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  • Writer's pictureseimaistato

"Go to 63"

February 2023 - Melaka, Malaysia

Among the first things you learn in Malaysia: on weekends there are many night markets with delicious street food and stalls of all kinds; on Mondays many activities and museums are closed.

We were in Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a picturesque city with a lot of history, having been settled by the Dutch and Portuguese in the first place. A family originally from China, the Perankans, emigrated in turn in the 15th century and exported culture and traditions, creating a very distinctive mix with Malay customs.

We were headed to the famous Perankan Mansion, and you can imagine the reaction when we found the "closed day" sign: we hadn’t thought of that.

A bit dejected, we continued our walk admiring the beautiful historic buildings along the street, when we came across the House Museum: quiet and definitely off the tourist radar, we were greeted by a very kind gentleman and given a tour of the house, recreated in great detail to be true to the reality of the time, with many handmade crafts for sale to the public (needless to say, we bought some magnificent little bowls).

We were quite hungry and having no idea what that neighborhood offered, we asked him for advice on how to delight ourselves with the local cuisine. "Go to 63, there is a clothing store; go through it and you will find a kitchen, they make a delicious Laksa." The scene was a bit surreal when at number 63 we peeped into a traditional dress store and a lady approached to ask if I wanted to try on some clothes. "I'm looking for the kitchen to have lunch, the gentleman in the museum house told us to come here", I replied a bit hesitant. She waves us through the aisles of clothes and down the hallway to the back.

We peek into a restaurant full of bright colors, as only Malaysia can do, with crazy decorations and square tables, lots of groups of friends and families having lunch and sharing small joys: being the only Westerners, we suddenly had all eyes on us.

Edy, a waiter of infinite kindness, advised us carefully and always with a smile: we had an excellent Renang and a Laksa. Those flavors, those colors - from the main course to the rice cake with coconut milk… it was total love.

What can I say: one of the most unexpected and fulfilling discoveries of the trip. The most casual and authentic things ALWAYS go over the top.

Street Food

Melaka by day

At the House Museum

The restaurant behind the shop

Delicious Redang and Laksa

Melaka by night

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