Melaka: Foodspotting in Melaka (Part 1)

Hoe Kee chicken rice balls
Hoe Kee chicken rice balls

I must say that my short weekend getaway in Melaka was slightly disappointing as I didn’t eat anything super spectacular. Or perhaps it is an expectation management problem as I had very high hopes after seeing many reviews on the food there. One of my Melaka born friend told me that most of the good food are pretty far away and will require a car to get there. F and I mostly stayed around Jonker Street area and hung out at Majestic Hotel. Hence, I don’t have separate reviews for the things I ate there. Here is just a summary of what I had.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice: When I reached Melaka around 11-ish, the queue at Chung Wah Chicken Rice was already long (at least 20 people). Not wanting to get roasted in the glaring afternoon sun, I opted to go for Hoe Kee instead. At least I could wait for my turn in the shade. Despite being alone, they were nice enough to give me a table to myself. (I must be getting too used to sharing tables in HK!). I ordered the chicken rice set for 1, and an additional plate of vegetables. To be honest, I thought the chicken was pretty tough (maybe this is how an authentic kampong chicken tastes like.) The rice is quite mushy, which is probably inevitable since they need to roll it up into a ball. It wasn’t very fragrant and tasted like other uninspiring chicken rice I have had in the past.  On the other hand, the chili sauce packs a punch and was superb. Spicy, sour and slightly sweet. That saved the dish for sure.

A&W curly fries
A&W curly fries

A&W: F and I passed by an A&W restaurant while strolling away from Fort A’Farmosa. I dragged him in and forced him to eat the fries. Heh. I am happy to say these were as yums as before. Happiness! On a side note, F and I discovered that we never quite knew what A&W stood for. Gotta find that out.

 

Seafood noodles
Seafood noodles from Jonker 88

Jonker Street: We weaved through Jonker Street starting from San Shu Gong area. Walking through at least 15 stalls, we were wondering where all the food were. “Eh how come no food ah?? I don’t want to buy all these random things leh!” I was grumbling and moaning as we walked. Spotting no queues at Jonker 88, we went in for some cendol and laksa. My, were we wrong. The queue was actually deep inside as the first half of the shop is the seating area, while the self-service stalls are located way inside. Instructing F to get a seat, I queue for a good half hour. By the time it was my turn, the curry laksa was sold out!! Argh. Resigned to my fate, I ordered a seafood dry noodles, durian cendol and original cendol. Interestingly, the noodles came with canned tuna, which was kind of odd to me. My Melaka born colleague sworn by the cendol here as their gula Melaka is supposed to be one of the best. I am no cendol expert, but I thought it was just alright, nothing to shout about.

 

Carrot cake
Carrot cake

After our meal, we continued our way and spied a stall selling carrot cake (i.e. chye tao kueh). We were really excited as this was the first street food stall we saw. Without hesitation, we ordered a portion. While awaiting eagerly (the stall owner fries to order), I spied another stall selling muah chee. I couldn’t resist, as I haven’t eaten it for the longest while. The carrot cake portion was huge. Unlike the ones found in Singapore, the carrot cake itself is much firmer and denser. It was still delicious, but I got full pretty quickly after a few bites. Not wanting to waste my stomach space, I made F finish the rest (heh). The muah chee was pretty standard. As we went along, we saw more food stalls, selling cakes, char kway tiao and seafood. Silently swearing, I regretted eating at Jonker 88.

Muah chee
Muah chee

We took more pictures along the way and decided to walk back to Majestic Hotel area. F said he was 90% stuffed so I could only choose between eating oyster omelette (yet another recommendation from my colleague) or cockles at the mysterious alleyway we discovered. After much deliberation, I chose the latter. Off we went again. We chanced upon this alleyway near Madam King’s Department Store purely by luck. F met me at Majestic Hotel area in the evening and we walked past this alleyway that was filled with people waiting for 2 makeshift stalls to open. Curious, we checked out the stall menu (which is the same for both) By the time we reached the alley way, most of the food was sold out, but we managed to get the last plate of cockles and cuttlefish with kang kong. To be honest, I don’t think it was super good. In fact, I was slightly concerned about the hygiene level of the cockles as they were quite dirty. We hastily ate bits and pieces and left, disappointed. I should have gotten my oyster omelette instead!!!

That pretty much sums up my first day in Melaka. I went back to the hotel and had a luxurious bath before going into a fitful sleep.

Cockles
Cockles
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