Friday, June 29, 2007

CONQUERING MALACCA - DAY 2 (BREAKFAST & LUNCH)

Wong woke us up at 9 a.m. and told us he and SF already having breakfast at the hotel's coffeeshop. We joined them a short while later. The menu for breakfast look impressive and it comes in various set, you will be spoilt with options; from American to English breakfast, from Chinese porridge to Malay nasi lemak to Indian roti planta. I opted for the American breakfast set that came in a big plate which consists of 2 slices of toasted bread, 2 fried eggs, baked bean, ham, sausages, hash brown, salad, a bottle of yoghurt drink and coffee/tea. Am very satisfied with my set and I couldn't even finish the eggs and hash brown.

A nice meal to start the day
IMMEDIATELY after breakfast, we took a ride around Malacca town searching for food. Just around the corner from our hotel, we spotted Donald & Lily's and immediately I recalled wmw blogged about this during her recent trip to Malacca. This restaurant was featured in Ho Chak (8tv food program) and is famous for its cendol. They also offer nyonya dishes which is available at the dining area upstairs. I saw a sign stating that "Those having only cendols have to sit downstairs". Apparently, they are quite popular and even listed in a Korean travel guide to Malacca cos I spotted this Korean couple at the next table busy reading the guide before deciding what to order.

We ordered a bowl of cendol each. Tasted pretty normal except they put in those tapioca flour balls. Personally, I prefer the cendol I had yesterday as the gula melaka was much flavourful and aromatic as compared to this. Hehehehe..the Korean lady was looking at the cendol in horror. We told her it's made of flour...hehehe....she must have thought worms!

We each ordered a bowl of nyonya laksa. Generous portion of noodle and the curry gravy was thick and creamy. Very 'nyonya' flavours, you know, those ginger flower and daun kesum, thus created a very appetising flavour. Actually, I was very greedy as I was so full from the hotel breakfast, ended up I couldn't finish this bowl of laksa. What a waste!

A plate of rojak to share...ermm....I only took 1 piece cos seriously, am extremely stuffed. No kidding ok! But personally I felt the rojak we had yesterday at the blacklane was much nicer than this.

Donald & Lily is located at:
31, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock,
formerly known as Heeren Street.
Tel : 06 - 284 8907

*****
We headed back to our hotel to have a short rest before checking out. For our last meal in Malacca, we agreed to have authentic Nyonya food for lunch. WMW and the hotel staff both recommended Ole Sayang in Taman Melaka Raya to us. When we were there, we saw groups after groups of tourist went in for lunch and immediately we walked out cos we have doubts about the food quality and price. We discovered the whole street is full of Nyonya restaurants and so we blindly walked into one called Bayonya. Only one table occupied, somemore by two Caucasian men...aiyooo....concluded sure no good. Anyway, we already sat down so we went ahead to order.

This is my first time trying the Cincaluk (fermented prawn sauce) Omelette (RM6) which surprisingly really good. The aroma from the egg plus the pungent cincalok blended so well. With some added chopped onions, this dish is great to go with rice and white porridge.

When Wong ordered the Assam Squid (RM9.50), none of us expected that it would be served like this. It's Black!!! I thought Assam Prawns would be in fiery red gravy....but it's really ASSAM afterall. The sourish sweet gravy was superb. Assam (tamarind) flavour was strong yet not overpowering. The squid was cooked to perfection; easy to chew yet not too soft nor tough. CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP...the 4 of us gave thumbs up!

Please don't look down on this normal-looking plate of Kangkung Belacan (RM6). It's doesn't taste as ordinary as it seems to be. Fresh, young and again cooked to perfection, and certainly a rare find in KL for such quality.

I was shocked when I saw the price for this dish of Ikan Masak Lemak Nanas (Creamy Curry Fish with Pineapple). This piece of red snapper fish tail was quite big, I thought it would easily cost us RM30 - RM40...surprise surprise, it was only RM16.90! Very lemak (creamy) indeed but slightly too sweet for me. Well, am not a pineapple fan but the 3 boys asked for more rice to go with the gravy.

A very cheap and satisying Nyonya lunch which only amounted to RM51, including 4 dishes, rice and drinks. Definately will come back again in near future.

