Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant @ Equatorial Melaka
I was in Melaka last weekend for some work at Kota Laksamana. The thing about going back to my hometown but for work purposes means I won’t have time to go back to my parents’ place hence I arranged with them to have dinner together at where I was putting up for the night, at Hotel Equatorial Melaka.
For dinner, we have a choice of having their BBQ Seafood Buffet at Rest House Cafe on the Lobby level or go for Peranakan cuisine at The Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant on Level 3. The last time I treated my parents to hi-tea at a nearby hotel, they weren’t too impressed with the spread hence I decided it is better to go ala carte with Peranakan cuisine this time and they agreed to it.
My parents and us. My mom in full grandeur of her Nyonya Kebaya. I too, wore a Nyonya Kebaya that was given by her not too long ago.
Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant
Hotel Equatorial Melaka
Tel 606 282 8333 Ext 3380
We were impressed the moment we walked out of the elevator on Level 3 and saw the exterior of Seri Nyonya Restaurant.
Tastefully furnished in a typical Peranakan style, I was told several items here are real antiques such as the lanterns, tiles and mirrors.
These precious lanterns are over a hundred years old, older than Darling, me and the boys put together.
The exterior set up already won us over.
Tastefully decorated with a touch of class.
Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant won the best restaurant for a hotel outlet back in 2008/2009. It has a reputable reputation of being one of the better Nyonya restaurants in town. It is also HALAL certified hence it is popular not only among tourists (and even locals) but Muslim diners too.
I am glad I managed to take a picture of the interior before I left the place. When we were dining, there were at least 5 other families dining here hence I refrained to take a picture as some guests dislike their pictures being taken especially when they are spending quality time with their families.
Even the ceiling here is impressive.
As soon as we were seated, we were served titbits in these cute little bakul siahs.
These Peranakan lacquered bamboo baskets are used to deliver cakes to family and friends on special occasions such as births, engagements and marriages.
Ayden ate all the nuts leaving only the melon seeds for my parents
Now let’s take a look at the food we had. They are served on beautiful blue and white porcelain plates.
Pai Tee is an appetizer made with a savory, crispy thin fried shell stuffed with thinly sliced stir-fry yam bean and vegetables.
The pai tee here is one of the best we have ever eaten. The chili is awesome-sauce that my parents set it aside to be eaten with popiah and fried chicken.
Spicy mackerel fish paste in secret spices and coconut milk and grilled in banana leaf. The otak-otak here is fragrant and quite thick. You can see the real mackerel fish meat in the paste. The flavour is quite mild hence the boys is able to eat it. I’d personally prefer it to be a little more intense though.
You can tell an authentic Nyonya popiah by the skin. It is made of eggs and flour, similar to a heavy crepe; not as thin as your typical popiah skin. The texture of the skin is tender and moist. The ones here is good so you’ve got to try it yourself to discover the uniqueness of our Peranakan popiah.
Steamed rice was placed in a bakul siah and served personally by the waiter.
Itik Tim (RM24)
Duck broth simmered with salted vegetables and sour plum. This soup reminds me of Chinese New Year as my late grandmother always boiled it for the festivities. My mother carries on this tradition but I have yet to pick up the skill from her.
The itik tim here has great flavors and is best consumed warm because unlike the ones we have at home that contains Chinese wine, the ones here is without it as this is a Halal certified restaurant.
Cincaluk Omelette (RM17)
Egg omelette with fermented shrimp sauce is a must-have each time we dine Peranakan as this is one of the boys’ favourite. It is a dish that is sure to please the kids as well as adults. As simple as it sounds, it is not as easy to be executed perfectly as some cincaluk omelette can be overly salty or at times sweet.
However, we are glad that the cincaluk omelette here is good. You can actually taste the cincaluk in the egg yet it is not overly salty, making it possible to eat the egg just on its own. The serving portion is huge. We ordered medium yet it is enough to go around the 6 of us several times.
Nyonya Chap Chye (RM24)
Mixed vegetables stir-fried in bean paste with Chinese black mushrooms and bean curd. This is one of the chef’s recommended items in the menu.
Knowing my parents, I’m sure they’d prefer something spicy for their vege dish but they were kind enough to allow me to order this so that their grandchildren can have their daily dose of vegetables. I wanted to order another vege dish such as daun keledek sambal belacan or terung seri nyonya for them but they declined as they said there is already too much food on the table and my mom can whip those up herself at home.
Sambal Udang Petai (RM41)
I did however order this dish specially for my parents
Fresh succulent prawns stir-fried in aromatic chili paste. The sambal is not overly spicy with sweet tones to it. Such an appetizing dish, the stinky beans gave us an instant boost of energy after a long day earlier.
Ayam Pongteh (RM35) is a hit with the kids.
It is braised chicken in bean paste with Chinese mushroom and potato. This is the ONLY Nyonya dish that I can proudly declare I know how to cook. The gravy is thick enough to my liking with the potatoes nicely soft and has absorbed the gravy well.
Ayam Pongteh goes extremely well with sambal belacan.
Any pongteh experience is incomplete without this spicy savory concoction. In fact, sambal belacan is a must-have in almost every Peranakan meal time.
Ayam Buah Keluak (RM37)
Buah Keluak has an acquired taste. It’s either you love it or you don’t. My parents and I love it a lot so I ordered this for them knowing how tedious it is to cook this ourselves. It is chicken cooked in spicy aromatic tamarind gravy with Kalimantan black nuts.
The black nuts plays a major role in this dish. The preparation of this nut is a tedious and lengthy process. You’ll have to soak it, scrub it, make a hole on it and check the quality of the paste in it. Some may have gone bad and you’ll need to dispose it or it will ruin the entire pot during cooking. This black nut is costly these days with each nut easily cost around RM1 in the market.
Ayam Goreng Nyonya (RM34)
As I am writing this post, I realised I ordered many chicken dish but NO fish. It’s all my mother’s fault. She told me not to order the ikan goreng cili garam as she cooks that for us every time we are back and then I conveniently forgotten to order other type of fish dish. Aiseh…
Nevermind, all the more reason to return to this restaurant again in the future.
We ended our hearty dinner with a bowl of cendol each (RM7).
This rich creamy dessert made of coconut milk, green pandan jelly noodles and palm sugar was served just nice, not overly sweet. The waiter did however mentioned that if we prefer to have it sweeter, he can add on the palm sugar. None of us added the palm sugar. It was just nice as it is.
Our initial plan was to take a 15 minutes walk to Jalan Laksamana after dinner to go for the night river cruise but we had such a great time catching up with my parents over such delightful dinner that our dinner stretched to 9.30pm without us realizing and we’ve already missed the last boat.
Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant is a HALAL certified restaurant. It is definitely a notch higher than most Nyonya restaurants here in Malacca. Some of the items that I highly recommend to order is their Pai Tee, popiah, pongteh, sambal udang petai, cincaluk omelette and chap chye.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, The Seri Nyonya Peranakan Restaurant also has a private room for that extra private business meeting or dinner party, from 10 to 40 persons.
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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.
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