The state of Malacca, now known as “Melaka” since its official name change in 2017, is a remarkable fusion of Portuguese, Malay, Dutch, Chinese, Arab, Indian, and English cultures thanks to its fascinating history.
Melaka proudly hosts one of the world’s busiest trading ports in the 15th century, which then grew to become Malacca City. It was declared a historical city by its own state government on 15 April 1989 and later gained exponential popularity ever since UNESCO inscribed it as a World Heritage Site on 7 July 2008. The charming capital now has the ability to attract almost 16 million tourists a year!
If iconic buildings like the Stadthuys and A Famosa are good reasons for travelers to visit Malacca City, then it’s the delicious food that beckons Malaysian appetites from across the country. So book at least one night at a hotel, because we’ve got an amazing two-day itinerary planned for you.
Yes, that’s right. Melaka is famous for its thirst-quenching cendol, shaved ice with green noodle-like jelly made from pandan and rice flour. Its served in fresh coconut milk and a variation of complementing ingredients such as red beans, glutinous rice, topped with palm sugar syrup. This is the perfect welcome fix. Locals recommend Aunty Koh Cendol* at Kampung Bukit Rambai, which sells out before 11a.m or Low Kong Jong Ice Cafe* at Jalan Hang Jebat which also serves good wan tan mee noodles.
We say “through”, because it’s going to be a list of eating pit stops. If you’re around Bukit Beruang, stop at Federal Ah Cheng Yong Tau Foo* for freshly made yong tau foo before heading for hokkien mee at Medan Selera Pasar Eng Seng* in the main city area. You can find one of the best fishball noodles or hee kiaw mee, just a 9-minute drive away at Oriental Cafe on Jalan Tengkera. The laksa noodles at 486 Baba Low nearby is also a must-try. They sell delicious Nyonya kuih, popiah, and mee siam too. If you're lucky, you’ll get to try the rare kuih cucur on weekends.
If you don’t fancy noodles, try Melaka’s famous chicken rice ball dish at Kedai kopi Chung Wah*. Many restaurants offer this famous dish, but this one at Jalan Hang Jebat is supposed to be the best. Another notable dish on your lunch list should be oh chien (fried oyster omelette) further out at Medan Makan Boon Leong* on Jalan Bunga Raya.
There are too many places to see in Malacca City, but you should definitely visit the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. It’s a quaint little building that originally housed four generations of the Chan family in the 1860s. The house became a museum in 1985, preserving the intricacy of Peranakan interior and furnishings. Here you’ll get a feel of how life was like for the Peranakans or Baba-Nyonyas, descendants of Chinese who came to Malaya around the 15th century. The museum closes at 5pm with the last admission being at 4.15pm.
After the tour you may be inspired to get your own Nyonya Kebaya, a beautiful traditional outfit that’s worn by women. Head to Chen Chen Ladies Tailor and pick a ready-made outfit or buy it as a gift for someone else. They also do tailoring and can complete it within three days or mail it to you after.
Jalan Tengkera is the place for snacking. Take a slow walk down starting at Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake and pick up a few edible souvenirs for your friends. Their kuih selection is a feast for the eyes and stomach. Then, make your way to Kuih Badak Warisan cafe which makes Melaka’s authentic kuih badak, a fried pastry pocket stuffed with healthy bean sprouts and eaten with chilli sauce. Right opposite is Taibak Corner*, selling another Melaka original called tai bak, glutinous noodle bits in sweet syrup.
Get your fluffy putu piring fix at Putu Piring Tengkera. It's a steamed coconut rice cake eaten with palm sugar. However this stall only opens at 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily (except Sundays). Another 15 minutes walk down the road, make a left turn on Jalan Hang Lekir and you’ll come to a shop called Christina Ee Pineapple Tarts & Cendol* that sells one of the best pineapple tarts in Melaka. Its pastry is buttery and the pineapple filling within isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.
Freshen up at your hotel and go enjoy an easy evening on the Melaka River Cruise. The cruise takes you along the river where you’ll see beautiful graffiti art along the walls, depicting the history and culture of Melaka. Guests of the Quayside Hotel just need to walk 5 minutes from the hotel to the Muara Jetty, next to Quayside Heritage Centre. Tickets can be bought online or at the jetty, ranging from RM15 - RM30 depending on age or whether you’re a local or foreigner. The cruise can also be accessed from Taman Rempah Jetty, where there’s free parking space. The Shore Residences & Hotel is another accommodation option that’s conveniently located next to The Shore Jetty. By staying along the Melaka river, you get to enjoy the view from your balcony and easy access to many other interesting attractions. Get great hotel deals with us here.
Source: TripAdvisor @ derekang1980
A true communal family meal is having satay celup for dinner. It’s just like satay, the Malaysian style of skewering meat on bamboo sticks, except with more ingredients provided: fish paste, vegetables, and other seafood - all served raw. You’re meant to cook your skewered meat in a tasty broth of spicy peanut sauce boiling in the middle of the table before eating. We eating this at Ban Lee Siang*, which opens at 4.30pm until 12.30am.
Next, head for supper at Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant at Taman Laksamana. This place is packed with locals and they’re all here for its famous Indian tandoori chicken and potato cheese naan. It’s no surprise that they cater to the after-dinner crowd as opening hours are between 5.30pm right up till 1.00am.
Source: Tourism Malaysia
Near Malacca City is Klebang Beach, a popular spot for Instagrammers or wedding photographers. Malaysia has no desert but the sand dunes at Klebang sure makes it look like one, drawing many photographers to have some fun with that setting. Don’t miss out on the famous Klebang Original Coconut Shake. It opens at 11am but get there early so you’re ahead of the queue.
Source: Kapitan Kongsi
Have your last meal at Nyonya Delights, a restaurant operated from a house on Jalan Klebang Besar and well-known for great laksa, nasi lemak, and lontong. Another authentic Nyonya lunch option is at Kapitan Kongsi Restaurant, which is part of Kapitan Kongsi Boutique Hotel about 10 minutes drive away. The building has a beautiful exterior that’s totally Instagram-worthy.
Finally, take away some delicious Nyonya-style ‘chang’ for your journey home from Michelle Soo Authentic Nyonya Chang*. ‘Bak chang’ is a popular Chinese-Malaysian rice dumpling snack that is made by cooking glutinous rice in bamboo leaves. The Nyonya version has added natural blue colouring from butterfly pea flower extract.
We hope you’ll enjoy what Melaka has to offer and remember to book your hotel with Mayflower Holidays. Happy eating!
*This restaurant may not be halal.