Bayonya is located at:
164 Taman Melaka Raya

75000 Melaka
Tel: 06-292.2192

*****

We departed Melaka around 1.30 p.m. and took a slow drive home. Too full for another meal in Seremban and yet too early for teatime, Wong suggested that we detour to Serdang for Leong Nga Yong Tau Foo.

We ordered a plate of assorted stuffed veggies that came with stuffed beancurd, brinjal, foochuk, chilli, lady's finger and fish balls which taste pretty ordinary to me. Errr..ever notice how ordinary food can be when you are feeling very full??

The main reason we stopover at Leong Nga was for its famous "Ji Bao Gai" or Paper Wrapped Chicken. Very tasty indeed! According to Wong, the chicken have to be marinated with ginger juice, rose wine, oyster sauce and seasoning before being wrapped and deep fried. I find it unwrapping process was rather messy and oily but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
The Wild Boar curry is their specialty dish but I find it disappointing. The wild boar meat was very tough and I would prefer the dry version. Other than that, the curry gravy with the accompanying potatoes, lady's fingers, brinjals and fried pork skin was quite ok.

The Hakka Char Yuk or Pork Belly cooked with Fermented Beancurd (Nam Yue) was tasty. The gravy would go so well with rice. But no la....too full, no rice for me.

And that completes our last week's Melaka food expedition. I did a summary of what we had on Saturday and here is a summary of what we had on Sunday:

9.15 a.m. Big breakfast at Hotel's coffeehouse
10.15 a.m. Nyonya Laksa at Donald & Lily
12.00 p.m. Nyonya cuisine at Bayonya
3.30 p.m. Leong Nga at Serdang

A very satisfying trip for all of us, and certainly looking forward to the next one which is Ipoh and Tanjung Tualang! Wong, July is it?!?!?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

CONQUERING MALACCA - DAY 1 (DINNER + SUPPER)

After a short nap, we felt much energized to go for food hunting again. Our next destination was Teo Soon Loong Chan TeoChew Restaurant, a place highly recommended by Wong. The front portion of the shop is the kitchen, yes, it's an open kitchen concept while the back portion is the dining area. It's a very small restaurant with limited tables (if not mistaken, only 7 - 8 tables), so to avoid disappointment, it is advisable to call them beforehand to make a reservation.

Kitchen in front of the shop

At one corner of the dining area, there are selections of meat, seafood and vegetable for you to choose from. Wow...everything look so fresh! Ordering was an easy task as Wong already pre-planned on what to order. So we just sat back and relax while Wong did all the work.

Clams, prawns, soft shell crabs, sea cucumbers, oysters, froggys, bamboo clams...you name it they got it!
Assorted Veggies....so green and fresh!

TeoChew Soybean sauce was served instead of normal cilipadi. Tasted almost like soya sauce and Wong said it goes well when stir-fry with seafood.

I found a tub of chilled sambal ikan bilis on the table...errr...it doesn't look appetising until the uncle waiter came over and told us it's good stuff. Ooo...turned out to be really good stuff. Wong wished for a plate of fragrant coconut rice at that moment while I felt it would taste well with Hokkien noodle,

Wahh.....wish came true...first dish served was Oyster Noodle and it does resembled Hokkien Noodle as it came with dark and thick gravy. Tasty on its own and even tastier with a dash of black vinegar. Oysters were really juicy and fresh! Yumzzz......simply delicious.
Lucky Hubby! Look at the size of the oyster.

The Clams was one of the star-dish of the night. Gravy was so good until Hubby couldn't resist from ordering a bowl of rice (we divided it into 4) to go with it. Sweet and spicy, we suspect they put in spoonful of the sambal ikan bilis for extra ommhpphh!!! Very unusual clams too, never seen this before in KL. I will definately go back for this..2 thumbs and 2 toes up!

The TeoChew Steamed Pomfret came next. I was too busy attacking the lala and fish being my least favourite meat, I only took a bite or two. Texture was like frozen fish and confirmed frozen by Wong. What to do? We have been getting our fresh supply of pomfret from Kuala Selangor, so our tastebud also getting sharper. The soup tasted ok, but not sour enuff for hubby's liking.

The Stir-fry Baby Spinach tasted good. I spotted bits and pieces of ikan bilis so perhaps they use ikan bilis stock? It was cooked to perfection, not too soft nor tasted green. A good plate of plain veggie to neutralise our tastebuds before other dishes parade onto our table.

