My friend and I recently took an impromptu weekend trip to Melaka, which is a 3.30hrs bus ride away from Singapore. Like in Penang, we ate so much good local food, but also experienced quite a bit of the local culture. To summarise, it wasn’t a pure foodie experience like Penang. I kind of liked it more for a short trip because it’s reachable by bus, easy to get around on foot, and there’s a good balance of sightseeing and eating, which I love.
What to Eat
Jonker 88 Assam Laksa & Cendol
88, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
There are so many yummy places to try in Melaka, but my friend and I highly recommend Jonker 88, which serves amazing Assam Laksa. The spicy and sour broth is good! The crispy beancurd skin at the top, with cucumbers, prawns and boiled egg went so well together, we went back about 2 or 3 times during out short stay here because the flavour was just so addictive. So please remember to try this when you are there!
They also serve so many different variations of Cendol, and we tried the Eight Treasures Cendol and the Sago Gula Melaka version. They were SO GOOD. And I think the secret is really in the gula melaka that they use. Sweet and a little savory, kind of like umami? Like Salted Caramel? Hmm I wonder how it would taste like with miso! I’ve read that Seriously Ice Cream in Singapore serves a ‘miso gula melaka’ ice cream flavour. Would be nice to try it someday.
LOCAL DIM SUM at Low Yong Moh Restaurant
32, Jalan Tukang Emas, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
We had dim sum for breakfast one morning, and headed to Low Yong Moh, which was only a 5 minutes walk from our hotel. The auntie asked us what dim sum we want, but looking at our blank faces, she suggest “all”, and we said “ok”, knowing that this might be what people usually get. At first I was kind of nervous by the amount of dishes that we might be served, but man, No regrets!! The little plates of dim sum didn’t fill us up very quickly, and the best part about dim sum for me is that every plate is different so it’s fun to try plate by plate with your friend and see how we react each time! Hehe.
I can’t choose which one is my favourite, as all of them were delicious. Don’t forget to get a pot of tea to go with.
Best part of eating here is that the food is crazy affordable. For all these, we only paid 10 Singapore dollars. Crazy.
East & West Rendezvous – cendol & ‘Blue’ Nonya Dumplings
While both their cendol and dumpling were not that great, I was still rather satisfied knowing that I’ve tried at least a ‘blue’ nonya dumpling on this trip. I am probably just fascinated with the colour, which is extracted from the Bunga Telang (blue pea flower).
The place is also rather ‘famous’ but I don’t think it lived up to the hype.
Nonya Ondeh Ondeh
Kedai Aku & Dia – 25, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Melaka 75100, Malaysia
Because Melaka is famous for its gula melaka, I felt like I needed to get myself some fresh ondeh ondeh when I saw a street stall selling it. And they were so soft! I’ve never had fresh ones before. A small pity that the gula melaka hasn’t fully melted yet, so some parts were still a little grainy. It wasn’t too sweet, which is something I like about.
Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant
Jalan Taman Kota Laksamana 4
THIS. Their tandoori chicken is so so good! Cooked in the traditional way (in a giant hot kiln), the meat is so soft and moist! This is unlike what I usually have i.e dry and tough meat.
Melaka Street Satay
On arrival the first thing we saw was a stall selling satay. Being overly excited, we ordered some satay to try, which turned out to be rather average, not that it was bad! Just… average.
Accommodation in Melaka – TheBlanc
We stayed at a relatively new boutique hotel TheBlanc , which is super conveniently located near the end of Jonker Street. Hence, it was rather easy to get to local food. Plus the night market was at our doorstep! Overall, I really liked it. The room was simple and everything was so new and clean. The counter staff were really helpful and nice too!
Sightseeing Places in Melaka
One reason why I love exploring Melaka is that it’s super compact, and easy to get around even on foot. If the weather is hot, I would suggest renting a bicycle and ride along the quaint shophouses! At night, we took a river cruise which was also quite beautiful.
The Jonker Night Market opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm, and there are so many stalls selling great street food. I think I really love Melaka for a short holiday, and I will definitely return again.