There are two popular Char Siew rice in Melaka, one at Jalan Bunga Raya and another at Batu Berendam. Even though they are basically selling the same thing, their style and business hours are totally different.
The one at Jalan Bunga Raya is famous for their fatty Char Siew and only opens during the day, while the one at Batu Berendam sold in Chuen How restaurant is the leaner type and previously they only open for dinner. Now they are also open for lunch from 10am onwards until 10pm.
Chuen How’s Char Siew is the one I am going to show you and it was surprisingly very very delicious, one of my most memorable eats in Melaka. Anyway, you won’t find a lot of information about this Char Siew online so if it wasn’t for my friend’s (a Malaccan) guidance I wouldn’t know about it. And since this is at Batu Berendam it was quite a drive from the town center, but man was it worth it!
Chuen How is basically a ‘chap fan‘ (economy rice) restaurant and most of the customers are locals comprising of the working people and families who take away packets of packed rice for dinner. Besides the Char Siew, the assam fish is equally popular. The sourness and spiciness are very strong but in a good way that it opens up your appetite nicely. Price wise it is as common as any other ‘chap fan’ stalls you will encounter.
My main objective was to try the Char Siew hence I had a plate of rice with a mix of extra Char Siew and roast pork. Since I was there even before they started selling, I was one of the first in line to get served. The food tasted fresh and the best thing is the warmth the meat oozes, you can taste the difference compared to those that are already hanging cold for hours. It also sports quite a unique look for Char Siew, as it is thinly sliced like strips of dried BBQ pork (‘yuk gon‘) instead of being chunky.
The Char Siew had been chopped up so you might not be able to see the original shape. Despite being lean with minimal fat, it is quite tender and there is a slight crisp on the outside. I tried a lot of Char Siew but nothing like this before, really special and tasty – not too sticky nor too tough, almost perfect! The only complaint I have is the rice, which was overcooked and felt sticky.
Here’s how the Char Siew strips look like in their original form, fresh out of the kitchen and literally still smoking hot.
This was the reason I had to try the roast pork, it looked just too good to pass on.
A healthy choice of food here. Some other notable dishes that I kept seeing people taking are the sweet and sour pork, fried brinjals and steamed tofu.
If you are looking for something off the beaten track in Melaka, Chuen How’s Char Siew rice will fit the bill nicely. A queue usually forms during dinner so better get here early if you want to savor the food frust-free while they are still warm and still at the peak of freshness.
Chuen How Restaurant
Jalan Merak, Taman Melaka Baru,
Batu Berendam, Malacca 75350
GPS Coordinate: N2 14.322 E102 15.454
Business hours: 10a to 10pm. Closed every Thursday