Always in search for the best Melaka Nyonya food/restaurant, my friend and I decided to try out Samfu Restaurant about 2 weeks ago.
Located within the walls of Mimosa Hotel (old Lian Fatt building), the restaurant, as I was told, is not part of the hotel.
Separately owned and ran, its main entrance is at the right side of the building, right where the carpark is.
Thus the restaurant outer facade can’t be seen from the main road and I find that such a pity as the restaurant’s entrance is part of a pretty wall mural!
Since Samfu is a restaurant within a hotel (not particularly known one) I had predicted rather plain decorations for the restaurant.
Needless to say, the nostalgic theme of the mural was a pleasant surprise from the start.
Further surprise awaits diners inside the restaurant.
The dining space exudes comfort and charm, straddling casual and elegance easily. The deco was an eclectic mix of the old and the new.
Beautiful Peranakan wares are displayed, wooden colorful chairs gave pop of cheer and tables are nicely set apart with screens for privacy.
The most eye-catching item was however, the mural of a larger than life woman on the wall, no doubt the centrepiece of the dining area.
The ambiance was hushed and service is attentive.
As with the decor, the menu is an intermix of Peranakan and non-Peranakan.
Since there were only 2 of us dining that day, we ordered the suggested dishes of babi cili garam, chicken pork pongteh mix, itik Tim and chendol.
Rice comes in a big pot for you to scoop your desired portion and there is a old-fashioned hot tumbler for you to pour your own Lemongrass with Ginger drink. This is RM8 per bottle/tumbler while the rice is calculated at RM1.50/head.
I would highly recommend you to order this drink to share while enjoying your meal for it was most refreshing. While waiting for the food to arrive, I helped myself to the complimentary serving of achar on the table and found it extremely well prepared and highly addictive.
Once the food arrived, my eyes literally shone for everything looks delicious!
Every dish was excellent. The pongteh (RM23) is thick and flavourful; neither too sweet or salty. The texture of both types of meat were spot on, evident from hours of careful braising.
The belachan sambal is superb, rightfully spicy and sour.
The Itik Tim (RM8) is only available on Fri/Sat/Sun and it is one of the best Itik Tim I’ve tasted commercially. My search for an excellent Itik Tim is over. If you are a fan of Itik Tim, you must make haste to visit Samfu Restaurant. Remember, it is only available on Fri, Sat and Sunday!
The Pork Ribs Balinese (RM35) as evident from its name is not a Peranakan dish but it turned out to be my favourite dish for this lunch.
The meat is tender, the flavour is robust and spicy and the overall dish is fragrant from the chillies, garlic and pandan leaves.
Not a common dish no doubt but so enjoyable.
Babi Chili Garam (RM25) was an additional dish that we gave in to as the lady serving us repetitively recommended it throughout lunch. Since we could pack it home if we couldn’t finish it, we yielded to pressure and ordered it.
Besides, another friend of mine popped in to say hi and ended up staying for lunch.
No regrets for this one either. This is another dish superbly executed and by now I was already hoping to meet the chef.
Crispy, dry, fragrant and just nicely salty, each piece of meat had layers of soft fat and tender lean meat.
I was disappointed to discover that big kidney beans were used for the Chendol (RM4.50).
Other than that, it is a good chendol; fine ice drizzled with rich gula Melaka in fresh coconut milk.
Judging from our meal today, Samfu certainly deserves more recognition and more customers.
We pursued the menu and found the prices to be on par with other Nyonya restaurants but the quality level of its dishes are way above the others.
If you are in Melaka and sick of the usual suspects for a Nyonya meal, do swing by Samfu Restaurant.
The menu offers Peranakan traditional favourites as well as some Indonesian-inspired dishes and a few more out-of-the-norm items.
The usual Peranakan affair to expect are such as Pongteh, Masak Lemak Prawns, Chili Garam Kurau, Hu Piow Soup, Sek-bak w/ Tau-Kau & Eggs, Sambal Petai Ikan Bilis to Jenahak Kuah Lada.
Serai (lemongrass) King Prawns and Man Tou with Beef Rendang as well as some Indonesian-skewed dishes such as Fried Mackerel with Sambal Ijo (Indonesian green sambal), Balinese Pork Ribs and combo appetizers like their (Vegetarian) Tempe, Spring Roll & Thai Style Tofu are popular too.
As guests of Samfu, you are entitled to free parking on the hotel grounds.
The eye-candy decor is welcoming and the matured staff are attentive and friendly. Food is great and though prices are on the slightly high side it is still worth the spurge for the taste and quality.
Yes, Samfu Restaurant could very well be one of the best Nyonya restaurant in Melaka now.
Prices are subjected to 6% GST. No service charge.
Total bill for our meal : RM112.90 for 3 pax dining.
Hotel Mimosa, Jalan Bunga Raya,
75100 Melaka, Malaysia.
HOURS: Wed to Sun for lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm.
Dinner: 5:30pm – 9:30pm.
Closed: Mon & Tues.