Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tell-A-Tale (Part 22): 古城大事 (A Day In Melaka)

Waking up to the serene Sungai Melaka coiling itself ever so comfortably around the red-roofed, historical Kampung Morten, I felt a beautiful Sunday was beginning to take shape.

I imagined the bend of the river as a broad, welcoming smile.

Heading away from central, I assumed we were on our way to Rembau, via the old route. Along the way, we discovered Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Soon Yen. A pleasant surprise, I must say.

From the other side of the road, it was the crowd that caught our attention. After detouring and double-parking ala KL, we found ourselves sitting among the locals. The duck noodle stall seemed to be the most celebrated as orders kept pouring in like the amount of whiskey I had the day before. The two bowls of kway teow and a large plate of braised, assorted deliciousness including soft, gelatinous duck feet, eggs and intestines cost RM12.50. "Thank you", said the worker as I handed her the money. "No. Thank you", I whispered for I thought the price was a steal and the taste was good, though mildly herbed. The fried carrot cake, chee cheong fun, kuehs and fishballs were passable.

Let's take a ride around town, shall we?

I could only describe the day as being sunny and warm. What could be more complementing that a bowl of cooling cendol? We tried the infamous dessert from a corner called Donald And Lily's. It was the sweet and fragrant gula Melaka syrup that made the parking fee of RM2.00 worthwhile as the ensemble itself was rather lacklustre.

Legend has it that this once prosperous street of Jonker diminished into oblivion after westerners started installing weather vanes onto the roof of the shophouses. Apparently, it disturbed the harmonious state of feng shui of the area, hence the death. Me, on the other hand, believed that the cocks, which were standing majestically on the vanes, should take responsibility for pecking all the grains of rice, a symbol of richness and abundance. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Supernaturals aside, the Jonker Street of today is of colourful optimism and joy. There's something for everyone. While antique enthusiasts hunt for pieces before them, history buffs make full of the time appreciating the architecture of an era gone by. Foodies rejoice in savouring a myriad of dainties, from tau sar piah to Nyonya kuihs to pineapple tarts and shutterbugs snap away, hoping to capture the days that were.

The day was magical but we had to leave. Back to where historical sites had made way for shopping malls and corporate steels.

Melaka's final gift for us was a bowl of Nyonya laksa from Kedai Kopi & Makanan Yung Lai Siang. For only RM3.00, we've got noodles with a tasty, aptly rich broth and side ingredients such as fried taufu pok, cockles, fishcake slices and prawns. Perfect with a touch of chopped kafir lime leaves. It was definitely one of the best curry noodles I've ever tasted. The savoury soup base for the prawn noodle was good as well. In the same kopitiam, there's a corner offering puffs. Named Grandpa's, we've tried the curry puffs which were filled with large dices of potato, covered with a thick, aromatic layer of curry. I preferred the soft biscuit with sweet/salty dessicated coconut filling. Lovely.

Melaka stands graciously before me a town of good and affordable food, wisdom and fun. The high level of cleanliness made it even more pleasant to the eyes. The capital city should learn a thing or two from here.

We've definitely made a connection despite the short encounter and this is just the beginning.

The start of something that will be known as my 古城大事.

---------------------------------

Kedai Kopi Dan Makanan Soon Yen
Along Jalan Tengkera
Kampung Sembilan
75250 Melaka

Donald And Lily's Corner
At the back of shophouse No.31,
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock,
Melaka

Kedai Kopi & Makanan Yung Lai Siang
Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai
(Nearby Renaissance Hotel)

27 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

what a nice way to start the day.. seeing that smiling river! erm, wa.. so hardcore, you had soft bits and bobs and intestine at your 1st stop for breakfast.. didn't all that grease stop you from digesting anything after that?! lol.. at least you found good curry laksa in melaka.. i was not that fortunate on my last trip:)

Life for Beginners said...

Me so proud that Pak Cik Nic finally made a huge post about me hometown. *grins from ear to ear*

If anyone could capture it in its historical/pseudo-modernified splendour, it must be ya!

Let me know when your next trip is, if I'm around, can tumpang at my house. Save money on lodgings can spend more on makan ma... :P

backstreetgluttons said...

That was a nice , simple travelogluttony excursion with fine tropical Asian colors worthy of a corrected Tourism Malaysia , truly Asia brochure to be

All you need now is for BSG to market it , 50:50 we enjoy

J2Kfm said...

wow. very gorgeous pics lah ...

just yday i was chatting to colleagues bout plans to go melaka someday.

and your post is poison. :)
i'll bring that plan fwd a few months

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

hmmmm make me regret not bringing my camera for the melaka trip..haha i guess now i got a big task in hand if i were to ever match ur collages..

Precious Pea said...

You make me wanna take emergency leave not and head to Melaka!! Very nice pics!

jasmine said...

your photos are breathtaking as usual... so much so I couldn't really concentrate on the words. lol.

Tummythoz said...

Such santan-ee cendol. Thot was porridge. =)

Live2Talk said...

Sweetie, how come you always mesmerize me with your shots ^^

Selba said...

Nice pictures... Heard a lot of Melaka... a must visit, someday :)

mimid3vils said...

Ha!! U went to Melaka too!!! Great find of nice food!!!

Xiu Long Bao said...

Greetings from phuket :) 8 hours more n I'm heading bck to KL.

Try the Teochew restaurant nxt time round. Am sure ur folks will love it.

GFAD said...

Wow!! AWOL did not exaggerate when she said the new (photo) marvel is hairyberry! The first picture is gorgeous!!

Did you edit your food photos? Your curry mee and har mee looks so vibrantly red and orange.

I miss intestines and stomach. Nothing like a bowl of steaming hot BKT with lots of intestines and stomach slices!

PureGlutton said...

