Melaka: A ball of a time with chicken rice!

Day two of Melaka saw us up too early for a holiday. There was a reason for that: Chicken Rice Balls. Getting there pre-lunch hour proved to be not early enough as there was already a line snaking along the sidewalk, wrapping around parked cars and ending at a very entrepreneurous drink cart. Armed with umbrellas and a cold drink from the cart, the heat was not keeping the waves of hungry people away.

A quarter of an hour later, we were in pretty much the same position we started with. The only consolation was that we were earlier than even more people lining up behind us. After about 40 minutes wait we were ushered into the shop after ordering at the doorstep.

Sitting quietly on the table was a big jar of chili. This, my friends, has got to be one of the best chilis I’ve had with all my chicken rice meals.  The sweet crushed red chili packing a punch of heat laced by pungent garlic and fragrant ginger were perfectly balanced. I could have just the chicken rice with this chili and be content.

Our half chicken arrived swiftly. It must have been a small chicken. The flesh was sweet and tender though a tad dry. A passable steamed chicken dish though I’ve had much better ones.

And then the rice balls came. They’re basically like any normal chicken rice, cooked with chicken fat and some garlic-ginger paste, but molded into really cute little balls. I don’t quite understand the appeal of having them in this form but I have to say it was really fun to eat.

And so we had half a chicken and fifteen balls between us. And it was dirt cheap. I have to say the meal was mediocre in terms of taste, except the stupendous chili of course, but it was worth a try just for the experience of it. Go for the chili I’d say!

It was well past lunch time when we finished our meal and lo’ and behold the queue! There must be a lot of lazybums waking up a bit later on a holiday, I presume. Boy am I glad that I have a very vigilant travel partner whom dragged me out of bed nice and early. 🙂

We had a leisure walk around town after lunch to burn off some calories and clear up stomach space for our next culinary invasion. Caught sight of some historic ruins along the roadside and thought that they were pretty cool indeed.

Lots of buildings were painted red. I think this one was the Old Melaka Islamic Building, along the way towards the A Famosa Fort. It was a very peaceful stroll alongside structures of brimming with history. This was where our people began. Our roots, our culture.

It was an amazing feeling.

Taking a page from our history books, here is the very famous surviving gate of the A Famosa Fort. It is one of the oldest European structures left standing in Asia. The immediate word that pops to mind was ‘Albuquerque’ which stood for ‘Alfonso de Albuquerque’, the commanding officer during the era of the Dutch vs Portuguese. Yeah, I aced history in high school. It was good to reminisce the good times though, and admire the sheer strength of bricks and stone that withstood the wear and tear of time and history.

Well, that certainly changed the tone of a food review. Why don’t we end things with a dash of whimsy?

Drum roll

Behold the trishaw! Yes, it plays loud Malay rock music too. 😀