I was part of the 80% of the tourists to Melaka once, only knowing of Baba Charlie and steadfastly visiting BC each time I’m in Melaka.
I swooned over their bongkong and absolutely love the durian apam. I even wrote a glowing review of it.
Then things changed.
On one visit I was disappointed with the kuih. Perplexed, it hit me that the quality is sliding south faster than our ringgit.
Deprived of good kuih suddenly, I started to bug my ever reliable guide and friend Daniel Cerventus. “Eh, Melaka only one place got kuih ah?”
Overworked yet ever obliging, he was coerced into getting me other options, for he realized he will never hear the end of it from me if he didn’t.
Thus from his help I got to know of Bibik Ong and the kuih at the Yummy Food Court. Satisfied, I left him in peace for a while.
But of course, as expected I wasn’t satisfied for long.
Bibik Ong is hard to catch. Not only she only sells at a certain time, her kuih sold out fast. Grrrrr…
The Yummy Food Court at Sungai Ujong is also on evenings only. Kuih selection is limited as well.
And thus the quest for the best Melaka Nyonya kuih restarted anew.
Through some FB foodie groups I got to know of Nyonya/Baba Kim and Dapur Cho Cho.
I visited both last December, took photos and predictably, got caught up with work and travel and never posted about both.
So now I’m back (Sept + Dec 2015) and ready to document all these not as famous but offers delicious kuih lovingly handmade and taste fabulous too.
1. Koh & Oon Nyonya Delight (known also as Baba Raymond)
Catch Baba Raymond’s kuih at Soon Yen coffeeshop (the very same one with the famous duck noodles) has on display easily about 20 types of kuih each morning.
Be there by 8 – 9 am or risk leaving empty handed.
I was there at 8am sharp and we went crazy. In total we grabbed about 15 kuih types of kuih (total paid RM12.50) and it was our breakfast, tea and supper that day.
Which did I like?
Now that’s a difficult question, for Raymond’s kuih are really good.
Rich, not overly sweet, aesthetically pleasing ( I abhor misshapen or ugly nyonya kuih) and in large cuts for the price, it is difficult to complain.
What are the prices you ask? Well, each piece of kuih is either RM0.70 or RM0.80.
Let’s see… we had kuih koci, pulut tekan, kaya kuih, rempah udang, ang koo, apam, seri muka, kuih lapis and more.
I love ang koo kuih and sadly I couldn’t photograph it well here. It got flatten from the pressure of tearing it into half. Well, the skin is elastically thin and the mung bean filling was decent.
Baba Raymond kuih is behind the fishball stall (on your left when you walk in from the front entrance). See the stall with the “Nyonya Cendol/Nyonya Kuih” signboard?
That’s the Baba Raymond stall.
2. Nyonya/Baba Kim
Baba Kim starts their business really early so the best time to visit is from 6.30am to about 7.30am.
Go later and you will be dismayed the limited choices left as the business is extremely good.
They offer daily specials (the menu below is updated as of Jan 2016) so you get Mondays for nasi kunyit, Sundays and Fridays are for nasi lemak, Wednesdays are for mee siam, and Saturdays are for mee goreng and bihun.
These are all priced at RM1.50 per item.
As expected weekends are your best bet as there will be more variety.
BELOW: 1st visit OCTOBER 2015 – Back then it was known as Nyonya Kim.
On this trip we managed to sample the chicken rice which was deliciously homemade (only 4-5 chickens daily) and the chilli deserves special mention here as it was strong, spicy and thick!
There is no table or chairs available (buy and go) but we grabbed a plate and stood there eating our purchases anyways as I busied myself clicking away on my camera.
Baba Kim is a house-based business so you will get to observe some kuih-making action. Depending on luck and timing, there are bound to be someone making something!
The kuih we tried was overall decent, some better than others but all homemade.
As of Jan 2016 Baba Kim had stopped selling their chicken rice. That’s such a shame since it was pretty good.
In December 2015 Baba Kim was closed for the better part of the month due to a family affair.
In January 2016 the family was busy taking Chinese New Year cookies order but I was too late to book mine. Apparently they only make kuih bangkit (RM18/tub), open-face pineapple tarts and rolled/folded kuih kapit (RM30/container) and it is a big annual business for them as their regulars would book 3 months ahead! Some even has an annual standing order.
BELOW: Jan 2016.
Chinese New Year cookies for sale – other than the kapit, the others were sourced from local bakers.
Compared to my previous trips, I realized there are more fried items now at Baba Kim.
There are fried bananas, sweet potatoes, curry puffs but I prefer their keria, nian gou + yam+ sweet potato kuih and cekodok (mashed banana balls).
