Forget Starbucks when you’re in Malacca, and head to one of the best coffee places in the city, Calanthe Art Cafe. Located in a narrow alley just off the well-known Jonker Street, the cafe is like a quiet oasis, even though the decor doesn’t quite say the same thing – it is vibrantly furnished, with eclectic and creative touches such as rattan furniture hanging from the ceiling, hand-painted walls, and little trinkets on shelves throughout the property. It might not sport the famous modern minimalist look every cafe is going for nowadays, but we can’t help but love this feast for wandering eyes.
Calanthe might be one good-looking cafe, but its wide array of coffee selections is what makes it famous. With the tagline ‘The First and Only One’, Calanthe is unique, serving specialty coffee drinks from all the 13 states of the country, so if you’re an adventurous coffee aficionado, this is definitely something you want to try. Besides that, the cafe also offers one-of-a-kind blends such as green tea coffee (green tea and coffee with whipped cream on top) and ‘Jealousy,’ a rich espresso blend with a dollop of mint paddy syrup; and ice-blended drinks such as ‘Cendol Ice Blenz’ (palm sugar and coconut milk topped with red beans and cendol) and ‘Pink Lady’, a concoction of vanilla, ice, whipped cream and strawberry sauce. Prices are more than attractive, with a glass of one of these servings priced less than RM9!
Alongside coffee, other delicious drinks such as milk shakes, smoothies, teas, and soda mixes are also on the menu, all creatively-curated for the non-coffee drinker. A variety of alcohol-based drinks are also available; we highly recommend their royale Bailey cocktail, a mixture of a single shot of espresso, Bailey and chocolate sauce, topped with a scoop of ice cream.
As for their food items, Calanthe specialises in local food, and does so expertly, as it was listed in top 50 best laksa outlets in Malaysia by the Malaysian Tourism Body. Laksa is a Nyonya spicy noodle soup, and the cafe’s version is loaded with ingredients such as tofu puffs, fried beancurd skin, eggs strips and fishcake slices, all in flavourful coconut gravy infused with lemongrass, turmeric and spices. Another notable dish is golden rice, aka the cafe’s own version of nasi lemak. While the popular dish can easily be bought anywhere in the city, Calanthe’s comes with its special chicken rendang, together with usual nasi lemak condiments such as fried peanuts and anchovies.
Homemade desserts are also in the action, and if you’re looking for something sweet to finish off your epic meal, take a bite into their highly raved-about brownie with ice cream. Its caramel slice also deserves a mention; this famous cafe treat is delicious with a cuppa, and is made using an authentic recipe passed down from generation to generation since 1960s.
Calanthe also sells its own merchandise, in the form of T-shirts, coffee cups with matching saucers and its 13 states coffee beans.
Calanthe Art Cafe
- Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 12:00 – 23:00; Friday 12:00 – 24:00; Saturday 08:30 – 24:00; Sunday 08:30 – 23:00
- Address: 11, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Malacca
- Tel: +606 292 2960