Monday, September 7, 2009


It's been awhile since I last dined at the Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir, Malacca.

We (ff Margaret, Lily, Teoh and I) got lucky that Sunday morning after the YKN hunt. Being a worship day, we didn't have a ghost of a chance of being able to lunch at the settlement. We arrived at about 11:00am to an almost deserted settlement. Fifteen minutes later as we were about to leave, we bumped into Albert at Restoran De Lisbon who was just about to unlock the grills to the restaurant. After some light banter, Albert agreed to dish up some of his specialities despite not being the regular chef at De Lisbon. We also learnt then that De Lisbon is the only restaurant in the settlement that caters to the lunch crowd and opens daily from 12:00pm till late.

Diners looking for "authentic" dishes similar to what can be found in Portugal may be in for a disappointment. The original Portuguese folks that had settled here were a seafaring community. Having sailed the world's oceans in their quest for precious goods and spices, these folks have themselves acquired a taste for spicy food - and naturally, assimilated spice and other local ingredients into their cuisine. They in turn have influenced the Nyonya cooking in Malacca which is distinctly spicier than that of their Penang counterparts.

I would say that the overall lunch experience was good and reasonably priced - RM129 for 6 dishes with drinks. I am convinced we will return!

Devil's Curry Chicken
A fiery hot dish that is a signature serving of the Malaccan Portugese community. Here, the thick curry was hot and spicy but not too overwhelming. Its delicious taste was derived from a blend of chilli paste with candlenuts, galangal and vinegar. Definitely the dish of the day. I loved the springy texture of the bite-size chicken pieces.

Portugese Baked Fish
Another dish that is synonymous with the Malaccan Portugese community. The fish was smothered with a spicy blended paste and freshly baked. Fresh lime was provided to give the dish an extra kick. You'll love it just like we did.

Fried La La
A shellfish dish that was simple in preparation but excellent nevertheless.

Fried Brinjal
A disappointment. I felt that this vegetable dish was too bland and overly oily.

I have had better otak-otak elsewhere in the country. The fish was nowhere to be found.

Black Pepper Crabs
Live crabs were freshly stir-fried in a black pepper sauce concoction that produced an extremely aromatic and flavourful dish. Recommended.

Restaurant De Lisbon

Address: 18, Medan Portugis, Ujong Pasir, 75050 Malacca.
Contact number: +606-2848067
Reservation: Not required
Opening hours: 12.00-23.00
Cuisine: Portuguese (Pork free)
Must order: Devil's Curry, Ginger Fried Lala, Black Pepper Crabs

Must not order: Fried Brinjal
Budget for 4 pax: RM120

My verdict: 3 stars

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