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Donald & Lily Malacca • 50 Year Legacy Nyonya Laksa & Nasi Ketuk Ayam Rendang

Finally tasted the Nyonya style laksa by Donald & Lily in Malacca. If you come to Malacca, this is a must try.

Donald & Lily is now at The Bendahari, 147 Jalan Bendahara. 

The Bendahari is a casual welcoming snack bar and retail shop for local makers who are passionate about heritage and culture. It's a relaxing space to chill with traditional Nyonya dishes by Donald & Lily among lovingly handmade crafts. 

Jennifer, the second generation of Donald & Lily is the keeper of Peranakan food heritage at The Bendahari. 

Marcus and I had been food hunting since day break the previous day, so we just tried Jennifer's popular Nyonya laksa and nasi ketuk ayam rendang.

Jennifer's Nyonya laksa was fully loaded.

The yellow noodles (our choice) were invisible, submerged under a fiery looking kuah with generous toppings of large prawns, blood cockles, tau pok, fish cake, torch ginger flower, laksa leaves, cucumber, etc. A dollop of sambal stood by, ready to kick up the spiciness quotient a notch or two.

The kuah was thick, heavy, rich, almost creamy and flavoured with freshly blended spice and chili mix. The sweetish coconut milk based kuah carried a spicy chili kick that lingered only briefly.

The blanched yellow noodles were slurpy delicious as they were flavoured by the kuah clinging to the strands. 


It's a traditional taste from Donald & Lily's 1970s tricycle stall.

The prawns and blood cockles were fresh and tasty. These seafood and vegetables added flavours and textures to the premium version of Nyonya laksa by Jennifer.

Next, the colourful nasi ketuk ayam rendang.

The tender and moist blue pea flower tinted rice felt rich and lemak, so I was surprised when Jennifer told me that no coconut milk was used to cook the rice. Just water and pandan leaves. 

The tender chicken was infused with rich and complex spice flavours from the rendang sauce.

The mixture of rendang sauce and rice tastes fantastic.


Nasi ketuk or katok literally means "knocking rice" in Malay. This came about because in the past, rice hawkers made and sold their rice dish from their homes. Customers would knock on the hawker's door to order their meal, hence "knocking rice" or nasi ketuk. 

The name is a good reminder of the custom and culture of food hawkers in the past. It's a home based business.

Oh... I love the buttery sujee cake spiked with tender bits of almond throughout the moist sweet dessert. Must order. 

Rounding up our lunch on a sweet note with Jennifer's signature ABC ais batu campur or ice kacang. 

We enjoyed Jennifer's Nyonya laksa, and nasi ketuk ayam rendang a lot. Do make it a point to drop by when you are in Malacca.


We are also glad that Jennifer has packaged her rempah (spice mix) in convenient sachets so that we can enjoy the flavours of Donald & Lily's legacy anytime, anywhere we are in the world ✈️

Lemon grass serai soda pop.


Stall name: Donald & Lily at The Bendahari

Address: 147, Jalan Bendahara, Pengkalan Rama, 75100 Melaka

Hours: 10am - 5pm (Thurs, Fri, Sat only)

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Written by Tony Boey on 24 May 2024

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