We made a day trip to Historic Malacca early in October ('we' meaning Charmaine Augustin, Lee Yulie, Catherine and yours truly). Malacca's fame rest on the fact that it used to be the hub for the spice trade in centuries past. The spice trade was so lucrative and Malacca's position so strategic that the Portuguese, under the helm of Alfonso De Albuquerque, seized control of the port city in 1511. Portuguese conquest brought the Malacca Sultanate to an end. The last Sultan of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud, fled to Johor. He made several attempts to retake Malacca but to no avail.
|A tricycle bedecked in pink may be the best way to see the town!|
|A Famosa is the most famous remnant of Portuguese rule in Malacca.|
(Picture taken from the Internet.)
|Yulie, Charmaine and Catherine|
|Bukit Cina (Chinese Hill), an ancient graveyard in Malacca |
bears testimony to the fact that the Baba- Nyonya community
has been living here for many centuries.
Image taken from the Internet
Admiral Zeng He (Admiral Cheng Ho in these parts), the famous emissary of Emperor Yong Le of the Ming Dynasty brought a boatload of people on his Treasure Ships from China to Malacca on his many voyages... Legend has it that the intrepid Admiral also brought a Chinese princess called Hang Li Po to be the wife of Sultan Mansor Shah of Malacca. Legend has it, Princess Hang Li Po was accompanied by a retinue of 500 ladies-in-waiting, maids and attendants.
|Yulie's friends joined us for lunch...|
Oh back to the food - Charmaine ordered soup, Nyonya Chicken Curry, Egg Foo Yong, Otak-Otak, kang kong belacan and lobak - a kind of sausage made from minced chicken/pork and vegetables such as carrot and radish. Was it everything we were hoping for? Honestly, I was underwhelmed... it was delicious enough, especially the chicken curry and the lobak, but hardly worthy of the title of 'most authentic Nyonya cuisine' as claimed by Keller. Charmaine decided that was the last time we were going to listen to MTV hosts for food and restaurant advice... even if their mother was a native of Malacca.
|The Geographer Cafe is a popular spot for tourists. |
It is better known for drinks rather than food.
For dessert, we adjourned to another restaurant called Jonker 88 - based on the advice of a blogger. Jonker Street is the most famous street in Malacca, where all the historic shophouses are located. We all had cendol - a classic Malaysian dessert made of finely shaved ice, coconut milk, Gula Malacca (brown palm sugar) and cendol - green noodles flavoured with pandan leaves. The ones served here also had red beans added and you could also get a topping of durian ice cream...
|Bowls of cendol from 88 Jonker Street|
|This young woman made better cendol than 88 Jonker!|
|Street musician playing a traditional lute|
|Entrance to the Hokkien Clan House?|
|Detail of a mother tiger and her cub on a plaster cast on the side wall. |
The opposite wall had a dragon which had been defaced.
One of the most impressive shops we visited was Jonker Gallery, the interior was extraordinary with carved and gilded wood decorations everywhere. Unfortunately they did not allow photography inside. I managed to snap one anyway...
|Impressive interior of Jonker Gallery, which sold mainly T-shirts...|
Our last stop was at Puri Padi, one of Yulie's favourite shop in Malacca. The entrance was enchanting - very Balinese in style with decorative stone gateway and water feature wall with goldfish swimming in a crystal clear pool beneath...
|Yulie's favourite shop is Balinese style Puri Padi.|
|Beautiful water feature adds to the allure of Puri Padi.|
|Catherine and Charmaine take a brief respite from the heat...|