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  • Writer's pictureRick

West Malaysia Day 9: Cafe-Hopping in Malacca

It had been two nights’ stay in Malacca but I did not plan on moving. I extended my stay in Malacca but with another accommodation.

Why I stayed put? Because 10 April (Wednesday) was a public holiday and I did not want to be in Kuala Lumpur on that day. Another reason was I could not decide whether to make Kuala Lumpur my next stop or skip it — if skipping, I would need 5 hours or more to Ipoh or a place further to the northwest.

Anyway, here I was in Malacca still. I had no plans on what to do for the day except to wander around Melaka Old Town, find interesting things and move to the other guest house.

First stop would be to Lung Ann Refreshments for breakfast since it would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday. The noodle stall in the coffee shop was closed so I had a traditional breakfast set of butter-kaya toast, two half-boiled eggs and kopi-o kosong. This would be breakfast part one.

Breakfast part two was at “Siang Ann Kopitiam x Aunty Koh Cendol” at an alley where Ah Ma Ho Liao (阿嬷好料) used to occupy. The setup seemed to be a collaboration where Siang Ann Kopitiam would have “Aunty Koh Cendol”on their menu. Aunty Koh Cendol was started in 2000.

I had a spiced chicken nasi lemak and cendol. The nasi lemak had very fragrant rice and very appetizing. The small bowl of cendol was without red beans but flavourful with gula melaka aroma and not very sweet. The idea of selling cendol in small bowls was good as it would not be too filling after completing a main dish.

After dining at Siang Ann Kopitiam, I exited from their back entrance, which led me to Taman Kota Laksamana, and reached Casa Blanca Guest House in less than 10 minutes. I had an hour to relax and charge my phone before check-out.

At 11am, I checked-out from the guest house and walked about 400 metres to Kota Lodge Hotel, which was another guest house actually. As check-in time was 2pm, I put my backpack with the housekeeping staff and went back to town.

I strolled around town, including Melaka River and the Dutch Square, checking every corners for anything that might interest me — not much except great food and coffee. There were new cafes too.

There was also a Trash & Treasure Gallery along Melaka River, which used to be a weekend flea market or maybe still was. Old or used items were put up for sales here but there were new products too. A great place to look for retro stuffs for decorating homes or cafes.

I walked past Halle’s Herbal Tea store and stopped for some herbal jelly (龟苓膏) and a bottle of herbal tea. Half of Halle had been rented out so there was no tables for eat-in anymore. The herbal jelly was not bitter and still as good as it used to be.

Down the same lane, I came to LōuKót, a cozy cafe right beside Kampong Kling Mosque, selling biryani and chai tea. They had a free-roaming but well-tamed parrot in the cafe named Lucky. I wanted the lamb biryani but the next pot of lamb would take another 40 minutes, so I changed to chicken biryani and a mango lassi. The chicken biryani with its sauce and cabbage-carrot slaw was very good — very well-balanced flavours that were not too salty or spicy.

It started raining when I was strolling down Jonker Walk half an hour later. I quickened my steps to Hygge Cafe, which I had walked past in the morning. I would rather check out a new cafe when stranded by the rain than to huddle outside a shop and wait for the rain to stop.

Hygge Cafe had started business just 4 months back and the two friendly lady owners opened the cafe everyday. Apart from beverages and homemade desserts, they served light food such as toasts and some interesting Chinese baos (buns). As I just had lunch, I simply had a cup of black coffee. It was an aromatic cup of coffee — I wonder which coffee beans they used.

The rain came and stopped several times, making it difficult to find a good time to head back to Kota Lodge Hotel to check-in.

When the rain finally stopped at around 4pm — or, so I thought — I left Hygge Cafe and made my way to the guest house, which used self-checkin — I had to call someone for verification, then the locker would be opened remotely. After I got my room key from the lockers, it started raining cats and dogs. Lucky.

I had booked a “windowless” room and I got a room that had no windows facing outside the guest house but it had jalousie windows facing the corridor. I wished that no one would be staying near my room — that was fat hope.

At around 6:30pm, the rain had stopped and I went back to Hygge Cafe before they closed at 8pm. I was back for their unique baos, or Chinese burgers, this time. Out of the three flavours they had, the king trumpet mushroom flavour was not available, so I had one of the other available flavours each: a grilled prawn bao topped with egg salad and a grilled chicken patty bao topped with homemade ah-cha (nyonya pickled vegetables).

The baos were not very big, two of them were just nice as a “not-too-full” meal and three would make a full meal. They were very good and at least something different from the usual Melaka fare.

It was drizzling very lightly when I left the cafe and strolled back to the guest house. Once back in my room, it started pouring. God had been keeping me dry the whole day.

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