Thursday, June 11, 2009

Part II of Malacca - JONKER Walk!


So this is really slow, late and almost unacceptable!

But! I'm going to post them up anyway ;) and for those who wish to visit Malacca (or Melaka) anytime soon, over the weekends or on convoy, DO CHECK OUT JONKER!

I must say that Jonker is a little overhyped for a stretch of "pasar malam" (night market) styled shopping district but what i love about it is the idea of being truly Malaccan. You know, colonial shop houses, red laterns, Baba-Nyonya still speaking in unique-baba-only-Malay-English, the smell of aromatic "chicken rice" and fried kuih lobak (Carrot Cake) and the grinding of the ice for a bowl of Chendol. Yes, it has its own set of charm.

Where is Jonker Walk? On Jonker Street of course! Hehehe...

The Nyonya Baba inspired shophouses. Quaint ain't it? It looked really gorgeous in the day and even better at night!

If you need souvenirs, why you'll be spoilt for choice here! We're talking fridge magnets and plenty of them. I'm starting to really think that i should be collecting some of these as means of an ego-booster in case a relative decides to swing by my place. Haha! ;)

Another view of Jonker Walk. Its really quite pleasant to take a stroll down the entire street and just "look-see look-see" (or window shop) all the odds and ends displayed so neatly on makeshift table stalls.

That night, we wanted to try out the famed Chicken Rice Balls from the halal outlet of Famosa Chicken Rice Balls. But we were told that their halal outlet is ONLY available at the Malacca Bus Terminal (now called Central).

Personally, TTT didn't think that the ChickyBs (short for Chicken Rice Balls, Cubbies-style!) are out-of-this-world extraordinary (like what most people claimed). But now that we have tried it, we know. Yes it was tasty and all (who doesn't like chicken rice!) but it was ordinary. This is the "non-halal" outlet we found on Jonker, along one of the many smaller lanes.

Oh no trip to Malacca will be COMPLETE if you do not try the Chendol. What is Chendol? Chendol is a traditional dessert that is oh-so-sweet concoction of creamy coconut milk, green starched noodles, red beans, palm sugar, all topped with shaven ice.

We got ours here from a shop along Jonker. You cannot miss it. Its near the start of the north entrance, owned by a couple of hubby grinds the ice and aunty-wife, who is very eloquent and friendly. "You try you try my Chendol. Gua cakap, lu tak boleh jumpa Chendol macam gua punya. Mine is the best!"... Indeed! It was nice and sweet!!

When we were in Malacca for the 2nd time, we went with just one intention: To find the famed Asam Pedas (we didn't manage to find it the first time). "Asam Pedas" is a chilli-based gravy that is cooked with all kinds of spices including lemongrass, chilli, tumeric, shrimp paste etc. The most important ingredient however, is the "asam keping" or dried tamarind pieces, to give it that extra ZING to the dish. Without the tamarind, its just bland. And i personally like them with LOADS and LOADS of polygonum leaves or daun kesum. Delicious with hot piping steamed white rice! Hee! :)

And so we asked around for the best Asam Pedas in Malacca. Shamelessly, we chit chatted with police officers (or better known as The Tourists Police!), passerbys and taxi drivers to ask for tips on where to find the best Asam Pedas . There were mixed reviews of different restaurants but only one name was synonymous with all those who were interviewed - Hajah Mona Asam Pedas.

Here's how you eat them with, Mona-style: White rice, salted eggs and simple, understated fried cabbages. Its really quite amazing that they do this - so you can concentrate on the Asam Pedas and not be too bogged down by the other dishes. Very clever.

The common asam pedas with ikan pari (Stingray). Cubbies ordered this.

Meebops and her ever loving relationship with anything fatty and greasy and tasty, She Like! She ordered the asam pedas tetel, or scraps and spares from beef or mutton.

A plate of satay. Who doesn't know satay? Everybody does! And we love 'em! Oh this is seriously good satay peeps. Tender, sweet, aromatic, with just the right chunk of fat snugged in between the well-marinated meat... Very very nice :) Not exactly from HM but a stall "attached" to it.
My advice is, skip the malls unless you really have to. You can see nothing there but same old mall-rat culture back home. The deal is to put on your good walking shoes and WALK!

OH! Before i go, i didn't tell you what we had for breakfast in Holiday Inn, did i?

2 nice ice cold glass of wine, they call "Sparkling Juice". It was a good thing my beary nostrils wasn't full of sinusy goodness that morning. *Sniff* *Sniff*

"Meebops! Smell this... *sniff* *sniff* Don't you think its...
*sniff* *sniff* ... alcohol? *sniff* *sniff*"

"Cubbies! Don't drink it!!!"

We don't know about you but Malacca is now one of the list of places to go to over the weekends, when we run out of things to do here at home. And say, ain't this neat? Malacca was awarded one of the prestigious UNESCO WHC Award in 2008! Boy! I am impressed! :)

Some BEARISH TIPS to Malacca:
  • If it isn't too much trouble for you, travel down to JB and take a bus down to Malacca. Not only it’s cheaper (RM 20 one way compared to S$38 in Singapore), its also faster and far more effective. Besides, all those travel - makes the journey even more interesting!
  • You don't need too many days in Malacca. A 2 or 3 day trip should suffice - one day shopping, one day "gluttoning" and one day sightseeing!
  • You can do the RM 5 "hop on hop off" double deck bus that will take you around Malacca in 30 minutes! Keep your ticket stub! Its free transport for you for the entire day!
  • Try the Chendol at the stall opposite the Red Church / Red Square, (Jalan Laksamana) sold by an Indian-Muslim man (former Mangosteen Chendol). TTT like it plain but you can also do it with red beans, and is a wonderful thirst quencher on a hot day! I tried it when i was young and never ever forget its sweet taste tickling my tongue to this day!
  • Must try the fresh Roasted Chestnut at Jonker Street. Just the right dose of sweetness. Buy a kilogram (RM 10) and snack while "window shopping" odds and ends sold along Jonker Walk.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin