master ho

I caught this successful attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records at Jonker Street, Melaka. Master Ho, among other things, is renowned for having the fastest finger this side of town. His famous fingers have jabbed more coconuts than you can shake a stick (or finger) at.

coconut piercing

Ho Swee Poh (the self dubbed Master Ho) and his merciless index finger managed to pierce 4 coconuts within a minute, thereby securing a spot in the book of records.

Other possible careers:
Cell phone QC tester
(if the phone doesn’t shatter when Master Ho dials a number, it has his seal of approval)

What others? ;)

popiah melaka

I stand here as a witness to the best popiah in Melaka, nay, the world! It’s a gem of a find since most people will dismiss the unassuming stall, but not the locals. This popiah stall at Jalan Bunga Raya has been in operation for since time immemorial and picked up a couple of awards during its reign too – including a seal of endorsement by the good people at Ho Chiak!

popiah bunga raya

There is no signage on the mobile stall but this stall is so popular that it doesn’t need one. It totally eschews the trappings of modern marketing and prefers to maintain its (relative) anonymity. The queue for the sublime popiah kinda gives it away though. Just look for the Popia Bunga Raya sticker hidden in the stall. :)

popiah stuff

The popiah in Melaka costs RM 2.50 (small) and RM 3 (big). The sign says it’s open till 9 pm but don’t let that fool you! It’s a trick, I tell you. A TRICK! The owner usually packs up by early afternoon coz all the popiah is sold out! We wanted to eat this on the very first day, but the stall was nowhere to be found. You really need to arrive early (and queue up) for this.

popiah roll

The secret ingredient which makes this popiah so great is the deep fried pork lard. I have always been highly skeptical of claims that there’s one ingredient that makes or breaks a dish, but here I stand corrected. The turnips, another important ingredient in popiah, are fresh and juicy too!

popiah cut

I had mine with chilli sauce and it was just BURSTING in flavor. I approve!

popiah me

Hail to the King (of popiah), baby!

P/S - Excuse my T-shirt. :p

“It’s like lok-lok…but with peanut sauce!”

satay celup

Satay Celup originated in Melaka but like most other things it has migrated far and wide. I hear it’s even available at the mobile lok-lok trucks around here, but for the Real Deal (TM), nothing beats going to Melaka to eat satay celup!

ban lee siang

The place we went to is none other than Ban Lee Siang - one of the renowned satay celup establishments in Melaka. There are two other satay celup places flanking Ban Lee Siang and it’s very telling that Ban Lee Siang is the only one packed to the rafters, with people waiting for a free table while the other two are practically deserted.

satay celup sticks

Satay celup is a Malay word meaning “sticks of stuff” and “dip”. The skewers are kept refrigerated and you walk around with a tray to choose the items you want. There’s easily 50 different items on offer, ranging from clams to quail eggs and everything in between. The prawns are surprisingly fresh and sweet, and the balled up vegetables provides a nice, crunchy texture. The mushrooms and stuffed chillis are pretty good too.

satay celup sauce

Satay celup invariably comes with the same setup – there is a communal satay celup pot in a recessed pit in the middle of the table. The satay celup pot is constantly kept full by the staff, who roams from table to table to refill the sauce. The sauce is none other than satay sauce a.k.a. peanut sauce!

fill

This is what makes satay celup interesting. It’s like lok-lok (where you dunk food skewers into boiling hot water or broth) except you dip this into a simmering pot of peanut sauce. The sweet (albeit diluted) satay sauce tastes delicious with the meat, vegetables and seafood on sticks. It’s a great twist to a classic dish.

offerings

The satay celup system, for the uninitiated, is rather like a buffet. You pick the items you want from the bank of fridges and put it on a tray. Each stick is RM 0.50 except the red color coded ones, which goes for RM 0.60.

satay celup skewers

You’re free to eat as much as you want and by the end of the meal, a waiter comes over to count the number of sticks you’ve consumed and you pay accordingly. Easy!

