two days it is.

11:00 AM sians 0 Comments

finally i finished writing it! as promised. :)

my family planned a trip to the historical town of malacca even before i returned to malaysia for my three week break. actually they planned around my trip so i could be a part of it. i think the last time i've been to malacca was perhaps 7-8 years ago. i wouldn't classify this trip as a leisurely  family trip, instead i would categorize it as a food hunt escapade.. at least that was what i felt we were mainly doing. actually come to think of it, my whole vacation in malaysia has really been similar to being a participant in a food fair for three weeks. (and i love it!)

well, we drove in two separate cars and i travelled with my second sister. my eldest sister had an early start and they got to malacca first and had breakfast there. on the other hand, we made a detour at seremban for their famous seremban beef noodles (which i was secretly craving for but did not express it) at my bro-in-law's suggestion. the famous stall that sells this yummy cuisine was at the pasar besar seremban (translated to seremban big market). the smell of meat and live animals was quite overwhelming but we only had to endure it for a quick minute to get to the food court filled with a variety of stalls on the second floor. there were quite a few stalls selling the famous seremban beef noodles but my bro-in-law knew which one to go based on his past experiences.

we ordered one of each - a dry version and a soup version and they were both tasty. i prefer the dry version because that is what i remembered being the reason why i love it. and it was different than any other beef noodles we can find in kl or pj. the noodles were cooked just right and the amount of delish thick gravy was just nice and the beef were cooked to perfection. yummmm!


the other dish we ordered was some curry noodles with some yong tau foo. i wasn't too fond of it and the taste was mediocre.

on our way back to the car, my sister suggested us to get some popiah to go. popiah is similar to a spring roll except with different ingredients and isn't fried. i actually read that it's actually called taiwanese spring roll which can be commonly found in taiwan, malaysia and singapore. i bet that the ones in malaysia has already been adapted to malaysian taste buds and each stall has added their own flair.

this one was probably one of the best popiah i've ever had. it had a good amount of moisture in the stir fried turnip that it didn't drown the exterior popiah "skin". popiah "skin" is a soft, thin paper-like crepe made out of wheat flour (qouted from wikipedia). the sauce they added were just the right amount that it wasn't overpowering the rest of the ingredients and it had a surprising crunch between bites. sooo good. but i have to warn you it can get a tad messy eating it but soo worth it!

after our satisfying meal in seremban, off we went on the rest of our journey to malacca. we met the rest of my family at the popular jonker street of malacca at a boutique where my mom bought me a really pretty dress as a gift (wasn't expecting it..thanks mom <3). i knew we were in malacca cos i saw some really familiar historical maroon buildings and the traditional homes lined along the street. and of course the sign that says "welcome to melaka" (melaka is the malay spelling for malacca)

what is popular about jonker street is they have small petite stores along the street almost similar to the magnificient mile in downtown chicago, minus the name brand stores and more old school. what is best is at night where they will have a night market when the streets will be lined with hawker stalls selling variety of things but more on that later in the post.

we walked around the area, occasionally entering some stores and then proceeded to hotel puri to take a peek around the place. the hotel was preserved to look like the traditional houses in malacca but has been updated to keep up with the time. my sister is pretty adamant about wanting to stay here during their next visit here. lol. as we walked into the hotel, i saw boxes of pineapple tarts (which is also what malacca is famous for) beckoning at me and i finally gave in and bought a box of those tarts to try at the end of our "tour" around the hotel.

once we checked in at our lodging, we headed out for lunch hoping to hunt for the best nyonya food in town. malacca is supposedly to have the best nyonya food in malaysia since the majority of the nyonya ppl centers in this state. after asking around a few locals, we found banyonya just around town.

my parents did most of the ordering of food so i was just waiting patiently till the food to be served. for lunch, we had kangkung belacan (water convolvulus stir fried in shrimp paste), vegetarian dish, ayam pongteh (chicken, potatoes and mushroom in soybean paste), fish dish (don't remember the name of it) and the ayam buah keluak (spicy chicken cooked in keluak nuts which gives a sour flavor to the dish).  we ended the meal with a bowl of cendol (more about cendol later in the entry)

overall, i thought it was somewhat overpriced and i wasn't anywhere close to impressed with the food they served. there were some dishes namely the chicken dishes were alright but nothing compels us to return to this place again. i know there are very good nyonya food around in malacca but we just haven't found it yet. but in the meantime, i think we will be passing on nyonya food our next visit to this town.

we spend the rest of the afternoon at a supermarket to get some necessities and then rested at our lodging before heading out in the evening for dinner. we could see our evening destination from where we were staying: the portugese settlement by the straits of malacca. that means very fresh seafood for dinner!

