For some inscrutable reason, the Chinatown area of Melaka doesn’t have any great restaurants. There are multiple open-fronted ‘beer halls’ with rice-based snack meals, plenty of street vendors and numerous nefarious hawkers, but no restaurants 3 ½ star or better. There is however the 3 star ‘Eleven Bistro’.
Situated in a narrow lane (Jalan Hang Lekir) off Jonker Walk that is unbelievably even narrower than the Walk, Eleven Bistro has three adjoining front entrances and is (wait for it ! ) number 11 in the street. Following the local custom of not having any great Chinese restaurants in Chinatown, 11 Bistro serves Malacca Portuguese food. What is that you may ask. It is Portuguese Sambal Crabs (MR40). Portuguese style Fried Chicken Wings (MR10) Vinegar Lala (clams) (MR12), Portuguese style Fried Rice (MR8), home-made Vegetable Spring Rolls (MR8) and their signature dish Portuguese Special Curry Dable Chicken (MR15). And, it is all delicious !
As would be expected, Sambal crabs and Special Curry Dable chickens do have a bit of spice flavour, not to mention a slight ‘after-burn’. To counter this phenomenon, there is ice-cold Carlsberg (MR12), refreshing Coca-Cola (MR8) and Chivas Regal (MR18).
The tables are bare, but the staff are friendly, young and very attentive. There are several rooms, the one we choose was air-conditioned. All in all, the food was excellent, good value, and well presented. The drinks were cold, the venue clean and cool. I’d go back again, and give my recommendation to friends – and TA members.
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