Melaka food-markets

I’m excited to visit Melaka (aka Malacca) a place settled because a Sultan in exile saw a mouse deer kick a dog.

I came across vkeong’s post a few weeks back and was drawn to the pictures of food and knew we just had to get there.

Departing from Bandar Tasik Selantan bus station in KL (which is one of the nicest bus stations I have been to), we buy our 10RM ticket and board the a/c bus for our two hour ride.

Shamelessly, we are taking the same Melaka food tour route around this UNESCO town whilst hitting the sights.

Melaka food and sights tour in 2 (ish) days? Here’s how:

Day 1 – Duck noodles – Jonker Street – Chicken rice

Arriving for a late lunch we hunted down the duck mee at Chia Yen. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the shop, but found Mei Wei Xuan restaurant on the same street, which equally pleased. Basic layout with ducks hanging up and two pots with stock and water to boil the noodles.

Melaka food - Duck mee soup
Duck mee this was delicious. Order a large and share.

Afterwards it was a walk along the river for Jonker Street and chicken rice balls at Chung Wah restaurant. Which was again a no go, but instead went to Famosa for this famous Melakan dish and some roast pork too.

Melaka food-chicken rice
You will notice that the places we go to can’t be arsed with presentation. There is no garnish of any kind. Just tasty food. Fun fact: the rice is cooked in chicken stock, so it’s super flavourful. We went for the roast chicken instead of the salted chicken.

Tonight we return for the night market (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and have a beer along the river at River Song Residence before we go on the hunt for the street food.

Melaka food-River Song residence
River Song residence enjoying a couple of beers.
Melaka food-jonker walk market
Jonker Walk – Several blocks of food joy and loads of gula melaka.

Starting the evening with some grilled stick food of octopus and pork, we continue on down the buzzing street full of souvenirs, craft and arts.

Melaka food-grilled octopus
Rich giving it a good poke.

We dip down the side street and tuck into a 3RM curry ball cup. We are full and don’t need to eat anything else, but a fried chicken and cheese schnitzel the size of your head was beckoning.

Melaka food-chicken chop
We thought it was okay to eat, because we knew we were on an 8km walk the following day.

Day 2 – Sultanate Palace – A Famosa – Satay – Melaka Straits

Hot stepping around Melaka we go and navigate about an 8km loop to the following stops.

Start the day right with a Melaka laksa from Ah Chew coffee shop.

Melaka food-laksa
Any breakfast that is $2, noodle soup and spicy is a win for me. As described in vkeong’s post the “laksa is one of the oldest in Melaka and the authenticity is still being maintained. Compared to Nyonya Laksa, it is spicier and not so milky in taste.”
Ah Chew cafe shopfront in Melaka
A local place for local people. We got here at 10am and it was close to finishing up, so worthwhile to get here a little earlier.

Around the corner we visited the Melaka Sultanate Palace and read up on the history of this bustling trading port from the 1400s.

Melaka food-Sultan palace
Sultanate Palace is a beautiful museum with write ups in English. At 5RM entry it is worth it to explore this region’s fascinating past.
Melaka food-Sultan Palace lives
A typical trade meeting scene with the Siamese, Chinese and Javanese.

Next door is the A Famosa, or what’s left of this Portuguese fortress built in the 1500s. About 130 years later the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of Melaka and added a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company. The Brits were wary of maintaining the fort when they arrived in the 18th century and ordered its destruction, but what remains survived because of the intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1810.

A Famosa ruins in Melaka
Found some buskers inside playing Smokie’s ‘Who the f is Alice?’ Strange times.

We continue up to the highest point of Melaka to Saint Paul’s Church, which again fell to ruin during the British occupation.

St Paul's church in Melaka
Highest point in Melaka. The church is not an amazing site, but worth it for the views.

Continuing down the other side you pass Stadthuys (or Red Square) built by the Dutch for administrative purposes. It comes with its own windmill. A quick refreshment stop of lemon juice (me) and coffee (Rich) we head down the other side of the riverbank.

Stadthuys 'Red Square' in Melaka. A series of red ochre buildings.

I have this great idea to walk to the Melaka Straits via Sun May Hong Satay House and pass the Maritime Museum. After what seemed a marathon walk we found Sun May to be closed. It was about 4pm and things wouldn’t get kicking til about 6pm, so we continue on to Ming Chin satay. To get there though we have to traverse a major highway and end up walking passed the place as we are on this crazy overpass. Doubling back to Ming Chin we find it just opening up. I think they saw the look on our face and knew we needed a seriously late lunch.

satay sticks of chicken and pork
We gobbled up the 20 (small!) sticks of pork and chicken satay. The satay sauce was sweet with pineapple flavours.

