6 Unique Eats On Jonker Street, Melaka

If the #RendangGate fiasco has proven anything, it’s that we Southeast Asians are fiercely passionate about food. Not just our food, but food in general. Perhaps it’s because food is such a huge part of our culture. Whether it’s Bangkok, Osaka, or even a little closer to home in Penang, every country has their own little nook where street food reigns supreme. For the historic city Melaka, there are a few gems to be unearthed.

An uncle busking with an erhu on Jonker Street.
An uncle busking with an erhu on Jonker Street.

Come dusk, on weekends, Jonker Street transforms from a quaint row with antique shops and cafes to a bustling night market. Beyond chicken rice balls and some really good cendol (iced dessert with green jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup), there’s plenty else to snack on on Jonker Street.

A little ‘party’ never killed nobody

A boozy popsicle to quench the thirst from all that exploring.
A boozy popsicle to quench the thirst from all that exploring.

If you thought you’d find regular street eats on Jonker Street, you have severely underestimated the ingenuity of local vendors. Instead of regular popsicles, there’s a stall at the mouth of the market that sells beautiful boozy popsicles and ice cream.

Getting egg-cited

Like takoyaki but with a twist.
Like takoyaki but with a twist.

Quail eggs cracked into a mould and garnished with a slice of sausage, mayonnaise and chili sauce. So simple, yet so tasty.

A bit of Penang in Melaka

Sweet, chewy, fragrant, and nutty. Need we say more?
Sweet, chewy, fragrant, and nutty. Need we say more?

You’ll smell this one before you even see the stall. The roasted nuttiness (or even the line) might catch your attention before you realise what you’re queueing for. But as a person who spent a substantial amount of time in Penang (and gorging on Penang food) growing up, it was a particularly pleasing sight to see muah chee (glutinous rice flour balls) on Jonker Street.

Fantastic fusion

Fans of Japanese and Thai cuisine, this way please!
Fans of Japanese and Thai cuisine, this way please!

A chawanmushi stall serves up the steamed egg custard and seafood tom yum in bamboo cups. That’s one cup of egg-cellent goodness and one cup of spicy yum side by side.

Seafood? Eat food

Oysters? Scallops? Prawns? Squid? Name it and they’ll grill it.
Oysters? Scallops? Prawns? Squid? Name it and they’ll grill it.

As once one of the most bustling port towns in the world, is it a surprise that there’s a healthy serving of seafood on Jonker Street? Get fresh seafood grilled before your very eyes. A word of warning though, the plethora of smells from the grills are pretty mouth-watering.

Ice cream makeover

 

Didn’t you hear? Black is the new black. Especially with ice-cream.
Didn’t you hear? Black is the new black. Especially with ice-cream.

Charcoal cones and waffles are pretty mainstream, but how about charcoal ice-cream on a charcoal cone? Bet that one will get your attention more than a creamy Neapolitan roll.

*All photos courtesy of author.

 Snapshots is our photo essay section, where we ask readers to share a curation of their favourite images to tell the story of their city or a destination they have travelled to. We welcome contributions from readers; if you have a photo story to share, email [email protected] and indicate ‘Snapshots’ in the subject line. Published submissions will receive a token sum from us. 

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Sue May
Whiskey drinker. Whimsy finder. Word writer. Sue May is a fan of big words and arcane definitions. Fascinated with stories, this honorary Geordie enjoys stumbling down well-trodden paths, roads less travelled by, and meeting new people. (Sometimes she writes about them.)

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