Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Melaka Food Trip Part 2

In conjunction with the long weekend we Johoreans enjoyed a fortnight ago, me and HT decided to do a trip up Melaka for some authentic Nyonya and Peranakan food escape. It's been a few months since our last food escape there (click here to read previous post) and I was craving for some real good cendol and satay celup. Blessed with smooth traffic, we reached the history rich heritage town right around noon.

Melaka is always pack on weekends, especially Saturdays and that Saturday was no exception. We decided to head straight in search for the best cendol in Melaka, the Aunty Koh's cendol as it is said those cendols are so popular that they sell like hotcakes. The stall is definitely not easy locating as it is located in a small village about 20 minutes from Melaka town and even with GPS, you have to keep your eyes really wide open to detect the stall. To look for it easier, look out for SK Bukit Rambai instead and Aunty Koh's humble stall is just beside the school. Her stall is located in front of what I presumed is her house with plenty of free parking spaces available.

We finally made it to Aunty Koh. Just 30 minutes into business, Aunty Koh was already packed with people with no tables available 
The very friendly Aunty Koh who single handedly runs the whole stall by herself. She is so busy that you have to self service almost everything, from collecting your cendol to cleaning up and washing your own bowls. At times, she even ask you to take your own change. But despite being so busy, she still finds time to chat with her customers and ensure that they are happy with their cendol
After almost 20 minutes of queue, at last, we got our hands on those lovely cendol. Do not underestimate this bowl of simple looking cendol for it really is one of the creamiest and richest cendol I had tried so far. The ice are pretty refined, the cendol (green starched short noodle with pandan flavor) chewy, the coconut milk creamy and pure and the palm sugar (gula Melaka) just right. In case you want more palm sugar, you can always request for more. Aunty Koh's cendol is more milky and creamy as compared to most other cendol which rely heavily on the taste of the palm sugar. However, I notice that our cendol came without the usual red beans. Nonethelss, her cendol is simply super yummy
Aside from cendol, she also sells Tai Bak, a Nyonya dessert that is on the verge of facing extinction. It looks like elongated pink and white cendol make up of 3 types of flour- rice, tapioca and wheat and served with sweet syrup so it is a pure sweet and light tasting dessert in contrast to the milky, heavy tasting traditional cendol. While the taste is not as outstanding, it is something different and thus, worth trying 
A satisfied me with my bowl of yummy Melaka cendol

I can totally see why Aunty Koh sells out so quickly and why people are willing to take the time and effort in searching for the place. After all, good things are definitely worth searching for. Her cendol is so good and makes a perfect cool dessert for a hot day. Aunty Koh only opens for a very short period of time (from like 12 pm onward till finish, usually in one to two hours time) on weekends. I believe she does not sell cendol in hoping to rake in big bucks but rather out of interest, as she is really dedicated in preparing each bowl of the cendol. Well, do plan your time properly so you that you will not miss out on her delicious cendol. 

Aunty Koh Cendol,
5113, Jalan Batang Tiga,
Kampung Bukit Rambai,
75250, Melaka
Opening hours - 12 pm till finish

Driving along the road towards Melaka town from Aunty Koh, we decided to stop by for some mouth watering Nyonya kuih at Baba Charlie Nyonya House, which is located at the end of an alleyway. There is a small sign that points towards the house from the main road, but again, I reckon using GPS is a much better option. Baba Charlie started off some 20 years ago selling traditional Nyonya kuih at the night market and now aside from selling at the night market, you can get their kuih at the Baba Charlie Nyonya House which has a variety of more than 35 types of kuih. 
The wide selection of delectable Nyonya kuih and cakes They also sell cookies, popiah and local nasi lemak
My favourite and the absolute must buy kuih at Baba Charlie is the ondeh ondeh. Wrapped in pandan leaves to enhance it's aroma, the soft, chewy ondeh ondeh is top with shredded coconut and sesame seeds, rendering it totally and absolutely tasty. Each mouthful comes bursting with palm sugar that sends a pleasuring sweet sensation trickling down the palate

