9/07/2014

Neem Melaka

I just got back from a weekend getaway with the bf in Melaka. I booked the Kemboja room at the Neem Boutique Hotel via Groupon. First I must apologize for the lack of photos, we arrived at Melaka pretty late so we didn't have much time to take photos while we were out & about :D

The hotel wasn't easy to find coz the signboard was small and only present at the entrance so we missed it and had to make a huge round to get back...heavy traffic didn't help much -.-lll We were greeted by a kindly elderly lady, I think she's the owner's mom. She was friendly and registration was quick. We were the only guests so it felt like we had the whole villa to ourselves, especially since the lady was unavailable after we left for a night out. 

We got the Kemboja chalet; the room was smaller than I expected but it was fine for a night's stay. The mosquito net added coziness to the bedroom and the bed was elevated. The bathroom had a "open sky" concept, with a huge ceramic water barrel and pail for use. They also had a shower, with wooden flooring so I really liked the ambiance of the bathroom haha! 
Traditional bathing setup
Modern shower
We rested for a bit and then walked for about 10 min to arrive at Jonker Walk. The amount of tourists here is CRAZY. I also noticed there were many stalls selling Taiwanese snacks, like sausage, egg-something, which was annoying TBH because this is Jonker Walk and there's nothing Malaysian about Taiwanese street snacks! There were people peddling Korean pillows (again, NOT Malaysian) and various other stuff -- oh well, perhaps Jonker Walk is just a massive pasar malam these days :/ 
 Melaka river
 Public singing
Cendol in a cup
We walked back along the Melaka river; the city council has done the walkway quite nicely, there are signs informing the distance you've taken and how many calories that is equivalent to. We made our way to Dataran Pahlawan for something I would consider Malaccan despite its French origin - Nadeje's mille crêpe. We had rum & raisin and chocolate; discussing about the technique to make this dessert made me appreciate the cakes even more :)
Nadeje
Chocolate
Rum & Raisin

We passed by Hatten Square (seems like another big mall) and along the shoplots -- there was a popular porridge store (any tips on this?) and Restoran Makko (I've eaten here before: YUMMY!). We turned back to the hotel and slept early for the next day, thinking we could make it early to Jonker Walk for the famous chicken rice balls...

...BUT NO. Fatigue dictated that we'd sleep in until 9am. I made my way to the hotel breakfast; it was by the poolside, the aunty was there along with 2 other people whom I assume are owners of the hotel. They served roti canai (bought from outside) -- it was a bit soft (not so hot anymore) and the dahl was delicious. There was bread with the usual spreads, coffee, tea & orange juice. It was relaxing to sit by the pool and have a simple breakfast. 
 Roti canai
 Breakfast by the pool

But roti canai was just roti canai; maybe it was because we were the only guests so it wasn't practical to provide a full-spread breakfast. However, more variety couldn't hurt; we couldn't survive on roti canai alone so we checked out early (bye bye pretty room) and drove to Jonker Walk. It took us a while as we were unfamiliar with the road and started queuing at Chong Wah coffeeshop (next to Hard Rock Cafè) for 20 min before we got our seats.
 Poor angled shot of the shop sign
 The queue

The coffeeshop has been here for 20+ yrs and they've established rules:
1) each person gets 5 chicken rice balls + 1 plate of chicken - this is the basic set
2) you have to state any add-ons from the get-go

The place is usually packed but for a moment, several tables were empty. I'd to snap a picture of this rare sight! 
The chicken rice balls were amazing. Firm, pulpy; it was the perfect to dip into the chili sauce and the chicken sauce. The basic 5 pieces just wouldn't do, we ordered another 5 more haha! The chicken was soft and drenched with oil (ohnonomnom); however I think the Singapore Hainanese chicken is a tad bit better, more meat I guess. It was still a great combo, definitely worth the wait! I wanted to try other stalls selling this dish but the bf insists that this is the best, so perhaps next time :p
 Basic set
 Chicken rice balls
Oh nom nom nom
Back to Jonker Walk - where hawkers packed the street last night, cars congested every possible lane. We got some food stuff: I got coconut cookies, pineapple tarts (the smell is heavenly) and prawn crackers. We got takeaway cendol and ABC (the former was better) at Jonker 88 (next to QQ ice) and sat in Taman Warisan Dunia park to indulge in our cool delights. The weather was nice and while there were people posing with the iconic statue of Dato' Wira Gan Boon Leong, there was a period of time when we were alone in the park and it was blissful :)
 Q again
 Natural lighting
My ABC

We headed back to the car and drove to Baba Charlie. There was a Q to pay so we wasted no time to grab baskets. I'm not a huge fan of nyonya kuih; I can't appreciate this delicacy and the pink kuih lapis is my favorite. My parents enjoy it, however (why did the gene skip me huh?), so I got kuih lapis, yam cake and kuih kapit. We waited about 15 min in Q before we paid for our kuih and drove back out to KL. 
 Kuih nyonya haul
Kuih kapit
The bf then suggested going to the famous Empayar Siew Pau on the way back to KL. We made the detour and it was packed! This is not surprising because the premise is shared with a popular Chinese restaurant. I got seaweed crackers, wheat germ biscuits and char siew pau. I was tempted to get a packet of instant white coffee but I resisted, so yay me :D 



I suppose next time I will focus on the outskirts of Melaka - perhaps visit the Portuguese settlement and get Klebang coconut shake ;) 

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