Monday, July 21, 2014

Gluttons in Melaka

From Klick-Klock Homestay, everywhere became walking–distance because no distance could keep gluttons away from food.

Chang of Klick-Klock brought the group of gluttons to an eatery on Jalan Bunga Raya (street parallel to Jalan Jawa, where Klick-Klock was) that was still open for very late lunch. Although there were about five stalls, only one was still serving food at 3PM. The group chowed down on char siu (roasted pork) with rice (MYR 5), tofu (MYR 1, about 6 pieces per serving), and egg (MYR 1 for one whole egg).

 Char siu (left) and eggs and tofu (right)

Barely three hours after that late lunch, they were already lining up outside Capitol Satay (opens at 5PM) on 41 Lorong Bukit Cina, for a taste of just about anything—prawns, squid, chicken, pork, eggs, vegetables, bread, dumplings—cooked in a boiling pot of peanut sauce. Once they were assigned a table, a fresh pot of peanut sauce was set in the middle of the table and the burner turned on to keep the sauce boiling. They picked from a variety of choices in the open chiller, and went back three more times. The next thing they saw, they already had piles of sticks and plates. Skewers were for MYR 1 per stick, and others were priced depending on the color of the plate they were served in (from MYR 3 to MYR 8).

 Satay Celup (celup means dip)

The first part of breakfast the next day was at Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice on the corner of Jonker Street and Lorong Hang Jebat. Because this was just the first on the list of food stops that needed to be crossed off by lunch, the group ordered just half a chicken (MYR 21) and three orders (MYR 1.50 per order; five pieces per order) of rice balls. The chicken was tender and the sticky rice balls were savory. Both the chicken and the rice balls were best eaten with the spicy chili sauce.

Hainanese chicken, chicken rice balls, and a bottle of spicy chili sauce

The second part of breakfast was Nyonya Asam Laksa (MYR 7), a spicy and sour noodle soup with egg, tofu, and fishcakes, at Jonker 88 along Jonker Street. It was good soup, but it was too spicy that it made their eyes water. To wash away the spices, they decided to get a Baba Chendol (MYR 4), a dessert made of finely shaved ice, pandan jelly (that looked like worms), drenched in coconut milk and sweet palm sugar syrup. The chendol reminded them of halo-halo but with fewer ingredients.

Jonker 88 and menu (click to enlarge)

Nyonya asam laksa (left) and Baba chendol (right)

Walking along Jonker Street, the gluttons found many food stalls and made some room for fried durian balls (MYR 5 for three pieces) from Durian King, and durian and yogurt cream puffs (MYR 5 for three pieces) from Taste Better. The fried durian balls and the durian cream puffs were a hit for the durian lover in the group. For the rest who didn't think durian is king...they put the yogurt cream puffs on a throne.

Durian King and Taste Better

Lunch time would be in another two hours and the gluttons crossed the river and proceeded south to find the best mee goreng in the city as tipped by Chang: Tanjung Mee Goreng. They had been walking for almost an hour and a half and had almost given up, when one of them spotted the sign almost at the end of Jalan PM3. Hallelujah! A big platter of chilli mee goreng (MYR 5.90), a big platter of chilli kuey teow (MYR 5.50), and glasses of teh c special (MYR 3.50 per glass). The chilli kuey teow was worth the hunt! If they didn't have one more food stop, they could have eaten another platter.

Click to enlarge menu

 Clockwise from top left: chilli mee goreng, teh c special, and chilli kuey teow

The last stop was mille crepe cakes at Nadeje in Mahkota Parade, just a few minutes walk from Tanjung Mee Goreng. The pictures on the menu were mouthwatering, but for MYR 9.90 per slice of mille crepe cake, they could only afford to get one each. Each picked a different flavor and let the plates go around. A "delicious!" was exclaimed for each bite and none of them could decide which flavor was best.

Click to enlarge

Clockwise from top left: strawberry, green tea, tiramisu, and original

Malaysia Must–Know
Home in Kuala Lumpur
Like a King in Kuala Lumpur
Klick-Klock Homestay in Melaka
Gluttons in Melaka (you're here!)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Klick–Klock Homestay in Melaka

We traveled 148 kilometers southeast of Kuala Lumpur (a two-hour, MYR 24.30, bus ride from the international airport in Kuala Lumpur) to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Melaka City in the state of Melaka (or Malacca). The bus's last stop was Melaka Sentral Station and we had to endure an oven-hot taxi ride (the taxi's air conditioning unit wasn't working and it was boiling inside, but the taxi driver refused to open the windows) to the city center for an agreed price of MYR 20 (no meters in taxis in Melaka).

Since we were in a historic city, our companion decided to book a home in an old pre-world war building. Brilliant. For a hefty price of MYR 400, I hope there are no ghosts there.

