Chef Melba Nunis provides a fascinating introduction to the world of Kristang culture through her family recipes
Tasting celebrity chef Melba Nunis’ aromatic Malaccan-portuguese dishes at The Majestic Malacca provides a fascinating introduction to the world of Kristang culture.
You get a sense of Chef Melba Nunis’ warmth the moment she welcomes you to her restaurant, Melba at The Mansion, located on the first floor of The Majestic Malacca. You can taste the fire in her cooking, too. It lingers on your tongue long after you’ve scraped the last morsel of her Kari Debal (also known as Devil’s Curry) from the bowl, or sampled one of her fiery sambals – a paste made primarily from pounded chilli peppers and shrimp paste.
“I do love my dried chillies!” she laughs. “We use a lot of those in Kristang cooking, along with onions, lemongrass, galangal and turmeric. From these, we make the most basic pastes from which it’s possible to cook different types of dishes. You just need the know-how about which extra elements to add.” Needless to say, there are few in Malaysia with more know-how than Chef Melba when it comes to Kristang cooking.