Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gastronautics Melaka
(or click on the heading if the link doesn't work. You can also copy and paste the link into your URL bar.)

Weeks prior to attending my church camp in Austin Hills Golf Resort, JB, Malaysia, I decided to satisfy my gastronomical desire and do a gastro-trip back to Melaka. Back, because I was there last June for our church camp at Century Mahkota.

Legend has it that there was this supposed food spirit in Melaka (not the Tinkerbell kind. Think Shrek. He appears in the photos in the link), unmistakably identifiable with his omnipresent tummy and sentences punctuated with "That fella..." who could, and is pretty keen to, take people around to sample common man Melakan fare all over the place. Most of his recommendations were overhyped a few metres above the heavens, but in all honesty, they do taste pretty good. Let's just know him as That Fella.

That Fella's recommendation?

One. The all-important Circque de Soleil-esque Pasar Malam that happens every Tuesday in his area. The only time and place where you can grab goodies for RM 1, or thereabout. Include things like Ramly burgers, satars, sweetcorns, roast birds, etc. You can buy toys, sundry, clothes, bras and panties, and other goods here cheap, but do not expect artsy or esoteric merchandise a la Chatuchak here. The important thing is the price, not the far-out factor.

Two. Ayam golek. Basically Kenny Rogers minus the glam and side dishes. The roast chickens do taste good. The shop also has a relaxed, hang-out feel to it for you to enjoy your ayam golek in. Golek, by the way, means rotating the chicken on the skewer over the fire.

Three. Sate Celup. This is where you dip sticks of cold or uncooked food skewered on satay-style into a centralized pot of boiling peanut sauce (the type that is similar to what you dip regular satays into, though I found it to taste a little different), and everyone just gathers around, eating and talking. Word has been going around that this sort of practise is unhygenic, especially in instances where you take a bite into your food, upon finding it to be uncompletely cooked, dip the stick back in again. Multiply that by the number of time this may happen with the number of people congregating around the pot, you get the idea. When you get thick into the action, and when you start learning to like the taste of what you are eating, though, you find that you don't really care anyway.

Four. Old Town White Coffee. Their version of Ya Kun. The coffee, or tea for me, are nice and aromatic, along with the same menu of kaya toasts, thick toasts and eggs, among other things. Another nice place to hang out if you like being the Ya Kun-hanger type.

And all sorts. That's That Fella's version of 'etc.' There are all sorts of coffeeshops, restaurants and such peppered all over Melaka. Take the time to go around, and you may just find your personal gastronomical Mecca here.

Note: The photo album doesn't feature many shots of what we have eaten, though. By the time we realize we want to take pictures of them, they were already chewed and swallowed. For those of you who have not seen Melaka before, however, hope the shots will help a little.


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