Dear friends, I have a written piece published in Going Places, the in-flight magazine of Malaysia Airlines Berhad this month!!
Naturally I’m thrilled to see my article and images in print, I mean this is Going Places after all. On every flight I take I would read the in-flight magazine from cover to back. No movies, no sleeping until I’ve finished reading it. For Going Places, Im particularly fond of anecdotes by Kam Raslan (he’s got an acerbic humour on things) and, well, you guessed it, food stories!
So imagine my delight to have contributed to an issue of Going Places this very August 2017!
Much gratitude goes to Sean (eatdrinkkl), who I don’t get to see often enough, but thankful to have him as a cherished friend for many, many years.
This is my article.
The illustration done of me for the writer’s bio is quite is unique don’t you think? 😀
Speaking of bio, I had trouble describing myself – I mean as a writer you write about others easily, but hit a blank when asked to characterize yourself. At times like this I would ask for help, but unfortunately someone close to me couldn’t find the time to help out (a constant disappointment that I have to live with), so I babbled something for this (it’s in the little red box as below).
Think you have a better bio in mind for me? Tell me!
Anyhow, this is the original article submitted with addresses of outlets – I bet you would find them useful!
** Do keep in mind that this article was written based on a brief from the magazine and with specific word limit.
Thus it is not as comprehensive as my typical long-winded articles but fret not, I’m compiling my 10-15 best Nyonya laksa, pork satay, chendol, etc lists and will be sharing those in separate postings soon! 🙂
|Nyonya Laksa||1. Eric Nyonya Laksa @ Mulan Kopitiam
64, Jalan TTC 14, Taman Teknologi Cheng, 75250 Melaka, Malaysia
2. Unicorn Café
|Chendol||1. Nyonya-licious Kitchen
19, Jalan MP 5, Taman Permai, 75350 Melaka Malaysia
Tel: +6016-222 1616
2. Unicorn Café
3. Justberrys Dessert House
|Nyonya/Peranakan food||1.SamFu Restaurant, Mimosa Hotel
120, Jalan Bunga Raya, Kampung Jawa, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: +606-282 0113
2.Restoran Aunty Lee
3. Bulldog Café
|Nyonya Kuih||1. Dapur Cho Cho
84-3, Jalan Mohd Zin Dsh,
Taman Padang Balang,
Batu Berendam, Melaka.
Tel: +60 12-276 8606
2. Baba Raymond @Soon Yen Kopitiam (Tengkera)
|Pork Satay||1. Restaurant Xi Lin Men
Jalan Jed 1, Klebang Kechil, Kesibang, 75200, Melaka.
2. SuuKee Satay
3. Medan Selera Ujong Pasir
|Satay Celup||1. Bachang Roadside Satay Celup
Jalan Kenanga 3/25, Taman Kenanga Mewah 75200 Melaka
Tel: +6016-630 1185
2. Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup
45-E, Jalan Ong Kim Wee, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
|Chicken Rice Ball||1. Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant
BB, 376, Jalan BB 1, Taman Damai, 75350, Malacca
Tel: +606-317 0299
2. Kedai Kopi Chung Wah (close now)
|Asam Pedas||1. Ah Boy Asam Fish @Pasar Borong Melaka
Ayer Keroh 11, Jalan IKS M2, Jalan Mohd Zin Dsh, Taman Merdeka, Melaka, Malaysia
Tel : +60 16-916 7383
|Western food (pork)||1. Wok & Pan
22G, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
2. Nubacha Charbroil Grillhouse
- Original article as below – within 1000 words with 9 types of dishes and over 20 places listed.
As one of Malaysia’s oldest historical states and a proud UNESCO World Heritage Site, Melaka has emerged as a favoured tourism destination in recent years, a strong pull being its heritage hotspots as well as its vivid culinary offerings.
Its historical structures within the city are beautifully preserved and it remains as one of the few cities in Malaysia that continues to perpetuate the unique Peranakan culture.
Navigating around Melaka’s historic spots is fun but bound to work up an appetite so here are our top recommendations of its amazing cuisine to keep you satiated!
1. Nyonya Laksa
There are numerous versions of ‘laksa’ in Malaysia but the Nyonya Laksa is synonymous with Melaka cuisine.
Oodles of noodles are submerged in a creamy, coconut milk broth aromatic with spices and topped with tofu puffs, shrimp, beansprouts and egg.
The garnishing of laksa leaf, also known in Malay as daun kesum is a prerequisite for the overall aroma and flavour.
Need more heat? Just dunk more sambal into the soup.
BELOW: I love Nyonya laksa!
Eric’s Nyonya Laksa and Unicorn Cafe’s is good.
2. Chicken rice balls
An iconic Malaccan dish is Chicken Rice Balls. Similar to the classic chicken rice but with rice formed into bite sized orbs, this dish is enjoyed pretty much the same way; with roast or poached chicken plus condiments of soy and chilli sauce.
History has it that the rice was originally shaped as such because it kept warm longer when stored until mealtime, and this is convenient for labourers working on plantations to transport from home.
Another theory was that rice balls were more portable and easier to consume.
