Besides being the historical center of Malaysia with numerous well-preserved colonial and Dutch architectures, Melaka is also known for its Peranakan cuisine.
Peranakan cuisine marries the Chinese style of cooking with Malay use of spices to create tantalizing dishes. There are many peranakan restaurants in Melaka, one of the most acclaimed is Nancy’s Kitchen.
Nancy was born and raised in a humble Peranakan household in Melaka, she was taught to cook at a young age by watching and helping her mother in the kitchen.
Nancy’s recipes have been passed down the generations and the restaurant is currently managed by the third generation.
You can find the full Nancy’s Kitchen menu on their website here.
Spring Roll [MYR$4 per piece], more commonly known as “popiah” in many Southeast Asia counties, originated from Fujian, China. The thin and soft paper-like crepe is made from wheat flour. Filled with steamed grated turnip, jicama, bean sprouts, sliced French beans, grated carrot, chopped peanuts, shallots and shredded omelette. Sweet and savory all in one bite, it is a popular starter in Nancy’s Kitchen.
It is named Top Hat [MYR$6 per set of 5 pieces] for its hat-shaped cone, but most people know it as “pai tee”. Nancy’s Kitchen makes its own thin and crispy pastry tart shell and it is filled with the same ingredients as popiah. This is another popular starter that is of peranakan origins.
Fish Ball with Egg Roll Soup is also known as Beloba Ikan Sup at Nancy’s Kitchen. This is a simple fishball soup with handmade fishballs and lots of cabbage that kids will like.
Nyonya Laksa [MYR$8] is the real deal. Unlike the watery run-down version we normally find in Singapore, Nancy’s Kitchen version does not skim on ingredients. You can taste the fresh coconut milk and the combined fragrance of the 8 spices that goes into the making of the rempah (spice paste). You have a choice of yellow noodle (mee) or rice noodle (meee hoon).
Nancy’s Kitchen has a good selection of nonya kuehs that I have only heard of but never got the chance to try in Singapore. The oval blackish-colored ones are Green Bean Cake (Kuih Ku) while the blue and white patterned triangular piece is Glutinous Rice Coriander (Rempah Udang). The coriander flower gives it the blue color and a nice flowery fragrance.
I am no expert when it comes to Peranakan cuisine but if the fully-packed restaurant is any indication of its popularity, Nancy’s Kitchen deserves to be checked out.
Address: 13, 13-1, 13-2, Jalan KL 3/8, Taman Kota Laksamana, Seksyen 3, 75200, Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Friday – Saturday and Public Holidays 11am – 9pm; Monday,Wednesday, Sunday 11am – 5pm (closed on Tuesdays)
Telephone: +606 2836099 / +6013 6183608