We were dropped off in front of a white building with green windows on a quiet one-way street. The door was closed. All windows were shut. Knocking on the windows and calling "Anyone home?" did not summon any person nor ghost. We wondered where the owner was. A few more minutes of wondering and peeking around corners, we saw a sweaty Chang rushing down the one-way street.

Chang, all chatty and apologetic, unlocked the front door and showed us into Klick-Klock. On the ground floor, on one corner, a table with a PC; and by the door, a bicycle. Both (PC and bicycle), we were told, we could use anytime.


On the second floor, on the side facing the street, was the bedroom with one king-sized bed and one queen-sized bed. Just outside the bedroom, the living area; and then the dining area near the stairs. From the bedroom to the dining area, the floor is made of wood. And if I wear one of their red wooden slippers, I could klick-klock around the house and make an infernal noise...but this is a no-no, as advised by the sign hanging by the stairs: Please don't walk like an elephant. I can only wear these wooden slippers on the non-wood-floor part of the house, which is at the other end of the second floor—the very spacious shower area, where I can choose to shower for everyone to see or, when feeling shy, draw the bamboo blinds down.

I am a tightwad and Klick-Klock is in the splurge category, but I am glad—I think everyone in the group was glad—to have splurged. Klick-Klock is neat. Orderly. And just lovely. Made me wish I had a house like this, where I, and not just the ghosts, could klick-klock around in wooden shoes.

Klick-Klock Homestay
48 Jalan Jawa, Melaka, Malaysia
Phone: +6012 679 9776

Price: MYR 400 (up to four persons); extra person MYR 50 (maximum of two extra persons)
Booking: Full payment required upon booking.
Taxi and tours can be arranged through Klick-Klock.

Just kidding. There are no ghosts in Klick-Klock.

Malaysia Must–Know
Home in Kuala Lumpur
Like a King in Kuala Lumpur
Klick-Klock Homestay in Melaka (you're here!)
Gluttons in Melaka

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Like a King in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala there are the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower, Merdeka Square, Batu Caves...but we didn't visit any of those. Instead we pretended to be kings.

Spend Like a King
Lot C07, Concourse Floor, Suria KLCC,
Kuala Lumpur
Daily 10AM to 10PM

You can find Nando's around Malaysia: other branches.

Before spending like a king, we had to queue like the common people we really are. Nando's must be really good for people to be lining up to get a table. After some 15 minutes, we got seated in the very crowded restaurant, where there was barely any space to move. For our group of four, we got the jumbo platter (MYR 110, includes two whole chickens and five large sides) and four glasses of bottomless iced tea (MYR 5.90 per glass).

The sidings were nothing great. The chicken was juicy but it was the sauce that made it a winner.

The total bill included government tax and 10% service charge, and each of us shelled out MYR 40. That may have been cheap for a real king, but for a pauper pretending to be one, that was already in the splurge category.

King of the Street

Jalan Alor. When the sun goes down, the entire street becomes off limits to transportation and the tables and chairs come out. Restaurants extend their dining area to the street and food stalls come alive.

Jalan Alor at night

It was more than an hour past our dinner time and we couldn't spare another minute to check out the other restaurants in this 350-meter street. From the Changkat Bukit Bintang end of Jalan Alor, Cu Cha Restaurant was the first restaurant we saw that had a good number of diners.

75 Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur
Monday to Saturday 1PM to 4AM
Sunday 1PM to 12MN


Braised pork belly with salted vegetables (small) MYR 21
Salted egg yolk prawns MYR 33
Stir fried kai lan (Chinese kale) with garlic MYR 1.30
Dumpling noodle soup MYR 8.50
Wantan mee MYR 6.50

Eaten on the street, but not exactly in the streetfood price range. Nevertheless, we were satisfied. We were full. And we tried to walk it off to the end of Jalan Alor and back (where we found more restaurants, Turkish ice cream, coconut ice cream, barbecue carts, etc.)

Eat Like a King

This here is a little strip of streetside eateries we found near Parkview Service Apartments (our home in Kuala Lumpur for two nights). This place is not for the germ-o-phobes... it's on the street; critters scampering under the tables to get to the other side of the street shouldn't be a surprise.

Seri Tomyam
Jalan Cangkat Perak, Kuala Lumpur
(near Parkview Service Apartment, road perpendicular to Jalan Law Yew Swee)

Cheap eats at Seri Tomyam. Except the roti canai (bottom, rightmost), which is from another booth.

Seri Tomyam is open from 4PM to 4AM and serves tomyam, nasi goreng, mee goreng...with chicken or shrimp or seafood or vegetables. Laksa is also served but only in the mornings. The food is from MYR 3 to MYR 7. The teh tarik (milk tea) costs MYR 1.50. (The roti canai, MYR 1, is from another booth in the same strip of eateries.) We liked eating like a king rather than spending like a king, that we ate here twice.

Malaysia Must–Know
Home in Kuala Lumpur
Like a King in Kuala Lumpur (you're here!)
Klick-Klock Homestay in Melaka
Gluttons in Melaka