Sunday, 31 August 2014

Food Review: Simply Mel's, Malacca Portugese Food

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It is not easy to find restaurants serving authentic Kristang cuisine in Kuala Lumpur. Started three years ago as a labor of love between a mother and her daughters, Simply Mel's has been blazing the local restaurant scene with authentic Kristang recipes passed down for generations.

Located in Bangsar South, the restaurant exudes a cosy and homey ambience, complete with a sofa corner with magazines, recipe books and family photos. Melba Nunis, the charming head chef and co-owner, takes time off from her busy kitchen duties to greet her customers and explain some of the dishes.

The restaurant is brightly lit, with a rustic and cozy ambience.

An inviting corner with a wide selection of reading materials for adults and even toys for kids. Definitely a family friendly restaurant.

The menu is an extensive showcase of popular Eurasian dishes; with plenty of choices for both adults and children, spicy and non spicy.

Belacan Fried Chicken - crispy and tasty, although a tad too oily (RM12.90 for 3 pieces). The belacan flavour is rather muted, so this would be a kid friendly choice.

Mama Mercy's Fish Croquettes - shredded ikan tenggiri coated in breadcrumbs and fried (RM11.90 for 6 pieces). Children would enjoy this.

Gallinhia Serai - Lemongrass Chicken Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves (RM14.90 regular). An appetizing rendition of tender chicken pieces in a semi dry curry.

Beef Curry Seccu - This dish lived up to its description in the menu – tender, melt in the mouth beef and potatoes in a thick curry (RM18.90 regular). Beef lovers would rejoice at this dish.


Mee Suah Soup with Poached Egg - A totally comforting dish (RM9.90). The broth is hearty, the mee suah silky smooth, and the poached egg was cooked to perfection. The simple things are really the best.

Assam Prawns - The tamarind sauce was very appetizing, however the prawns could be fresher and bigger. (RM21.90 regular).

Malacca Laksa - We were rather taken aback when this was served, as the portion was simply humongous. It could easily pass off as a double serving – a huge bowl of rice vermicelli in a thick and rich spicy gravy, with plentiful of goodies such as fish cakes, omelette slivers, tofu puffs, shredded chicken and bean sprouts. RM 16.90.

Condiment – Sambal Salted Kurau - Condiments play an important part in Kristang cuisine. There are several tempting condiment choices in the menu – cincalok, sambal chili and this – sambal salted kurau. No wonder they say one can eat bowls of steam rice with just condiments – this is one awesome sambal. You can taste the freshness of the kurau. Combine this in a spicy, sourish and salty concoction is simply too delicious for words. A dollop for RM3. All you need is just a bowl of hot steam rice.

Sugee Cake - We were served some complimentary sugee cake. I am not a big fan of sugee cake, but Melba's homemade version is light, fluffy and with just the right level of sweetness.

Icecream Rum and Raisin, Strawberry Cheesecake - They also serve The Last Polka icecream, and we just can't resist the Rum and Raisin and Strawberry Cheesecake (both at RM9.20 per scoop). These were excellent – smooth, creamy and strong flavoured.  

Overall, Simply Mel's delicious Kristang dishes truly live up to its Portugese Malaccan heritage. This restaurant makes you feel right at home, with plenty of selections to suit the young and old. Simply Mel's also caters for private functions for 50 pax or above. Weekday lunchtimes are packed, whilst dinnertimes are generally more relaxed and less crowded.

Best to call ahead for lunch reservation.

Simply Mel's | Address: 1A, First Floor, The Sphere, Bangsar South. | Tel: 03-2241.4525 | Opening hours: Everyday 10am - 10pm | GPS N3 06.636 E101 40.031

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