the seafood business is competitive in this area. we were approached by restaurant representatives (not sure what to call them really) to try their fresh seafood. and we finally decided on one. we did hear that the first restaurant from the right in that row of restaurants was very good but it was so packed that we decided to give restaurant #8 a try. btw i didn't have any of the seafood pictured above but we did have razor clams (meh...), devil chicken (spicy and yummy), two crab dishes (soooooooo fresh and soooooo yumzers), and a vegetable dish.

besides the lovely fresh crabs, the biggest highlight of the dinner was this drink:

what so special about it, you ask? well, firstly i have to say i am a sucker for mangoes. so i'm hooked to any mango drinks. but.. it is not like any other mango juice. joe's only one mango juice added their own unique spin to it. they added sour plum to give the drink another flavor dimension, and adds a touch of simple syrup to compliment the natural sweetness. there is such a perfect balance of sweet and sour that it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. it also kinda reminds me of umbra juice but with the taste is elevated to higher level. i officially appoint this as one of the best things i have ever had.

our next itinerary was to head down to jonker walk. the street were bustling with people now instead of cars as it was in the afternoon. jonker walk has transformed into a venue for night market where there are several hawkers selling a variety of things from food, home stuff to shoes and apparel. it's busy and was packed with a lot of locals and visitors.

what caught my attention were these candied fruits / chocolate covered fruits. for some reason it is highly popular at this night market so i could not resist and ordered a skewer of chocolate covered mixed fruits so it was kind of a surprise with each bite since i couldn't see what was inside the chocolate shell. what i totally despised were the fact the grape that they used wasn't seedless. so i was biting into the seeds which kind of made me somewhat annoyed.

have you heard for durian cendol? well now you have. cendol is a traditional dessert that consists of coconut milk, noodles with pandan food coloring, palm sugar, red beans and shaved ice. the only difference is they add durian in this concoction. lol. this definitely had a prominent taste of durian that it was overshadowing the other ingredients.

speaking of cendols, did i tell you? one of the thing that i remember distinctly about this trip: it almost seemed like this trip was solely for the purpose of finding the best cendol. hahaha. cos every corner we went, we just couldn't resist trying a bowl of this dessert. not saying that it doesn't taste good cos it does! but it was rather almost like crossing the thin line into obssession. see, our reasoning is probably this: the best palm sugar probably comes from malacca since it is called gula melaka so the cendol should be great, if not the best. however, my sister commented that she's tried a better bowl of cendol  in petaling jaya.

anywho, we were so exhausted by the end of the day that i fell asleep on the way back to our hotel/apt.

next morning, we had breakfast at a place that apparently we used to go to whenever we go to malacca but i have no recollection of this.

the last two photos above makes a hakka dish called lui cha fun. it's supposed to be nutritious and healthy and i had a few bites and it was definitely an acquired taste. and no, the soup is not made out of grass. it's actually mint soup that is supposed to be combined with the mixture of noodles, peanuts, long beans, etc. i prefered it without the soup mainly because i don't fancy mint soup too much in general. kinda reminds me of drinking toothpaste dissolved in water. maybe in time i will learn to like it. my favorite dish was the warm congee with slices of fresh fish. it was so simple yet so flavorful. yummmms!

we spend some hours at stadhuys taking photos and buying souviners before returning to our home sweet home where everyone just looks over-exhausted.

but before we headed back we made a  pit stop to get some mee rebus and indian rojak for a quick snack.

the indian rojak was tasty - different textures on a single plate and not overly sweet with a slight note of spiciness. the mee rebus was alright. i think it was tad too sweet for some.

finally back at home, it was close to dinner time so we were just hanging aroumd my sister's place before it was time to go for dinner. for the past two weeks, my second sister has been asking me when i was gonna try her favorite sup tulang (bone soup) place so i suggested we could have dinner there that evening. it is located in a supermarket called 'giant mall' and it was a little cafe. the downside of this place is that they have a very limited menu - their delicious variety of soup and fried egg which comes with servings of rice. we ordered a few bowls of the soup and some fried eggs.

boy, was it good! glad my sister was persistently asking me about it :) the soup was packed with beef flavor with enough pepper-y taste to it and the beef as well as the chicken in the soup was cooked to perfection. it was a tad salty but my guess is they intentionally salt it a lil more since it was supposed to be eaten with plain white rice which will mellow the saltiness a tad. good news for me was that you could ask for refills of the soup (without the meat and such, of course) till your heart's content. i almost drank a 1.5 bowls of the soup and the bowls were quite big. what complements the whole dinner was their chilli mixture which was spicy and it basically just went well with everything. mmmm :)

later that night, we were all tired that we fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow. but what a fun trip it was :)

i miss my family :/

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others