Monday, July 20, 2015

Melaka Food Hunt: Melaka Represent!

Where To Eat In Melaka

It was that Mee Goreng we tried on our very first meal in Kuala Lumpur years ago that made us love Malay food. The amazing burst of flavors kept us glued to Jalan Alor and Chinatown on our KL layovers. And Melaka ain’t competing; they have their own level of yumminess that made us drool for more.

We only had two days in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka and squeezing in our food trips was a huge problem. Our local friend, Fiona, was our willing guide on our Melaka food hunt.

Satay Celup

First stop was a hole-in-the-wall that offers the best Satay Celup, I have yet to find out what’s that. Fiona brought us to Jalan Ong Kim Wee where Satay Celup restaurants lined up the whole stretch. We wouldn’t know how to get here or to even know about this place if not for her, thank goodness she’s here.

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup Melaka
Ban Lee Siang
Ban Lee Siang serves the best Satay Celup in Melaka, Fiona stated. As we settled on our seats, I noticed some LPG tanks scattered on each table. A huge pot was also nestled in the middle. It was kinda similar to a hot pot restaurant.

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup Melaka
LPG seatmates
It was the first time I heard about this dish. Apparently, the raw (or semi-cooked) skewered meat, seafood and veggies are dunked into this huge pot of boiling satay sauce. Imagine the peanut goodness sauce simmering and bubbling right in front of you; the aroma is already satisfying.

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup Melaka
Skewered happiness
We grabbed some skewered happiness from the fridge that were priced at 0.50 to 0.70 Ringgit (US$ 0.13 to $0.18) per stick, yes, total bargain! She dunked some of it and waited for it to be cooked in the boiling sauce, that easy. 

Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup Melaka
And the taste? It was heaven! One thing’s missing though, our cup of steamed rice, Fiona laughed as if we’re joking about it. Well, no, we were serious about the rice.

I especially loved the bean curds and prawns. Writing this makes me wanna go to Melaka right now with my stash of steamed rice.

Kopi Ais

Kopi Ice, Kopi Ice, Kopi Ice; I had nothing in mind as we landed at Kuala Lumpur but to grab some Kopi Ice on a nearby kopitiam (local coffee shop). Thanks to our dear friend, we just learned that there are lots of ways to serve coffee in Malaysia.

Malaysian Coffee
These are; Kopi (black coffee with condensed or sweetened milk), Kopi “C” (black coffee with unsweetened milk and sugar) and Kopi “O” (strong black coffee with sugar). If you don’t like sugar, just add kosong at the end of each coffee selection. If you want your coffee to be hot, you should say panas or kecil. If you want it cold or iced, you should say ais or peng.

Kopi Ais Melaka
Kopi Ais is love
Ok, that’s Malaysian coffee 101 for you. Me and my buddy always get the Kopi Ais (iced black coffee with sweetened milk) every time we’re in Malaysia. Ohhh. The yummy goodness of the coffee and milk with loads of ice cubes takes away our weariness every time, all the time.

Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng is our favorite noodle dish in the world and there’s this particular hawker along Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur that serves the best one in the world. And when we asked Fiona on her favorite noodle place, she brought us there, with no apprehension.

Hassan’s Mee Goreng is an open-aired eatery that is frequented by locals. It's along Jalan Tengkera, away from the tourist-flocked area of the Dutch Square and Jonker Street. She drove us there and upon seeing the packed eatery, we knew that we’re in for some nice eats.

Hassan Mee Goreng Melaka
Hassan's Mee Goreng
It was too hard to get an unoccupied table, it was around ten in the morning and everybody seemed to be busy having their breakfast. When we settled on our seats, it was game on.

We had three platefuls of Mee Goreng for 1.50 Ringgits each (US$ 0.39) plus telur (fried egg), sambal (chili paste) and sliced cucumbers for the side dish at 0.80 Ringgit (US$ 0.21). Our favorite Kopi Ais for 1.40 Ringgits (US$ 0.37) was the cherry on top.

Hassan Mee Goreng Melaka
Plain Mee Goreng
Hassan Mee Goreng Melaka
Cucumbers, telur (fried egg) and sambal (chili paste)
Kopi Ais Melaka
The Kopi Ais saved the meal
Our food was served in no time and we noticed that the serving was quite small and the noodle dish itself was plain, like some boiled noodles dabbed with a little sauce or something. It was too early to judge so I dug my spoon and tasted it and felt sad afterwards. I tried adding the side dishes and some soy sauce but no, it was way too bland, boring and plain. I’m sorry Fiona.

Chicken Rice Ball

And then the famed Chicken Rice Ball of Melaka!

I’ve been hearing some nice reviews about this chicken dish that Melaka is famous for. Again, if not for Fiona, we wouldn’t know where to find the perfect place (and time) to check out the best one in town. It was nine in the morning and a queue was starting to form on the bridge leading to Jonker Street, I think I knew what the queue was all about; getting a table at Kedai Kopi Chung Hwa.

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka
Chung Hwa has been the premier and foremost restaurant that introduced Chicken Rice Ball in Melaka since the 60’s. Fiona was whispering something to us as we found a free table. She said that you cannot ask for a menu, you just have to sit down and they will give you what they think you can consume, and that you cannot insist on having half orders of this and that for they will stop and give you a stern look.

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka

We were asked for our drinks, but not for our food. As behaved as I can be, I sat and observed the other tables. A mix of locals and tourists were enjoying their food; and then ours came.

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka
Yummy rice balls
We had, I think, one half Hainan Chicken and six rice balls with chili dip. The chicken was tasty and juicy; it was totally different from what I tried in Singapore. The rice balls were made out of fragrant rice with flavorful taste. I think they cooked it using the oil from the Hainan Chicken. Limeade was the usual drink so we grabbed one too, it was forgettable though. The bill was 22.30 Ringgits (US$ 5.86). Not bad, eh?

It was a filling breakfast, and yes, you should go there early for they close as soon as everything is sold out.

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka

Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball Melaka
So there you go; our short but definitely fun and filling Melaka food hunt. We are so coming back here next year for more foodgasms.

Ban Lee Siang (Satay Celup)
45- E Jalan Ong Kim Wee, Melaka
Contact Number: (+60) 6.284.1935
Open Hours: Everyday | 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 mn

Hassan (Mee Goreng)
Jalan Tengkera near Methodist School, Melaka
Open Hours: Saturdays to Thursdays | 8:00 a.m. onwards

Chung Hwa (Chicken Rice Ball)
18 Jalan Hang Jebat (0.5 km. away from Jonker Street), Melaka
Contact Number: (+60) 6.286.0121
Open Hours: Everyday | 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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