If you have been following my blog posts, you would have accompanied me for the entire day I spent in Melaka. We covered quite a bit so far: Lunching on Peranakan food at Nancy’s Kitchen and visiting the historic sites in Melaka. We have now come to the end of the day and in need of our night entertainment to finish an awesome trip. Thankfully, the next destination is within walking distance from the Dutch Square where we last finished.
If you had the Watermelons or the Cendol by the river as suggested, you just need to cross the bridge and you would have reached the famous Jonker Walk Street. Jonker Walk Street is the main street of Melaka’s Chinatown and has its own night market every Friday and Saturday. The night market is one the more lively ones I have seen so far in Malaysia and is more “local” featuring things locals would buy instead of just selling plain old souvenirs. Yes, I am referring to you, Batu Ferringhi (a night market in Penang, Malaysia).
The first main building that you will see belongs to Sanshugong (三叔公). Sanshugong is a shop specialising in the sale of local products. Whether be it coffee, tea or some local biscuits, Sanshugong should have them.
My personal favourites are the crispy peanut pancakes and also the peanut candies:
If you are there, why not give them a try?
Street Stalls @ Jonker Walk
Once you walk past Sanshugong, you will see stalls lining both sides of the street. As the street is rather small, it can be quite packed so just beware of your pockets and also your little ones. What I think makes this night market stand out is the contrast these stalls have against the traditional 1960-70’s shophouses in the background.
The street you are on will go on for quite a bit and you will mostly find stalls selling snacks and also other consumer goods. There will be a turning towards the end which will bring you to the main food area. There will be different push carts and also “fixed” stalls selling different types of street food. If you find it troublesome to locate a seat, you can always walk into a shophouse or unit being managed by a group of hawkers. These stalls band together to put up tables and chairs and each sector is managed by a group of stalls. The idea being that each sector monopolises on the customers using their tables and chairs (I think this rule is flexible and if you order most of your food from that one sector, the hawkers will likely close an eye to “outside” food).
We decided to plop ourselves down in one of these “managed areas” having discovered that our secret hideaway restaurant has since closed down. Each hawker in these “managed areas” would have its own staff going around. We had to order separately from the respective stalls as there was no centralised ordering system. We decided to go with the cockles with spicy dipping sauce, BBQ Sambal Stingray, stir fried clams, fried mini crabs, chicken satays, Nonya Laksa and Assam Lasksa. I personally liked the fried mini crabs for their crunch (who doesn’t like munching down on crispy stuff anyway), the cockles and the sambal stingray:
On the way back, I saw a shop selling durian puffs. DURIAN PUFFS!!!
For the benefit of my foreign readers, durian is a fruit (some say the king of fruits) native to parts of Asia. Some people regard the fruit as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and disgusting.
Personally, I think it depends on two things. One, whether I am actually going to eat or am eating durians. This makes a difference and I do get annoyed by the smell if I’m not actually eating the fruit. Two, the quality of the durians you are eating. In my humble opinion, I think premium durians may be easier for a first timer than the cheaper durians. Taste wise, it’s like a very rich custard paste. My Japanese friend describes it as being close to the taste of “Cheese” (I would hazard it being close to blue cheese ><)
One easy way for a first timer to try durians would be to have them as part of a dessert rather than the actual fruit itself. It may be cheaper on the wallet if you really can’t take the smell or taste.
Despite me being already full, my stomach somehow made some space for more food. I got myself 6 puffs. Unlike those in Singapore, the durian cream isn’t as thick and makes it easier to eat larger amounts without having a case of diminishing marginal returns.
Durian puffs… an awesome way to finish an awesome night!
For those who want more of a dine-in dinner experience rather than street food or you have arrived in Melaka on a weekday, you can consider trying out the restaurants at the Portuguese Settlement (at a different location). This area opens up in the evening and serves Portuguese food as well as seafood. While I did not have a chance to visit and review the food on offer there, my colleague had in fact recommended I give that place a try. So why not try it out for me and let me know in the comments below.
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