Melaka Weekend — Nyonya & Baba Breakfasts


Our first breakfast at Melaka was at Nyonya Delight Homestyle Cooked Food. It is a home-based business, where the outside of the house, and the porch, are used to serve nyonya food to customers.

Tourists to Melaka, especially if they drive, always come here to eat. For breakfast, we ordered nasi lemak, mee siam, and laksa. It would be a lifesaver, because after that, we didn’t eat again till after we climbed a hill, twice. More on that later.

Nyonya are Peranakan women, while the men are called Baba. The Peranakans are an ethnic group which resulted from centuries of interracial marriages of Southern Chinese settlers and the indigenous people of the Malay and Indonesian Archipelagoes. An archipelago is a group of islands, in this context is the group of islands between China and Australia.

There are 3 main places where Peranakans are referred to as Baba-Nyonya. They are Penang, Melaka, and Singapore. Baby Tilapia is of Peranakan descent, although he doesn’t know much about it. But all these delicious Peranakan dishes that his friends keep raving about are basically the foods he eats every Chinese New Year.

Nyonya Delight Homestyle Cooked Food is located at:

2199-C, KM8, Jalan Batang Tiga, Barat, 76400 Tanjung Kling, Malacca, Malaysia


Our second breakfast was at Baba Charlie Cafe. Actually, it used to be Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake, and was also a home-based business. But the business now has a new Baba Charlie Cafe across the road from their original place.

Nyonya kueh is made from coconut milk, sweet potatoes, tapioca, palm sugar, and pandan leaves. It forms a colourful platter of sweet desserts.

Though he is Peranakan, Baby Tilapia does not like the smell of pandan, so he does not eat nyonya kueh, and ended up eating rice. For breakfast. Again.

Baba Charlie started with selling his nyonya kueh at pasar malam (night markets) around Melaka. After 20 years of business, he no longer had to go out and look for customers. Instead customers came to find him.

Baba Charlie Cafe is located at:

631, Jalan Siantan 1/5, Taman Siantan Seksyen 1, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

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