Travel Blitz #6 – Like A Recurring Dream : A Mini Hakka Food Tour @ MelakaJune 10, 2012 | 7,060 views
Is this a Museum or a Temple, you asked?
Talk about irony. Just a few days after writing about Hakka Rang Restaurant in Kota Damansara; a Chinese restaurant specializing in Hakka cuisine with a formidable line up of backing from media exposure and fan base, here we were again; dining at Hakka Zhan Restaurant. But this time about 150km down south in the historical town of Melaka, within a short distance away from Pak Putra; the Tandoori & Naan specialist.
Four dishes for 2 pax. And yet still left me hankering for more. I am a natural when it comes to auditioning for an ogre character.
Hakka Zhan Restaurant @ Taman Kota Laksamana, Melaka
After the umpteenth visit to Melaka within the past half year (try digesting the two chapters of Malacca – History. Diversity. Gastronomy series, and a subsequent 2D/1N saga to be posted soon), I could really use some help from the locals or gastronomic extraordinaire with a strong penchant for hunting down the best street food within the region.
Hence, the short notice prior to this business trip left me incapacitated from proper planning (work+leisure comes together, no point separating them …). But a colleague of mine who’s a local brought me for dinner at Hakka Zhan Restaurant, same row with Asam Pedas Claypot (which I have not tried, but had our lunch at Asam Pedas Selera Kampung @ Plaza Mahkota on the same day), and a stone’s throw away from Pak Putra; what many had claimed to be the best Tandoori in Melaka.
Some went to the extent of crowning this the best in Malaysia.
Regardless, the dinner at Hakka Zhan was satisfactory; though how we wished we had gathered a larger crowd to sample their signature Traditional Mutton Steamboat; or the variant of Duck Claypot Steamboat.
The Mui Choy Pork (RM15/USD5) and Steamed Jenak Fish Teochew style (RM19/USD6) were both evidences of excellence in the culinary department; transforming homely dishes into delicious feasts served in this restaurant. The Claypot Eggplant with Basil Leaves (RM8/USD2.70) was my favourite dish of the evening. Doused in a sweetish gravy and kept warm in the claypot, the slices of eggplant (brinjal/aubergine) were packed with an explosive myriad of flavours; and textures from fried garlic, chopped scallions and aroma from the basil leaves.
HAKKA ZHAN RESTAURANT (non-Halal)
76, Taman Kota Laksamana
75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Tel No : +6012-331 3611
Business hours : 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm.
Avillion Legacy Hotel (www) @ Jalan Hang Tuah
This was the first time I was put up at Avillion Legacy Hotel on Jalan Hang Tuah, a short distance away from town. A blessing for those who want to escape the claustrophobic streets and alleys within the major tourist area. That being said, this supposedly 4 stars establishment definitely has seen better days.
Checking-in took me a good 15 minutes although I was the only guest. Towels came with stains (don’t ask what), and with holes. Thankfully, the bed was comfortable and clean. The room reeked of an unpleasant damp smell and broadband/Wifi does NOT come complimentary, but at RM20 per day is still very reasonable.
I’ll probably stick to the newer boutique hotels or even budget ones around town (there are a dime a dozen!) if I’m travelling next time.
A Hakka breakfast of Fish Ball Noodles with Yong Tau Foo @ Jalan Kubu, Melaka
On the very next day, breakfast was at this corner coffee shop on Jalan Kubu that screams old-school. Only one stall selling fish ball noodles, yet the premise was packed on a weekday morning. Signs of good things to come?
The kuey teow (flat rice noodles) resembled Chee Cheong Fun quality of rice noodles instead; a thicker and dense strands unlike Ipoh’s version. Tossed in a rather bland concoction of sauces (soy sauce and dark soy sauce being the prominent ones), and finished up with fried shallot and chopped scallions. The fish balls are definitely the draw here; larger than the generic ones sold elsewhere, with a bounce that’s not unnatural. Served with a combination of chili and sweet sauce, the YTF here had none of the ‘wow’ factor that will draw tourists by the busloads, yet has definitely touched many hearts; especially those growing up in Melaka town.
KUBU YONG TAU FOO
@ junction of Jalan Kubu and Jalan Tan Chay Yan,
GPS Coordinates : 2.200013,102.245812
Opens for breakfast til early lunch