For now it looks like I had make it into being a Melaka-ian due to my quiet frequent stay over. This time I managed to graced myself to a fabulous peranakan tiffin lunch at The River Café, Casa del Rio Melaka. Peranakan food in Melaka is no stranger to many people due to aroma of spices and fresh Asian herbs are being infused into the local cooking that blended into a stunning gourmet of taste that can lure you for more. With luck, I am honour that I get to have a seat and tingled of the peranakan food here, it was classically stunning.
Before diving into the gourmet we were directed to the special spot just outside the hotel’s café, the dining pathway running parallel with the reconstructed riverside. We meet up with Chef Baba William for a peranakan cooking demo and luck was one our side as chef had prepared to show us two of his favourite dishes that morning, deep fried prawns coated with a spicy peranakan sauce and a stuffed bittergourd with coconut milk. Chef had them made easy to cook but I am sure there were a lot of effort being thrown in to make them taste gorgeous.
The prawns were giving a basic marination to taste before being golden fried, once cooked he set them aside. The he had this readily made paste waiting to be fried fragrantly. Definitely looked easy yeah, I bet not. With a few minutes, Chef Baba William just throw in the fragrant sauce over the cooked prawn and the dish is readily to be eaten.
The thick sliced bittergourd was readily stuffed with minced chicken and had gone for a steaming session waiting anxiously to be cooked into thick coconut milk. Once the coconut milk incoperated with the chilli paste, the bittergqourds are put into the cooking. Simple and not difficult.
Once the two dishes were cooked we head back into the café to gear up for the tiffin lunch. As we getting comfort to out seats, the wait staffs unfold the tiffin one by one. First one was the Pie Tee, a light edible thin casing filled with stir fried sliced sweet turnip. It was very likeable and addictive too.
The “lobak” five spice minced chicken was stunning, I liked the fragrant of the five spice and the texture of the mince chicken. It was fried to crisp and suit to my liking. Having it with a dash of sweet chilli can tickle one’s taste buds. Brilliant.
The assam pedas sting ray fish came as par to my liking. The light sauce was good and goes very well with my white rice. The present of a sour and yet sweet taste of the sauce truly build up my appetite and I went on added more rice to my plate. The fish was fresh and had a great tender soft biting. I guessed the taste of this assam pedas is not as flavorful and strong as the one available up northern. Yet it was nice.
The bittergourd has a distinctive taste, definitely the present of the Nyonya heritage of taste and aroma was flying through the dining room. The texture of the bittergourd was not too soft while the minced chicken fillings gave the dish a great body texture too. As for the sauce it complimented so well and it gave the whole dish a unique taste.
The cooked prawns sure smells fantastic after a golden fry. The prawns were fresh and had great refreshing taste and fabulous biting texture. The gravy was nice refreshingly spicy and paired well with the prawns. Stunning!
A warm soup sure do cheer me up and the bittergourd duck soup did the trick very to boost my day. Rhe soup came with a hint of golden bitterness and refreshingly sweet, just a splendid warm soup. I kept spooning till mine went dry and refilled twice. Unforgettable.
The stir fried four angle bean with sambal was lacking in appearance and I suspected it was cooked too early and was left cold. It was not that great but edible. Overall the whole Nyonya tiffin experience was good and lovely but I wondered if the ladies waiting here would dressed in the Nyonya costume to keep the Melaka tradition . . . . . I just love staying at Casa de Rio, Sidney Kan
Casa de Rio
88, Jalan Laksamana 1,
Tel No:06-289 6888