There’s always an outsider in travel round-ups. You know, the place that gets dropped in last minute; “and if you have time, squeeze in a visit to ****“. Well in Malaysia, Melaka is that town. But I always follow my stomach and tantalising comments about cheap, excellent food were enough to pique my interest. Plus, it’s just a two hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpar so it’s easy to spend just one day in Melaka if you’re pushed for time – and that’s exactly what we did.
Melaka has the most beautiful old town, bursting with cafes and shops selling artwork, all with colourful facades. Luckily for me, brunch was top of the agenda as I’m pretty much unable to function as a human being until there’s a good meal in my belly.
We made our way to Seeds Garden, a plant based bistro that makes food without *deep breath* trans fats, ‘bad’ oils, MSG, refined sugar, artificial flavourings, additives or microwaving. Basically, if it’s a healthy meal that you want, this is the place for you. After a week in a beachfront destination selling pretty touristy food, we were definitely excited for some veggie goodness! Inside, Seeds Garden was tranquil with a very Insta-friendly vibe…
Unfortunately, they were all out of their much praised tempeh burger so instead we ordered a veggie wrap and delicious Japanese-style tofu curry.
The only stumbling block came when I ordered a glass of water. “Hot or warm?” Now, with the temperature gauge hitting way over 30 degrees outside, I tentatively replied “cold”? They don’t have cold water. Bring a bottle because is there anything less satisfying than room temperature water?
With our stomachs suitably filled, we were off to explore Melaka! Peeking into shops selling local art here is a great way to pass a few hours and there are so many beautiful handmade creations. If you’re souvenir shopping with a little extra budget, bypass the markets and come here instead.
Parts of Melaka have a similar feel to Georgetown and honestly, it’s such a nice place to explore. And for all the more stylish bloggers out there, there’s a ton of amazing places for outfit pictures. You heard it here first.
This isn’t just a pretty exterior – Straits Affair is another cafe with great online reviews about their local specialities. You can also nip in for afternoon tea! We bypassed it in favour of ice-cream and the tastiest chocolate milkshake at Ola Lavanderia Cafe.
The most iconic part of Melaka is Dutch Square with its gorgeous vibrant red buildings. The oldest Dutch building in Asia, Stadhuys, is here and there’s your typical ‘I love Melaka’ sign to get your picture with!
Melaka has a really interesting history of being an international trade hub until the industry was basically destroyed by Europeans invading to try and get in on the action. The model Portuguese ship is a throwback to that time and while the outside is impressive, the exhibits inside give you a great insight into that period of history.
During the day, Melaka is relatively quiet and charming. But this all changes in the evenings when the huge Jonker Walk night market is jam packed with tourists weaving their way through vendors selling food, clothes and every other bit of tat imaginable. It’s worth a look for the experience but it was dinner that won as our evening’s highlight.
Indian food makes up a huge part of Malaysia’s cuisine and Selvam came highly recommended for veggies online. Don’t expect a lot from the interiors but often the canteen-style restaurants serve the best food!
We ordered one of their famous banana leaf dishes to share and within minutes, the waiter laid a leaf in front of us, scooped out the rice and promptly left. We were a little baffled until he returned with huge pots full of different curries and dahl. It was absolutely delicious and was an absolute bargain at 11 ringgit. Yep, that’s £2 including drinks.
Good food and beautiful surroundings is what Melaka is all about and our day there was a really happy one. If you have a few weeks to spend in Malaysia or even a little extra time in Kuala Lumpar, I’d highly recommend making time for a visit!
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