The lazy guide: weekend in Malacca (Jonker)

By Gwendolyn Han,

Get yourself in-the-know with our Lazy Guide to spending a weekend in Malacca, put together for the traveller looking for the best food and sights all within walking distance in the Jonker area. Plus, all you need to know on trivago’s ideal hotel pick to get your weekend in Malacca started.

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Stay

Courtyard @ Heeren

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Courtyard @ Heeren resembles many of the shop houses along Malacca’s historic streets: modest and low-key. But the hotel’s interior is no vanilla, incorporating the best of traditional Peranakan style with a distinct modern twist. A total of 15 beautiful rooms and suites are available at the restored townhouse, each fitted with luxurious amenities, most notably a rain shower. Travel during Sunday–Thursday for cheaper rooms during non-peak periods.

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Ideal for the multi-generational family travel, the Family Suite accommodates up to 8 people comfortably. The two-storey unit has two bedrooms, a living room and bathroom including a rain shower and Jacuzzi.

Couples looking to indulge without breaking the bank should book the Executive Suite, the hotel’s top tier room. High ceilings, supported by wooden beams, give the space a breezy and rustic feel, while a personal balcony, overlooking a garden, offers couples a relaxing retreat.

All photos courtesy of Courtyard @ Heeren

Eat

The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix

It’s easy to walk past this hip café as it’s secluded behind a Peranakan souvenir store. This hidden gem is possibly one of the best finds in Malacca, serving excellent Asian-inspired Western food in a modern yet nostalgic interior.

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Popular as a brunch spot, The Daily Fix’s signatures include Pandan Pancakes, served with coconut shavings, and Gula Melaka (RM 13.90), as well as a breakfast plate aka The Lot (RM 19.90). Where it lacks in looks The Lot more than makes up for in flavour. You’ll get to savour a fluffy omelette, gourmet chicken sausage and bacon, baked beans, sautéed mushrooms and freshly-baked croissant slices. For chocolate-lovers, the Iced Salted Gula Melaka Chocolate (RM 13.50) will test your chocolate intake levels to the limit. We advise letting the drink dilute a little before tasting!

If you’re looking for an idyllic place to chill, The Daily Fix offers free Wi-Fi and a wide selection of interesting travel and design magazines. For extra comfort, be sure to request to be seated at the cozy couches.

Eat

Jonker 88

Coconut Laksa

Photo courtesy of LWYang

You’ll often hear anyone that’s just come back from Malacca raving about Jonker 88 as the place for chendol. Yes, at RM 4 a bowl the Baba Chendol is pretty decent, but what’s more noteworthy is something a whole lot more fiery – Jonker 88’s laksa.

Serving more than 10 different kinds of laksa, favourites at the stall include the Coconut Chicken and Nyonya Assam (both RM 7), topped with crisp, meat-filled bean curd skin and other seafood condiments. If you’re looking for that little extra heat in your laksa, the Nyonya Assam is right up your alley. Pair your laksa with a selection of ngo hiang (stuffed bean curd) such as century egg fritters and fishballs to complete your meal.

Eat

Geographer Café

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It’s easy to spot Geographer Café from afar – it’s one of the few dining establishments with alfresco seating and a continuous flow of tourists. Before you strike this off as a Western tourist trap know that the café serves up some excellent dishes such as Mango Thai Chicken, Jonker’s Fried Rice and Black Pepper Chicken although they are priced a bit higher than their counterparts.

Geographer offers a good selection of beverages including international draft beers and cocktails, ideal for a relaxing night out with friends or your loved one. Kid-friendly options are also available, such as fresh fruit juices, fresh coconut, and the popular Iced Gula Melaka Milk Tea. If you’re not too fazed by the above average frequency of the music from passing trishaws (the “Frozen” soundtrack seems a popular choice), the café is ideal for people watching, especially on calmer weekday nights.

See

Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

Baba Nyonya Museum

For a deeper understanding of Peranakan culture and life, the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is an excellent location to kick-start your learning journey. Once home to the Chan family in 1861, the building was converted to a museum in 1985 and continues to house original, century-old furnishings and paintings including irreplaceable silk embroidery owned by the family.

Visitors can tour the building in its original townhouse layout, exploring different living quarters and exhibitions that highlight important Peranakan traditions such as weddings, birthdays and funerary customs that continue to be practiced today. Tickets cost RM 16 for adults and RM 11 for children aged 5-11, and comes with an hour long guided tour. More details on opening times and tours here.

See

Dutch Harbour Café

Dutch habour cafe

Photo courtesy of AmazingMelaka.com

Across the Malacca River tucked below the dusty red, colonial buildings is a little restaurant called Dutch Harbour Café. What’s special about it is the riverside dining it offers. Diners can enjoy a reasonably priced menu while enjoying a good view of the river.

We recommend dropping by the café in the evening, when the weather is much cooler, to experience a serene side of the city you haven’t seen before (unless you’re looking for a good sun tan, we’d avoid this option during lunchtime). Ideal for couples, you can dine under glowing nightlights and soft ambient music, all while watching the riverboats shuffle up and down the river. Recommended eats include the Chicken Chop, Satay Set and Nasi Lemak.