Malacca Munching

Malacca Munching

24 hours in the third smallest state in Malaysia meant only one thing: I had limited time to pack it all in. But try I did.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

Besides the regular pork and chicken satay, they also offer liver and intestine satay. I actually preferred these to the normal meat satay which I found to be a bit dry. Luckily the pineapple-laden, mildly spicy peanut dipping sauce came to the rescue, giving the meat satay a much-needed boost of juiciness.

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Eating like the locals is the best fun I can think of when I am traveling anywhere in the world. Once we found a table at this corner coffeeshop, we had to try a bit of everything. Here's a rundown of what we had.
"Wan Tan Mee" (RM4): Coated with just the right amount of oil and sauce, the al dente noodles boasted that traditional taste I miss. The dumplings had extremely delicate, thin skin and a juicy pork filling. We learned an interesting nugget of info from a friendly local about this stall. She said the "Wan Tan Mee" business was started by a "Samsui woman" who had come over from China in her youth and has since been handed down over the last sixty years.
"Wu Xiang" (RM6): Quite a unique local dish where can pick what you want. The mini "siew mai"-like dumplings, fishcake and beancurd pieces were all handmade by the hawker herself. Good for sharing.
Nyonya Laksa (RM4): Completely stole my heart this did. It was inevitable with its extremely fragrant gravy that wasn't too thick with coconut milk. Totally slurpalicious!

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You can actually watch the elderly Peranakan lady boss and her team of assistants make each of these soft, chewy balls by hand. The little globules are then cooked in boiling Pandan-flavoured water before being rolled in freshly grated coconut.
What's especially awesome about these ambrosial snacks is the way the oozy "gula melaka" (or coconut sugar) in the middle of each "onde onde" still has a little crunch. And also how the butter-caramel sweetness of the "gula melaka" is perfectly offset by the salt-enhanced grated coconut. Absolute perfection in every bite!
Address: 23 Jalan Hang Kasturi, Jongker Street.

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I felt right at home at this home-style eatery because the way they cook tastes very similar to my mum's as well as my late grandma's style.
Most of the dishes were tasty, with my favorites being the spicy "assam pedas" fish (RM58), "sambal petai" with small prawns (RM19) and the "ayam buah keluak" (RM16). However, I have had better "itek tim" elsewhere and the "chendol" wasn't spectacular.
Address: 385 Jalan Ujong Pasir
75050 Melaka

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Another pleasing discovery in Jongker Street area. This stall called "Botak Fried Kway Teow" cooks what I'd describe as a blend of Singapore and Penang styles of fried "kway teow". Tastiness level was definitely high as it packed loads of smoky "wok hei" aroma and fat, crunchy beansprouts. I had to however, repeat myself a few times to make sure the assistant taking orders, understood I wanted extra chilli in mine.

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Our eyes lit up when we spotted this hawker. Just the thing to quench our thirst after walking around in the sweltering heat. The drink was every bit as piquantly refreshing as we'd fantasised.

Housed in a standalone old building is a home bakery that specialises in pineapple tarts.
Walking through the front door, I was greeted by the sight of the lady boss cutting a long, thin sheet of pastry into teensy-weensy strips for her two assistants to arrange in a criss-cross pattern on each tart. Seeing this painstaking process in action made me instantly feel her tarts are well worth their price.
The crust isn't the soft and pale melt-in-the-mouth type but the slightly crisp, salty and buttery biscuit sort which I prefer. It goes very well with her pineapple jam, which also managed to hit the right note between sour and sweet.

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