The furthest I have been to in Melaka is Umbai – a town famous for seafood, notably ikan bakar. As far as I know there are two places you could go to satisfy your seafood craving here. It could be either at the older Medan Ikan Bakar (in which the Parameswara stall is most popular) or at the spanking new floating complex blessed with a nice view of the sea known as “Perkampungan Ikan Bakar Terapung“, or PIBT in short.
We decided to check out the latter for no particular reason. And no, that’s not my Kancil.
It was only 5.30pm so there weren’t many people there yet. Only a handful of stalls were operating while the rest was just starting to open up for the night. Of course, as expected there will be a few stray cats lingering around, but generally the place seemed clean and well maintained.
After surveying the options available, we chose to order from stall no.5 Enak Rasa Ikan Bakar. Like any normal ikan bakar stall, you get to choose the type of seafood you want and the cooking style you fancy. If you are undecided, the cooks are friendly and happy to recommend according to your preferences.
Wong Solo is one of my favorite Indonesian restaurants in Klang Valley and you could find their outlets in major townships easily. For those who eat Indonesian food on a regular basis you will find their menu nothing surprising and comprises many common and traditional Indonesian dishes. I have tried their Penyet stuff before which is not bad but Wong Solo is also famous for their signature Ayam/Ikan Bakar.
They use ‘ayam kampung’ for their Ayam Bakar and it tastes very close to the normal barbecued chicken but a lot better – more tender and the taste leans towards sweetness because of the dark soya sauce marinade. Although I liked the Ayam Bakar, I am not too happy with the portioning. For RM6.90 at a normal establishment like this, I would have expected a larger portion. Seriously this is not even enough for 1 pax to go with rice.
Anyway, two condiments are readily available on each table – one thick, spicy and sweet soya sauce while the other (sambal ulek) is extremely spicy. And when I say extreme I really mean it, one small dip packs a big punch.
Mee Bandung is one of the foods you should not miss in Muar, simply because the best ones are all concentrated here. In fact, Muar is the town where Mee Bandung is said to originate from. Anyway, there are many stalls and restaurants you could go looking for this popular local dish but I placed my bet on Abu Bakar Hanipah‘s at Wah San Kopitiam along Jalan Abdullah. The coffee shop’s name is especially catchy and easy to remember for me, since there is a clan and mountain with the same name in Chinese martial arts novels too.
This was my first time having Mee Bandung Muar and all I could say is that I was immediately hooked. Imagine a hearty serving of noodle in an egg and shrimp broth that tastes extraordinary, like a slightly sweeter and concentrated version of Chinese prawn noodle but topped with delicious beef slices and small whole shrimps instead. Each mouthful is rich and bursting with prawn flavor, there’s simply no stopping once you have started – simply delicious. Priced at RM4 per plate, no doubt this is one of the best local food we had during our short trip to Muar.
I couldn’t care less about Marmalade Cafe‘s cute decor and cheerful ambience because the service is slow and inefficient despite being half full. Food is average at best and the staff is biased towards foreigners. Well, you know the ‘we came first but we got served last’ scenario. And if you see any function going on, my advice for you is to just turn around and walk away.
Moroccan Lamb Shank @ RM26 – looks promising, comes with generous portions and the meat is tender. Problem is, the sauce lacked of flavors while the tasteless rice is nothing but a stomach filler. And what do you know, it took them a ridiculous 40 minutes to serve this.