Melaka is a coastal town in Peninsular Malaysia that offers unique, vibrant foods, packed with herbs and chilies, and combinations of flavor that I can guarantee will thrill your taste-buds.
Best Restaurants in Melaka is already going to be a tough decision, as Malaysia is clearly home to some of the best food in the entire world.
We can guarantee however, that Melaka should be high on your list of places to travel when you visit Malaysia, and this tasty list is just the beginning!
Best Restaurants in Melaka
In the article below, we present for you a list of the Best Restaurants in Melaka, places we highly recommend you take the time to find on your next visit.
This list could be a one-day itinerary, an all-out glorious Migrationology-style food tour of Melaka, or just some great tips the next time you visit this part of the world.
Start Your Food Tour of Melaka
In Melaka, Malaysia, you are well into the tropical latitudes of our world – I’m sure you are already appreciating how the cool morning hours are a time to treasure – there’s no time to lose!
Wake up hungry, and start off early, and the first two places we want to share with you are right near Melaka’s main downtown street.
1. Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Hainanese Chicken Rice is an iconic street food throughout South East Asia, and in Melaka, you’ll find plenty of restaurants proud to show off their own family’s version of this food.
One of the best restaurants in Melaka (thanks to local friends’ recommendation for this one!), our first spot is ‘Kedai Kopi Chung Wah.’
**read Migrationology’s full article and experience here, this restaurant deserves its own entire article.
Pride of Jonker Street
With such a central location on a corner of the famous Jonker Street, this place can get busy in a hurry.
They make amazing rice balls and chicken, and they are moving quickly – make sure to get here early to give yourself enough time to enjoy the large amounts of everything you’re going to want to order.
Ordering your Rice Balls, and Hainanese Chicken
The ordering process here is wonderfully simple (you’ll immediately see the plates being made up on your left as you’re entering the restaurant).
Count the number of plates of rice balls you want, and then the number of chickens.
You have two choices for chicken; half a chicken to a plate, or a whole.
Finally, quickly navigate to an empty table, sit down, and put in your drink order with the server (likely already there assisting you).
**The restaurant is a Malay-Chinese coffee shop style, and they serve ice coffee, as well as ice tea, Chinese tea, or a few milky, sweet mix drinks with ice… all of which are tasty I’m sure, but we are here for those chickens!
The Rice Balls
The rice balls have a unique texture, and the flavor is excellent. The smokiness in each bite is surprisingly potent (learn more about this special recipe in a moment), and you can really taste the huge amount of garlic in the rice-steaming broth as well.
Pairing a plate of these deeply flavorful rice balls with their juicy Hainanese-chicken recipe – its definitely a perfect way to start any food tour of Melaka.
A classic plate of Hainan-style boiled chicken, the skin is incredible fragrant and soft. The meat is wonderfully taut and juicy underneath, I love this simple but artful texture composition in each bite.
Boiling the chicken means that all the parts are soft, including nice bites of gelatinous tendons, joints, and marrow. Finally, each plate is served with a small side of freshly-cut cucumber – bon appetit!
Their vinegar sauce is incredible as well, as its so wonderfully heavy on the garlic. I just love this slightly spicy, tangy, fruity example of Malay and Chinese flavors.
In my opinion, it is this sauce that is elevating the entire chicken rice meal from good, to great.
Name: Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 9am to 3pm on Weekdays, 9am to 4pm on Weekends
Prices: Our entire meal came to 28RM (US$6.77)
2. Asam Pedas Pak Man
South East Asia well deserves its fame as the best place in the world to travel for those who love spicy food.
One of the best uses of chili pepper in the entire region has to be this amazing Malaysian food of ‘Asam Pedas’ (sour, spicy, curry soup).
This is a must eat food in Malaysia, and I recommend you to try it in Melaka – honestly, the curry soup is so good, for me its worth a trip to Melaka, just to eat this food.
**Enjoy the full video with Mark Wiens using the link here (YouTube video) – this place is unbelievably cool.
Your second destination on a food tour of Melaka would definitely have to be Asam Pedas Pak Man Restaurant (read the full article on this restaurant here).
Ordering Sour and Spicy Curry Soup with Fish
In my mind, asam pedas is one of the most delicious bowls of curry and fish in all of South East Asia.
Asam Pedas Pak Man restaurant opens early, but as it takes so long to prepare the main soup broth, they may only be serving roti canai and nasi campur until the asam pedas is ready (most days at about 9am).
However, even if you’re early you’re still in great hands! This restaurant is actually even more famous among local Melaka-eaters for their large selection of kuih. A favorite local sweet, kuih is a famously Peranakan coconut snack, and both this, and the roti canai, by the way, sell out here every single day.
