After my previous post (read HERE –> What to eat in Melaka – Baba Charlie) some argued that Baba Charlie is too commercialized and overrated.
Well, I’m all for constructive feedback so thank you to those who said so. 🙂
This then bought me to my question; surely there are other masters of nyonya kuih making in this heritage rich albeit getting-too-commercial for my taste city? As it is I’m having difficulty getting good, authentic Nyonya cuisine here so pray tell me that delectable nyonya kuih is not a fast disappearing art too?
I used to make nyonya kuih back in Penang with a friend so I can attest that it’s painstaking work. Just like baking, skimping on ingredients is a no-no.
But unlike baking, mixing the ingredients are usually done by hand and the cooking method is steaming using traditional old steamers, not high tech ovens with exact temperature control.
Kuih short on rich coconut milk (if the recipe requires it) and overloaded with sugar wouldn’t attain the perfect texture and taste.
Another notable attribute of a good nyonya kuih is the colours.
Colours should be clean and naturally bright (not the radioactive bright colourings so fond by makers of Malay kuihs), usually derived from natural sources like plants. If colourings are used, the shade should be vibrant but not overly fake.
Lastly, aesthetics are cardinal. The kuih must be in uniformed sizes with clean sides (no jagged ends, torn sides) as the Chinese would usually not buy the kuih if any is broken or misshapen.
Lastly each piece or slice should be firm, slightly wobbly but not not so soft that it won’t hold itself up.
I know. It’s a tall order. Almost as if everything must be perfect.
But hey, we are on the topic of seeking the best/nicest tasting kuih aren’t we?
On one of the recent trips I asked my trustworthy Malaccan friend where he would get his fix of Nyonya kuih and he recommended this stall at Yummy Food Court at Jalan Ujong Pasir. In fact it is HIS MUM’s favourite stall so that says a lot.
The thing about Baba Charlie is they are open almost the whole day and you can get a whole lot of variety in ONE place. Here, the kuih is a hundred times tastier and prettier; very well made and reasonably priced, but it is only open from 5pm onwards and the variety offered are about 10-15 or so.
It comes in packs of 4 pieces, and you can’t opt to buy less. 🙁
So for the sake of sampling I bought some anyways. Besides, just by looking at them I could tell that they would be good! Yes the colours, the moistness, the texture and the shape does hint of its taste.
And I was right. Everything I sampled (as seen below) were great!
The ang koo was marvelous; fine bean paste and soft, thin chewy skin.
Their Chwee Kueh was good too.
Would I recommend this stall at the Yummy Food Court for your nyonya kuih fix? Yes I would!
I have heard of another good nyonya kuih proprietor whose name is Bibik Ong. She sells her nyonya kuih from her lone stall outside of Hilir Garden Ice Cafe at the junction of Jalan Low Hee Kong and Jalan Ujong Pasir.
Her operational hours are 3-5pm and unfortunately for me I missed out from visiting her on my previous trip. Well, next trip then! 🙂
Apparently there is also a popular Malay kuih outlet in Melaka.
This is Perhentian Kuih Kampong also on Jalan Sungai Ujong. The myriad of kuih on offer is crazy!
However upon close inspection I realized that there are all more or less similar items; perhaps just prepared in different colours.
Of course, the different colours was intended to represent different flavours – yellow for potato, purple for yam, green for pandan and brown for gula melaka or brown sugar.
But frankly one can barely taste the difference, and most of them came across to me as a glob of soft dough and sugar.
Remember what I said about Chinese kuih being pretty, uniformly cut and firm? The opposite can be said for MOST (I can’t say all for sure) Malay versions. Sloppy, too soft, too hard, some parts uncooked, overly sweet and overly greasy.
It’s obviously catered for the Malay/Muslim market (hey I’m not being racist here but just stating a fact) with some occasional customers of other races.
I’m sure it has its share of fans, considering that they sell so many types and large quantity of kuih each day while being in business for years. It’s just doesn’t whet my appetite and I won’t return voluntarily.
I do like Malay kuih and I eat them all the time; buying from the roadside stalls in the morning and indulging in them come every Ramadan. But the ones here at Perhentian Kuih Lampung just doesn’t cut it.
I was staying at Casa del Rio Melaka during this trip. You can check out my previous review –> HERE. This trip is actually my 2nd stay. It’s such a gorgeous place. If you’re ever in Melaka, do stay here! 🙂
My friend is a wine-oholic. Having said that, sweet/dessert wines did paired pretty well with our local kuih!
1. Hong Kong Chee Cheong Fun/Nyonya Kuih stall
Yummy Garden Food Court, Jalan Ujong Pasir
Batu Berendam, 75050
2. (Perhentian Kuih Kampung)
Address: Lot 130, Jalan Ujong Pasir, 75050 Melaka, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 1700 – 2200 Daily
Perhentian Kuih Kampung is alike a food court as well. Other than kuih, one can feast on roti, rice, fried noodles and the works. It was even on TV3 Jalan-Jalan Cari Makan. Go figure. 😀
I’ll be heading to Melaka again soon and I’ll definitely be on the hunt for Bibik Ong. Meanwhile for a list of my Melaka Eats (not a top/best list or anything, just a list of food I’ve tried) you can view it here –> Melaka: what I ate! 🙂