Melaka : Makan Makan

Melaka - Jalan Merdeka

20th - 23rd of December. Written by Xin Li.
Melaka, Malaysia.
Located some 3-5 hours away from Singapore, I dread going to Melaka sometimes, the thought of the long bus rides and motion sickness is enough to make me sick but work is work so last December I found myself exploring this historic city and eating my way around the city as well.

MoMo Village - Fish and Chips



MoMo Village
On my first night in Melaka, I headed to a food court at the Dataran Palawan for dinner, there was a stall selling both Asian and Western fare. Craving for something familiar and fish, I decided to have the Fish and Chips, which is two miserably deep-fried, breaded fish fillets served with mixed vegetables you get out from a bag.

Price: 9.90 RM

Geographers' Cafe - Watermelon Juice

Geographers' Cafe
Geographers’ Café is a rather famous in Melaka and I have wanted to try this café since my first visit to Melaka. The café, located in a corner shophouse on a junction along Jonker Street is the perfect place for people watching (and sketching).

Beyond that, the menu was boring, offering the usual Western fare that you can find in hawker centres except at higher prices.

Geographers' Cafe - Chicken Dragoncello

I had the Chicken Dragoncello, as I was drawn to the strange name of this dish. Apparently, the name refers to the sauce, a dragoncello sauce of Tuscan origin made with garlic, anchovy, tarragon etc.

Fanciful it sounds, but my Chicken Dragoncello tasted more like a decent Chicken Chop with mushroom sauce which I enjoyed with a glass of Watermelon Juice.

Geographers' Cafe - Chicken Dragoncello

Geographers’ Café’s food may not be impressive but given its location in a tourist district and the hype over it, my expectation wasn’t high and the food was not bad.

Website : http://www.geographer.com.my/
Price: 22.90 RM

Orang Belanda Art Cafe - Interior

Orang Belanda Art Café
The café name’s roughly translate to the Dutchman’s Art Café, and if there is something Dutch about this place, it is not the cow statue outside but the dominance of pancakes on their menu which didn’t interest me one bit. An Orang Belanda also refers to the Proboscis monkey.

....and I am not keen to have pancakes for lunch.

Orang Belanda Art Cafe - Chicken

Food aside, I didn’t like the interior of this café, the décor just felt mismatched and that was just the interiors. It felt like a harsh marriage between a Goth, a cottage and a disco.

Orang Belanda Art Cafe - Chicken

Back to the food, I settled on a Chicken dish with a fanciful name, I think its Chicken Provençale but it turned to be more Asian than French or European like a black-pepper chicken stew with capsicum and mushrooms.

Website: Orang Belanda Art Cafe
Price : 21.00 RM

Restoran Riverine - Lime Juice

Riverine Coffeehouse
Located along the Melaka River, I thought this would be an ideal place to have dinner and at the same time have a relaxing time sketching the riverfront.

Restoran Riverine - Chap Chye

And according to Tripadvisor, the Peranakan food here is good. Once again, never trust trip advisor written by ang mohs. The food here was appalling and I have my doubts whether it was even Nonya cuisine.

Restoran Riverine - Chap Chye

I ordered a plate of Chicken Chincalok and some stew vegetables with a plate of rice. When I saw my Chicken Chincalok, pieces of chicken swimming in a pool of what seemed like soy sauce, I was astonished. I didn’t know Chicken Chincalok is like that!

Restoran Riverine - Chicken Chincalok

Nonetheless, I could accept a chicken dish no matter what it is if it’s good but this was just bad, the gravy was exceedingly salty and the chicken was tough, giving my jaws a good exercise for the whole meal.

Restoran Riverine - Chap Chye

The Chap Chye didn’t fare very well either, limp and almost tasteless.

Perhaps Restoran Riverine is one of those tourist traps that promise a view of the Melaka River (along with a commando battalion of mosquitoes).

Website : Riverine Coffeehouse
Mosquito bites and dubious Nonya Cuisine : 24.30 RM

Wok & Pan - Interior

Wok and Pan
On my last night in Melaka, decided to treat myself to a good dinner. After doing some online research, Wok and Pan caught my attention.

The chef of this restaurant was the ex-executive chef of Renaissance Hotel Melaka, and there have been favourable reviews online and even a warning that there might not have seats available if you are not an early bird.

