The Place Opened since 2009, Restoran Tong Sheng in Melaka (here are some of our other favourite restaurants in the city) is an extremely popular local Zi Char style restaurant which I revisited this year after a hiatus of 3 years. The restaurant is located very near Novotel Melaka and Hatten Hotel, hence it is very popular amongst Singapore tourists and locals alike. It is only opened for dinner, and while it doesn’t seem to take reservations, I do see reserved tables when I was there. The setting of the restaurant is simple and no frills, so be prepared to sweat it it while enjoying the food.
The Food The signature dish of Tong Sheng is its Cheesy Prawn with Rice Vermicelli, which originated from Tong Sheng according to the restaurant’s menu. Without a doubt, this is one of the must order dish. We started with the Cheesy Prawn Meehun (RM35/small), which is quite a generous portion even though it is the smallest. The bee hoon is absolutely soaked well in the sauce, well cooked with cheese but fret not, the cheese is not overpowering. This dish is still easily one of the better dishes at Tong Sheng which every table will order.
Another dish we tried is the Ginger Chicken Cube (RM15/small), where bite size cubes of chicken meat is fried with ginger. This dish is not too bad as the chicken is quite flavourful and tender.
We were excited to spot the word Horlick and so we decided on trying the Horlick Prawn Balls (RM30/small). Unfortunately, it tastes like an ordinary prawn dish without any taste of Horlick.
The other disappointing dish is the Sweet Vinegar Gui Hua Fish (RM10/100g), where the fish is tough and lacks flavour. The size ranges from 300-500g and our bill came up to the 500g portion (RM50), skip this.
Other dishes we tried are the Salted Egg Yolk Beancurd (RM15/small) and Otak-otak Steamed Eggs (RM15/small). The former is pretty average where the salted egg flavour could have been more intense, while the latter is quite unique as it has bits of otak spread evenly on steamed eggs.
Rants It seems like the restaurant only accepts a limited number of reservations per day. We arrived at 5pm on a Saturday and waited for close to 90 minutes before our turn. Be very well prepared to queue for up to a few hours as well.
Will I Return Again? My first dining experience at Tong Sheng few years ago (when the crowd wasn’t so insane) was very memorable and I remember every dish to be good. The most recent experience this year changed my impression as it seems like the standard has dropped quite significantly. An issue of complacency here? Afterall, the incessant queue is testament of its popularity and perhaps some lax in its quality. I am certain I wouldn’t be back if I need to wait 90 minutes for a table again.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Restoran Tong Sheng
No. 377 & 378, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +60 16-776 7811
Daily: 5.30pm to 11pm
Ranted by The Ranter