It’s all about the details at the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum, which is housed in a Peranakan family’s actual home. Four generations of the same family have lived here so authenticity is assured. The museum is still managed by the family and is the perfect example of Dutch, British, Malay, Chinese and Portuguese architectural influences. If you’re visiting with young children, be sure to pick up an educational activity kit (RM10) to keep them busy!
Photo: Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
Jonker Street was once known for its antique store but is now where visitors get their street food fix and to bargain and jostle for touristy souvenirs. The selection of food is impressive covering everything from local delicacies to whatever food is trending at the time, e.g. last year saw the (in)famous raindrop cake make an entrance. Get your fortune told, buy a pair of traditional clogs, and if you’re feeling adventurous, hop onto a garish trishaw for a ride.
Photo: Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake/Facebook
When in Melaka, you must try the chicken rice balls. Yes, it’s just rice rolled in balls with steamed or roast chicken, but they are very much a part of the local culinary scene and who doesn’t like a good chicken rice? Rice balls aren’t a fad – they were rolled for practicality so that farmers and workers could have a warm lunch on the go. There are several chicken rice balls stalls / restaurants, but it’s best to stick to the old favourites even if it means a bit of a wait. Try Ee Ji Ban (halal) and Hoe Kee. Also, don’t leave Melaka without trying the amazing array of Nyonya kuih at Baba Charlie and Bibik Ong, who sells from her food cart in Ujong Pasir.
The café culture is in full swing in Melaka with everything from hipster IG-worthy types to traditional kopitiams riding the retro wave. The Daily Fix Café is a popular spot located behind a souvenir shop on Jonker Street. Its vintage décor is what attracts the crowd, as well as their fluffy pancakes. It gets crowded on weekends and holidays so be prepared to wait. Calanthe Art Café, an eclectic longstanding (13 years and counting) purveyor of great local coffee (13 types representing 13 Malaysian states) and food, is also well worth a visit.
Photo: SALUD Tapas Bar & Restaurant/Facebook
When the sun sets…
Balmy nights are best enjoyed in laidback restaurants and bars, and SALUD Tapas Bar & Restaurant fits the profile perfectly. You can’t go wrong with authentic Spanish cuisine in the heart of the heritage zone accompanied by great Spanish wine. Their delicious tapas and paella are well worth the visit! Sid’s Pub at Jonker’s is an outpost of the KL pubs and is one of the best places to have an ice cold beer, tasty pub food and watch sports on the flat screen TVs. Grab a seat with a view of the river for maximum effect.