Locahouz @ Malacca

August 6, 2015

When Lim Wei Ling moved back to her southern home state of Malacca after seven stressful years in Kuala Lumpur's banking sector, she wanted to spend her time in a place that cultivated a sense of comfort and contentment. Together with her sister, Wei Fung, she opened a café called Locahouz on a serene street near one of Malaysia's oldest Chinese temples. 

Locahouz is decorated with deeply personal flourishes that hark back to the sisters' shared history. Their late grandfather's 80-year-old bicycle, which he took them riding on for dim sum, rests by the wall. Their mother's sewing machine sits nearby, accompanied by the Lim clan's rotary phone, tableware and other cherished heirlooms.

 Locahouz illustrates the inimitable charm of a new breed of restaurants and cafés in Malacca, which boasts a rich history dating to the 1400s, when it became a strategic port that remained a crucial province throughout centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule.

“I love Malacca, and I love running this café,â€� Wei Ling says, serving a steaming-hot cup of black coffee, prepared in the homemade fashion that her mother taught her. “Whenever my cousins return to visit Malacca, they spend their time here too.â€�

 At Locahouz, the sisters serve traditional local favourites like loh mai kai (steamed sticky rice with chicken and mushrooms) and international fare such as ciabatta sandwiches in a setting lined with striking compositions by Malaysian painters.

This spotlight on Locahouz is an excerpt of a feature on six of Malacca's soulful new cafes; read the full feature in the August 2015 issue of Going Places, Malaysia Airlines' in-flight magazine.

Locahouz, 53, Jalan Tokong, Melaka

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