I was there on a Saturday so there was fried mee and bihun. You have the option of adding an egg to it but a dollop of their homemade sambal is a must.
On this visit I got to observe the maestro at work making, shaping and steaming ang koo. Needless to say I was stuck here for some time, totally engrossed in observing the process and asking tons of questions. This guy here is super friendly and while no recipes were shared, he patiently allowed me to take my photos at whatever angles I wished.
BELOW: The black one I’m holding is the cooked version.
Yup, you read right. This version of ang koos is black because the skin has added ramie leaves. Though they are pale when raw, once steamed it will transform to this shiny black one I’m holding.
My purchases for this trip were a bit disappointing.
The top of the seri muka was almost bland and the glutinous rice layer was hard with bits of uncooked rice and the apom lacked richness.
The ang koo was ok, the pulut udang rempah tasty and the kuih keria acceptable.
3. Dapur Cho Cho
We visited the home-kitchen of the Cheng family, which incidentally is the “shop” where Dapur Cho Cho is.
Juliet is such a dear, someone I felt that I could go for makan trips and share tales about Melaka, travel and food. You know, the chatty, friendly and sociable kind.
Being the 4-generational “kueh“-making clan who had steadfastly stuck to tradition until this day, she is the powerlady who churns out the “kuehs” made to exacting standards using the best locally-sourced ingredients.
The matriach, her granny is still around.
We visited Juliet over a period of 3 different visits, and we got a glimpse of her granny a few times. Juliet had said she frequently test and watch over the making of the kuih.
Dapur Cho Cho does not have any retail shop or eatery, not unless her house is considered one.
You can call, make your orders and pick up from her house, but their main focus is supplying to well-known Malacca dining establishments like Nancy’s Kitchen, Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine and the grand old Majestic Hotel.
I love her kuih and we have sampled over 20 types over our numerous visits.
As with all food there are hits and misses but Dapur Cho Cho’s range of nyonya kuih is certainly one of the best in Melaka.
The Onde-onde (aka ‘Buah Melaka‘ in the state) is a Dapur Cho Cho’s signature and we can understand (or rather taste) why.
Dapur Cho Cho’s version is the best we’ve tasted in a long time!
Soft and chewy glutinous rice balls encasing thick, fragrant gula melaka within, these little bombs are dusted with fresh, steamed grated coconut. A bit of pressure between the tongue and the teeth had each bursting forth caramel-ish palm sugar which are not too sweet yet delicately sticky.
The glutinous casing rolled easily over the tongue as you chew, but doesn’t stick annoyingly to your molars.
Her sambal nasi kunyit is excellent as well. I love, love the spicy sambal which is not your usual sissified sweet kind.
As mentioned before, Juliet makes everything by hand, from mixing the batter to shaping and cooking each and every kuih.
On one visit we enjoyed her apom balik hot off the brass mould.
Because I love ang koo (tortoise shaped kuih) I do have high expectations of how I like mine.
Dapur Cho Cho’s version was too sweet for me but my friends love them.
The paste texture is as below, which I thought to be too fine.
Other kuih we tried were her seri muka, talam nyonya, talam pandan and kuih talam. These were a bit inconsistent as there are times the top layer was soft and creamy and the rice layer perfectly cooked, but on another visit the rice layer had hard rice grains and the top layer was too firm.
But we love her kaya, superly eggy and thick which complemented the pulut tekan. Likewise for the kuih dadar; flimsy skin encasing fresh, not too sweet coconut.
I would recommend her rempah udang too.
Less common kuih such as bingka ubi and bingka beras are available but like I’ve said before, all the kuih are on rotation so it is best to contact her (address & contact details below) a day/2 days in advance.
BELOW: The 2 tier blue and brown kuih is Talam Nyonya.
On one of our visits Juliet took time to explain that they still use “Pandan Serani” which is traditionally used for making Nyonya kuehs and this variant of pandan is more fragrant than the normal “pandan” used by other Nyonya kuih makers.
In fact, all the plants and herbs used for their kueh are thriving in the garden around their house so she gets her supplies from her garden!
4. Bibik Ong
I’ve written about Bibik Ong before in January 2014 and I’ve said I loved her kuih.
I’ve revisited her over the years and had always found her kuih to be good.
Here’s a recap of my recent visit with her contact (in case you wish to order her kuih). Do note that she doesn’t allow any photos taken of her, but if you ask politely she might allow you to take photos of her kuih.
The daily variety differs but there are about 10 – 15 types at any one time.
