Malacca, known as “The Historic State” is in the Southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Straits of Malacca. It is in between and bordered by Negeri Sembilan on the north and Johor on the south. It is the place where a lot of legendary myths and real-life histories occurred. Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the local monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. Various ethnic customs and traditions blended perfectly in Malacca. Peaceful life of the people of Malacca races due to the life that gave birth to the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Baba and Nyonya, Portuguese, Chitty and Eurasian.
Malacca has always had a significant spot in my heart as it is also the birth-place of my dad. Malacca town however, has a different kind of significance to me as I mostly visited during my University days as it was only 1 hour away from the campus. Other than the abundance of its history, there are many things one can see and experience in Malacca in less than 24 hours!
I decided to drive down there myself a few days ago just to see what has been changed. I picked up my partner for a ride and first we hit one of the famous breakfast spots which was ‘8272 Barakah Corner’, a small corner stall beside the main road. One may miss the opportunity to stop by if they drive too fast. Whilst we were there, we ordered the ‘roti canai merecik’ which is diced chicken, egg and Indian-influenced flatbread dish wrapped into a burrito or wrap shaped, drenched in curry and dahl gravy. We also took ‘roti planta’ which is flat-bread cooked with butter and sugar (my personal guilty pleasure). The famous ‘roti canai merecik’ was good and a wholesome meal.
After the meal, we decided to go to Stadthuys, a historical structure situated in the heart of Malacca City. It is also known as the Red Square for its red exterior and nearby red clocktower. It was built by the Dutch in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor. It is now a home to the History and Ethnography Museum, the displays are traditional costumes and artifacts throughout the history of Malacca, which makes it Malacca’s premier museum. The Stadthuys is a massive complex. The building’s interior has two floors and it is 30 metres wide.
Other than a replica on how the Dutch used to live and the Governor’s dining room, weapons were also on display, from sharp and historical ‘keris’ by Malay warriors to long swords used centuries ago by the British and Dutch. A mini replica on their big ships used when they were on waters and during their war were also shown. It was amazing how detailed it was and to realize that these ships took to the waters a long time ago.
After about 1 hour plus in the museum, digesting all the history that took place in Malacca, we decided to get lunch at one of the famous spots in Jonker Street which was Jonker 88. Malacca has always been greatly influenced by the Baba Nyonya heritage, which is a mixture of migrants from the 16th century travelling all the way to Malaysia and Malacca, specifically, and adapted the local culture and inter-married the locals as well. Their food, the way they dress and their influence in textiles and architecture have always intrigued me. At Jonker 88, I always opt for their ‘Assam Laksa’, a sour, spicy, tamarind and fish-based soup with noodles and bits of fishes and vegetables. It is one of the dishes that I will always make sure to get every time I go to Malacca.
Once the heat of the dish has settled down, we opted to go to The Daily Fix Café for a dessert. Slightly different than how Jonker 88 and the Stadthuys has been around since the early days, The Daily Fix café opened and was established in 2014 but is one of the cafes that is still standing in the middle of Jonker Street. They are famous for their various pancake flavours, from the basic butter and maple syrup to their local durian and pandan to their interesting twist to espresso shot and vanilla ice cream. We decided to get the durian pancake and the espresso shot with vanilla ice cream. Lo’ and behold, they actually put real durian cream inside the pancake itself and smell and flavour were definitely something durian lovers would go crazy for. The espresso pancake left me (a fellow coffee lover) in a trance of sweet and bitterness.
We then decided to drive down to Klebang Beach and get their famous Coconut Shake and chilled out around the area. It was filled with people of all ages having fun by the beach. For dinner, we went to Pak Putra, famous for its naan. Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread, I usually opt for their cheese naan with butter chicken. One can also opt for their garlic naan and tandoori chicken, do not forget to ask for their mint sauce as it accompanies the dish perfectly well.
Malacca will constantly have a significant part inside me. I dare say, its like a home away from home. You should definitely check the small town out whenever you’re in the area!
Diclaimer: Pictures are taken and edited by me.