Asam Pedas Pak Man has a wide variety of freshly caught fish available each day, and all of them are served in the rich, red, sour, and spicy curry soup called Asam Pedas.
They also have a delicious looking goat here as well, but as you are just meters from the ocean, I recommend trying a few fish first. Order at least one bowl for your table, and they’ll always give you a few healthy extra scoops of curry soup just covering your fish.
Reach in with your fingers to grab a chunk of fish meat, and place it on your pile of white rice. Tear off a few leaves from the plate of fresh herbs, and then dump at least two more spoons of the Asam Pedas curry broth over the bite of fish before eating.
The Asam Pedas Curry Soup
You are literally going to want to drink this sauce. Don’t worry – I already asked – it is totally culturally acceptable for you to do so.
I love ocean fish myself, and a delicious choice to order here is the baramundi (called ‘ikan tongol‘ in Malay language). The slightly more meaty consistency, and tough outer skin, just makes it unbelievably delicious when soaking and cooking for hours in that sour asam pedas broth.
Don’t miss their sambal belacan either, I think it was my favorite dipping sauce we had during the entire visit to the coast of Melaka. For just 2RM, it is an absolute bargain for how much more in-depth and brilliant the spiciness and chili flavors are (most restaurants in Malaysia serve sambal belacan for free, which means larger quantities, but usually without the intensity of flavor as this recipe they’re using at Asam Pedas Pak Man).
Note:* This local restaurant uses local catch, some of the fish may vary day by day.
Uncontrollably and Forever Addicted…
Since the first time I had this food, almost a decade ago, I was uncontrollably and forever addicted to its sourness, and its spiciness (like the name says) – for me this is definitely food worth traveling for.
One of the best restaurants to have Asam Pedas is at Asam Pedas Pak Man in Melaka, but we also had several other instances of just truly mind-blowing flavor in other regions of Malaysia as well.
You can check out some articles on those restaurants here (D’Umi Nasi Ulam, near Kota Bahru), here (Tugu View Cafe, in Kuala Lumpur) or for a literally life-changing flavor explosion (hint – its called Tempoyak, and the recipe includes durian), in Central Malaysia at a location you need to visit here (Gobang Maju, in Temerloh).
Name: Asam Pedas Pak Man
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 8am to 7pm (open daily)
Prices: Our entire meal came to 73RM (US$17.75)
3. Klebang Coconut Shake
Your next visit is for a current and popular local craze, its a recipe for a cool and refreshing coconut shake.
They take the coconut water, scoop out the young white flesh from each coconut as well, and finally blend this with crushed ice, and scoops of vanilla ice cream.
You are going to have to travel a few minutes outside of town, but their location right near the beachside makes it well worth your trip.
The “Original” Coconut Shake
As more and more restaurants selling these are popping up all over Melaka town, the original coconut shake location is still packing just as many customers as ever.
It may be a chance to take a small break from the rice, just for a moment, but if you’re doing this DIY tour as a two-day activity, then Klebang Original Coconut Shake serves many food options as well. They have nasi lemak rice, the famous keropok fish sausages, and many fried delights to go with them (for extremely cheap prices I might add, the nasi lemak is just 1.50RM (US$0.35)).
The Special Coconut Shake
For the drink options there is a ‘Regular’ size shake, a Special coconut shake, or you can just sip from a fresh, pre-cooled raw coconut as well.
The difference between the special and the regular coconut shake they’re serving at Klebang is just that the special comes with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Sit Back, Cool Off, and Slurp…
The size of glasses here are perfect for cooling off without getting full. Its also kind of fun to slurp the icy mixture while you sit back, and witness the sheer amount of fresh coconuts they are chopping through every hour.
You could climb on top of the massive pile of coconut husks they have in front of the restaurant and be several meters off the ground. Thousands upon thousands of coconut shakes daily, and I encourage you to be one of those happy customers yourself.
There is no better drink on a hot day in Melaka, and I highly recommend a trip out for (at least) one tall glass of the original Klebang Original Coconut Shake.
Note*: I don’t think I have EVER seen a place with more reviews on Google Maps, that to me shows how popular this place is with local Melaka, definitely a local choice for Best Restaurants of Melaka!
Name: Klebang Original Coconut Shake
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 11am to 6:30pm Daily, but Friday has shorter hours (open afternoon only)
Prices: Special Shake cost 2.95RM (US$0.70), the Regular cost 2.40RM
4. Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup
The next destination for food brings you back into Melaka town, and at Ban Lee Siang, you will visit another popular local spot for both food and fun.