We also bought a few other types of kuih from Baba Charlie such as the kuih dadar (the green kuih wrap with shredded palm sugar coconut inside), apam durian (which tasted pretty meh to me), pulut seri kaya pandan (the kuih with the green top and glutinous rice at the bottom) and kuih abu sago. Price at RM1 per piece, I'm not exactly sure if they are all worth that expensive because while the kuih are pretty decent tasting, they won't send the same explosive sensation down your food pipe like the ondeh ondeh does. Seriously, that's how good their ondeh ondeh is. You gotta try it to believe it. :)

Baba Charlie Nyonya House,
72, Jalan Tengkera Pantai 2,
75200 Melaka
Opening hours 11am to 3pm
Close on Thursday

After starting our day with desserts, we finally decided for some proper lunch but most of the Peranakan restaurants are close for lunch after 2 pm. Hence, we settled for Nancy's Kitchen along the Jonker street area. Even after the peak lunch hour, we still need to queue for a seat at Nancy's. 
Appetizer for the day- a type of Nyonya kuih known as pie tee (pai tee) or top hats namely because the shape of the kuih is like a hat. Crunchy on the outside and filled with fragrant slices of cucumber, sengkuang, eggs and fried onion inside topped with their nyonya chili sauce and fresh onion
One of the must not missed Peranakan dish- Chicken pongteh which is a Nyonya soybean-based chicken stew with potatoes and  mushrooms; a very heartwarming and comforting dish
Peranakan braised pork

Overall, food at Nancy's are pretty satisfying especially the pie tee. Food are serve pretty promptly too, hence filling our hungry tummy fast. Sharing of table might be required so it can get pretty awkward. It is worth a visit if you are in for a late lunch or is too lazy to go search elsewhere and just want to have a try of Peranakan food around Jonker street.

Nancy's Kitchen,
7, Jalan Hang Lekir,
Off Jln Tun Tan Cheng Lock,
75200 Melaka
Tel : +06-283 6099

Surprisingly despite the rainy season this month, Melaka was bright and sunny that day. Thus, after all the food, we decided for some coconut drink to cool down the heat. And what better place to go for coconut drink other than the very popular Klebang Original Coconut Shake. The humble stall is located at Klebang, which is out of the town area as well. Business was so good that day that not only we need to queue, the amount of cars parked along the main road were massive enough to cause slow moving traffic.
They have a policy of 'bungkus di luar, makan and minum sila ke dalam' which literally translates to 'take away outside, dine inside' as they have two separate stalls, one catering to those who want to take away at the road front and another for those who prefer to sit and drink at the stall located further down at the end of the alleyway. Honestly, people were making a beeline for their coconut shakes for both take away and dine in that day. We had to queue about 45 minutes ourselves
The must try extremely popular coconut shake! They usually have two version, one top with vanilla ice cream and another without but perhaps due to the massive crowd that day, they decided to sell only the special version with the vanilla ice cream. None the less, I'm not complaining as their coconut shake with vanilla ice cream is super awesome. The vanilla ice cream makes the drink milkier and creamier and together with the sweetness of the fresh coconut juice and bits of coconut flesh, the shake is heavenly
Double thumbs up. And the best part, it's only RM 2 per cup ♥

Klebang Original Coconut Shake,
Klebang 231-1, 
Batu 3 3/4,                                                                                                                                 
75250 Melaka
(next to Caltex petrol station)
Opening hours : 12.30pm to 6.30 pm daily, Friday 2pm to 6 pm

Our initial plan was to have satay celup, another famous Melaka dish for dinner, but when we saw the super long queues outside all the satay celup restaurants, we decided to head to Pak Putra for some super cheese naan instead. Even that, Pak Putra was almost full house. We were lucky we were there early and managed to get a table. 
The hallmark of Pak Putra- the chicken tandoori which is tender and indeed pretty good
Butter chicken masala which is just ok
Garlic lamb naan for HT
My off menu 4 layers cheese naan. Yes, this fat piece of crispy naan is filled with 4 layers of cheese goodness ♥. It's not in the menu but you can still order it and they will do it for you
I'm a happy girl. Hehe :)