bread

Satay celup in Melaka is served with bread. The bread is used to soak up the delicious peanut sauce.

jenn dad mike

I think the peanut sauce actually tastes better after a lot of people have eaten from the same communal pot. The satay sauce absorbs the taste of the ingredients dumped into it by previous diners since the pot is never emptied but refilled.

me satay celup

It’s the shiznit, yo.

chop chung wah

Melaka is famous for chicken rice balls. It’s practically an institution over there, with shops dedicated to the golf sized morsels of delight every few meters (or so it seems). There are a lot of established chicken rice ball shops in Melaka, with each person having their favorite. Jennifer brought us to Chop Chung Wah at Jalan Hang Jebat, off Jonker Street.

melaka chicken rice ball

This place is arguably one of the best chicken rice ball shops in Melaka. The line snaking out of the shop is a testament to the popularity of the chicken rice balls. People actually wait under the hot Melaka sun just to eat the chicken rice balls here. Don’t play play, got queue one this place.

chopping chicken

The interior of Chop Chung Wah is basic, with seating arrangements that harks back to the 60′s. Think marble tables and stools. It only registered to me while writing this that I could very well have fallen off the stool coz I usually sit on chairs. There are articles from newspapers adorning the walls and an interesting anecdote here is that the place got on The Star in 2006…and Jenn was part of the entourage who went for that food review.

rolling rice balls

The chicken rice balls is hand rolled by an old lady, conveniently stacked five (5) to a plate in an endless stream to cater to the never-ending march of customers filing into the coffee shop. I’m amazed that they can cope with such demand at all – every single table is full, with people queuing up outside waiting to get in. It’s an exercise in efficiency, I tell you.

chilli sauce

The chicken chopping is done by the son of the owner (who can be rather grumpy sometimes ;)). The family operating this place is Hainanese, and word is, the son is so busy with this chicken rice ball shop that his wife was literally shipped in from Hainan, China to help with the business. It’s a true Hainanese place, they take the phrase “keeping it within the family” to new heights.

chicken rice ball

The chicken in Chop Chung Wah only comes in one variant – steamed chicken. It’s very authentic Hainanese chicken indeed. I found the meat juicy and tender, and you can even see the essence of chicken forming a bed for the steamed chicken. The key ingredient in chicken rice is the chilli, as most would tell you, and this place dishes up really good chilli sauce.

chicken

The chicken rice balls are actually flavored with chicken stock and have a slight glutinous texture to it. It goes down really well, and we ordered another plate coz five rice balls each is just not enough. Apparently, five rice balls is equivalent with a regular plate of chicken rice. It tastes delectable dipped in chilli sauce!

It’s definitely a must try if you haven’t eaten chicken rice balls in Melaka before. Just look for the awe-inspiring queue to find the place. :)

teaser

I just got back from a weekend getaway in Melaka with Jenn and Michael. It was fantabulously fun! Melaka has changed a lot since the last time I was there (a good 20 odd years ago). It’s now super tourist-y and there’s HEAPS of Singaporeans there. Almost half the cars we saw had Singaporean plates (both regular and “weekend car plates”).

rice balls

Nevertheless, I enjoyed myself. I remember being there when I was 8, but the details escape me so it was good to take photos and experience Melaka all over again. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site now and a lot of effort has been put into historical sites, which was fun for me. I did the eating expedition thing too, full post up tomorrow coz I’m damn tired and sleep deprived.

vodka

Jennifer kindly contributed to the sixthseal.com alcohol cabinet by giving me a bottle of Wyborowa vodka (from Poland).

jenn

She also bought some Melaka stuff for you guys (er…not everyone la, that’s impossible with the size of the company – just the team I’m working with) so I’ll be coming to work tomorrow bearing gifts. :)

kiss

Don’t you just love girls in uniform? ;)

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