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Saturday 21 March 2015

Kocik Kitchen

100 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
75200 Melaka
Coordinates: 2.196159, 102.245590

Since it was our last night in Melaka (we planned to leave early the next morning to avoid the weekend traffic along the NKVE from the south headed to Kuala Lumpur) we decided to pamper ourselves to a little upmarket Nyonya soul food.

Although nothing near the overpriced Nancy’s Kitchen a few doors down, Kocik Kitchen does not quite fit the description of the everyday food for the everyday man. Nonetheless it’s a welcomed, occasional distraction.

Cat says the name Kocik is derived from the Hokkien term for youngest aunty.

along the road adjacent to Jonker Walk

it has a homely feel

we stepped in with anticipation

an ice shaving stall

Scanning the menu, we decided to sample their signature dish: the 1Ayam Buah Keluak. We added a large omelet together with another Kocik speciality, the 2Otak-Otak and 3Ngo Hiang Rolls.

1chicken cooked in curry consisting of the main ingredient, the buah keluak (pangium edule?)
2grilled fish cake made of ground fish meat mixed with tapioca starch and spices
3 chinese meat rolls also called loh bak, meaning five-spice meat rolls

the (challenging) ayam buah keluak

otak otak

large omelet

bendi masak sambal

ngo hiang rolls

Truth be told the Ayam Buah Keluak was not to our fancy, and something we believe to be more of an an acquired taste. Interestingly enough, Timeout Kuala Lumpur says: “Malaysia’s answer to the fugu fish, buah keluak (also known as pangium edule) is a deadly ingredient that’s used in Malaccan Peranakan cooking, with the most notable usage being in the ayam buah keluak dish. The unassuming large brown nuts (the seeds of the Kepayang tree found in the swamps of Southeast Asia) contain hydrogen cyanide, which can be lethal if ingested in large amounts.”

So in a way we felt vindicated. Other than then, the other excellent dishes more than made up for the rather disconcerting taste of Ayam Buah Keluak. Would we recommend Kocik Kitchen to anyone else? Of course we will, and if you have the acquired taste for Buah Keluak then it will be an added bonus.

Restoran Wilson Chicken Rice

No 2 Jalan Melaka Baru 20
Taman Melaka Baru
75350 Malacca
Coordinates: 2.239656, 102.258703

Anyone coming to Melaka town, and especially to the area of Jonker Walk will know that it is an absolute pain to have lunch in any one of the Chicken Rice Ball shops here.

Since we did not want to bother, and did not mind having regular Chicken Rice (instead of the balled variety) we headed out of town to a small suburban area where we read rave reviews about its dishes.

no where does it say 'Wilson'


Funny enough, the signboard does not say what the name of the shop is except for the capital “W”. It was much later that we found out the W stands for Wilson, and that this is just one of many Wilson Chicken Rice branches found in Melaka. In fact, there was one Wilson restaurant which was quite near our budget hotel. Sheesh!

rows of roasted chicken

clean and systematic

our bowls of plain soup

soy sauce island

the customary chinese tea

first came the plates of rice

then the roasted chicken

final shot for good measure

The rave reviews were not without merit, and we thoroughly enjoyed the roasted chicken that Wilson had to offer, and its rice was cooked to perfection as well. From the perspective of the everyday food for the everyday man, Wilson definitely fits the bill.

The Stadthuys

Bandar Hilir
75000 Melaka
Coordinates: 2.194174, 102.249557

We returned from the Portuguese Settlement and with some time to burn before lunch we stopped by the Red Square (sounds like a place in Moscow!) for a short stop.

No trip to Melaka would be complete without a visit to The Stadhuys. It is one of, if not the most iconic landmark in all of Melaka. Some would say A Famosa or St Paul’s Hill are equally famous, but when you say Melaka visions of the Red Square immediately comes to my mind.

It was built by the Dutch in 1650 and was used as the administrative center of successive governments for a period of 300 years. It was eventually converted into a history museum till the present day.

in the heart of Melaka City

oldest-surviving Dutch building


traffic was crawling, as is the case on weekends

what better time for a spot of cendol?

Another tourist attraction and source of countless photo opportunities here is the Queen Victoria's Fountain built to commemorate her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Queen Victoria's Fountain

built in 1901

elegant as ever

famous backdrop

colonial water fountain

in memory of a great Queen?

We got lost in the moment gazing at the many attractions here that we almost forgot lunch. Off to Wilson's!

Portuguese Settlement

14 Jalan Daranjo
Perkampungan Portugis
75050 Melaka
Coordinates: 2.183794, 102.266626

Excerpted from Wikipedia:

The Portuguese Settlement is a Malacca Portuguese community in Ujong Pasir, Melaka, Malaysia.

The Malacca portuguese are a Malaysian ethnic group with mixed Portuguese and Malay, which arose during the Portuguese colonial period (16th to 17th century).

In 1933, 11 hectares of land at Malacca were purchased with the purpose of creating a haven for scattered Malacca Portuguese and their culture. The swampy land was cleared and 10 wooden houses with earth floors and attap roofs were built. Saint John's village, as that simple fishing village was originally known, soon attracted additional malacca portuguese living all over Malacca, and grew to become one of Malacca's main tourist attractions, improving the standard of living of its villagers.

I came here a very long time ago before all this land reclamation began, and in place of the concrete plaza of hawker stalls there were wooden huts overlooking the sea. You literally sat under the stars and beside the gentle waves as you had your dinner of seafood and other assorted dishes (my particular favourite was the Devil’s Curry).

clean and sanitised

there's even a hotel at the other end

remnants of what it used to look like

this stall has a very special place in my heart

view of the jetty (or is it a pier)

it goes on a long way

view of Hotel Lisbon

view from the jetty 

a closer look at the remnants

an even closer look at the remnants

more developments coming up

one final shot

Brendan's caught sight of something?

ah, so this was it

Today the swamp is gone, and in place of it is a clean and satinized version of the Portuguese Settlement that I am not sure what to make of. Regardless, we’ll be coming again for dinner one of these days. Hopefully I’ll find me some Devil’s Curry!

Baba Charlie Nyonya Cakes

72 Lorong Tengkera Pantai 2C
Kampung Tengkera Pantai Dua
75200 Melaka
Coordinates: 2.203061, 102.231546

Breakfast out of the way, we headed back in the other direction in search of authentic local 1Nyonya cakes. Again, I found this shop after an extensive online search and we were excited for what was in store here at Baba Charlie. Even the name held its own charm and appeal.

1Straits-born Chinese

very unassuming

its actually a converted residential house

Good heavens! The amount and variety of Nyonya cakes sold here are just beyond belief, so we’ll just let these photos do the talking.

This place is pretty tricky to find so be sure to rely on your navigation device (or Waze, the mobile app) because the lane leading to Baba Charlie is very narrow and pretty inconspicuous.