Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Malacca Day 2d - Aunty Lee Nonya Restaurant

Free and Easy Malacca - Day 2 Itinerary

1) Dim Sum at Ban Hong Xiang Tea House
2) Baba Charlie for Nonya Kuehs and snack
3) Sightseeing - Heritage Trial
4) Dessert at Nadeje
5) Dinner at Aunty Lee
6) Cockles at dirty lane
7) Supper at Pak Putra

You can really enjoy authentic Peranakan Cuisine in Melaka as there are many Peranakan Chinese - Babas (male) and Nonyas (female) in Melaka.  Peranakan is union of migrated Chinese ancestors with local Malay, they look like Chinese, have Chinese surname but they speak little or no Mandarin.

They look just like Chinese, so it was natural for us to speak to them in Mandarin. The daughter of the restaurant owner we visit had to remind us when it slipped our mind again and started communicating to her in Mandarin.

Aunty Lee Nonya Food

A local recommend Aunty Lee to us, but she mentioned that she seldoms go to Aunty Lee nowadays after it is being "invaded" by tourists.

Yes, WAITING is required before you can enjoy good food at Aunty Lee's, but we never expect that we are still left waiting outside of the restaurant even after the opening hours 6pm and despite requesting the owners to let us wait in the restaurant two times.

Auntee Lee Nonya Restaurant
While the rest of our dinning group try to find somewhere to sit at the roadside or roam at the provisional store besides it, I try to snap a few photos of the food preparation.

Food Preparation in Kitchen
Mr Lee blanching lady fingers, egg mix for Cincalok omelette

(clockwise) Mrs Lee, Petai beans, buah keluak shells and the fillings 

The restaurant finally allowed us into the restaurant after 15minutes past the opening hour. Finally air-con and seats for us.  We had placed our orders for their prawn crackers (RM 2/pkt) and curry powder (RM 5 for meat or fish) as recommended in the web. Their prawn crackers are really fresh, crispy with prawn flavour, do get a few packs home.

Dining Area

We are requested to place our food orders when we made reservation. They don't seems to have a menu and we only see this notes on a shelf in the kitchen. Either reference the bloggers' recommendations or you can refer to this "notes".
Menu or Notes?

After another round of waiting, our food are finally served :)

The first dish served was the most talked-about Cincalok omelette @Rm 13 and we know that all the wait is worth it. Although thinner, this Cincalok but was much better than the one we had a day ago. There are chilli, onions and maybe parsley added to the omelette.  The cincalok add an distintive taste which complement the egg well turning this ordinary home cooked omelette to something different and flavourful.

Cincalok Omelette
Rating: 4.25/5
Sambal Prawn Petai @RM19 was tasty with something nice like "wok-hei". The sambal sauce was not overly spicy with an additional fragrance from the petai which really goes well with the rice. All was nice except that the prawns were really a bit too small.

Venture to eat the petai by itself, it was still acceptable initially but it got really bitter as you chew futher. Will just stay with having Petai to enhance the flavour of the dish than eating the nut itself.

Sambal Prawn Petai
Rating: 4/5

Fried fish with Cili Garam @Rm 81 was recommended by the staffs when we made our orders through the phone. It was really nice, crispy fried and yet the fish is still tender and fresh. Not sure what was added to the chilli, spice, shallots which is different from the usual spiciness but really compliment the fish and bring out the freshness of the fish. One of our dinners even claimed that its the best fried fish he have ever had.  Yummy!
Fried Fish with Chilli
Rating: 4.5/5
Nyonya Chap Chai @ RM 15. Mixed vegetables to fulfill our fibre requirements and it turned out to be quite nice too. The dried lily buds or golden needle mushroom flavour was quite strong.  The golden needle mushroom also give the auspicious golden colour to the mixed vegetables.

Chap Chai
Rating: 4/5

We ordered sotong tempura but this dish was served instead. Not sure if this dish is Sotong Hitam @RM 18. The taste was quite special, seems that there are squid ink in the gravy which give the sea or fishy taste. Quite nice!
Rating: 4/5
Lady finger vinegerratte @ RM 10. Saw recommendation for this dish in the Net. The lady fingers were first blanched then added with chilli, shallots and vinegerratte. Quite refreshing, crunchy with slightly slimy lady finger. One of our dinners loved it.

Lady Finger Vinegerratte
Rating: 4/5

Ayam buah keluak or “black nut chicken stew” @ RM16. When we were ordering the dish, the restaurant staff recommend a small portion as she was afraid that we are not used to the taste.  Although the taste of the dish was unfamiliar to us, but most of us liked the buah keluak infused chicken.

Buah Keluak
Rating: 4/5

Buah Keluak is actually a poisonous food made editable by fermentation - boiled and then buried in ash, banana leaves and earth for forty days. According to the kitchen staff, the flesh of the buah keluak was dug out, mixed with some spice and ingredients into a paste and put back to the buah keluak shell as fillings.

Indeed, buah keluak itself is really an acquired taste. For those we ventured with the fillings, we had a hard time trying to describe it - forest-y, muddy, earthy?  If you have eaten buah keluak before, maybe you can share with us how you ould describe its taste. :)

Buah Keluak

Fried Chicken @ Rm20.  I would never had ordered this simple dish if not for the less adventurous or picky dinners within the group.  But thanks to them else we would have missed this wonderful dish.  Its so simply yet so heavenly.  The chicken was nicely crisped and it was also well marinated. Think we tasted some turmeric, wonder what other spices were included to make it taste so good.

The food exclude beverages and our curry and keropok was around RM 192. The food at Aunty Lee was not not considered cheap in Malacca.  But with currency conversion, its definitely worth it and value for money as the food is really delicious.

Although the service is really ...errr... and waiting time is necessary, their food is seriously good that we will definitely be back here again.  Maybe its a Sunday night and its less crowded, my experience was not really that bad.

Tip: Note that reservations is a must. Do order your dishes in advance and avoid peak period.

Restorant Auntie Lee at Melaka

Address : 385 Jalan Ujong Pasir,
               Melaka 75050, Malaysia,
Tel         : 06-2831009
Business hours : 11:30 am - 2:30pm
                         6pm - 10 pm
                         Close on Tuesdays

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