Donald & Lily’s: The Peranakan Restaurant in Malacca

Peranakan restaurants may be abundant in Malacca but none comes close to Donald & Lily’s Nyonya Restaurant.

Malacca is rich with old traditions at every corner. A noticeable culture is the Peranakan, aka ‘Baba Nyonya’ which is a significant symbolism of interracial mix between Chinese and Malay. While the culture itself may not be prominent to many today, their delicate and traditional food remains a common staple in Melaka despite the march of time and mushrooming cafe culture, as the marriage of flavours are nothing but spectacular. One such eatery is an endeavour by a Baba Nyonya husband and wife duo called Donald & Lily’s Nyonya Restaurant.

Donald & Lily is all about simplicity and closeness to home. Dishes that are available here are what they would consider as comfort food, and one that they’ve grown up eating. From the curry mee to rojak and toasts to mee rebus, everything here is done with plenty of love and passion. Additionally, their cendol has been voted as one of the best in town, going head to head with Makko, Nancy’s Kitchen and Jeta Grooves.

Donald and Lily are pioneers in Peranakan cuisine and their restaurant has been around for generations. Their cuisine is best known for its simplicity and no-frills style, home cooked meals. Special recipes passed down through the ages make each dish particularly unique and unmistakably Donald and Lily’s signature style. Hence, the queues at the restaurant is amazingly long. Even if you knew the chef, it does not guarantee you priority seating. Arrive early to get seats and leave promptly after your meal to allow others to enjoy the food.

Best loved dishes on their no lard, no pork menu are curry mee, rojak, laksa, chap chae and ayam pongteh. These main staples appear on almost every table in the restaurant as customers already know what they like and what’s best to order. Their cendol was voted one of the best in town and it’s obvious as many customers order more than one at every seating. Tasting is believing, and at Donald & Lily’s, repeat tastings may be necessary to satisfy that craving.

In short, Donald & Lily isn’t just a place to reminisce the past, but rather, a place that brings you forward with simple cooking.

  • Address: No. 16 Ground Floor, Taman Kota Shah Bandar, 75200 Jalan KSB 1, Melaka
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