Sorry for the blur picture. The soup was really hot, thus created a very mystical effect. It's actually Herbal Froggy Soup. Well...the flavour of tongkwai (angelica roots) and sam sou (a kind of ginseng roots) was really really strong. While I can still manage to bear with the tongkwai taste, my tolerance for ginseng is NIL...so I only took one bite of the froggy's leg. The three boys happily wallop the whole pot, was a bit concern it might be too heaty for them.

I was waiting anxiously for their Soft Shell Crab cos Wong have been raving about it. To my surprise, a big dish of crab was placed onto our table. Wong told me the waiter recommended this dish instead of the soft shell crab. This whole plate of Salted Baked Crab looks big huh? It's only 1 crab. Boy oh boy...you just can't imagine how happy I was. This is my first time trying this style of cooking but suprisingly, it really brought up the taste and sweetness of the crabs.

Look at the claw I had...so meaty and chunky! SF had the other claws which is even bigger. The body of the crab was divided into 4 big chunky pieces and Hubby and Wong each have a portion. So left 2 more pieces ...and guess who had it? ME!!!! Hahaha...so in total I had half of the crabs! I was so stuffed after the crabs and we still have 2nd and 3rd round all planned.

I thought we were done after the meal until Wong told me he ordered their famous dessert; Orh-Ni or Yam Dessert. I tried it once in
New Formosa Taiwanese Restaurant in SS2 and I didn't like it cos it was too thick. But somehow this tasted different. It was much lighter, creamier and less sugar. Once mixed with the smashed pumpkin and gingko, it's really a great way to end such a satisfying meal. If you are interested to try this yam dessert, it is available at eha Fruit & Vege Bistro.
We were given a complimentary plate of mangoes. Such a generous portion....sweet sweet!
The bill was written in Chinese, thus I can't itemise the price. But total damage came up to RM198.40...pretty reasonable considering the amount and quality of food we had.

Teo Soon Loong Chan Restaurant is located at:

55 Jalan Hang Kasturi

75200 Melaka

Tel: 06-282.2353

Operating Time: Lunch ( they do open for lunch but cannot remember what time)
Dinner (5.30 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.)

Closed on Monday
*****

So full until I could hardly walk but we decided to give some time to ourself to digest a little before 2nd round. We walked around Jonker Street. Somehow...all the foodstuffs look so unappetising to me, so you can imagine how full I was.
Few weeks back, Hubby and I happened to watch this food programme called Ho Chak and they featured a seafood stall in Portugese Settlement selling unique and exotic shellfish. Of course, we decided on the spot that this is a must try if we ever go to Melaka. Turned out last weekend was the start of San Pedro Fiesta, an annual celebration of the Portugese fishing community. There was a live band performing on stage, fun fair, food fair and games, but we were too busy hunting down our target. Where is it? How come it's not listed in their directory? Oh No!! Closed down oledi??

I was so proud of myself cos I managed to jot down their handphone number and one call to the ladyboss and was told it's a stall with red lanterns which is located along the esplanade and WITHOUT a signboard!! Err...all along I thought it was a restaurant! Hahaha..turned out to be a shack!!!!!!
Seafood on display...take a pick!
Horseshoe crab...scary looking creature. Too much crab for this week so we didn't order it.
Colourful giant shellfish or giant garden snail??? It looks poisonous but must try!
Giant cockles!!!
Look at the size!!!! Very fresh and meaty.
The shell of this scallop is quite unusual....big and long...we were told it's a kind of kapis (scallop). Due to poor lighting, I didn't manage to snap a good picture. :(

Remember the earlier picture of the poisonous looking shellfish/garden snail lookalike? It was boiled and sliced and served with salad. I find it slightly overboiled thus a bit soft and lack of the chewy texture. Definately very satisfying and contented to try something unusual tonite.

The three orders only amounted to RM30, average RM10 per plate. Not bad eh? Only complain was their lousy sauce which doesn't match the seafood at all. Wong concluded that we should bring own sauce during our next visit here.

Fresh Oyster Corner is located at:
Portugese Settlement
Tel: 012-285.4260
*****

After reading wmw's post on the backlane cockles stall nearby the Madam King's Departmental Store, I told my hubby about it and found out that Hubby being a semi-Malaccan boy used to patronise this stall from young. So off we went, from the crowded beach to the crowded backlane. Apparently there are two stalls selling similar items and we ended up at another stall which seems to be much busier. While the stall wmw went to was featured in Astro AEC Taste with Jason, this stall was featured in 8TV.

