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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Maneuvering Malaysia: Malacca Trip

Right, so recently it seems many people are flocking over to Malacca... so The Beau and I decided to drive in as well...  Now let me share a little of what's nice there, and what we did, since a short trip was due.

So, the drive into Malacca, Malaysia, takes about a 3-hour drive from Singapore, with a couple of short pitstops for petrol and restrooms.


Hungry from the journey, we decided that lunch was pertinent. Hence, we tried the famous Chicken Rice Balls at Famosa Chicken Rice Balls restaurant. Besides the famous chicken rice balls, we also had vegetables, roast chicken and roast duck together with the drinks. We liked the chicken rice balls, but found the rest of the items (vegetables and meat alike) to be too soggy / drenched in gravy. As such, we could not tell if the softness of the meat was due to tenderness or sogginess.

Along the tourists-populated Jonker Walk, there are quite a few stalls selling these Egg Ice Creams. Out of curiosity, we got one to try. Basically it was just different-flavored ice-cream in an egg container...refreshing on a hot day as such. We had the Lychee one.

Another commendable and interesting mention would be the Icily (Make Your Own Fruits Ice Cream) shop amongst the rows of shops at Jonker Walk. So how it works is - you pick your fruits, the guy puts your fruits into this machine and it becomes ice-cream instantly, just like that! I picked water-melon, blueberries and mango - what a delicious and healthy treat!

Talk about street food (still along Jonker Walk), we tried the Portuguese Egg Tart and the Sweet Potato Puff - the latter was lovely in a crispy, flakey and sweet way. The fact that the tarts were piping hot had to do with the tasty factor too, we were sure.

Still along Jonker Walk, we spotted Fried Frozen Durian. It seems that many stalls use durian to make desserts here - including one-bite durian puffs, fried durian puffs, etc.  So, these fried frozen durians were tasty- very crispy on the outside, like our "butterfly" dough pastries in Singapore, except that the inside contained rich, cool durian flesh.

Finally, another item we ate while jostling along the crowded Jonker Walk was this - BBQ Quail Eggs. I love quail eggs anytime, but these were delicious, with hints of crispy on the outside. They came in 3 flavors - chilli sauce, teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise. We asked for a combination.

Tong Sheng Restoran is located along Jalan Melaka Raya 6, between Jonker Walk and Hatten Square.  We withstood the long queue and finally got to try the famous Cheese Prawn BeeHoon, an inspiration from Hong Kong's famous cheese crayfish ee mian (noodles).

They have many interesting food items, not limiting to Rojak Pork Chop, Otah Omelet etc. The other interesting item we tried was the Rojak Pork Chop - spicy and rich in flavor.

We also dined at Lisbon De Restoran - a quaint little home-style Portuguese restaurant with very friendly owners, at the Portuguese Settlement. We believe it is fusion, since some of the items were like Char Kuey Teow, chicken wings etc - but perhaps infused with Portuguese cooking style or ingredients. Anyway, the commendable item we had here was the Pineapple Curry Prawns - a spicy dish with hints of sweetness, and the flavor of the luscious prawn broth was evident.


Jonker Walk is a popular tourist spot in Malacca, made up of rows of heritage shophousing encompassing souvenir shops, cafes, craft shops, eateries etc. The surprising encompassment of cuisines for their restaurants is astounding - from western to Peranakan to Malacca's local delights. One may also visit the park located within Jonker Street itself.

There are MANY museums in Malacca - ranging from Maritime Museum to Cheng Ho's Cultiral Museum to Sultanate Palace Museum etc. As this was a short trip, we could not visit many museums even though we love them, hence we stuck with our must-see Baba Nyona Heritage Museum.

This museum is located at the famous Jonker Walk, and is a private museum converted from some very luxurious Peranakan family homes. The ornate carvings of the wood + mother of pearl furniture to all other accessories around the house all held meanings. We joined the museum tour which gave us deeper understanding of the history and culture of this race. Lovely place, bringing one back in time - strictly no photography is allowed in the museum though.

It was definitely an educational culture tour giving us a better understanding of the Peranakan lifestyle besides merely admiring beautiful furnishings, and each of us paid less than SGD$10.00 so it was well worth it.

We also rode the River Cruise at Jonker Walk - a 25 minute boat ride that takes one along the shores of Malacca, so we could see sweeping views of all the different settlements as well as cafes along the river.

The Portuguese Settlement was another priority on our list. Basically, these were all the descendants of Portuguese who settled down here, and hence was an interesting infusion of European culture in this part of Malaysia. During Christmastime, they actually hold celebrations, sing carols and decorate their homes beautifully for all to view and visit.

The seafront and sleepy, relaxed lifestyle of Portuguese Square are worth visiting for sure, as well as fresh seafood. There are quite a number of restaurants and pubs around, as well as a museum that was unfortunately closed the day we visited.


It was a tough fight between Equatorial Hotel and Hatten Hotel - two of the best hotels in Malacca. While the former is a 5-star hotel, it cost lesser than its counterpart 4-star hotel. After browsing some photos and reviews, we decided to go with the latter, and were not disappointed with its luxuriant comfort as well as efficient service.

The Sky Lounge at the top of Hatten Hotel offers a great view of Malacca's cityscape as well, especially during the night when all is lit up.

Overall, Malacca was more enjoyable than we had thought it would be, and we are already planning for another trip in, where we could visit more museums.

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