Pak Putra is like the most famous mamak (Indian Muslim restaurant) in Melaka and personally, I felt the two best dishes there are their chicken tandoori and cheese naan. Their naan itself is a little smoky on the exterior but crispy and aromatic. The thick layer of cheese inside is a definite bonus. There are plenty of free parking around the restaurant but do go early, as the place gets more and more pack as late night approaches.

Pak Putra Tandoori and Naan Restaurant,
Jalan Laksamana 4,
Taman Kota Laksamana,
Tel : 012 601 5876
Opening hours : 6pm to 1 am (Closed on Monday)

Still having a little stomach space after our fattening dinner, we went back to the satay celup restaurant and was glad to see that the queue had subsided. Yay, finally able to satisfy those satay celup cravings! There are many satay celup restaurants in Melaka but my favourite among them all is the Ban Lee Siang, one of the oldest satay celup restaurant in town because I find their peanut aka satay sauce more thick, original and fragrant. Food selections are average though and prices per stick had gone up to like a minimal of RM 0.70 per stick. And mind you, alot of it are like 1 fishball per stick or 1 dumpling per stick for RM 0.70. Even eating satay celup is getting more and more expensive these days. I blame it on the over-commercialism of these food. 
You are free to take your pick from the selections available in the refrigerator
Hot, boiling delicious peanut sauce. Their sauce are recycled and recooked throughout the night, which mean to say, they merely just top up the sauce from time to time. Someone once told me that all the satay celup restaurants had never actually change their peanut sauce; they merely just recycled them all the time! That's actually one secret they use to maintain the deliciousness of their peanut sauce. How true is that, I do not know. But I really do not like the idea of eating someone else saliva, hence it gave me goose bumps whenever I thought of the possibility of that being true. That being said, I do wish to remind everyone to NEVER dip back sticks that you had put into your mouth into the pot. Just as you will not want to eat others saliva, no one want yours either. And please do not spit, sneeze or whatever into the pot. Let's all be more responsible eaters. TQVM :)
Our selection for supper. We don't think we could fit any more than these
Just simply dip your sticks into the boiling peanut sauce and let them cook and soak up the aromatic peanut sauce
Jeng jeng jeng, yummy yummy sticks of satay sauce soaked food. Happy supper to end the night ♥

Restoran Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup,
45 E, Jalan Ong Kim Wee,
75300 Bandar Hilir,
Tel 06-284 1935
Opening hours : Monday to Sunday, 5 pm to 12 midnight

After a whole day of eating, I'm pretty sure I had gained more calories that I could had burnt in a day. At the same time, with so many adversities happening around us of late (from the Philippines typhoon to our own Malaysia flood), I'm blessed that we are not affected in this part of the world and could still enjoy all the good food around. I certainly hope that things will get better for them soon and that someday, they too can come to Melaka and enjoy a food trip there. Well, seriously, a food trip up Melaka is always so rewarding, especially to satisfy those authentic Peranakan and Nyonya food cravings. :)

PS : This is an unpaid review or advertorial. All opinions are based on yours truly POV only. Hence any discrepancy in taste or opinion is very much regretted. :)

Best Blogger Tips

1 fondue dips :

The taste in all melaka satay celup are very disappointing these few years. They save cost on ingredients and lowered down the taste quality for high profit. n the past, before 5 years ago, they are still good but one year by one year, the taste had became more awful. Nowadays these are only for tourists because they do not know the taste at all so cheating is so easy. I do not know if the myth of recycle the satay gravy over and over and by left over from the table. In the past. I just care only eating nice taste. But now the taste is so bad, I never eat anymore.