This is truly a classic Melaka food, one that that mixes Malay flavors with obviously Chinese dining style. Its just fun to eat though, as everyone can choose their own, then cook their own, picking from several dozen different types of meat, veg, and snacks, all on long, dip-able wooden sticks.
Personally though, I’ll quickly add that eating meat and vegetables on skewers after dipping them into a thick and spicy sauce is something that everyone enjoys, no matter where you are in the entire world.
Family Fun, and Full of Options
The entire style of eating here revolves around self-service, but thats part of the fun!
After choosing a table, and giving a drink order, everyone is free to walk inside, grab as many plates as you want, and load them up to your heart’s content.
There are fresh vegetables, several types of mushrooms, and both raw and processed meats.
One of the best bites I found here was the Chinese brown tofu, as it just soaks up an incredible amount of the slightly spicy, slightly sweet, incredibly rich peanut sauce.
The Final Tally
My absolute favorite part of the whole meal here though, would have to be what happens at the end.
Usually, its quite a cause for sadness to look down and see an empty plate. At least there’s something fun to do though, as each person gets to tally up the number of skewers they have managed to finish.
Each skewer just costs 1RM (US$0.22), so its easy for both you (and the restaurant), to quickly add up how well you’ve done with your meal.
For many reasons, we choose this as one of the Best Restaurants in Melaka, let us know if you agree!
Name: Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 4pm to 12:30am (open daily)
Prices: Our entire meal came to 38RM (38 skewers, 3 people (US$9.35)
5. Ikan Bakar Hj Musa
Food is one of the best reasons to travel, and the grilled fish at Ikan Bakar Hj Musa is in itself a reason that you should travel to Melaka.
Malaysia is full of wonderful and friendly people, but one area they specifically excel in, is taking care of large grills full of fish.
Claimed by a few locals we met as “the Best Seafood in all of Malaysia,” Ikan Bakar Hj Musa is definitely a wise choice when you’re ready to finish off this do-it-yourself food tour of the wonderful town of Melaka.
What to Order
First of all, I’ll tell you straight away – the local way to eat here is to choose not one, but several different seafoods. A cool thing about the style of ordering seafood at Ikan Bakar Hj Musa Restaurant, is that you get to choose all the fish yourself, try a wide variety of foods, and finally choose from an assortment of cooking styles, all for quite a bit less than you might at another restaurant.
All of the fish and seafood here weigh out in units of just 100 grams, and so you really can try a ton of different options here for quite a reasonable and low price.
Take your time to sort through all the options, and if you want to, pick each and every fish out by hand. You have personal size plastic serving trays, and this is how they will weigh all the fish you choose out to eat. After picking your cooking style, take a seat, and wait for the charcoal to do the rest.
Their Magical Chili Sambal
One of the most amazing parts to me about this restaurant, is their incredible chili sambal recipe.
As the fish cooks over charcoal (or squid, or stingray, or any other seafood you desire), the meat is still so hot when its ready, that the cool sambal they cover everything with sort of cooks on the outside as soon as it touches the hot meat surface.
This sambal layer turns into a jelly-like consistency, like a lumpy, chili jam, which is gloriously spicy, slightly fruity, and nicely pungent from the chef’s mix of both chili peppers, some herbs, and shallots.
So, if you’re going in for your favourite fish, go for a big one!
Best of all, go another way and taste the whole selection they have with a giant and confident order of ‘one of everything, please.’
This is a place where you can really let your seafood passions flourish, its full of delicious seafood options, and its also in a relaxing seaside location that simply can’t be beat.
This is definitely my go-to spot in Melaka for seafood, Its even safe to say that its one of the best restaurants for seafood in all of Malaysia.
If you visit Melaka any time soon, or if you’re just hunting out your own list of Best Restaurants in Melaka, be sure to put this restaurant at the top of your itinerary.
Name: Ikan Bakar Hj Musa
Location: (Google Maps)
Hours: 5pm to 12am (Open Daily)
Price: 99RM for everything (meal for 3)
Malaysia – Travel for Food
The main food cultures that make up most cuisine options in Malaysia are a beautiful three-way blend of Indian, Chinese, and of course, local Malay.
Often times you’ll find these restaurants serving food that is widely available around the country, or sometimes a mix of any two of these parent food cultures. My favorite part of travel though, is when you can also find absolutely tons of local restaurants that are serving foods native to only the specific region where you find them.
The town of Melaka is a perfect example, and this is why I think that you need to visit Melaka as well.
Watch This Space
As time goes on, and as we (uncontrollably) feel the urge to return to Malaysia, we will make sure to update this, and all other ‘Best of’ lists, as well.
For now though, a big thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the in-depth articles for any of the restaurants above you find of interest, the respective links are under each restaurant’s brief description.
Until next time, happy munching!