Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / Melaka

Malacca Peranakan food, or better known as Nyonya cuisine to most, is one of the very few truly Malaysian food hailed from the state of Malacca, and to a slightly lesser extend, Penang too.

The Legacy of Melacca Peranakan food spread
The Legacy of Malacca Peranakan food spread

This brand of food evolved from the blend of Chinese and Malay cuisines through the inter-marriages between the Chinese migrants and local Malay during the 15th and 16th centuries. The usage of Malay spices with Chinese ingredients, or Chinese herbs with the more traditional Malay ingredients are among the unique points of Pernakan food.

Guest chef Florence Tan at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton
Guest chef Florence Tan at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton

While there are various Nyonya restaurants to be found in Klang Valley (in PJ there are Ah Tuan Ee, Bibichick, & Nyona Restaurant all at SS2), there isn’t usually any place where you can sample many different Nyonya dishes at the same time.

kuih lapis, pai tee, kuih koci
kuih lapis, pai tee, kuih koci

But for the month of June, 2011, we’re in luck. PJ Hilton have guest chef Florance Tan featuring her Pernakan food at Paya Serai, and I was among the fortunate ones to be invited to sample the spread just late last week.

popiah basah, nasi kembuli, acar awak
popiah basah, nasi kembuli, acar awak

All the usual suspects are there, pai tee, popiah basah, and a selection of Nyonya kuih as appetizers, with pai tee and popiah made fresh right in front of you too, I particularly love the kuih koci, and while the popiah doesn’t come with lard like this one at Jonker street, they are yummy too.  There’s also very “kao” and rather spicy laksa lemak too.

sambal jantung pisang, ayam pong teh, udang goreng asam
sambal jantung pisang, ayam pong teh, udang goreng asam

I know my mom will love the acar awak, a type of Peranakan salad.

There’s also sambal jantung pisang (banana flower with shell fish), ayam pong teh (a chicken dish in clay pot), udang goreng asam (similar to my asam prawn recipe but with more spices). All these dishes go very well with the nasi kembuli (rice with ghee, cinnamon, cumin powder etc).

the buffet spread at Paya Serai remains, in addition to the peranakan food
the buffet spread at Paya Serai remains, in addition to the peranakan food

If you think that’s a lot of dishes, well, they are but one of the 4 buffet lines at Paya Serai. There’s also the usual raw food & salad bar with prawns, oysters, etc. Pastry, Chinese/Malay food (there’s even tempoyak - fermented durian), Western food, and so forth. The Pernakan food is but an addition to what is already usually available.

ulam, KY & Haze, laksa lemak, and tempoyak (fermented durian)
ulam, KY & Haze, laksa lemak, and tempoyak (fermented durian)

The Legacy of Malacca Peranakan at Paya Serai runs from now till 30th June, 2011. The buffet spread is available for lunch at RM 68++ for adult & RM 45++ for child. Dinner at RM 75++ & RM 45++ for child. Opening hours are from noon to 3pm for lunch, and 7pm till 10:30pm for dinner.

For those who want to get up close to Chef Florence Tan at the exclusive private dinner on 14, 15, and 16th June and have a chance to learn the culinary tips from the good chef, the event is priced at RM 150++ per person. Make your reservation if you’re interested ya!

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Paya Serai
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122


milkadeal June 5

For the slightly more than half of the readers on this blog (who are female, HELLO!), here are some deals from MilkADeal in the Beauty and Wellness section that you might want to check out.

RM 49.90 for 1.5 hours of Swiss Signature 5 element facial + hydrating black clay etc etc (as if I really do know what they mean). RM 68 for Gelish manicure at Damansara Utama, and RM 59 instead of RM 366 for Oxygen facial & ampoule with ultra sound, etc.

I can’t say I understand half of what these days are saying, but the amount of discounts seems pretty awesome. So far I’ve bought some food deals, a Guinness deal, a spa deal, and a car polish deal from MilkADeal, I urge you to check out the site too. (OK they don’t only have just beauty stuff ya, so if you’re a boy.. ) :D

On the way to Singapore for Oasis concert last Sunday (which was awesome!), we made a pit stop by the historical town that is Melaka to refuel our stomachs.

When it comes to Melaka, there are a few types of food unique to the town: chicken rice balls, satey celup, popiah with lard, and cendol with gula melaka. We planned to make the most of this very short stopover by stuffing ourselves with as much as possible.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball
there’s a perpetual queue in front of the restaurant

I have previously tried two other chicken rice ball places in Melaka (all within walking distance), Chung Wah was the first I went, and while tasty, the place rather warm and a little too busy. On the other hand, my experience at Famosa Chicken Rice Ball was just not really good enough for me to write an entry about the restaurant.

Among the 3 places, Hoe Kee has the best and most comfortable seating areas (some sections air conditioned). While we had to wait for some 10 minutes to get a table, food was served within 5 minutes, so the overall waiting time wasn’t long at all.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball
chicken rice balls, cabbage, asam fish

Since it was already 1pm and we haven’t even had breakfast, we basically ordered everything the server suggested. Chicken rice balls for 5 person, asam fish, vegetable, 4 coconuts, and extra 15 rice balls (RM 6).

The half a chicken (RM 16) we got was very smooth and the meat really tasty, there were also plenty of chicken gizzards and liver which provided a different flavor to the chicken that goes very well with the soft but firm rice balls. Poor man’s pate, anyone?