Both the apom durian and apom balik were superb. Spongy, aromatic and robust with rich coconut milk flavour, both are not overly sweet.
The durian version has moderate durian pungency so I’ll definitely recommend this for durian fans.
Ondeh- Ondeh and abok-abok (sago kuih).
Making abok-abok requires a pretty high level of skill as one has to ensure that the sago is neither under or overcooked. Undercooking meant unpleasant hard inner sago pearls while overcooking would turn the kuih gummy.
As you can see from the image below, this abok-abok is fluffy and light with each sago grain well separated. The bottom layer has good gula melaka aroma while the top layer is mixed with fresh grated coconut.
I really enjoyed this abok-abok kuih though I avoid sago generally.
The abok-abok is pretty too isn’t it; with its top bright blue tinge layering with transparent and brown sago pearls!
I took a pack of ondeh-ondeh and as expected, found them beyond reproach. Each orb offers soft, chewy skin with thick gula melaka squirting forth once I sank my teeth into them.
Depending on the type of kuih, Bibik Ong’s kuih are either RM0.60, RM0.80 or RM1.10.
5. Yummy Food Court – HK chee cheong fun & Nyonya kuih stall.
This stall has my favourite ang koo. The fillings are so fluffy and most of the kuih here (the ones I’ve tried) are not overly greasy or sweet.
This stall is only open from 5pm onwards and the variety offered are about 10-15 types or so.
It comes in packs of 4 or 2 pieces and you can’t opt to buy less.
But the kuih here is well made, pretty, uniformly cut and taste good too!
I suspect that the stall owner could have sourced these from a local kuih maker but I’ve yet to identify the source.
Visit on 9th March 2016: RM4.20 for a pack of 5 angkoo, RM1.80 for each pack of kuih (2 pieces). The onde onde is 4 balls in a pack for RM1.80.
Choices: Gula Melaka Malaiko, pak tong kou, seri muka, peanut sesame ball (fried), peanut glutinous ball (rolled in flour), onde onde and dan kou (fluffy egg sponge cake).
Taste-wise, rest assured that all of them tasted as good as it looks!
The skin is thicker and thus the onde onde sold here is bigger than the standard size. But there are more syrup within each orb too.
This stall has my favourite ang koo kuih in just the way I like it; the mung bean filling is of moderate sweetness and the texture is fluffy and moist. I find most ang ku kuih fillings to be overly sticky and wet (like the ones at Dapur Cho Cho/Baba Kim/Baba Raymond) so it was difficult for me to find one that I like.
My only gripe about this one? The skin is thick.
1. Koh & Oon Nyonya Delight (known also as Baba Raymond)
Address: Jalan Tengkera, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Address 2: 336, Jalan Asean 2, Taman Asean, Jalan Malim, 75250 Melaka.
Hours: 8am – 10am
Waze: “Kedai Kopi & Makanan Soon Yen ”
Off day: Call and ask.
Contact: Ah Lim (Baba Raymond Koh) 012 – 661 8838 / 012 – 652 4705
Ah Hock (Francis Onn) – 012 – 666 7497
2. Kuih Nyonya Kim
Address: 9-1 Bt 4 1/2 Batu Berendam, Batu Berendam,
Alor Gajah, Melaka 75350.
Hours: 7am – 10am (call to check if there are any kuih left)
Off day: Tuesday
Waze: Not on Waze unfortunately.
Contact: 017 – 610 8262 / 06 – 317 2700
This is Nyonya/Baba Kim house.
This is the large open foodcourt beside Nyonya Kim.
Nyonya/Baba Kim’s menu:
3. Dapur Cho Cho
Address: 84-3, Jalan Mohd Zin Dsh,
Taman Padang Balang,
Batu Berendam, Melaka.
Hours: 7am – 7 pm
Call to reserve your orders or to inquire the type of kuih available.
Off day: NA.
Contact: +6012-276 8606
Waze: Not on Waze.
Look for this:
At the far corner is this mamak shop. Dapur Cho Cho is at the other end, in a single story house.
This house is Dapur Cho Cho.
Dapur Cho Cho menu:
4. Bibik Ong Nyonya Kuih
Address: A stall outside Hilir Garden Ice Cafe at the junction of Jalan Low Hee Kong and Jalan Ujong Pasir.
Hours: 3pm – 5pm (call to check if there are any kuih left)
Off day: Not fixed.
Contact: 06 – 2844 598
5. Yummy Garden Food Court
Address: Jalan Ujong Pasir, Batu Berendam, 75050.
Hours: 5 pm til late.
Off day: To be updated.
Contact: Mr Yee – 016 644 1525