Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My Top 5 Favorite Melaka Restaurants

I might live in Tahiti but my part of my heart is always traipsing around Southeast Asia tracking down great places to eat. Food here at home is pretty bland in comparison to the continent, and there's limited ingredients, so I often drift off into craving dreams about one of my favorite food cities, Melaka Malaysia. I've covered this city for Lonely Planet's Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei, Southeast Asia on a Shoestring and KL, Melaka & Penang guides. My husband hates it when I cover Malaysia because I always come back with a couple extra kilos stuck on my rear.

So here are my top five favorite restaurants, places that make me desperately hungry to buy a plane ticket out of here - at least for a meal.

* Low Yong Mow (Jln Tokong) - It doesn't get much more ambient than this Chinese dim sum breakfast stop located directly across from one of the town's most important mosques. Little English is spoken but you can point to what looks good from the carts pushed around by old Chinese ladies. The pao (pork buns) are Malaysia famous and the best I've tasted.

* Pak Putra (Jln Kota Laksmana)- A humble Pakistani tandoori place with clay ovens and a bunch of plastic tables and chairs out on the sidewalk. It's super busy, and a wonderful place to socialize in the balmy night air with a kick-ass mango lassi and just about any meat or seafood you can imagine cooked to perfection.

* Selvam (Jln Temenggong) - My favorite Indian banana leaf place in the country with a to-die for Friday afternoon vegetarian 10-dish special.

* Nancy's Kitchen (Jln Hang Lekir) - The food here is about on par with the many other Nonya (Malaya and Chinese fusion) places in town, but this restaurant is one of the oldest, is family run and pays special attention to authenticity. The owners are also particularly friendly so you can always expect a nice chat alongside your meal.

* Capitol Satay (Lg Bukit Cina) - You gotta try satay celup, a Melaka specialty a bit like satay steamboat where you cook your own skewers of tofu, meat and veg in bubbling vats of soup. There are a bunch of flashier new places popping up around town but I love this unpretentious, very popular old stalwart.

For a feel for what Melaka city is like on the ground, check out my video on Lonely Planet Television.

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