Sunday, January 10, 2016

Where to eat in Malacca?

Move aside, Penang! Malacca’s all the rage now. Boasting a familiar old school charm many towns in Malaysia seem to share, Malacca has always been known to us schoolkids as the famed land where Parameswara’s dog was defeated by a little old Sang Kancil (mousedeer) and is host to historical sites left behind from days of colonisation. But more pertinent to this post, it’s also a hub for great food!

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1. Huang Chang Chicken Rice

If equipped with lots of time and patience, go ahead and brave the queue at Chung Wah or the other famous places, but if you’re not a hype-chaser, then Huang Chang’s a local favourite (thanks for the recommendation, Jazlyn!). It was busy when we got there, but it wasn’t too long of a wait and prices are reasonable!

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Chicken was alright (KL does it better!) but the brown sauce caramel thing and sambal that comes with the table in little bottles are worth going for!

2. Capitol Satay Celup

This small shop opens at 4pm so best head there early if you don’t want to be stuck in a queue hours long. I really enjoyed it the last time I was there and drowned my sticks in loads of flavourful spicy sauce. It’s really only good if you don’t treat it as lok lok by dipping it, but just really soak in all the sauce for maximum yum!

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Pose along hipster looking gaps between shophouses along Bukit Cina whilst waiting..

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3. Jonker Street

If in Malacca on a weekend (Fri – Sun), then head to Jonker Street which comes alive at night! But if you’re there on a weekday, it can seem pretty quiet although a few shops lie open here and there. Don’t forget to get some durian cendol, crispy squid, and yummy egg mayo on a stick! Mmm.

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4. The Baboon House

The cafe scene in Melaka has grown loads in the past few years and Baboon Cafe was one of the popular ones. It’s famed for its burgers but we came by only with room in our bellies for dessert which were alright and not too cheap. No pictures allowed of the cafe itself, but I assure you, it’s gorgeous and worth a visit just to bask in the atmosphere.

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5. Medan Selera Cheng Ho

If you’re in Malacca in a group, a hawker centre is usually a safe bet. We initially intended on going to Newton Food Court after checking out reviews online, but it was closed for lunch, and Cheng Ho had a fair amount of selection and yummy coconuts for sale at the entrance for RM4 each. Some dishes were hit and misses, but overall, we had a great filling meal here.

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6. Asam Pedas Claypot – Restoran Kota Laksamana I

Thanks again to Jazlyn, we managed to try some delicious asam pedas claypot, which roughly translates into sour spicy. You have plenty of fish to choose from (ikan pari is the best!), and it’s fragrant, flavourful, and delicious! They do a pretty good roti canai there as well if you’re wondering.

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Great otak-otak too! (Spicy fish paste)

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7. Pak Putra’s tandoori chicken

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If you want delicious tandoori chicken and gloriously cheesy garlic naan bread, Pak Putra sure hits the spot. It was crowded with locals when we were there, and the hype is understandable. Really soft chicken with a great smoky flavour.

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8. Lung Ann Kopitiam

I read good things about this place and its breakfast, but found it overpriced and above average at best. When we were there, it was really early, but we heard from the lady boss that their pork satay in the afternoon is something to behold, so maybe that’s worth a try in the afternoon!

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Kaya toast – salty and sweet.

9. Makko

Peranakan food is not something I’m used to. Its flavours are spicy and saltier than what you’d expect, and just when you’ve prepared yourself for a bite of spice, you end up having something sweet instead. It confuses me and I can’t say I’m a fan. But when in Malacca, it’s a must-try to really understand the combination of cultures that make up the Baba and Nonya people. You’ll definitely detect the fusion in their dishes.

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Their nonya zhang is delicious however, and I wish I had brought home some.

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Ask the waitresses for recommendations and try everything with an open mind. Best go in a group though because if something doesn’t quite suit your palette, at least it’s shared out hahaha.

10. The Daily Fix Cafe

Another beautiful cafe in Melacca, the Daily Fix is filled with young adults (I suspect from KL and Singapore lolol) and is the Instagram place with a photogenic enrivonment, and even more photogenic food. Pictures can be liberally taken and flavours are safe and delicious, but special enough to be worth a drive.

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Their pandan pancakes with Gula Melaka totally satiated the sweet tooth in me and was finished so quickly.

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Their durian pancakes tasted incredible and got me craving for more.

It can seem a little strange to go to Melacca and skip the street food for cafe fare, but thanks to the beautiful heritage buildings these cafes are hosted in, the experience is difficult to replicate elsewhere and is definitely worth a visit.

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Although on both occasions, I spent a night there, Melacca is a doable day-trip from KL!

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