The Portuguese Settlement

After exploring the city centre for a couple of days we headed over to the Portuguese settlement. The settlement was conceived in 1933, to preserve the religion, language, cultural traditions of the Kristang people, people with a heritage in both Portuguese and Malay lineages. There are now around 1000 descendants from early Portuguese settlers living there.

The Portuguese square, located in the centre of the settlement, is pretty much a dining area with lots of food stalls, restaurants and other shops, and are probably a bit more interesting to visit during evenings in the weekends. During the day, in the middle of a week there is not much action going on. There were a couple of restaurants open and we decided to try out some Portuguese-Malay food.

We tried grilled fish in tomato sauce and garlic, and kangkung belacan (water spinach in shrimp sauce) as a side dish. The grilled fish was really delicious, although not so spicy as purely Malay food. The kankung belacan was just the regular Malay dish you can get in most restaurants in Malaysia.

I really recommend taking a trip out here, especially during the evening as you can sit and watch the sunset as you are dining. It would be even more of an experience if you could make it in June, when the Kristangs have their festivals. They dress up in colourful traditional folk costumes, engaging in dancing, singing, eating and other festive activities.

Portuguese Settlement in Malacca, Malaysia.Restoran de lisbon at the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca, Malaysia.Portuguese style fish at the Portuguese Settlement, Melaka, Malaysia.Kangkong sambal belacan at the Portuguese Settlement, Malacca, Malaysia.Plate of portuguese style fish at the Portuguese Settlement, Malacca, Malaysia.

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