So lucky, we took the very last plate of boiled cockles. Priced at RM1.50 per plate, the cockles were big, fresh and bloody juicy. Dipped with their special fiery sauce which consist of rojak sauce (shrimp paste), chilli sauce and crushed groundnuts, it tasted absolutely fabulous. At this point in time, i totally ignored my fear of rats which was spotted running around by the girls at our next table.

We also ordered a plate of escargot look-a-alike for only RM1.50. Texture was bounchy and chewy...again, very nice when dipped with their fiery hot sauce.

A plate of rojak lookalike minus all the fruits for only RM3. Lots of tauhu bakar, fried foochuk and cucumber, drizzled with lots of the fiery sauce. Wooo...so so GOOD!

To satisfy Wong's craving for roast cuttlefish, we ordered a serving to share. Priced at RM6, it smells wonderful when served. As you chew, the sweet juices of the cuttlefish just filled up your mouth. Mmmm...perfect snack to go with beer.

Stuffed...really stuffed. Could no longer put anymore food into my mouth. Let's review what we had today:

9.00 a.m. - Breakfast at Meng Kee Foodcourt in Seremban
11.45 a.m. - Lunch at LTP Restaurant
2.00 p.m. - Nyonya Cendol
2.30 p.m. - Geographer Cafe
3.30 p.m. - Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball
6.00 p.m. - Teo Soon Loong Chan Teo Chew Restaurant
9.00 p.m. - Fresh Oysters at Portugese Settlement
10.30 p.m. - Backlane Boiled Cockles

We ended the foodcrawl for the day by heading back to the hotel to sleep..cos we know the next day will be filled with food as soon as I open my eyes.

To be continued ...........

Monday, June 25, 2007

CONQUERING MALACCA - DAY 1 (BREAKFAST & LUNCH)

The Makan Gang is at work again last weekend, this time conquering Malacca which we completed with 10 (TEN) satisfying meals within 1 ½ day. Please note that the 10 meals exclude the in-between snacks and drinks. Aimed to maximize the length of our trip, we departed KL at 7.30 a.m. on Saturday (hey, I don’t even leave home for work that early). Wong suggested to have dim sum in Seremban only to discover that the restaurant we wanted to go had closed down. Since Seremban is just a stopover, we decided to have something simple at Meng Kee Foodcourt.

I felt like having something really light and easy to digest since i foresee my day will be full of food.
Ah-ha…what could be better than porridge? My bowl of sliced pork with century eggs with extra fried intestines was surprisingly good. Priced at only RM4, the porridge was really smooth and flavourful. Portion as well as the ingredients was really generous too. Mmmm…..thumbs up!

Hubby’s not too happy with this bowl of tasteless curry laksa. It looks creamy though.
Chee Cheong Fun to share…errmm..took 2 bites as I don’t want to stuff myself.

We arrived Melaka at around 11 a.m. Still too early for lunch, Wong took us to a bee farm. I didn’t know that there are so many varieties of honey and we get to sample all of them. They even make soup and balm out of the honey. Soap? Won’t they attract ants or even bees?? Wong made them really happy by spending about RM500+ there.

Products for sale....I didn't get any home cos we seldom consume honey.
You can sample the honey before buying...err...all tastes the same to me.

Ok…food digested a little so off we went for lunch at L.T.P Restaurant which is located on the way to Melaka town. I was told that it is one of the oldest restaurant in Melaka.

Sizzling Oyster Omelette (RM10) - Quite unique as this is the first time trying oyster omelette served on sizzling pan. Initially it was a bit watery but by the time it stop sizzling, the omelette was already dry. The eggy aroma filled the air...mmm...not bad.
Look at the oysters...so succulent and juicy.

Stir-fry Lotus with Celery (RM10) - A favourite dish of ours....perfectly stir fry with wood fungus and sprinkled with almond flakes and fried cuttlefish. A very good combination as you get many texture out of this dish; the crunchiness of the celery and lotus roots, soft yet slightly crunchy wood fungus and the crispiness from the fried cuttlefish. All gave thumbs up for this dish.