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball
Kim, Gareth, Horng, Amanda, KY

The Asam Fish (RM 30) came quite a bit later, which proved to be a nice timing since the very strong tasting curry wouldn’t work well with the milder flavored chicken if you have them in that order. The hardcore sourness and spicy nature of the dish might not suit everyone, but I really liked it.

map to Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball at Jonker street
Hoe Kee Chicken Rice is located at Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat)

We ate so fast and so much that there wasn’t any stomach space left except for a bowl of cendol at Jonker88. It was dilemma looking at the popiah stall while being absolutely full, but alas, we made the decision not to have the possibility to puke in the car on the way to Singapore.

Lunch came to RM 77.20 in total, including the 4 coconuts (RM 16). That works out to be around RM 15.50 per person, pretty decent price for a very satisfying lunch at a comfortable environment.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice
4, 6, 8 Jalan Hang Jebat,
75200, Melaka

GPS: 2.195441,102.247943
Tel: 06-283 4751 / 012-623 8431

After watching the Astro AEC program (channel 19) “Our Root” on the Baba and Nyonya cultures featuring Kelvin the noob on Sunday. We decided that it would be fitting to have some Nyonya food for dinner to celebrate his success in dodging the grandmother’s “got bring gf back or not?” question on satellite TV. So we headed to Ah Tuan Ee’s Place in SS2.

Ah Tuan Ee's Place, nyona food
“jiu hu char” or fried mengkuang with dried cuttle fish

There are actually no less than 4 Nyonya restaurants in SS2. The others are Restaurant Bibichick, Melaka Street, and well, Nyona Restaurant. I have sampled them and they were all pretty decent.

Ah Tuan Ee’s Place has a much more refined interior decoration and a nicer ambiance comparing to it’s counterparts. The illustrated menu is especially helpful if you are not familiar with traditional Nyonya food.

Ah Tuan Ee's Place, nyona food
nice ambiance and illustrated menu

For the three of us, we ordered a “jiu hu char” (fried mengkuang with dried cuttle fish), sambal salted fish, egg plant with sambal, and fried asam prawn to go with steamed rice.

Ah Tuan Ee's Place, nyona food
“jiu hu char”, sambal salted fish, egg plant with sambal, fried asam prawn

The food were pretty good, especially the super simple dish that is the salted fish sambal that goes very well with white rice. The egg plant was a little too oily, but the prawn and “jiu hu char” dishes reminded me of my mom’s cooking, it was great. (My mom isn’t a Nyonya, but Penang Chinese cooking is similar in many ways). It was a pretty good meal.

Ah Tuan Ee's Place, nyona food
Ah Tuan Ee’s Place is just a block from SS2 Square

The food were good, however, the price isn’t very economical. I guess you do have to pay for the nice ambiance after all. The meal for 3 costs us RM 77, that includes a 10% service charge and the 5% government tax.

74, Jalan SS2/72
Petaling Jaya
47300 Selangor

GPS: 3.118673, 101.625810
Tel: 03-7957 2915

When it comes to food in the historical town that is Melaka, there are a few items that you must never miss. Kinda like the Char Kueh Teow and Laksa in Penang, the must-eat items in Melaka are Satey Celup (video!), Chendol, Poh Piah, and of course, perhaps the most famous of all, the Chicken Rice Ball.

Chicken Rice Ball at Melaka, Chung Wah restaurant
very old school set up, with marble table

Chung Wah restaurant (中华茶室) is one of the very first, and regarded by many, the best chicken rice ball restaurant in Melaka. It is also perhaps the most accessible one, with a paid car park just right beside the building, across from the St. Paul’s church (another must visit place in Melaka).

The place is always packed during weekends, and almost impossible to get in during festive seasons. After fighting through a small crowd to get our table, we ordered a middle portion chicken meat with 2 plates of chicken rice balls (5 balls per plate)

Chicken Rice Ball at Melaka, Chung Wah restaurant
chicken, rice balls, and chili, we’re all set

The chicken came with only one style, white chicken, since this is a pure Hainanese restaurant, no roasted or BBQ variety. The meat was smooth and tasted rather good, with sufficient flavor in all departments. The chili that is so important to any chicken rice dish was actually very good, has a kick in it while retaining a savory pepper aroma, addictive. The main attraction, the rice balls themselves, were somehow rather cold, but otherwise tasted pretty good. It is like having Bak Chang made of chicken rice, an interesting experience if you haven’t tried it.

Chicken Rice Ball at Melaka, Chung Wah restaurant
Chung Wah restaurant is right at the end/beginning of Jonker Walk

The meal for two was about RM 13-14, RM 8 for the chicken, and RM 1.50 for a plate of 5 rice balls.

Kedai Kopi Chung Wah
18, Jalan Hang Jebat,
75200 Melaka

GPS: 2.194969,102.248576

This is the very first KY tv post, my very own fake plan food review “TV” show!

Now this is not the first time I wrote about Satay Celup at this particular place in Melaka. The previous entry on Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup includes the review in text, as well as pictures, contact number, address, and map. Then again, nothing beats the video, especially with hot chick (who is also my camera girl and chief editor) in it too.

It was 5pm and we were the very first customer in the restaurant. Trust me, by sunset the place will be busier than a beehive.

Tell me it’s awesome!

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