best I’ve had when I was there last week was surprisingly in the touristy area below the Ruins of St Paul’s.

portuguese egg tarts macau

Choi Heong Yuen Bakery (established in 1935) makes amazing Portuguese egg tarts – it’s piping hot and comes with a buttery flaky crust encapsulating a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth egg custard.

macau portuguese egg tarts

The confection is incredibly light and paradoxically rich at the same time. It is usually priced at around MOP 7 (about RM 3) for a pastel de nata. There are many outlets selling these and you can’t go wrong with most bakeries.

pastel de nata

Portuguese egg tarts are the pride of Macau, so you can be sure of getting a mouthful of epicurean heaven no matter which one you go to.

Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert

hui lau shan hong kong

Hui Lai Shan is one of the extremely popular dessert chains around Hong Kong.

hui lau shan menu

There is basically no seating – it’s like the bubble tea establishments on the street, except this offers a new twist by having “healthy drinks”. You get a number when you order and you wait for your drink to be prepared at a side counter.

hui lau shan counter

The drinks are in the HKD 20+ range and there are heaps of options you can choose from, all with a local twist.

hui lau shan hk

I notice the trend is to have a local base with various fruits on top, such as the tongue twisting Glutinous Rice Balls in Mango Cubes & Coconut Juice with Red Bean.

hui lau shan healthy drink

I ordered from the Bird’s Nest and Honey Jelly Series – this is the popular E4 – Bird’s Nest & Honey Jelly in Mango & Coconut Juice for HKD 25 (about RM 10). I added HKD 3 for a larger 16 oz drink.

Birds Nest Honey Jelly Mango Coconut Juice

These drinks are surprisingly addictive. It tastes really good. The bird’s nest and honey jelly breaks apart into soft and slurp-able pieces when you stir it with the huge straw. The coconut milk (not juice as stated on the menu) goes very well with the mango pieces (that’s your daily dose of fruit right there) and jelly.

hui lau shan drink

It’s the perfect drink while walking around Hong Kong on a hot day. :)

Tower Chocolate Double Cheesecake

tower chocolate double cheesecake

Before Secret Recipe opened up a branch in Sibu, the place to get quality cakes for birthdays and other celebrations was at Tanahmas Hotel. They have pretty good cheesecakes in Peppers Cafe (the hotel’s cafe) and I revisited the place with Anthea right before flying back.

jelly pisang sibu

I was here a couple of days ago to explore the mythical Sibu Famous Jelly Pisang. I had the exact same thing this time around. Heh! I noticed that the entire bottom is made out of jelly – probably a good 1/3 of it, and I really liked how the entire shaved ice dessert goes.

anthea goh

This time around I also ordered one of the cakes that caught my eye from the glass display counter.

tower cake

This is the Tower Chocolate Double Cheese. It’s a tiny cake about the size of two stacked Tiffany boxes – half of it contains their famous cheesecake and it’s topped with a layer of chocolate mousse. The entire shebang is then drizzled with chocolate sauce, a piece of their kitchen-made chocolate and a maraschino cherry.

chocolate mousse

It’s really quite good and reminds me of why Peppers Cafe used to be the king of cakes – if you wanted one, that’s where you go in Sibu. :)

Sibu Famous Jelly Pisang

sibu famous jelly pisang

I was having pre-dinner drinks at Peppers Cafe earlier today before finally capitulating and ordered the Sibu Famous Jelly Pisang (RM 7). It is described as “Fresh banana slices with strawberry jelly in sugar syrup topped with shaved ice, finished with Ideal milk and laced with strawberry syrup”.

I’m from Sibu and I’ve never heard of such a concoction before, much less with a “famous” tag preceding it. *squints suspiciously

tanahmas

However, it seems that there really is such a dessert despite my initial skepticism and dark thoughts about fleecing unsuspecting tourists. Eddy told me that Jelly Pisang was a very big thing back when he was a teenager – all his Malay friends would eagerly go for a bowl on a particularly hot day.

I’m not sure if it’s a Sibu thing or more of a Sarawak thing but anecdotes seem to suggest the former. This is further confirmed by Arthur’s blog post about it and a mention of it being a specialty of Ban Chuan Coffee Shop way back in the days.

jelly pisang

Jelly Pisang (banana jelly) is delicious – there is no sweetener in the iced concoction, the shaved ice only has cordial (for color) and evaporated milk.

However, when you bite into the huge mass of jelly, you get an intense sugar rush. The jelly forms 1/3 of the entire dessert and sets at the bottom. You scoop up large chunks of it like ruby red sugar icebergs when you dip your spoon down. There’s no fine dicing (a sure indicator of mass production) here, which is a good thing.

peppers cafe

The Jelly Pisang is really quite nice, as the unsweetened shaved ice contrasts nicely with the saccharine sweet in-house made jelly. The banana slices are lovely too. However, it seems that time has not been kind to this particular dessert.

