Malacca, A Charismatic Heritage TownMalacca is a region on the southwest coast of Malaysia, with the regions capital also called Malacca. Located on the Malacca Strait, the city was a major trading port prior to the rise of Singapore (in the early 1800’s). Malacca had been flying under the radar as a tourist destination until July 2008, when UNESCO listed the city as a world heritage site.
Having lived in Malaysia as a child, I was curious to return here to see if it was how I remembered. What my memory didn’t elude to was the level of pollution and the number of neglected, derelict buildings. It was a bit overwhelming for us when we arrived in Malacca, however, once we got settled into our characteristic guest house and had some lunch the city started to ooze appeal.
Malacca has quite a diverse history. Having being founded by a Hindu prince in the 14th century, protected by the Chinese, overrun by the Portuguese, ruled by the Dutch until British reign in 1795 the cityscape is extremely diverse. This is what attracted me to the city initially and added to the charm which eventually won me over.
ACCOMMODATIONWe stayed for two nights at the Riverside Guesthouse in one of their private rooms. Centrally location on the river which runs through the city, staying here allowed us to walk everywhere we wanted. The staff were friendly and very helpful, really adding to the overall experience.
FOODIt is all about the food in Malacca. It all got a bit exciting so we cracked the camera out for a few candid meal time shots. I really did enjoy the food here, the flavours and contrasting ingredients were fascinating.
Discovery CafeOn a bustling corner in central Malacca is the Discovery Café. We stumbled across this soon after arriving and had Nonya Laksa (Laksa is a Peranakan (Malay and Chinese fusion) spicy noodle soup and Nonya is a subcategory of Malaysian food predominantly from Malacca) and Mee Goreng (fried noodles). Both were beautiful.
Capitol SatayThis small satay shop was just far enough out of the way you wouldn’t walk past it without trying. The food was absolutely incredible. A bubbling hot pot of satay was placed on a gas burner in the middle of the table. The restaurant staff returned periodically to add more bits and pieces into the satay.
The choice of what to satay is up to each individual. English was limited here and there were a few suspicious looking foods on display so I stuck with what I could recognise. The cooking process added to my excitement and the food did not disappoint.
Easily the best satay I have had to date.
Riverside CafeWe had lovely omelettes for breakfast here. Most notable was the coffee, served black. It had the viscosity and colour of oil and was so strong it was bound to put hairs on your chest. A great way to kick start the day!
SelvamThis authentic Indian restaurant was the perfect spot for a Friday lunch. Banana leaves were placed on the tables as plates and what followed was incredible. A man came round with a tray of curries to choose from, quickly followed by a man with chutneys, rice, papadums and cucumber. Again the food did not disappoint. The flavours were incredible, all different but complimentary of one another. And it was all off a banana leaf!
Jonker Walk MarketsThe Jonker Walk is one of the main areas of the UNESCO heritage area. Throughout the day the endless shop houses thrive, full of nifty trinkets, coffee houses and various other goods.
Over the weekends, the street shuts down at night and a thriving market place sets up. There is an amazing range of things sold here but most exciting is the food. We shared an oyster omelette which was scrambled and served with fresh coriander and lime. It was the perfect way to finish off the Malacca food experience.