Malacca, Malaysia - Nyonya food at Nancy's Kitchen
Just had some of *the* best Nyonya food I'd had in the past 2 decades! Nancy's Kitchen in the Baba-Nyonya heartland Jonkers Street/Heeren Street area was not known to be the best restaurant serving Peranakan cuisine, but was the most convenient spot for us to lunch where we were today at the time.
What we had:
- Nyonya popiah (spring rolls) - delicious here though the raw garlic gave the vegetable filling a real kick;
- Nyonya Kueh pie-tie - loved the crisp pastry shells.
- Bakwan Kepiting - the pork-and-crabmeat-balls soup knocked any version I'd had in Singapore. The Malaccan version had a savory broth and perfectly textured meatballs;
- Babi Buah Keluak - this spicy pork-rib stew was absolutely divine, and the "buah keluak" nuts were perfectly cooked - better than anything I'd tried in Singapore's Nyonya restaurants!
- Kerabu Jantung Pisang - banana blossom salad - a must-not miss here. It's subtly spiced and enriched with fresh coconut creme, and was unbelievably tasty. Best dish in today's lunch spread!
- Chinchalok omelette - this version of egg omelette with fermented shrimp packed an oomph which lesser versions in Singapore's Peranakan restaurants seemed to promise but could never deliver. Here. Nancy's Kitchen certainly did *not* hold back on the strongly-flavored chinchalok.
- Nyonya otak-otak - about the same standard as the ones served by Singapore's top Peranakan restaurant, Guan Hoe Soon.
7 Jalan Hang Lekir (3rd Cross Street)
off Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Tel: +606 283 6099
Wow looks good! I ate there once, but don't have much recollection of the food - I definitely don't remember trying the banana blossom salad / buah keluak / bakwan kepiting - unfortunately it was a big group, and the dynamics was such that it would have been difficult for me to be the one ordering. Must remember your recommendations when I revisit!
I was lucky -we have in our lunch party true-blue Malaccan Peranakan baba & nyonya, descended from old Heeren Street families. They conversed with owner, Nancy Mok, in Baba patois. The banana blossom salad was her recommendation.
For the bakwan kepiting soup - try the version at Guan Hoe Soon in Joo Chiat Place, Singapore, if you're unable to make that long drive up to Malacca. It's close in terms of the soup's flavor and the meatballs' texture. Even Guan Hoe Soon's otak-otak was almost completely similar.
Hmm, I don't see much (if any) visible Banana flower (chopped up or otherwise) in the pic of that salad - I presume it was underneath all the shrimp and onions and other stuff? Banana flowers were handled gingerly in my mother's kitchen - hands/clothes staining opportunities were loudly proclaimed to all and sundry.
The food looks wonderful, wish I could taste it.
I think Nancy Mok did a wonderful job in promoting Nyonya food, especially to Singaporean tourists. She's been popular since her restaurant opened around 2000.
But for the best Nyonya food, try Auntie Lee's in Ujong Pasir, situated on the main road on the left side, as you drive in from Malacca town centre. She's quite a fussy woman though, and won't let you "over-order" - she tells you you've had enough and WON'T take anymore food orders from you!