30 December, 2013

Nyonya Set Lunch @ Casa Del Rio, Melaka

Everytime I travel to Malacca in search of good food, surely I would look for authentic Nyonya cuisine. Despite of many Peranakan restaurants blooming in the town, authentic ones are few and far between. Until recently I tried the Peranakan set lunch at Casa Del Rio, the heritage boutique hotel located a stone throw away from the popular Jonker Walk, I knew I'd come back for more!

Special thanks to Chef Baba William, an expert with 16 years of experience in Nyonya cuisine, I was fortunate to indulge in his personal favourite home recipes for lunch at the River Cafe. The local recipes were passed down from his grandparents, and he was proud to share them with the Peranakan cuisine lover. 

The Peranakan "Tingkat" tiffin set menu here is rotated everyday, but luck was on my side during my visit as I managed to sample my favourite Nyonya Ayam Kapitan on the set menu!

Sitting at the comfortable environment of River Cafe with the magnificent view of Melaka river, I was delighted with the old-school Strait-Chinese cuisine, served in traditional tiffin cockery! 

In Nyonya culture, "Tingkat" were used to fill the delicious Peranakan food and delivered to household and workplace for lunch. It had been a unique Peranakan crockery since decades ago. Here, you can find different local-styled dish in each tingkat. 

We ordered both sets available on that day, Set C and D, each uniquely filled with aroma and flavours of Chinese and Malay combining local herbs and spices. The 6-courses set meal comprises of the soup of the day, two main courses- Meat (Fish or chicken) and Vegetables, two popular side dishes (Nyonya Otak-otak and Nyonya Tau Gua) and the dessert of the day. To ensure a great Strait-Chinese culinary experience, a bowl of steamed rice is included to pair with the dishes. 

Nyonya Ayam Kapitan (Kapitan Chicken Curry)
Bean Sprout with Salted Fish
Nyonya Otak-Otak (Fish Custard)
Nyonya Dried Bean Tau Gua
Soup + Dessert of the day + Steamed Rice

Ikan Chuan-Chuan
Sweet Potato Leaves with Belacan
Nyonya Otak-Otak (Fish Custard)
Nyonya Dried Bean Tau Gua
Soup + Dessert of the day + Steamed Rice

 Soup of the day - Nyonya Vegetable Soup with Beancurd Sheet

Nyonya Ayam Kapitan (Kapitan Chicken Curry)

Kapitan curry chicken was not only well-loved among the Babas and Nyonyas, but also among Malaysians because of its mild and flavourful coconut gravy that tantalized the palate with hints of spiciness while exuding an aromatic scent of milky coconut sweetness. Definitely a must-have at Casa Del Rio!

Bean Sprout with Salted Fish

Back to basic, the bean sprout with salted fish was a perfect side dish for families, especially among Chinese households as the salted fish added a strong aromatic flavour to the light, crunchy bean sprouts. Although some might feel salted fish had a pungent stench, the flavour was very well-balanced here, creating a simple yet harmonious dish. 

Ikan Chuan-Chuan

It was my first time hearing the name Ikan Chuan-Chuan and I didn't realise my Mum has been cooking this over the years because all this while it was known as fried fish with ginger and soy sauce in my family. Topped with fried crispy garlic, spring onions and sliced chillies, the spicy preserved soybean sauce beautifully infused into the boneless deep-fried red snapper fillets, while the fish remained fresh and moist inside.

Sweet Potato Leaves with Belacan

Kangkong belacan is a classic Malay dish, which I personally enjoyed alot too. It might be a simple and easy-to-cook dish, but such food for soul was equally good and comforting for me.

Light and simply satisfying, the Nyonya acar, tau gua and otak-otak are amongst the crowd's favourite.

Malacca has always been famous for Nyonya and Peranakan cuisine,
and I'm glad to find the flavours from home at Casa Del Rio!

Dessert of the day - Pudding with milk  

Signature Drinks:
Left: River Cooler (Apple juice, orange flaovured and lemongrass syrup) @ RM12
Right: Casa Blanca (Spiced syrup, lime and sprite) @ RM12

If you're craving for Peranakan cuisine at Malacca, don't forget to drop by here for lunch!
I'd definitely make a second visit here to sample the rest of Nyonya delicacies :)

Peranakan "Tingkat" Lunch by Chef Baba William
RM28++ per person
Available from 12.00pm to 4.00pm
Mondays to Saturdays
River Cafe
Ground Floor
Casa Del Rio
88, Jalan Kota Laksamana, 
75200 Melaka.
Contact: 606-289 6688
Email: reservation@casadelrio-melaka.com
Website: www.casadelrio-melaka.com
Facebook: fb.com/casadelriomelaka


  1. hey fishiee (: just writin to let you know that i've (finally!) received my contact lenses from winning your giveaway. lol. (: thanks so very much for picking me as your winner. HAPPY NEW YEAR in advanced!!! xoxo

  2. good introduction and nice photos~ unfortunately i'm vegetarian XD
    but can I say the price is quite expensive?


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