The iconic landmark that defines Malacca, I feel. A trip to Malacca without seeing it is like a trip to Bangkok without seeing a stripper. Hmmm, on second thoughts, that's not a very apt comparison. Okay, it's like going to London and not landing in Heathrow. Poor flers flying Air Asia. Where the heck is Stansted? So yeah, the iconic red building to me, symbolises the heart of Melaka. Afterall, it is on all the postcards. The last time I came to this historic city was in 1992, I think. The river cruise had more charm, and debris... there were large water lizards parading up and down, like buff chappies in the gym...showing off their chiselled taufu bodies.
Organised by one of the girls in our cell group, it was to be a family outing, with an itinerary that makes a 42km marathon seem like a stroll in the park. It was so tight, a mosquito could not fly through.
We had been booked into the Puri Hotel, a charming old world clan house, that spans 4 shophouses, and is so utterly peranakanly quaint, it makes you feel like reenacting Emily of Emerald Hill.
To get some me time, away from the brood of kids, (not only mine, but the others too...and sans maid), I took a walk along the road of our hotel, Jln Tun Tan Cheng Lock, which is parallel to the famous Jonker St.
As I strolled down the pasar malam on jonker street, the music was blaring soooo loudly, Hang Tuah might've turned in his grave. Anyway, guess WHAT song was playing, by looking at the two pics below?
Ladies & gentlemen, we now come to the culinary part of our tour. There are more chendol stalls along the streets of Melaka than there are bridges in Putrajaya. Everywhere you turn, unless you were blind, you'd see the ubiquitous "NYONYA CHENDOL" signs everywhere.
The kids were gleefully excited at the thought of eating chicken rice balls, so our first stop was Famosa Chicken Rice, for lack of any local knowledge where else to go.
The chendol here was nothing to shout about.
I prefer normal chicken rice to rice balls. Not bad, RM4.30 for drumstick rice. Rice was tasty, and fluffy...
Nice springy fish balls and wantans...
Tofu for the kids...
The famous chicken rice balls...kids loved it. I dont like the texture AT ALL, and don't see what the fuss is. I thought balls were only served to the dead on ancestral altars....but obviously there's a whole niche market of rice ball fans out there. I reckon there must have been some practical reason why the rice was rolled into balls. Probably for easy eating for the peasants who didnt have time to wash their hands. Can prob just tilt their tupperware and plop, the ball will roll into their mouths. Chinese are such practical people. Unlike western food, that needs a whole array of surgical equipment to consume.
The next day, the group had on the itinerary (the tight one) lunch at FAMOSA again! (Actually, the 1st day, I didnt read the itinerary, and went there by ourselves, not knowing it was in the plan)...so wife and I broke away, like the Protestants did from the Catholic Church during the Reformation, from the main group, and went foraging for some other food. We found, next to the famous 88 Jonker St Desserts place, number 86 Jonker St, a non descript kopitiam, that didnt have the queues of 88....which was surprisingly good.
Rather delectable nyonya laksa.
And THIS chendol was the clincher. Smooth silken ice, like freshly fallen snow, and caramelised gula melaka that was good enough to eat just like that. Mmmmm.....this was my highlight as far as food was concerned.
We had dinner at the Peranakan Place, a stone's throw from the hotel. Nothing to shout about.... the chicken pong teh was decent, the rendang quite good, the cincalok egg tasty....and we were too hungry that I forgot to photograph the other dishes.
Some stuff from the pasar malam. So colorful hor!
So yeah, in 24 hours, we got slaughtered by trishaws, went up the revolving tower of Melaka, walked the pasar malam in Jonker St, visited the Chan clan house museum, went on the river cruise, had a Sunday devotion and worship, ......
I wonder why I'm exhausted!