The historical city of Malacca (Melaka in Malay) never ceases to amaze us. Despite having explored it on many occasions, hubby and I still continue to return at any opportune time. However, this time around, I dragged hubby along when I was tasked with a 2-day (Tuesday & Wednesday) job assignment in Malacca. As hubby had many more annual leaves to spare for the rest of this year, he had agreed to accompany me for this trip.
We left Kuala Lumpur around 5pm as soon as hubby got home from work. It was a smooth drive down south without much traffic on our side of the highway. It took us slightly less than one and a half hours to reach the Ayer Keroh highway exit. From there till Eco Tree Hotel was another 30 minutes as the traffic became heavier when we approached the city centre.
With Waze, we managed to locate the hotel without any hassle. The accommodation was taken care of by my company, but a quick check on Booking showed that a superior room was priced at RM157 per night inclusive of taxes. Got ourselves checked in and quickly dashed out for dinner as the hunger pangs set in. As usual, we made our pilgrimage to Jonker Walk, a Chinatown along Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat). This is where you’ll get most of the delicacies Malacca has to offer.
Neither of us could ever have imagined that Jonker Street would be so dead on a weekday. No wonder, it was so easy finding a parking lot along Heeren Street (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) – parallel to Jonker Street. To be fair, we’ve never been to Jonker Street on a weekday. Now we know…
Although most shops were closed by 7pm, a couple of shops were still open. Far East Cafe, which served authentic Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine, caught our attention and since we didn’t have many options, we decided to give it a try. Honestly, it wasn’t bad at all but it definitely wasn’t the best we’d had either. Nonetheless, it would have sufficed for dinner.
Opposite Far East Cafe is the renowned Geographer Cafe. Located within the heart of Old Malacca, this touristy eatery is arguably the most prominent landmark along Jonker Street. Besides its food, most people also enjoy the live music and what its pub has to offer.
After dinner, we strolled along Jonker Street just to experience what it was like at that hour on a weekday.
As soon as we got back to the hotel, I retired to bed as I had to get up early for my assignment the next day. In times like this, I wished I was in hubby’s situation, where he needed not worry about work for the next two days. The hotel’s breakfast the next morning, which was clearly beyond my expectation, left me totally flabbergasted.
I was done with work early the next day and we decided to go back to Jonker Walk to finish some unfinished business – explore a couple of shops and enjoy our favourite Nyonya laksa at Jonker 88. Without fail, every time we visit Malacca, we’ll have a bowl of Jonker 88’s laksa. In fact, it’s chendol is also very tasty, especially the durian chendol, which by the way is seasonal. Having said that, over the years we’ve seen a gradual but significant increase in prices. A bowl of laksa tod ay will cost at least RM7 (used to be RM5). Besides, I personally feel that the vendors are becoming more aloof and arrogant nowadays.
Christina Ee Jonker Nyonya Enterprise is one of the many shops that specializes in homemade Nyonya delicacies. This is where you’ll get one of the best pineapple tarts. After our purchase, the shopkeeper offered us a bowl of specially made chendol at a discounted price – RM3.50 per bowl (usually RM5). It was indeed mouth-watering and the best part was, each bowl came with free flow palm sugar (gula Melaka), which is the very essence that makes chendol palatable.
After that, we walked around Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith Street) and made a turn back onto Jonker Street. We ended up having affogato at The Daily Fix, a quaint little cafe which occupies the back portion of a boutique. It’s commonplace for the shophouses in Jonker Street to be unusually long (roughly 80m), thereby allowing most owners to share their back portion with other traders.
From Jonker Street, we ventured out toward The Shore Melaka and Kampung Morten, which are encircled by the Malacca River. Nearby would also be Majestic Hotel and St. Peter’s Church.
Dinner that night was at a conspicuously huge food court that’s situated along Jalan Syed Abdul Aziz. I’m not too sure if it even has a name to it. There are tonnes of stalls available and as such, we were spoilt for choice. We had chargrilled fish (ikan bakar) and squid (sotong bakar) with rice, as well as fried rice cake (char koay kak). Prices of food here are definitely more reasonable than those within the UNESCO world heritage site, Jonker Walk being part of it.
Before hitting the sack, we went up to the 9th floor to check out the hotel’s sky deck pool bar. It was such a waste that we didn’t have time to enjoy the rooftop swimming pool – highest in town. Perhaps, next time we will…
After completing my task the next day, we headed back to KL. Along the way, we stopped by Freeport A’Famosa Outlet to shop for some apparels. I must admit that Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA Sepang‘s array of shops and deals are way better.
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