As promised from my last post, I will still be blogging about my past travels and what’s more appropriate than a foodie post from my travel to Melaka, Malaysia.
I went to Melaka for a weekend and wanted nothing more to stuff myself full. I heard from others of the many delicious food you can find in this place and indeed I was not disappointed. I stayed in the centre, near the famous Jonker Street and it was easy to find good food from there.
When I was there the weather was unbearably hot so I did nothing more than exploring the old town and ate whenever I felt hungry (and needed a place for shade!). I loved trying out all the food in Melaka’s centre! There were a lot of varieties and I love the Peranakan heritage feel as the backdrop. I ate in some restaurants where the buildings are old and full of stories, inherited from generation to generation, it’s no wonder that I took my time to eat. Other time I ate in the vibrant streets with the many tourists also searching for Melaka’s culinary delights.
Here are some of my best bites during my stay. Mostly I explored the centre, but I’ve heard of many best bites outside of it and I hope to return and try them too!
Chicken Rice Ball
Ok, let’s be honest here. When in Melaka, people instantly look for chicken rice ball because it is essentially Melaka’s favourite food. Chicken rice ball is basically rice made into balls eaten with steamed chicken. The chicken is marinated in a delicious, simple sauce served with garlic chilli sauce.
The Chop Chung Wah restaurant has been around a long time serving chicken rice ball and you can’t miss it with the long line of customers always decorating the front of the restaurant. The vibe of the place is extremely crowded and rather chaotic. When I tasted it, the chicken was juicy and I love how it went so well with the garlic chilli.
I have learned that in Malaysia there are a many kinds of laksa and that in each region, it has a different taste. While I was in Penang, I tasted one of the best laksa in town. The flavour was rich and tangy – a bit tangy for my taste. However the one in Melaka was just right for me. I love the slightly citrusy flavour from the lime and how rich the broth was. I ate my laksa at the Jonker 88 restaurant and it was (again) so crowded! I think people really know where to find the best food in Melaka. This place is also famous for their variety of iced drinks which I just couldn’t fit in my stomach at that time!
Enough said, when in Malaysia, anywhere in Malaysia, a cendol is really all you need. I have talked A LOT about cendol. Green jelly, red beans, with iced coconut milk and palm sugar on a hot day – nothing more delicious than that!
Chicken Kluwak and Spinach
Dropping by to Nancy’s Kitchen in Melaka won’t disappoint you. They have a selection of Nyonya food and snacks (they also have wifi and aircon!). One of the best food I had there was chicken kluwak. Kluwak is one ingredient that my mum sometimes use in the kitchen. It’s black and very unappealing when raw but they magically turns delicious when cooked. Apparently kluwak is widely used in Peranakan dishes.
At first I was hesitant to try as kluwak can be bitter when not cooked correctly but I heard Nancy’s Kitchen knows how to use their kluwak and true, their chicken kluwak was so good! I also had their simple sauteed spinach – also yummy.
Here in Indonesia, we call it klepon. It’s green from pandan leaves, covered in coconut and filled with melted palm sugar. The perfect snack!
We also have it in Indonesia but so very different. The one I ate in Melaka was a lot more complicated. Otak-otak (roughly translated to brain-brain, but really no brain involved!) is made from fish and this one is covered with coconut-flavoured, full of herbs topping. It is one good savoury snack that I had at the restaurant of Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum.
Not a particularly Malaysian dish but on the weekend and the night falls, Jonker Street transforms into a food-filled heaven. So many food, from weird spicy potato curls to egg-shaped ice cream – all so overwhelming that I didn’t know where to start. As I was walking down the street curious to try all the food, my friend Pamela pointed out stinky tofu. Although she said it is not as stinky as the original one, it was pretty close. I didn’t really think it was stinky and I surprisingly really liked the flavour!
I definitely recommend coming to this night market as it is a chance to stuff yourself full with amazing bites. I was even so full that I couldn’t fit dinner!
Desserts and Drinks
This is not exactly a very specific bite, but with the café culture getting more and more popular, it seems that Melaka doesn’t want to miss the trend either. Mod’s Café is one recommended place to cool off from Melaka’s intense heat with a delicious selection of desserts and drinks. I tried their tiramisu, crème brûlée and dark chocolate drink – all very good but it’s the place that makes it special. An old school VW car is what they used as their counter, yes a car inside the café! Empty beer cans and vintage posters placed all over their wall just add the place more funky. The staff are friendly and I just wanted to laze around all day long there. Definitely worth the visit!
Here are the address of the places I ate:
Chop Cung Wah
Jalan Hang Jebat, No. 18
Jalan Hang Jebat, No. 88
Jalan Hang Lekir, No. 15
Jalan Tokong, No. 14
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, No. 48 & 50
Have you been to Melaka? What was your best bite?