Wok and Pan - Decor

The restaurant is located among a cluster of rowhouses or shops designed to look like Dutch canal houses complete with Dutch gables (but the result was an epic fail). The restaurant itself was simple and Spartan in décor, and a photograph of Renaissance Hotel Melaka filled with signatures hangs on one side of the wall.

The staff of the restaurant consisted of mainly middle aged “aunties” who managed the serving and taking of orders and a worn glass pane reveals a bustling kitchen where Chef Richard and his team were busying preparing food.

The aunties were efficient and slightly boastful of their food so I am really looking forward to the food now.

Wok & Pan - Fresh Cream of Mushroom Soup

I ordered a Fresh Cream of Mushroom Soup as an appetizer. The soup was decent as far I could remember, the mushroom flavour was somewhat overwhelmed by the stock used.

Wok & Pan - Grilled Chilled Australian Sirloin Steak

And craving for some beef, I ordered their Grilled Chilled Australian Sirloin Steak (medium rare). The star of the dinner was pretty decent. The beef was tender as promised but at the same time it was disappointingly chewy are certain parts of the beef.

Furthermore, while it was tender and juicy, I didn’t quite enjoy the rough texture my steak. On the plus side, it is a huge steak and I recommend sharing this rather than having it for yourself (unless you are a big eater). Perhaps this is a curse of having tried Omi beef.

Wok and Pan was one of the better restaurants I have visited for my December trip in Melaka but the food is rather ordinary in and unexciting to warrant a re-visit.

Foursquare Page: Wok and Pan
A decent Sirloin Steak with Mushroom Soup: 32.80 RM

Nadeje Patisserie - Exterior

Nadeje Patisserie
If you are planning to take a break from the usual chendol or nonya kueh in Melaka, there is Nadeje Patisserie to fulfil your dessert cravings.

Nadeje Patisserie - Mille-crepe

Well-known in Melaka for its Japanese style mille-crepe a kind of layered cake Nadeje is apparently quite popular among the locals there. There are two outlets, one just near Wok and Pan and the other conveniently located at Dataran Palawan.

One late afternoon, I found myself savouring this much-talked about dessert. The cake indeed lived up to its reputation as a thousand layer cake, every bite you could distinguish the many layers of crepe (and cream) as you slowly savour it. And, it was good (though a bit too much cream)

Website : Nadeje Cake House/ Nadeje Patisserie
Layers of Happiness in an Original Mille Crepe: 9 RM

The Baboon House - Interior

The Baboon House
Little did I expect one of my best dishes in Melaka was consumed in a hurry. I was hungry and my bus is leaving in less than an hour’s time so I decided to have a quick lunch and I popped by the Baboon House, a bohemian style café.

The Baboon House - Baboon Beef Burger

I had their signature Baboon Beef Burger and it was awesome. The beef patty was very juicy and it was very tender. The sauce complements the burger and brings out the fragrance of the beef patty with hint of spiciness rather than overwhelmed the burger. The onions, lettuce and tomatoes gave it a crunchy and juicy bite that offsets the heavy flavours of the beef.

Everything just seemed so balanced and right about this burger, making this one of the best burgers I had thus far. No silly double down, wet soggy burger buns, limpy vegetables or dry beef patties….this was one good burger.

Four Square Page : The Baboon House
Awesome Burger : 13.80 RM

Melaka - Bicycle vs Trishaw

Walking around the heritage core, I realized the variety of food is kind of limited to three main food types: Chicken Rice Balls, “Nonya” cuisine and western food, it kinds of reflects the state that the heritage core of Melaka is like now : a Disneyland. The food caters for the kind of crowd expecting “Melakan” food.

Melaka - Onions

But Melaka is more than that to be honest if you bother go beyond the stereotypical Melaka, where you can find some of the best pratas, dim sum or really delicious Nonya cuisine.

2 comments:

  1. Have to try Chung Wah for chicken rice balls! Go by 11am, coz they usually sell out by about 12 plus.

    And Capitol Satay Celup! Super long queues but if you go there by 5pm before it opens at 5.30pm, you shouldn't have to wait too long. (the queue begins at abt 5pm though)

    ReplyDelete
  2. haha you seemed to know where to get the best food, any recommendations for Penang or Manila?

    ReplyDelete

 

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