Move over Jonker 88, I have found a better Durian Cendol in Melaka at East & West Rendezvous cafe. You are famous alright – buzzing with tourist customers for almost anytime of the day and there is no doubt your cendols are decent. But to endure the long queue for a bowl? It just ain’t worth my time and sweat anymore.
This is by far the best Durian Cendol I have had in Melaka and it is still relatively under-appreciated due to the fact that everyone still flocks to Jonker 88. East & West Rendezvous’ signature Nyonya Cendol has finely shaved ice that is almost fluffy and flavored with 100% Gula Melaka.
The difference is quite noticeable at the first tasting. Besides being more fragrant, its overall sweetness is just right and the dollop of real durian flesh (instead of using syrup) are very good too. So even if I try, there is nothing worth nitpicking about.
There is another halal Nyonya restaurant called Bibi Chik at SS2, located at the row of shops just behind the Nyonya Restaurant I went earlier last year. I have always wanted to give it a try because according to a friend who have been to both restaurants, he thinks Bibi Chik fared slightly better. Recently, we had a farewell lunch for our colleague there. But since the dishes are pre-ordered, I do not know how much they cost.
Due to the new coat of maroon paint, the restaurant felt kind of dark and gloomy but not without a distinctive feel. First dish to arrive was Crispy Brinjal, which easily won everyone over. From the looks it seems ordinary enough but you would be pleasantly surprised by the taste. The brinjals still retained the soft and mushy texture on the inside but on the honey coated outside, it was slightly crisp with a crunch. This is more like an appetizer actually.
Located at the heart of PJ, SS2 is Nyonya Restaurant – a three decades old and pork free restaurant serving authentic baba nyonya cuisine since 1974. Although the current owner is the fourth, changes have been minimal and the dishes are still faithfully prepared according to the original chef’s recipes.
I like to start off my Nyonya meal with spicy seafood hence Sambal Udang Petai @ RM15.50 is always a must-order-dish. What I liked the most about this dish of the day is the sea-caught prawns, which were really fresh and also decently sized. The sambal has a paste like consistency so the flavor and spiciness are nicely concentrated. Simply the perfect dish to be had with rice.
The Beef Rendang @ RM15 does not look too appealing on photo but that’s really my fault actually. Being my second favorite dish of the entire meal, it was cooked slowly to ensure the tender beef slices could fully absorb the spicy condiments. I highly recommend this dish, as you will certainly not be disappointed by its fragrant and flavorful taste.
A recent visit to Q Wok Nyonya Curry House at Taman Bayu Mutiara near Autocity had us delighted over the good and affordable home cooked traditional Nyona dishes. Most of the dishes have three sizes from small to medium to large and the pricing is justified for the clean environment as well as an efficient service (no service charge here!).
Kapitan Chicken (whole leg portion) @ RM7.50 was meaty and tender. Liberal use of coconut milk, belacan and lemongrass made the gravy really thick and flavorful.
One of my personal favorite – Curry Lamb @ RM7 for a small portion. Depending on your luck, you may get either meat or ribs. I guess we were lucky that day as we got two strips of lamb ribs. And better still, they were the soft ones, which you can easily suck out the juicy, tender meat attached. Tasted a little gamey just like it should, delicious.
If you’re having rice then Q Wok’s Sambal Udang (S) @ RM10 is very recommended for its appetizing flavor – the gravy goes very well with rice! I have to admit I was disappointed when the prawns arrived looking miserably small and different from what was shown in the menu. But then we were satisfied with the freshness and taste.
Ngor Hiang, or what we usually refer to as Loh Bak in terms of hawker food was a fair affair. Two rolls cut into eight pieces @ RM3 only.