Malacca is rich with centuries-old cultures, its most prominent one being the Peranakan. Peranakan, or in other terms, ‘Baba Nyonya’, is a mix of two very diverse customs and traditions, and the term was coined back in the late 15th century when interracial marriages first began between Chinese immigrants and local Malay Muslim ladies.
Today, while the Peranakan race is becoming a rarity because of local rules prohibiting Muslim Malays marrying other religions, the culture lives on and it is still the pride and glory of its descendants. And what better way to relive and experience the Old World charm than through its absolutely irresistible cuisine? Here, we list five of the best Peranakan restaurants in Malacca, all reasonably priced and with quality guaranteed. A word of caution though – Peranakan food is known to be spicy, so be prepared and enjoy!
Nancy’s Kitchen has long been the number one place to go for good Nyonya food in Jonker Walk and moved to Taman Kota Laksamana. Its atmosphere isn’t at all pretentious - it’s like stepping into a friendly neighbour’s dining room for some delicious food, and dishes come piping hot from the kitchen. Try out their sek bak (braised pork) and sambal sotong petai (sambal squid with bitter beans) with white rice for the ultimate finger-licking experience. A note though; Nancy’s Kitchen is not a Halal eatery so Muslims might want to head to other Nyonya restaurants.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 – 17:30
- Address: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200 Melaka
- Tel: +606 283 6099
Kocik Kitchen, and while they bear quite similar menus, Kocik is halal and provides a slightly grander ambiance. Favourites are soft otak-otak (spicy fish cake) and assam fish, all within very reasonable price brackets, but we really recommend having its cendol (traditional dessert with gula Melaka and green jelly). Especially refreshing on a hot sunny afternoon!
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 – 15:00
- Address: 100, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca
- Tel: +6016 929 6605
If you’re in need of a classier place to enjoy authentic Peranakan food, then head on over to Seri Nyonya at the Equatorial Hotel Malacca for an elegant decor, roomy floor spaces and attentive service. Seri Nyonya serves strictly Peranakan food only, unlike some restaurants that offer Chinese dishes as well, with highlights such as ayam pongteh (braised chicken in sweet bean paste) and ikan goreng cili garam (deep-fried fish with spicy chilli paste). Suitable for family gatherings, or those would like to dine in style.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 18:30 – 22:30
- Address: Hotel Equatorial Malacca, Banda Hilir, Malacca
- Tel: +606 282 8333
Housed in an authentic Baba Nyonya house, eating at Restoran Peranakan is not simply about its delectable food. The Peranakan decor serves to complete the experience, with rare antiques such as a traditional wedding sedan and an exquisite Peranakan-themed wooden bed, so you can be immersed with the exciting culture while enjoying the food. We cannot stop raving about their absolutely delicious calamari fritters and sambal prawns, but for more value for your money, order any of their set menus, suitable for solo diners and large parties.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 18:30 – 22:00
- Address: 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca
- Tel: +606 284 5001
If there’s one thing to like about this charming eatery, it is the ever-so-friendly Amy the owner and her husband who usually go from table to table, talking to eager diners. The Peranakan food here is noted as one of the best in the land of Malacca, cooked with fresh ingredients and authentic recipes. Recommended dishes include Nyonya pai tee (crispy deep-fried puff stuffed with vegetables) and chap chai (mixed stir fry vegetables in bean paste) but seriously, everything on the menu is worth your time (and tummy space) too!
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 – 14:30, 18:00 – 22:00
- Address: 75, Jalan Melaka Raya, Taman Melaka Raya, Malacca
- Tel: +606 286 8819