We were from JB and it would still be another two hours or more before we reached KL.
The kids wanted either McDonalds or KFC but I vetoed their choice. I was paying for lunch and since we were in the state famous for its Asam Pedas, we may as well find one restaurant, stall or outlet that offer this.
We circled Bandar Hilir three times, twice going through Jonker Street, until we were told by some beca operators, who charge RM40 for an hour ride around the town (“harga kerajaan, kak,” one operator said), to “pergi depan sikit dekat kapal tu, ada banyak tempat makan Melayu.”
You see, whenever we travel out of KL, we want to try whenever possible local food in the states we are in.
Last year on a night stay in Negeri Sembilan for my nephew’s engagement ceremony, we could not find any restaurant that served authentic Negeri Sembilan dishes in the town area.
One restaurant had its billboard as Restoran Masakan Negeri but it turned out to be a Mamak restaurant instead. “Sini masak Melayu juga,” the waiter said.
Why do I have a nagging feeling that this Malacca trip was going to turn out to be like the Seremban one?
“Kat depan tu ada tempat makan Melayu,” my brother said, as he had passed the area once earlier after dropping us in front of the Stadhuys. We had thought we could walk there but it was quite a distance away and as mak couldn’t stand the heat that day, we waited for my brother to get the car.
The sign read as “Newton Centre” and we wondered if it had any connection to the Newton Food Centre in Singapore.
He dropped us at the front side of the food court.
I confidently walked in, with Mak, my sister in law and two kids in tow while my brother parked the car.
“Ni tempat Melayu kan Angah? Tapi kenapa tak ada orang Melayu?” Danial asked. The six-year old speaks his mind.
He was right. As we walked through to the back, we realized that the front portion of Newton Centre was dedicated to Chinese foodstalls although upon entering the food centre, we saw a halal signage.
The halal portion of Newton Centre is small than the Chinese section but it had a variety of food offerings.
I remember taking a bullock cart to circle the Padang Pahlawan twice or more back in the early 1990s.
I wonder if I can still do it there. If not, can someone tell me where I can do it now?