If you are visiting Melaka on a tight schedule and want to get the most out of your time trying the local food, just head to Jalan Tengkera. There are so many food options along this long stretch of road that will appeal to any kind of appetite.
More importantly, they are cheap and authentic and also frequented by locals. Among all, Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake is one of the more interesting places worth visiting to get your fix of Nyonya kuih.
But if you want to reach here without hassle, my advice is to turn on your Waze and save yourself the trouble of missing the turns. After navigating through rows of wooden houses, a simple mural showing Nyonya baskets will tell you that you’re at the right place.
Baba Charlie’s shop is divided into 2 sections: the large kitchen area where all the prepping and cooking happens, and the inner section where all the colourful goodies are displayed. Simply grab a basket and start piling up with any kuih you fancy. Since I grew up in Penang, most of the kuih are easily recognizable to me except for a few.
Only a handful of the items are clearly labeled so you might need to refer to the staff for details. Based on my few visits thus far, I can safely say that the folks at Baba Charlie are friendly so don’t worry about asking – you certainly won’t get any attitude here.
Conveniently packaged, the kuihs are perfect for yourself to take home for snack or as gifts to family and friends. While growing up, my favorite kuihs were kuih talam, rempah udang and pulut tekan (pulut tai tai) with kaya. I used to have one of them accompanied by a cup of kopi o for breakfast and that’s how my Sundays started.
This was our haul that day. All of these delicious kuihs for less than RM10 which we promptly finished later as soon as we got back to our hotel.
Besides selling their kuihs at their house-cum-shop, they also cater to buffet, party, private and hotel functions, as well as peddling the goods at various night markets throughout the week.
And although their official business hours are between 10:30am and 3pm, you MAY still get to buy something if you come later. But don’t push your luck and even if they still let you in, the choices available will be a lot lesser.
72, Jalan Tengkera Pantai 2C
Business hours: 10:30pm – 3pm (closed on Thursdays)
Tel: 019-666 2907 / 06-284 7209
Pasar malam: 5pm – 8pm
Mon: Tanjung, Bukit Beruang
Tue: Kampung Lapan, Ujong Pasir
Wed: Bukit Beruang
Fri: Malim Jaya
Sat: Kota Laksamana
Sun: Batu Berendam