Chinese Food :: Where to find good chendol, laksa and popiah in Malacca.
Malacca’s good food places
Jalan Batang Tiga
Kampung Bukit Rambai, Malacca.
One of the few things I love is going on food trips around the country.
Sadly for me, I find it hard to get the right people to embark on this search for good food.
They are either too particular about cleanliness, too lazy to venture out, too condescending when they do not like something or just plain unadventurous.
Good thing I have Rif, who is just as adventurous as I am and knows a lot of good food places.
On our recent trip to Malacca, I discovered a few new eating places, where most locals go to.
The Bukit Rambai cendol stall was not easy to find.
It is located within a Nyonya house compound in Bukit Rambai.
If you are not local, chances are, you would have trouble finding the place.
Auntie Koh operates her stall from noon to 2pm on weekends, so get there early or risk disappointment.
Since she mans the stall alone, be prepared to wait for your cendol. Or you can collect it yourself.
The cendol, RM1.80 (S$0.80), was top-notch. I have never eaten cendol this rich before.
The green starch noodles were redolent of pandan leaves extract, while the fragrant gula Melaka (palm sugar) left a lingering sweetness in my mouth.
Auntie Koh uses fresh coconut milk for her cendol-no wonder it is so good.
Apart from cendol, she also sells tai bak (RM1.20), a Peranakan dessert comprising colourful flour noodles in pandan syrup.
Curious, I ordered a bowl to try. The noodles are made from three types of flour–rice, tapioca and wheat.
It looks a bit like loh shi fun, but thinner. These flour noodles usually come in red, pink, white and yellow, but Auntie Koh only makes them in red and white.
Tastewise, I found this plain next to the cendol. Rif liked it, so I concluded it might be a Peranakan thing, since our other two friends (non-Peranakans) also found it average.
Right after, we went to Baba Low for lunch. Like the cendol stall, this shack is located in the backyard of a colonial-style bungalow, and specialises in Malaccan Peranakan food.
Place your order at the counter/kitchen area and they will deliver the food to your table.
My friends and I ordered a Nyonya laksa (RM4 per bowl) each, followed by a plate of pai tee (RM3.50) and popiah (RM2.70) to share.
For the uninitiated, there is a difference between Nyonya laksa and curry laksa.
The Nyonya laksa broth is prepared using chicken and prawns while curry laksa uses chicken stock. The red-orange oil on the Nyonya laksa comes from the prawns, which gives the broth a richer and sweeter taste.
Baba Low’s laksa was pungent, lemak and fully flavoured from the blend of spices and chillies.
My bowl was filled with julienned cucumber, daun kesum, noodles (yellow mee and beehoon), juicy cockles, tofu puffs, half a boiled egg and prawns. I ate everything, right down to the last drop of laksa broth.
Pai tee, also known as top hats, is a crunchy flour cup filled with julienned sengkuang, cucumber, omelette and fried shallots. These tiny treats went well with the chilli sauce provided.
Simply pop it into your mouth and enjoy its crunchiness. The ‘hats’ were quite small — I could have polished all five pieces easily.
Baba Low’s popiah is packed with plenty of bean sprouts, cooked sengkuang, julienned cucumber and omelette strips.
I liked the special sweet sauce used on the popiah.
According to Rif’s father, the sweet sauce was made with gula Melaka. The wrap was just the right thickness and held the popiah together nicely.
Moist, generously filled and full of oomph from the chilli sauce — what’s not to like?
486 Jalan Tengkera, Malacca.
Tel: 06-283 1762.
By Tiong Sue Lynn, The Star Kuali.