We came to Simply Mel's after hearing rave reviews about this place from Hubs's cousins. In fact they wanted to host Christmas lunch at Simply Mel's but unfortunately the restaurant was closed.
Simply Mel's is a family-run business and at the kitchen's helm, is the lovely Melba, otherwise known simply as Mel. The restaurant exudes a warm and cosy feeling with numerous displays of the owner's Malacca Portugese heritage.
The menu is an extensive showcase of various well-known and loved dishes of the Eurasian community. Being married to an Eurasian myself, the dish that I first fell in love with was the Devil's curry, eaten to my heart's content at every family gathering. So of course, without doubt, we ordered this during our visit. The curry was very homely, with a tinge of sourness and just the right amount of spice.
The Chef's special of the day that night was Baked Fish, and Hubs insisted we order this as well. For me, this is the star dish of the meal. I so *heart* the chilli paste that was used to baked the fish which in my humble opinion was better in taste compared to the Devil's Curry. Unlike other version of baked fish, Mel's version had the fish pan-fried first before baking which gives another dimension to the overall dish. I thoroughly enjoyed the fish and ate it till bones were left. ;p
For the greens, we ordered sambal kangkung and needless to say, another well-done dish.
I can see that the restaurant is really a labour of love because in between busy times, Mel took time to visit every table to explain their dishes, the Malacca Portugese culture and even informal afternoon tea classes that teaches Kristang language to the younger generation. I certainly agree with Mel that while the Malacca Nyonya has done very well in promoting their culture through food, the Eurasian community is still lacking behind and it's heartwarming to see Simply Mel's as one of the few that has taken on this mission.
For dessert (we normally are not dessert people, but decided to try anyway), we had The Last Polka Horlick ice cream and Mel's Sugee cake.
I ordered the Horlick ice-cream for nostalgia sake. As a child, I used to love (and still do!), to chew on Horlicks sweet-tablets as a snack. And the ice-cream brought back fond memories of those days. It was fine in texture, very creamy and with just a hint of Horlick, leaving me wanting for more! Just like the sweet-tablets. :)
By Mel's recommendation, Hub's had the Sugee Cake and it was really good. We never particularly like sugee cake because some versions can be rather oily. But Mel's Sugee Cake is surprisingly light, and the addition of almond nibs gives a very good bite to the overall cake.
We came home very stuffed that night, obviously over-indulged ourselves but it was all worth it. We definitely will be back for more.
Unit 1-1A, 1st Floor, The Sphere,
No. 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South,
No. 8 Jalan Kerinchi 59200 Kuala Lumpur