With the cultural ties and geographical proximity, Melaka doesn't much have difference when it comes to food choices with Singapore. But still, my pride as a traveller won't allow to me to settle with the usual food fare. Although, I have to admit my abhorance to anything fastfood when abroad crumbled when I compared the price difference (KFC chicken rice, anyone?)
It was a Hari Raya Weekend and even the roadside eateries were closed, and our search for proper lunch led us food court hopping inside malls. The scent of the familiar noodles, curry, sambal, chili and various spices combined with the cooling aircon of the food court is enough to fool our minds that we were back in Singapore.
My search for the weird almost concluded in disappointment until I chanced upon a chicken rice stall. A Chicken Rice Ball stall to be precise. One can argue that chicken rice is chicken rice, and therefore not weird, even if it comes in a spherical package. But still, they don't have that in Singapore. So, off I parted with my RM3.80.
Chicken Rice Ball is made up of (semi?) grounded rice pressed in a sphere. It comes well, with Chicken (broiled or fried) and the usual chicken broth soup with a sprinkle of a green vegetable stem thingy. They say 7 balls is equivalent to a cup of rice. I ate 1 ball, and decided that it is more than a mouthful (no pun intended, geez) so I ate the rest half bite at a time. Afterwards I washed it down with Milo Freeze. My verdict? It is a little bit dry on the mouth and the rice is coarse to the palate but it tasted different from Singapore chicken rice, perhaps its the spices used, the soup that comes with it or the close proximity of the stall to the toilet, but the presentation is a definite plus for me. I walked around Jonker street the day before and I found myself wanting for more. The barrage of street foods, both palatable and otherwise abound the sidewalks. Pots and pans and wooden steamers clanking, rattling and merging with the sound of throngs of the human populace squeezed in this narrow street was the highlight of my trip. Let me digress a little. I remember Philippines when I eat street foods. The instantaneous tummy gratification, dirt cheap price and the exotic flavours, for me is appetizing. The gravy, yesss.... specially the gravy we dip our fish balls/kikiam/squidballs and other meaty products is incomparable to any gravy I've ever tasted abroad. Regardless of where you buy, its the same sweet and salty taste, with the option of mid to hardcore spiciness. To hell with Hepatitis B. I once ate an unknown bird meat, the vendor said it's Robin BBQ, and then I realized we don't have Robins in Philippines, only Mayas and Pigeons.
I formulated a goal then, to eat most of the street foods I see.
I started with the fruit juice. Now, there are lots of fruit juice sellers at Jonker but I've already tasted this when I first stepped out and looking for competition is pointless. After all, first impressions last, they got had me in Hello. Almost 4 ripe mangoes were used just to squeeze out the juice good for a plastic cup, no water was added only a handful crushed ice. Its puree at its finest. Then the Takoyaki Balls. The only memory of takoyaki that comes to mind was the Japanese cartoons I used to watched in my younger years. I never knew they tasted so good. Tako tako tako, tako tako tako, tako tako takoyaki, mantle man. Takoyaki Mantleman! I'm not into grapes and those little fruits that comes in bundles, I don't think they can actually satiate my appetite, but these Fruit Candies are eye candies. It may look like Philippine Longanisa but its sweeter and a little spicier at the same time. PotaTornado. The name itself implies Power! Wusha! Comes with cheese, bbq and seaweed flavours, with an optional mayonnaise dressing. The usual Siomai is RM3.00 for 7 pieces. Its either they were hot, or the sauce fails but i don’t like them.
And.... I miss coke sa plastik!
At the end of the day, after all the foods I ate, I was just poorer by RM18.00