Saturday, April 16, 2011

Malacca Food

Singaporeans like going to Malacca, for two reasons: Eating and shopping! I have to admit I am no exception. Yes, it is a charming, historical town.  And yes, I should probably make more of an effort to visit a few of its many museums. But, as I always say, always leave something for next time.

When I was last in Malacca one year ago, I must admit that I did not come back raving about the food.  Maybe we didn't go to the right places (although highly recommended, I thought they were over-rated).  This time round, I thought that the food was much better. 

We went off for lunch directly after we finished checking in to our hotel, at the Calanthe Art Cafe.  I did visit this place last year but only tried their coffee. The place has charm and it is a pleasant place to be in the heat of the afternoon.  Its walls are covered with murals and creative art displays.  Two old televisions bring us back to yesterday.  One has been converted into an aquarium!  The cafe proudly proclaims that it sells 13 States Coffee, the blends based on the specialty of each Malaysian state.  It also sells laksa, which of course we had to sample given that it was advertised as one of Malaysia's best 50 laksas!  I've realised that the Malaccans don't use the thick bee hoon noodles, just yellow noodles or bee hoon.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed the lemak gravy and the different toppings of egg, cucumber, fishcake and others.  

We went for dinner subsequently at Capitol Satay in Bukit Cina. I enjoyed the food, and the fun of cooking the items in the thick peanut sauce. Especially memorable was the huge shrimp we ate, which we had to ask specially for.  For the record, it was pretty good, even though ratherdifficult to shell and thereafter to eat given the size.  It was a memorable meal, but I think one visit to Capitol is enough, the queue is just too much.

The other truly enjoyable meal was our dinner at the Equatorial Hotel nonya restaurant, Seri Nyonya. Now people recommend other restaurants in Malacca, but thus far Seri Nyonya is myfavourite.  The cooking is more refined and less oily, and there is a better variety of dishes to choose from.  We had the butterfly fish for starters (thin, crisply deep-fried fish slices with a dressing of lime, shallots, chilli) followed by ayam buah keluak, sweet potato leaves fried with sambal belacan, and yummy sambal prawns with assam sauce.

So these are my three food recommendations for those aiming to take a trip to Malacca.

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