Melaka’s version of Malaysia’s famous cendol dessert is an exotic combination of palm sugar syrup, jelly-like noodles, coconut milk, beans and shaved ice
Malaysia’s Unesco world heritage city of Melaka, better known by its old colonial name of Malacca, draws visitors not just for its melting pot history of Malay, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences, but as a foodie paradise symbolised by the local nyonya cuisine.
While signature dishes include the rich laksa soups and spicy assam fish, Melaka boasts its own unique version of Malaysia’s favourite dessert, nyonya cendol, pronounced “chendol”. A mountain of shaved ice is piled into a bowl, topped off with red beans, green jelly-like rice noodles flavoured with fragrant pandan leaf, and creamy coconut milk. And then comes the special hometown ingredient, lashings of dark brown, syrupy gula melaka, made from palm sugar, which is more smoky than saccharine sweet.