Wooo... that bowl of "assorted deliciousness" is so temptingly yummy! What a wonderful start to the journey. Very nice pics, as usual :) Makes me wanna go melaka asap and binge out!

fatboybakes said...

wow, how did you get such an aerial shot of the river? how timely, i intended to bring ze kids for a day trip to the historical town, as son is a history buff. your colors are so vibrant, like watching those LCD displays in a electrical shop.....makes me happy... been listening to xmas carols that sound like funeral dirges....(il divo)...

thenomadGourmand said...

ok, that's it. Melaka here I come! aiming for Christmas ..

~Christine~Leng said...

I've not tried Nyonya Laksa before... must try when I'm home. ;P

I love your pic of the Jonker Walk wordings pak cik... hehe... so long din call u pak cik already!

Nic (KHKL) said...

cumi & ciki, yeah! lurve that smiling river! and to think that i never knew the existence of kampung morten..sigh....yupe, i lurve the laksa! there's another one near the hang li poh well, but i hafta leave d...next time lar. :) indigestion? hehe..nope, cos too much exercise (photography)...haha!

kenny, ya lor! i shudda call you for makan info in melaka...woah, thanks for the compliment. :) i'll be going melaka often already, i think..hehe..so, will definitely call ya! :) oh, and thanks for the lodging offer! kewl stuff!

backstreetgluttons, thank kew, thank kew! oh, if i ever need marketing, i know who to call...my fave gluttony team! and we'll be celebrating 50:50 with lotsa laksa and of course, bubbly beer! :)

j2kfm, glad you liked the pics, dude! haha, do bring forward your plan! actually, i missed out on lotsa stuff as i only had a late night and an afternoon there. i'll be back! :)

joe, hehe..you know, i was looking for the tuna laksa you blogged about but couldnt find..sigh...then again, i only had a day there. so, next time must find again!!! :)

precious pea, can go on weekends! :) it'll be fun to explore the historical city and makan habis-habisan. i wonder if the portugese village got nice seafood or not....must check it out next time! :) and thanks for the compliment! :)

jasmine, haha, glad you liked the pics! melaka has definitely changed since the last time i visited..hmmm, say 15 years ago? haha! couldn't concentrate on the words? woah, you flatter me lar. :)

tummythoz, haha! i heard the teochew porridge there is famous as well. hmmm, another item on the must-try list. hehe...the cendol was actually quite light. but the gula melaka syrup was da bomb! :)

live2talk, sweetie, thanks for your compliment! glad that you were mesmerized! :) i guess a nice place like this town really draws ppl into its charm and be inspired! i was inspired! :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

selba, oh, do check out melaka. despite the size, melaka is a really charming town filled with history, delicacies and friendly faces. :)

mimi, hehe....ya lor, i read about your melaka trip a few weeks back! :) really nice place to be for a short weekend getaway, hor? i'm missing it already! :)

xiu long bao, hehe, i guess you already reach kl lar hor? hehe....okie, okie, thanks for the info! will check out that teochew place next time. if i cannot find, i'll call you...hehehe...

GFAD, hey, thanks for dropping by!!! and thanks for the compliment! AWOL is too kind. :) oh, i do edit some of my food pics due to the capability of my lens, which it kinda bad under low lighting conditions. but surprisingly, the curry and har mee pics were vibrantly red and orange by themselves! :) *salivating* haha! oh, yeah, i love a bowl of hot BKT with ribs and especially intestines! must blog about bkt soon already! haha!

pureglutton, thanks for the compliment! i love feet, both chicken and duck. and that was good! :) the best part about melaka is that it's only 130+ kms away from kl! :) a good weekend getaway! :)

fatboybakes, hehe, i stayed on the 13/14/15 (forgot d, hehe) at the renaissance since my friend's wedding was held there as well. i hoped for a view of the straits of malacca but got this view instead. i lurved it very much! oh, your son will definitely love melaka cos it's so rich with history! think of it as a lawatan sambil belajar! cool stuff! awwww, thanks for the compliment and glad you felt happy! woah, il divo now got xmas carols ar? OMG! simon cowell damn terrorrrrr....

thenomadgourmand, that is great! do check out the food, oh yes, the good food like laksa, kuihs and of course cendol! :)

christine, oh, there's baba low's at bangsar! :) check it out. or you can take a weekend off and head to melaka with chris! it'll be fun! :) thanks for the compliment. :) pak cik nic? hehe, ya lor...cant wait to go for karaoke with y'all again! :)

fbb said...

but as i said, the il divo one is a very syiok sendiri album...very funeral....
oh, took me awhile to realise u were talking about the hotel floor...i thought you meant the date...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

it was at jonker88..haha..well that makes my melaka post a tad special from urs rite?

Nic (KHKL) said...

fbb, hehe, this was the melaka trip that took place right after sekeping serendah. :) as for il divo, i wanna try to sing their song in karaoke lar. bring earplugs, ya! haha!

joe, jonker88? okie dokie. next time i go, i FB you for information lar, ok? :) well of course your melaka post is special lar! ;)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

The first picture is interesting because it shows the behaviour of civilisation where the largest concentration of homes are beside rivers - the source of trade, exploration and life.

Nic (KHKL) said...

lyrical lemongrass, yeah, agree! ;) and to think that ppl actually use sampans to travel around the kampung. wow! a little venice, this. ;)

Big Boys Oven said...

hahhahaha yout time there looks so awesome!

ling239 said...

did u halau that pakcik to take a pic of the trishaw ? XD

Nic (KHKL) said...

bigboysoven, yupe, we had a great time that day! :)

ling239, hahaha! no lar...the trishaw was left there by itself. i cepat-cepat take a shot and run. cos i was afraid the owner would ask me to pay...hehehe...