McQueks satay celup

You can probably guess from the boiling pot of satay celup sauce above that I’m in Melaka…and you’ll be right! I’m writing this from Dream Hotel (where all guests drift off happily into the warm embraces of sleep) – it’s a road trip planned earlier with Mel to go stuff ourselves silly in Melaka.

McQueks satay celup melaka

McQuek’s Sate Celup is not actually our first choice. We wanted to go to Capitol Satay Celup but for reasons unbeknownst to me, it’s closed. There’s a piece of paper on the metal shutters which presumably states the reason for that but not being able to read Chinese, I can’t tell you why it’s not open for business. :x

McQueks satay celup fridge

Thus, we checked the GPS and found a McQuek Satay Steamboat Recipe on it. It has parentheses that states it’s an outlet so we drove to the main McQuek Sate Celup. It’s quite a large establishment but also quite empty. I’m not sure if that’s coz today’s a weekday but it didn’t look very promising.

McQueks tvbs

They apparently have an appearance on TVBS but that doesn’t mean much – almost anyone and their grandma can be featured on TV or the papers these days, hell I’ve made my appearance more than once and I’m definitely not an authoritative voice on anything.

(well maybe on one topic, my pride will allow me that much, but it’s definitely not food ;))

satay celup selection

This is my selection from the fridge where the skewers of food is kept. The premise of satay celup is simple – you take what you want and when it’s time to pay the bill, the waiter comes over and counts the number of sticks you have on your table. I have to say though, I was not impressed by the meager selections they have – it’s less than half of what you’ll find at Ban Lee Siang.

satay celup ingredients

I also noticed the lack of perhaps the most important item – siham (clams). However, to be fair you can order it separately.

satay celup pricing

Behold my indulgence! It’s a full sized squid that has 11 (eleven – count ‘em) skewers in it, making it RM 6.60 for that alone. It is pretty good though. I also had my staples – quail century eggs, cuttlefish, mussels, Taiwanese sausage, quail eggs, and brinjal (eggplant) – a nod to my daily food pyramid adherence. *cough* ;)

satay celup peanuts

I like the fact that McQuek Satay Celup has excellent service – they promptly refill your communal pot of satay celup sauce – complete with a healthy sprinkling of ground peanuts. The people there are friendly too, asked where we were from and whether we enjoyed the food etc etc.

satay celup squid

However, the lack of selection coupled with the non-compliant price of RM 0.60 per stick makes me wonder if there’s a reason why this place is so devoid of customers.

McQueks squid eat

The problem with this is that the portions are small too – one (1) century quail egg with a miniscule bit of carrot on top is one satay. The “good” establishments like Ban Lee Siang and probably Capitol Satay Celup price theirs at RM 0.50. It’s the golden standard.

free cucumbers

Oh well, at least they have free cucumbers.

McQueks us

I can’t say that it’s the best satay celup I’ve ever had, it was very average, but no worries, tomorrow is another day and we plan to eat a lot of meals in Melaka. I can foresee at least 3-4 meals before we head back, there’s a reason we stayed at a crappy hotel – so we can eat more. ;)

“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.

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