Tuesday, June 19, 2007

IN SEARCH OF ... ASAM PEDAS IN MELAKA?

It was a brief visit to Melaka to drop off my grandniece, who was undergoing her chemical engineering practical at a glove-making factory in Ayer Keroh. We decided since it was lunchtime, we may as well head to Bandar Hilir to find a place to eat.
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.
The mouth-watering dishes from as far as Indonesia
We didn’t order Asam Pedas; instead, we tried the Noodle stall, which was quite good. Between the four adults and one 11 year old, I paid RM35. Danial was the only one who didn’t eat as he had his mind set on McDonalds’ instead. Mysara didn't quite care as long as she got to eat.
Belut Goreng (left), not exactly what I was looking for to eat, and music out of the Juke Box (right) entertained diners
Melaka warrants another visit, longer this time, as we later found out as we drove out from the Newton Centre that the Padang Pahlawan has been “re-constructed” to include what can easily be the largest McDonalds’ outlet in Malacca.
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?
History on the wall
* All pix taken using the N95

4 comments:

tokasid said...

Salam Fauziah:

Kesian Fauziah tak dapat asam pedas.
Newton Food Centre is the second outlet tapi lebih posh for the same operator. basically its for the Chinese market but bagus jugak dia sewakan utk Muslim operators to cater to Muslims.

Actually there is restoran Gerai 35 nearby the Newton. Gerai 35 offers masakan kampung and dah tentu asam pedas. They have very nice ikan bakar cecah air asam/cencalok/kicap cili padi. Ada banyak ulam2 kampung too.

Asam pedas melaka kalau nak yg sedap selalunya pada waktu malam. There are a few near pasar borong( with asam pedas pari,kembong,cencaru and dah tentu daging tetel)and somewhere near perigi hang Li Poh at foot of Bukit Cina( yg ni masuk jalan2 cari makan).

Lain kali kalau nak datang bagitau eh!

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Tokasid
There was a stall at Newton Centre which serves Asam Pedas but we decided against it sebab mood nak makan Asam Pedas tu dah hilang kerana terpaksa berpanas dan tawaf Bandar Hilir dua, tiga kali sebelum jumpa tempat makan Melayu.
Ini lah bahananya pergi ke satu-satu tempat dengan tidak membuat homework with the locals.
I have relatives in Melaka, cuma kalau dah bertanya mereka, nanti kalau tak singgah, serba salah pula rasanya.
Next time saya turun ke Melaka, I will let you know.

Jie said...

Salam, Fauziah,

When I was last in Melaka, had a nice asam pedas lunch at the foodcourt across the road from the Muzium Maritim, the 'kapal' that the beca guy told you about :-)

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Jie
Bila dah overshot tempat tu, memang lah tak nak berpatah balik, so that's why we ended up at Newton Centre instead.
Next time we're in Melaka, we'll explore more.