Friday, 23 August 2013

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant and Coffee Bar, Malacca, Malaysia

best cafe in melaka, best western food in Malacca
Halia Inc. Main Entrance
best cafe in Malacca
Halia Inc. Viewed from the Melaka River

Halia Inc. Restaurant and Coffee Bar, Malacca

Inside the renovated Customs Warehouses by the Melaka River, Halia Inc. provides respite from the hot Malaccan weather and buzzing tourist filled streets. Under UNESCO protection, industrial minimalistic design mimics the original theme of the building, creating a space that is tranquil and pleasing to be in.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Large Interior
Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Communal Dining Table
Exposed orange bricks, recycled timber, wooden boards, polished cement and occasional strips of wallpaper make up the walls and flooring. Ornate metal dividers separate the enormous space, while still allowing light and a sense of openness to pervade.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Recycled Wood Paneling Around the Kitchen
Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
A coffee lounge, dining area, communal table, window bar and outdoor patio are dotted with plants potted in silver buckets and glass bottles. Drop down exposed filament bulbs hang from the open ceiling embracing the warehouse concept of no clutter and clean lines.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Barista Bar and Coffee Lounge
Parents with young children will be happy to know that the space is breastfeeding friendly with a parents’ room, high chairs and plastic cutlery and crockery available too for the little ones.

Described as “part restaurant, part café” Halia Inc aims to serve great coffee and contemporary western dishes alongside local fare in a casual setting.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Our first order was coffee. With the use of RAW coffee beans, Farmhouse milk, a spanking new machine and an Aussie barista, expectations were set high. Our flat white, cappuccino and latte (RM10) all turned out satisfying well and even though another round was considered, we thought it best to move on to some other less caffeinated drinks.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Flat White

A range of TWG teas, fresh juices and mocktails are too on the beverage menu. Considering the warm start to our morning (a brisk run along the riverside boardwalk), our next orders were requested with the goal of quenching thirst and cooling our bodies.

Lychee Love (RM12), made with lychee, pomelo, mint and soda, was a wonderfully refreshing drink. The carbonated water made it light and bubbly, the lychee added a fruity sweetness and, the pomelo and mint cleared the palate.

Halia Inc, Cafe, melaka
Lychee Love
Assam Boi (RM5) is a local favourite made with sweet calamansi and preserved plum. It’s very sweet (making it popular with many Malaysians), but you can ask for the sugar syrup on the side and add it to your liking.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Assam Boi
Loving a good western style breakfast, we jumped straight to our weekend favourites when ordering our meal.

French Toast (RM14) came as three soft thick baguettes slices (cut on the diagonal to form elongated ovals) soaked with egg and milk and, lightly toasted. Generous amounts of caramelized bananas with their sauce crowned the summit and a dob of mascarpone and sprinkling of crushed peanuts added a contrast in flavor and texture. In hubby’s words, “rich and magnificent.”

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
French Toast
Ricotta Hot Cakes (RM14) were three pancake rounds, slightly denser than your usual fluffy numbers, smothered with rich, creamy tangy lemon curd and brightened with a cheery berry compote. A shot of fresh pineapple juice garnished with a strawberry added colour, but too acted as a cleansing sip after a mouthful of intense deliciousness.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Ricotta Hot Cakes
Eggs Atlantic (RM16) were served atop ovals of soft, pumpkin seed encrusted bread. Perfectly poached rounds were smothered with a tangy hollandaise sauce, draped with slivers of pink smoked salmon and, a garden of leafy arugula was balanced on top. Upon poking, the molten egg yolk flowed down to mix with the sauce pond on the plate, creating a glorious pool of goo to soak up with the bread, leaves and fish.

Halia Inc., Riverside Restaurant-Cafe, Malacca
Eggs Atlantic
Vacationing in Malacca had to see at least a little local variety in our diet so we ordered the Hearty Nasi Goreng Set (RM15).  It arrived in a tiffin tin with three layers holding: hot and tasty fried rice with prawns and a runny egg; Nyonya kuih-muih, traditional dessert, in this case a dense moist corn cake and; local fruits. It was a simple, but great combo providing, savoury, sweet and refreshing items all in one order.

Halia Inc. Melaka, malacca
Hearty Nasi Goreng Set 
Future plans for Halia Inc. might see the introduction of a bar to the outdoor deck and will include a readjustment of the menu to include equal offerings of both local and western dishes.

Prices are all nett (with service charge and government tax included) and very reasonable, especially considering the nice ambience, lovely views, good quality food and decent portions. Breakfast is served from 7am – 11am daily.                           

Reason to visit: excellent espresso based coffees, good value menu, French Toast and other scrummy brekkie items, cool and spacious with river views, a great place for Western food but too for local fare in a nice environment

Halia Inc. Restaurant and Coffee Bar
No 1 Jalan Merdeka

Quayside Heritage Centre (opposite Bandar Polis)

Bandar Hilir
75200 Melaka
+6 019 770 7590
+6 06 284 1011   (for events and banquets)

Open 7am – 11pm 7 days

View Larger Map


  1. Ooooo...this is so nice! Love how they serve the nasi goreng set. We have a place called Halia here too - a Malay coffee shop and of course, nothing like this. :(

  2. What a unique little restaurant. I am in love with the recycled wood paneling in the kitchen, so cool!

  3. Looks like they did a great job with renovating - its fun when they preserve and re-use the old buildings, and it makes for funky restaurants! Melaka is on the up!

  4. How can i miss such place! Spectacular view from the restaurant, prices are reasonable too!

  5. This is one of the best restaurants in Melaka!


  6. A great place to hide away from the forever-busy Jonker Streets' cafes/restaurants :P

  7. good gracious, the sight of the luscious french toast and the even more luscious eggs atlantic is enough to drive anyone wild with hunger! gorgeous food :D

  8. I can't believe how great jonker streets and the river front looks like now.

  9. Love the seating in the booths...and that French toast looks amazing!

    Duncan In Kuantan

  10. Don't they do any ginger (that's halia in Malay, right?) based dishes? ;p
    There's also a restaurant called Halia in Singapore Botanic Gardens.

    1. I didn't see any on the breakfast menu. I'm yet to try the lunch and dinner. I think it's more of a nice name, rather than a theme for the restaurant. :-)

  11. Impressed with the interiors of coffee shop and great to find that the coffee is not served alone you can order some good cuisines as well.

    Finn Felton

    Kopi Luwak