I told rich about a Portuguese settlement about 4 km away with great seafood. We thought we could walk to it and hang out for the sunset, but glad we didn’t walk and instead took a 30RM cab roundtrip back to our hotel. Again, the timing at around 5.30pm is not the time to get there. I have seen pictures of a bustling alfresco night food set-up. It wouldn’t be my first choice given it’s out of the way location, but if you have a car, then perhaps worth checking out. What I would say is get a cab to the Masjid Selat mosque on the man-made island about 30 mins away. We missed it, but the design at sunset is really beautiful.

Melaka Straits, Malaysia
The Melaka Straits. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was disappointing.

By this point we were pooped and need to rest up before our next food mission which was to visit the ever-popular Capital Satay Celup.

Capitol Satay restaurant with a long queue of people outside.
We are staying at Tony’s guesthouse, which is 20 metres away from the restaurant. Every time we walk past there are 100 people queuing.

It is also a 4 day long-weekend for the neighbouring Singaporeans. So we decide to pick our timing just right and wait for the Monday night as we expect people to be heading back across the border. It’s still very busy, but at least instead of a typical 1 – 2 hour wait, it was only 40 minutes. Prices have gone up to 1.10RM per stick and think of a Chinese hotpot style but with their special sticky sweet satay sauce to cook your sticks in. As ever we choose too much food, but we had happy bellies.

Melaka food-Capitol Satay special sauce
Messy, bubbly sweet sauce.
Selection of food skewered on sticks to be cooked in satay sauce
A stick for any occasion!

Day 3 – Char Siu pork – determining the fate of the planet at Lockdown – Kampung Morten

We have a night bus at 8pm taking us up to Jertih to get a connecting transfer and boat ride to Perhentian Islands.

Our last day in Melaka we head around the corner of Tony’s Guesthouse to the Bunga Raya food court on the same named street for char siu pork. Sweet and sticky deliciousness with crispy fatty bits is a perfect combo, probably not the best breakfast but we need a wholesome meal before we save the world!

Char Siu pork being chopped up by middle-aged Chinese man in Malaysia
Filled with locals grabbing a bite or getting some takeaway we know we are in the right spot.

Do take some time to walk along the river bank and boardwalk. It’s a relaxing walk with loads of colourful buildings and some interesting philosophical propositions.

Melaka river walk
Melaka river walk
Melaka food-boardwalk poetry
Questions about life, government and of course cats. I take it this was the youtube of its day.

The walk is getting us in the mood for a game of Lockdown. An interactive puzzle game where you have 45 minutes to crack the code and in the case of our game Seven, we had to disarm a bomb. Taking a while to get the hang of the game we soon ran out of time. Bless them, they let us keep going for another 45 minutes to complete the game. Interestingly the options given to players is to detonate or disarm 13 bombs looking to minimise the impact of human population growth.

Lockdown foyer at the Shore shopping mall, Melaka.
We chose disarm, but 50% of players choose to detonate.

After a typical afternoon spurt of rain, we continue on to Kampung Morten a village of traditional houses on the riverbank.

Looping back we heard about Nancy’s kitchen and their famous top hats. Too early for dinner we explore the Jonker area further visiting a number of mosques and temples.

Melaka food-Chinese temple Melaka food- temples

I particularly enjoyed the Melaka House Museum which is free to get into and has an amazing collection of antiques. The brass door knobs, tea cups and wooden window shutters would be a great takeaway back home, but alas with no budget or permanent address, these things will remain on hold for another time.

Melaka food-teapots Melaka House Museum

As our luck would have it Nancy’s did not open at all on Tuesday. We checked out the place next door Far East Café and were quite happy with our meal of Pandan wrapped chicken, Nonya fish cakes and Chicken and mushroom stir fry with a good dose of fresh ginger.

Pendang wrapped chicken, Nonya fish cakes and Chicken and mushroom stirfry with a good dose of fresh ginger.
Far East Cafe

Missing out on a coconut shake the first time, we got one for our walk home to complete our early dinner/late lunch before we headed to the bus station.

Coconut Shake stall in Melaka
So happy with my extra scoop of ice cream.

If you enjoy food, UNESCO towns and night markets, then Melaka has it all. I know Penang is the place for food, but given our time restrictions, I would think this is a pretty nifty number two for a food tour.

musical and Disney 'Frozen' inspired tuk-tuks
It also has these musical and cartoon-inspired tuk-tuks!

Typing to the sounds of the birds and new born pups in the Cameron Highlands at D’Native Guesthouse.

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Melaka food and sights tour in 2 (ish) days
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