Today, rice balls are appreciated more as a novelty than anything else and Melaka has become the hotspot to enjoy it!
Chendol is popular nationwide, but in Melaka this rich, sweet dessert had attained an almost revered status.
A typical bowl incorporates finely shaved ice, rich coconut milk, soft red beans and green jellies known as chendol strips.
The strips, customarily handmade au-naturale with pandan leaves, should be firm with a nice, springy chew. Sweetened with the distinct smoky, caramel-ish gula Melaka (palm sugar), a key ingredient for an excellent chendol, it offers an incredible reprieve from the scorching heat of Melaka.
A popular variation is topped with fresh durian pulp, but that is of course, best reserved for serious fans of the King of Fruits.
One of the best chendol we have had in Melaka was at Nyonyalicious where each bowl carries the perfect balance of creaminess, sweetness and amount of ingredients.
If you fancy yours with durian, head to Justberry’s. Feeling adventurous? Bulldog Café offers an alcoholic version with Baileys!
Below: Baileys + Chendol @Bulldog Cafe – a must-try!
BELOW: Justberry’s – for the durian version.
4. Asam Pedas
If you love bold, spicy and sour food, then asam pedas is a must on your list.
There are several interpretations and there are endless adaptations; but suffice to say, it’s sour, spicy, and tastes extraordinarily satisfying. The seafood is almost secondary to the gravy and aficionados are known to drench the gravy on rice, with second (maybe third too!) helpings of rice being the norm.
And it is only in Melaka that your rice is served with vegetables, a dollop of sambal and a halved salted egg.
BELOW: The pasar borong one is still my top pick. There are 2 sections here – porkfree (Malay) and Chinese.
5. Nyonya/Peranakan cuisine
No visit to Melaka is complete without a feast of ayam pongteh (braised chicken in sweet bean paste), pai tee, keluak and ikan goreng cili garam (fried fish with chilli paste).
These are the few central dishes of Peranakan roots.
Among the hundreds of Peranakan restaurants in the city, with some housed in authentic Baba Nyonya house, a Peranakan meal goes beyond its delectable food for the traditional décor and exquisite Peranakan furniture serves to complete the experience so you can be immersed with the exciting culture while enjoying the food.
BELOW: Samfu Restaurant at Mimosa Hotel: Try the Babi Asam Belimbing.
6. Satay Celup
Satay Celup is another signature food of Melaka. Similar to steamboat, but with a twist where skewers of raw or semi-cooked meat, seafood and vegetables are dipped into a pot of thick, spicy peanut sauce instead of flavoured broth, it is an interactive, social meal as everyone gets to enjoy their choice of ingredients and cooking them in a communal pot.
BELOW: My pick – Bachang Roadside stall.
7. Pork Satay
Another popular skewered food in this state is pork satay and one can savour its innards like intestines and liver with as much gusto as the meat itself.
Some stalls offer chicken as alternative, but really, it is the pork variant that is outstanding.
Each stick holds alternating chunks of lean meat and fat, grilled over charcoal embers until juicy and lightly charred.
However the peanut gravy is what truly sets it apart from other satay nationwide.
Its recipe calls for pineapples (some with belimbi too) that impart a zesty flavor, not to mention fibre which gives it extra texture.
8. Nyonya Kuih
“Kuih ‘ refers to a range of local desserts, possibly sweet or savoury and usually in kaleidoscope of colours.
With its varying textures, flavours and appearances that captivate all the senses, identifying a favourite can be a tough call.
Yet when push comes to shove, the onde-onde would be our pick. This bite-sized kuih is made with glutinous rice flour infused with pandan (screwpine leaf) juice. Rolled into little orbs, filled with molten gula, poached and rolled in fresh grated coconut, the toffee-ish gula Melaka within literally bursts in your mouth as you take a bite!
Dapur Cho Cho makes the perfect onde onde so be sure to get some when you are in town!
Western cuisine might not be directly associated with Melaka cuisine but one shouldn’t be so fast to dismiss the idea when there’s an outlet like Wok and Pan.
The menu here is ambitious, covering both Nyonya and western fare so this is one outlet where one can tuck into asam pedas and pongteh plus Hainanese Pork Chop and a whole rack of smoky pork ribs in one meal!
As one of the pioneers for pork based western restaurants, the love for their generous yet reasonably priced ribs is evident from the full house crowd they cater to daily.
Other great food in Melaka lists:
1. 14 Nyonya restaurants in Melaka to choose from
2. Best Nyonya kuih in Melaka
3. Buy the best Nyonya Chang (blue rice dumpling) in Melaka!
4. Best Cafes in Melaka to chill and some actually serve good food!
5. 18 Best Chendol in Melaka (TBA)
6. 8 Pork Satay in Melaka to Try (TBA)
7. 4 satay celup in Melaka and the best one is by the roadside! (TBA)
8. Nyonya Laksa – where’s the best? (TBA)
9. 15 Melaka Hotels that I’ve stayed in! (TBA)
And for EVERYTHING MELAKA (food, shopping, hotels), check this out –> http://www.rebeccasaw.com/tag/melaka/
** Going Places Magazine is now live digitally: