PEr FYI

May 17, 2020

Calanthe Art Café, Melaka…merely so-so experience

Malaysia has a thriving specialty coffee scene that rivals that of other well known U.S. coffee-crazy cities like Seattle and San Francisco.

With the tagline ‘The First and Only One’, Calanthe is unique, serving specialty coffee drinks from all the 13 states of the country, some Malaysian states have unique blends of coffee mixed with margarine, salt or even wheat flour. With expectations raised sky-high, I was let down by the coffee I cupped which seemed relatively subdued and muted aromatics.

Calanthe is also called an “art cafe”, and therefore you can immerse in the artistic ambience, decorations and wall paintings. Food-wise the Calanthe Laksa – in-house recipe -the gravy consists of coconut milk, lemon grass, turmeric, dried prawn paste, shallots, etc. served with tofu puffs, fish balls, fried bean curd skin, portion of hard boiled egg, fishcake slices, bean sprouts and grated cucumber is nothing to write home to mother about.

The merely so-so vibes don’t quite last until the very end the week. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 18, 2020

Restoran Ban Lee Siang, Melaka…fading away

Satay celup, which literally means satay dip, can be found across Melaka and is similar to satay as the ingredients are skewered on sticks and dipped into a boiling pot of hot satay peanut gravy. One key difference though – satay celup has way more delicious and awesome variety such as enoki mushrooms wrapped in ham, crab sticks, cockles, fish balls, sausages and prawns.

One of the oldest and most original satay celup restaurant Restoran Ban Lee Siang can inevitably be “overrun with tourists” at times, but it’s still a big hit with many locals too. Having seen it at its very best in my younger days, it was disappointing to have an average meal.

It is a shadow of its former self. I kid you not. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 9, 2020

AirBnB: Silverscape Luxury Residence, Melaka…If I work hard, one day, with luck, I may be able to forget

We’ve all endured a disappointing hotel or accommodation at some point – whether it was bed bugs or the mattress was last upgraded in 1950.

There is one thing worse than staying in a dirty accommodation: to be told a day before arrival that there is no reservation for you. It was a red flag sign when I was informed that they didn’t have my reservation details and that the apartment I’d booked and paid for, was delisted. So I was offered an alternative apartment in the same building.

The evidence at Silverscape Residences began with the disturbing stench that hits you when you enter tower A via the residence carpark. Rooms were dusty. Not maintained or loved. It had a good location, sufficient amenities and the view from great – but it seriously lacked cleanliness.

This one will leave me with memories. They are bleak and troubling. If I work hard, one day, with luck, I may be able to forget. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 17, 2019

Ee Ji Ban, Melaka…a pleasant surprise

Ask someone to name a typical Melaka food and even a Singaporean will likely suggest chicken ball rice. (otherwise also known as chicken rice ball): fragrant chicken rice you know and love shaped into cute little golf ball sizes. In the entire state of Melaka, only one is halal certified – Ee Ji Ban.

Although I’m generally not a fan of halal Chinese food, I was pleasantly surpised and impressed with the excellent flavor and texture of the rice and dishes. It was busy and almost full when we arrived for dinner which we took to be a good sign. In addition to chicken rice balls, the menu offers nyonya delicacies. The sambal sotong (squid cooked in chili paste) is a crowd-pleaser if you fancy something with extra heat.

It is official, and who knew it: halal chicken rice ball is a thing. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 12, 2019

Restoran Boat Noodle, Melaka…a terrible waste of time

Restoran Boat Noodle isn’t good. It’s a terrible waste of their money and our money and everybody’s time.

Wondering if I’m being very Singaporean by complaining about this place? It starts with the smallest thing. The food is nothing special. It just manages not to be actively offensive. The ‘courses’ are indeed micromini portions. The wait time for the food was incredibly long that I almost died of old age. Only to realise I was serve the wrong dish. Apparently they didn’t have the one I ordered and they took the liberty to prepare something else for me…without checking nor informing.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but this place sucks. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 17, 2018

Lucky Famous, Melaka…affordable and forgettable

Most of the food at Lucky Famous is affordable and forgettable

The menu talks a good game and then, inevitably I suppose, the food arrives and blows it. They all tasted OK, but was too one-note, totally lacking special-something. The dishes were sometimes good and sometimes not, like playing mouthful roulette.

I won’t be compelled to revisit again and again. Only will drop in if I am around the area with nothing else more inspiring to eat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 12, 2017

East and West Rendezvous, Melaka…overpriced, overhyped and over-rated

I’m often a little nervous when visiting ultrahyped eating places found online, and East and West Rendezvous proved why. It was a complete fiasco. The food looked good from a distance but turned out to be rather unappetising

Nyonya dumpling (Nyonya chang) is the only type of bak chang I eat, so I know a tasty one when I eat it. The ones you get here are pretty average. To rub salt in the wound, the staff here wear their rudeness on their sleeves.

Get this place off your list. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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April 15, 2017

Donald & Lily Nyonya Food, Melaka…overrated 100 times

If nobody’s told you yet, it’s average food and unjustifiably pricey. Save yourself the wait and the drive.

And the food is not even that good! The food looked good from a distance but on closer inspection turned out to be rather unappetizing. I had nasi ketuk ayam rendang and taukua rojak. Neither dish was as good as their equivalents in any food court. Both were decent and edible, but as has been mentioned, was ordinary at best.

Honestly, there are many other underrated, inexpensive places to grab nyonya food in Melaka– just take my word for it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 26, 2017

Restoran Ming Huat, Melaka …mee kahwin is a mash-up you don’t want to miss

Mee kahwin, crudely translated is married noodles. It is – excuse me while I use the f-word – a fusion dish. The dish may sound frighteningly exotic and confused, but the marriage of mee rebus and Indian rojak has innate cohesion.

The mee kahwin here at one of the stalls at Restaurant Ming Huat is well executed, inventive Malay cooking served with sweet, sour, salty, spicy and peanuty flavour combinations. Yellow noodles are topped with taukua (fried beancurd), hard-boiled egg, potato cubes, fresh bean sprouts, crunchy cucur udang (prawn fritters), and cut green chillies, bathed in generous ladles the lip-smacking gravy.

It’s a mash-up you don’t want to miss. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 29, 2017

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine, Melaka…This is damn shiok

Nyonya cuisine is intensely rich, gutsy and accented with tangy, pungent and sour flavors. What makes Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine so fascinating and different is that it exemplifies the tenets of Slow Food. Peranakan recipes do require time-consuming preparation.

The food at Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine bears the hallmarks of the best of home cooking. The extraordinary kangkung kobis keledek masak titik lemak (water convolvulus, cabbage and sweet potatoes in coconut milk) was a superb dish which has a flavor quite unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The ikan geram asam (fish cooked in aromatic spicy tamarind gravy with ladies finger) was well balanced and deliciously rich. The udang goreng asam (succulent prawns sautéed in thick tamarind juice) was heavenly with a nice asam dressing to finish it off.

This is damn shiok. Shiok translates as conveying strong pleasure or tingling of the taste buds.  This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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