Celebrity Chef Melba Nunis, takes over the kitchen at The Majestic Malacca’s new restaurant – Melba at the Mansion, serving authentic Malaccan-Portuguese cuisine known as Kristang. During my recent stay at The Majestic Malacca, I knew Kristang Cuisine is something that I really need to try, for one of the many reasons, It is rare. I was delighted to meet the Passionate Chef and Author behind the award-winning book “A Kristang Family Cookbook”, Chef Melba proudly presents Authentic Kristang cuisine at the Mansion and I was happy to be able to indulge into her cooking that is mainly influenced by her family version of Kristang Cuisine which is characterised by fiery sambals and curries that are rich in culinary heritage.
Melba at the Mansion’s ambiance dominates elegance with its wooden floorboards and Chef Mel’s personal antique art collections displayed on the walls. I had a sumptuous dinner with a live piano playing in the background.
Started off with an appetizer, Inchimintu Karangezu (Crab Stuffing), Baked crab stuffed with prawns, vegetables, and chicken with a tasty pineapple salad. Chef Mel said that her mom only cooked this when they have a special occasion, I can see the passion in her face bringing her family culinary legacy at the mansion. I personally love this crab version as it reminds me of my grand mother’s cooking. Considering the hard work to create this masterpiece, It really tastes delicious!
Next on the menu is the Pineapple Prawn Sambal which is definitely a Kristang Highlight. The intense flavor from fresh prawns to the fiery sambal and the citrus tones from Pineapple gave an exotic tang. Sweet, spicy and sour – absolutely an all in one kick!
Another house specialty is the Chuan Chuan, Fish cooked in a fermented soy bean paste and ginger. Extraordinarily powerful flavors from the soy bean and the ginger, just pretty much to my liking.
One of the side dishes presented on the table at Melba at the Mansion was Soy Liming Terung, Its basically aubergines soaked in a succulent dark, sour, and sweet sauce. There is so much intense flavor here and I love every bite of it.
Mel’s omelet unique flavor also complements well with the rest of the dishes. Chef Mel’s noted that seafood is a luxury when she was young and her mother would cook this kind of dish when they have guests, I absolutely love this omelet as it goes along with the Aubergines.
Lastly, I had Bula Kuko (Coconut Cake), A festive favorite! What makes it special is that the coconut was grated using a coconut grinding stone. Such a delight for a classic old fashioned cake baked that we hardly find these days, and of course, I had my usual Chamomile tea to just fully make me refresh with all the lavish meal.
My Kristang Cuisine dining experience is truly remarkable, I was thrilled that the recipes Chef Melb’s masterpieces have been passed to generations and I am impressed by the fact that there is someone like her that truly want to preserve the culinary heritage that these days children wouldn’t have thought of striving to make it alive. It is sad to know that the Kristang cuisine is slowly dying, yet so glad that Melba at the Mansion aspires to show this side of Culinary in Malacca. Preserving the best of Malaccan-Portuguese, totally one of the great dining experience in the heart of the Unesco Heritage Site.
Melba at the Mansion, The Majestic Malacca
188 Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 6 289 8000