Braised Duck (RM12) - A big no-no from all of us. Meat was dry and tough while the gravy lack of taste. Hubby suspected that the duck might be from overnight.

Deep Fried Butter Soft Shell Crab (RM20) - Crispy and juicy. Only complain was the shredded butter and egg sauce a bit overcooked. Still find it ok overall.

Stir-fry Fish Maw with Leek and Minced Meat (RM18) - This dish is another favourite of ours. The Fish Maw was so tasty, the texture was like a cross of between fried foochuk (beancurd) with fried pork skin. Leek was young and fresh, thus fiberless...and tossed together with minced meat and mushroom, this dish was really good!

Restaurant L.T.P Sdn Bhd is located at:

251 Jalan Tun Sri Lanang

75100 Melaka

Tel: 06-282.2737

*****

After lunch, we headed directly to our hotel for check-in. We stayed at Aldy Hotel, a highly recommended hotel which is rated no.2 by tripadvisors and is located right in front of Stadhuys and within walking distance to Jonker Street. The hotel even won the "Best 3-star Hotel" at State level in year 2005.
I spotted 2 tourist polices on duty and his motto is PEACE! Hahaha....yah..with the nature of his job, I will definately pray for peace too.

After we checked-in, we decided to walk at Jonker Street which is just across a road and a bridge. While we walked passed the bridge, we were very lucky to bump into this huge monitor lizard, swimming gracefully alongside the riverbank. A Caucasian man who stood beside me watching the monitor lizard proudly told me that it's a crocodile. No la...it's MONITOR LIZARD!

First food shop which greeted us was the No.1 Kopitiam which they claimed famous for its Nyonya Cendol. Each of us had 1 bowl…mmm…ice was well-shaved and the gula melaka was really aromatic. Refreshing especially since it was super hot on Saturday.
RM1.80 for a very small bowl of cendol.
I see these bright and colourful wooden slippers everywhere.
Spotted this Sambal Tamboon biscuit and decided to buy it for teatime. Tastewise almost similar to the normal tausar pia but this is with a hint of dried shrimp and chilli.

Many stalls only open in the evening for the night market so there is nothing much to see during the day. Most of the shops opened are selling arts, antiques, local products and souvenirs. After about 30 mins walk, we decided to have a drink at
Geographer Café. I only realized when I saw a poster on the wall that this is the place where they shoot the movie “Summer Holiday" starring Sammi Cheng and Richie Ren.


Each of us ordered an Organic Coconut while Wong had beer. The organic coconut tasted like their non-organic cousins, only difference was the price paid. RM4.50 for this not-very sweet organic coconut.

As we were seated next to the dessert counter, I was captivated by their Apple Pie. The apple fillings were filled in a glass while the pastry puff was on the glass. It’s like Dome’s Chicken Pie!

My curiousity got better of me, so I decided to give it a try. I was shocked when they actually pour everything on a plate when served. Well…a big disappointment cos the only nice thing about the apple pie was the vanilla ice-cream that came with it. The apple fillings with a hint of cinnamon tasted quite normal but the puff pastry was bad. It’s just like eating flourish chapatti which could not even be cut using fork and knife. So tempted to shred it using hand.

Geographer Cafe is located at:

No. 83 Jalan Hang Jebat
75000 Malacca

Tel: 06 - 281.6813

*****

We felt a bit lazy after the drink and with such hot weather, we decided to head back to our hotel for some rest. While on the way back, we spotted a very crowded restaurant even at 3.30 p.m. Must be good eh? Turned out it’s a chicken rice shop which is famous for its chicken rice ball. This place was even featured in a popular local food program called Taste with Jason.
Entrance to Hoe Kee Chicken Rice

Am not a fan of chicken rice ball cos it’s just too soft and mushy for me…but somehow this one tasted not too bad. The rice ball was really aromatic and when dipped with the soya sauce from the chicken, it tasted even better. A surprising discovery indeed and only RM3 for 14 pieces.

Meanwhile, the chicken meat (RM8) was quite a disappointment as the texture was too soft and tasteless. Doesn't require much chewing.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice is located at:
4, 6, 8 Jalan Hang Jebat

75200 Melaka

Tel: 06-283.4751


At this point, am super-stuffed and could not even think of food. And so, we headed back to our hotel for a short nap before continuing our food excursion.

To be continued ...........

 

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