It has largely fallen out of favor and is now mostly available in cafes and restaurants under “Local Desserts” as a historical ode to days gone by, instead of stalls.

The famous Nadeje Mille Crepe in Melaka

nadeje

Nadeje Patisserie Cafe in Melaka serves a lot of food you’ll expect to find in a fusion restaurant but the menu has been eclipsed by their fabulous Mille crepes. Nadeje is famous for Mille crepes and a lot of people come in just to have that. Mille crepe is a popular French cake made of many layers of very thin pancakes sandwiching a sweet cream concoction.

nadeje melaka

The name “Mille” implies that there is a thousand such layers, but of course, that would be near impossible to pull off. However, it does have a lot of layers and the beauty of Nadeje’s Mille crepes is that each individual layer is razor thin, with a delightfully thick cream filling.

mille crepes melaka

I was in Melaka a couple of days back and headed Nadeje in Dataran Pahlawan to see what the fuss is all about. There is a wide range of Mille crepes at the counter, with favors ranging from Banana Chocolate to Tiramisu. The Mille crepes goes for RM 9 per slice – it’s very reasonable pricing considering this is likely to be one of the most orgasmic cakes you’ve ever had.

banana cafe latte

Banana Cafe Latte
This is a rather intriguing coffee drink that I ordered to go with the Mille crepes. It is basically a latte with banana pulp at the bottom, which acts as a natural sweetener. I wouldn’t have thought of it but banana goes very well with coffee.

roman holiday

Roman Holiday
Mel had this cocktail. Nadeje also serves a wide variety of fancy non-alcohol cocktails and this three layered soda-based drink is one of the famous ones. It comes complete with a heart shaped stirrer.

nadeje mille crepe

Original Mille Crepe
This is arguably the best – the original is Nadeje’s signature Mille crepe sans fancy toppings. It is still regarded by many as the definitive Nadeje Mille Crepe – if you haven’t had this in Melaka, you totally missed out.

original mille crepe

It’s incredibly light and fluffy due to the multitude of layers and the creamy aftertaste is simply divine. I could eat this all day long and not get tired of it. It’s rich and creamy without being cloyingly sweet.

nadeje melaka mille crepe

Mille Crepe Melacca
I had a slice of this coz I figured it would be apt. We were in Melaka for a road trip after all and I thought it would be interesting to try this East meets West fusion. It’s Mille crepe topped with Gula Melaka (palm sugar) and whipped cream.

melacca mille crepe

I like how the gula melaka works with the Mille crepe – it adds an extra boost of sugar to the confection and you get the unique signature aftertaste of palm sugar. Delicious!

mille crepes

The Mille Crepe in Nadeje was one of the things that we planned to eat in Melaka and it did not disappoint. I would even go so far to say that it’s worth driving down just to savor this fluffy delight. :)

However, if you don’t feel like hitting the road, there’s a rainbow buttercream cupcake promotion on MilkADeal that looks very promising.

rainbow buttercream cupcake
RM15 instead of RM27 for 6 Rainbow Buttercream Cupcakes OR 6 Glorious Chocolatey Muffins from Craves4Cakes, Subang Jaya [44% OFF]

If you have a sweet tooth, you can now get a variety of cupcakes, chocolate muffins and even an interesting swirly tricolor marble cake to satisfy your craving. The deal expires in a couple of days so grab it quick! They even do free delivery to some areas. :)

Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah

ghee hiang tau sar pneah

Picture this. We just arrived in Penang and naturally, one of the things you get in Penang is Tau Sar Pneah (red bean baked pastries). I have no idea why it’s spelled pneah, I would have gone with the shorter phonetic pia. Anyway, that is not the point of this.

We followed the GPS to Ghee Hiang but when it cheerfully announced that we have arrived at our destination, all we saw was a brick building – with no entrance that the naked eye can see.

There were a couple of tour buses there though, so I thought we were in the right place. After parking, we realized that we have arrived at the factory itself. We walked in through the back of Ghee Hiang and thus caught a glimpse of how they make tau sar pneah:

tau sar pneah 1

tau sar pneah 2

tau sar pneah 3

tau sar pneah 4

ghee hiang

tau sar pneah 5

Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah has only one small facade for doing commerce – the majority of the floor space is dedicated to actually making the pastries. I thought it was funny though, us waltzing in through the back door for employees and plodding the entire length of the considerable factory to the front to buy the acclaimed Penang delights. :)

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