I just spent the weekend in Malacca – former Portugese, Dutch and British colony, host to a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the historic city centre of Jonker Street and repository of some of the most unique and colourful culture in the Straits of Malacca. So of course, I spent my two days there stuffing my face. But given that the food in Malacca offers everything from Peranakan to Chinese to Portugese cuisine, taking the finest parts of East and West and mashing them all together wonderfully, who could blame me?

Our first meal in Malacca was at Restoran Peranakan, or literally Peranakan Restaurant, located near the iconic Jonker Street.

Restoran Peranakan, Jonker Street, Malacca

Restoran Peranakan along Jonker Street

We literally had the restaurant all to ourselves – our party of five were the only customers on the premises during our meal, which was a tad unnerving, especially since it was night time. This┬áled to jokes that we would come back the next day in search of the restaurant, only to find a graveyard in its place, just like in that iconic True Singapore Ghost Stories story. My friend Josh even said that our photos might just come out blank.

But eating at Restoran Peranakan was a wonderful experience, and not just because of the food. It’s also┬ávery tastefully decorated with evocative, everyday objects from Peranakan culture, such as this traditional wedding sedan.

Peranakan wedding sedan, Jonker Street, Malacca

Check out this very cool traditional Peranakan bed too, complete with what looked like a funeral portrait.

Malacca, Peranakan food

A traditional Peranakan bed.

So of course, I did what anyone in their right mind would have done: I got down and started chasing the dragon, with the help of my beautiful assistant (if you don’t get this reference, just Google “Peranakan”, “opium den” and/or “Straits Settlements”).

Restoran Peranakan, Malacca, Jonker Street

The girlfriend serves me my opium.

But I know what you’re saying: enough about the damn decor, get to the food. Given that it was the last day of the Chinese New Year, when many restaurants and businesses were still closed, Restoran Peranakan was only serving set menus. So we went for the 5-7 persons set menu (there were five of us), and were more than well-satisfied. All the spices and flavours that Peranakan cuisine is so famed for were in play: sweet, sour, spicy, savoury and above all, spicy.

Restoran Peranakan, Malacca, Jonker Street

Ayam buah keluak (roughly, chicken with nuts)

Restoran Peranakan, Malacca, Jonker Street

Sotong fritter (calamari)

Restoran Peranakan, Malacca, Jonker Street

Sambal udang (sambal prawns)

Restoran Peranakan, Malacca, Jonker Street

Toufu Peranakan

Ikan chuan chuan (deep fried snapper with ginger sauce)

Ikan chuan chuan (deep fried snapper with ginger sauce)

Malacca, Peranakan food

Chendol, a traditional dessert with coconut milk, jelly, shaved ice and gula melaka (palm sugar)

The final bill, including drinks, came to 242 ringgit (S$97), which translated to roughly $20 per person. But there were even better, and cheaper, meals to come. Watch this space for more details on my face-stuffing adventures as we partake of more food in Malacca.

Restoran Peranakan info
Tel: +60 6-284 5001 Address: 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock