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BUDGET TRAVEL FOOD : LOCAL MALACCAN RESTAURANT

During our trip to Malacca, we really wanted to have an authentic Peranakan dinner. It was very quiet on the streets as it was during the week and most restaurants were closed or closed early.

Undeterred, we continued walking to the end of Jonker Walk and found this local restaurant called Anak Nonya. Boy, was it good! We were lucky. We walked past it the next day and realized that they are close on Wednesdays, so we were pretty lucky to have caught the restaurant on our only night there.

We had...
  • Pong teh chicken
  • Assam fish
  • Sambal kangkong
  • 3 plates of rice
  • 2 cans of beer
and all of these cost approx. RM48, approx. S$20, approx. 10.50Euros for 2 persons.

Peranakan or Nonya cuisine combines Chinese, Malay and other influences into a unique blend.

Peranakans are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays. The old Malay word nonya (also spelled nyonya), a term of respect and affection for women of prominent social standing (part “madame” and part “auntie”), has come to refer to the cuisine of the Perakanans.

Nonya cooking is the result of blending Chinese ingredients and wok cooking techniques with spices used by the Malay/Indonesian community. The food is tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal. Key ingredients include coconut milk, galangal (a subtle, mustard-scented rhizome similar to ginger), candlenuts as both a flavoring and thickening agent, laksa leaf, pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius), belachan, tamarind juice, lemongrass, torch ginger bud, jicama, fragrant kaffir lime leaf, rice or egg noodles and cincaluk - a powerfully flavored, sour and salty shrimp-based condiment that is typically mixed with lime juice, chillies and shallots and eaten with rice, fried fish and other side dishes.

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