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“lovely place in my opinion”
Review of Portuguese Square

Portuguese Square
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$366.66*
and up
2-Day Private Tour of Malacca from Kuala Lumpur
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$52.00*
and up
Historical Malacca Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur
Reviewed January 26, 2010

I was very surprised to read all the negative reports as we had a lovely time. It is true it's a bit off the beaten path but the tourist bus will get you there for 1RM (you might have a bit of difficulty getting back to the centre, but we were lucky and caught the odd taxi). I, personally, didn't expect much as I read about it before in various tourist guides and most of them described it as a very touristy place. But we came here just as the sun was setting, so we just relaxed on one of the benches along the shore which was quite nice and peaceful. This was the night before Christmas Eve and soon the square and the restaurants were a hub of activity as more and more people came for their dinner. I was very curious what the portuguese-malaysian fusion is like and we chose stall no. 6 ti give it a try...And I couldn't be more full of praise: the lady, who looked like the proprietor and who was also supervising the cooking and taking the orders patiently explained every dish to us in which we were interested in and we went with her suggestions and had grilled fish with a nice tamarind sauce and butter and garlic praws. The prawns were fantastic and I would go back there for that dish alone! As the lady explained, the prawns were nothing like the Chinese version and they were fresh, sweet and covered in the meltingly gorgeous taste of slightly "burnt" butter and garlic and a sprinkling of fresh curry leaves. After we discovered we still had some space in our stomachs, we tried the "burnt crab", which was nice but perhaps a bit steep at 20RM; the fish was 15 and the prawns 12 ringgit so overall quite reasonable. It wasn't like anything else I've tasted before and I had tried a fair share of malaysian cuisine over the years. Unfortunately, the museum was closed already but I managed to buy a specialist book on the portuguese malaysian culture in a shop that was openened. What we didn't expect either was how busy the surrounding streets will be with people taking pictures of other peoples' Christmas-y decked out homes . That was a different experience for us coming from boring old London and we were glad we witnessed something different to the standard malaysian or singaporean tradition of decking out shopping centres and streets. Some children were even singing carols for anyobdy's pleasure (they were very good at it) and making everyone merry. I don't know how it is during a different season, but i would recommend Portuguese sq to anybody who is interested in the many faces of Malaysia, because this is one that is quite different to the rest.

2  Thank Denisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 130 reviews

Reviewed January 14, 2010

Visited Malacca recently and at the recommendation of a friend visited the Portuguese settlement at night during Christmas. It was a really neat experience seeing all the houses lit up for Christmas. It is a very closely-packed area and lots of lights. The people were quite nice and didn't mind at all that tons of people were peering into their homes and taking pictures of their lights.

The disappointing part of the experience was the famous food stalls. The first thing that threw me off was the total lack of ANY Portuguese food on the menus. The only thing that was "portuguese" was the baked fish and that's all that it was: a baked fish. And the prices were ridiculously high. RM50 for one fish, over RM100 for crabs. All the food was just Chinese food and nothing special. Nothing Portuguese at all.

And the wait time is retarded. The stall was angry that we even asked for a menu. They just kept saying, "there are people ahead of you." Do they only have one menu or something?? After a long time, we finally got a menu with a filipino girl taking the order. She spoke no english or Malay and could answer no questions about the food. In the middle of her making hand signals, we got up and left. Terrible experience.

Come for the lights but DO NO waste your time with the food. There's NO Portuguese food, the stalls are all mean people, and the prices are high for the sake of being high. If you want Chinese food, stay in your town and go to your favorite place.

3  Thank oldirtybuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2009

During the Christmas season, many homes in Porteguese Settlement are decked with Christmans light-ups. I mean, we are familiar with shopping centres and shoping belts being decked with light-ups, but these are homes! The decors are so beautiful, and it seemed to me that each home owner is trying to outdo the other. Crowds of visitors were seen to be taking pictures with the homes. Some owners even let complete strangers enter their porches for close up views of the light-ups. Also, on Christmas Eve, there were many make-shift stalls seling Christmas party packs, eg light sticks, spray cans, etc. It's a happening place!

Thank Actuarial_Math
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2009

I should have read these reviews before going. As previously said, there is nothing much at the Portuguese settlement other than
1) 1 single house that still resembles the original Portuguese ones, which you can only look from the outside
2) a tiny musuem, the curator of which is an old Portuguese man
3) restaurants that were not opened for lunch (we were there on a Wednesday)
4) views of the Straits of Malacca

Luckily, we did not get too lost driving there and we were entertained by the old Portuguese curator and his stories. Otherwise, unless it happens to be a festive day with celebrations, we would say it is not worth the petrol or the time.

2  Thank g0_f0r_it
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2008

I was at Malacca Square last two weeks during my family trip. Knowing famous for fried / baked fish, we decided to go to Portugese Square for our dinner. The famous reataurant, toward the end of a row of restaurant, happened to be very pack (need to wait for 2 hours to get a seat), so we decided to try another stall. We ended decide to try stall 7, since it had more customer than other stalls (3-4 tables) (we assumed the food should be better that others). When order, the staff adviced that we need to wait for half an hour which is reasonabe to us (since there are small kids and old folks with us, we want to know whether need to wait long for foods!). However, after waiting for nearly an hours the foods had not served after following up for few times. We even ask for 2 bowls of plain rice for kids and my parent which is teribbly hungry. At the ned, the lady boss attend to us and ask us to wait as there are still customers in front of us that foods need to be cooked and served. She even blantatly ask us to go if we can't wait, what a bad customer services!! Some of my family memebers had argument with her due to her bad attitude. At the end, we decided to leave the stall....... lost appetite n don't know whether the nasty lady boss will put anything into our foods....

Thank pk_Koh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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