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
Donald And Lily's Corner
At the back of shophouse No.31,
Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock,
Kedai Kopi & Makanan Yung Lai Siang
Jalan Bunga Raya Pantai
(Nearby Renaissance Hotel)