Simply Mel’s, The Sphere Bangsar South: Eating at My Table

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Our table is brimming with good things to eat. Some might say that it is over-spilling as we over-indulge (once again) in Aunty Melba’s cooking. The Panda and I have really grown to like the food here. Keluak Sambal, Chincalok Omelette, Papa Vincent’s Fish Cutlets, Crispy Belachan Wings and Salt Fish Pickle almost always make it to our table. Along with weekend specials like Pineapple Prawn Malay Curry, Sambal Petai with Prawns, Durian with Coconut Cream and perennial favourites like Crab Stuffing, Lemongrass Chicken, Beef Tongue Semur and Pongteh Chicken. Although we hardly say “No” to any recommendations from the house, we realized we have yet to try half the menu, even after many a weekend dinners over at Simply Mel’s.

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It’s hard to label the kind of food that is served here. Initially, I thought they only specialized in Malaccan Portuguese cuisine – which means a whole lot of Devils’ Curry and spicy baked fish. But it soon dawn on me that it isn’t the case. Perhaps, it’s easier to call it Eurasian home cooking because at the heart of it all, that’s what it is – inspired or otherwise.

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Don’t come with the expectations of savouring on the most authentic and run the mill recipes from Melaka, because you’ll be deeply disappointed. So brace yourself. Instead you’ll find that Mel’s cooking is well marinated and seasoned by the memories of her childhood and is what she would serve to her family at home, as did her mother – Simple, honest, and from the heart.

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Such family oriented food should never be eaten alone. After all, as the great American food writer M.F.K Fisher once wrote, “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” Every weekend, we bring a small and new group of friends to join us at our table – most of who have traveled far and wide and returned for a taste of home. Oh, what a treat this is to see their smiley and satisfied faces.

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Our dinners here are never complete without stuffing ourselves further with delicious helpings of butterfly pea flower-tinted glutinous rice slathered with heaps of Mel’s own traditional coconut jam (Kaya; which is going to be bottled up for sale from September onwards), Sago Gula Melaka, Pulut Hitam with dried Longan, and washed down with a cup of Illy Cucumber Latte. On several occasions, the Salted Gula Melaka and Durian ice cream from The Last Polka has also managed to creep onto our table. I really have no idea how they got there seeing how stuffed we are.

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Now you can see why we are often ushered to the biggest table at Simply Mel’s despite being a small party of four. And if you ever want to eat like a monkey here, ask for my table. Don’t be surprise to find a plaque with my name on it one day!

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Simply Mel’s
Unit 1-1A, 1st Floor, The Sphere, 
No. 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South, 
No. 8 Jalan Kerinchi 
59200 Kuala Lumpur 
Tel: +6 03 224 14525 
GPS: 3.11142,101.66748
Business Hours: 7-days a week, 10am – 1030pm

17 Responses to Simply Mel’s, The Sphere Bangsar South: Eating at My Table
  1. Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah
    August 24, 2011 | 4:15 am

    A Tongue-A-Chi!!! ROFL

    Oh can die lah, reading your comics, Monkey Boy. And ooh, I totally am a Malaccan Boy! (Better than Fake-Lisbon-Fler over there, right? Muahahaha.)

  2. Nigel A. Skelchy
    August 24, 2011 | 4:51 am

    LOL Larvely post ;-)

  3. ckiong
    August 24, 2011 | 5:06 am

    When are we going back again? I want to try the durian satan! :D

  4. Sisi House
    August 24, 2011 | 7:17 am

    Wow all the table suggestions are just wonderful – look so appetizing and tasty – mmm , I would join them all with pleasure!

    Handy Moves

  5. Lyrical Lemongrass
    August 24, 2011 | 8:10 am

    Durian satan? Blardy Devil. :-P

  6. qwazymonkey
    August 24, 2011 | 8:25 am

    LFB: Go eat Cheng Yi's tongue and die!

    Nigel: Thanks luv

    Ckiong: At the rate of this, we'll be going there again this weekend. LOL. Call us lah

    Sisi House: Thanks for the comments.

  7. Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah
    August 24, 2011 | 8:27 am

    I died-ed that night when Cheng Yi a.k.a. Tongue-A-Chi a.k.a. YOUR Ah Pa asked you, "How does my tongue taste ar, Ah Boy?"

    :P

  8. Sean
    August 24, 2011 | 8:32 am

    it's amazing how wide the menu is, right. i've had four stomach-stuffing meals here, without having to order the same items twice, but i'm still only halfway through the menu! the way aunty mel cooks, how did she ever raise such slim, slender children? heheh.
    p.s. the baby looks as yummy as the food! :D

  9. qwazymonkey
    August 24, 2011 | 8:53 am

    LL: Yeah, our Durian loving friend gave that stinky dish a big thumbs up. Can't imagine why. LOL

    LFB: Why? We're family. We share tongue-in-our-cheeks comments.

    Sean: Oh no, we need to stow away that baby when you're around. Bad Sean. NO baby for you!

  10. Paprika
    August 24, 2011 | 9:13 am

    Twas a lovely meal with even lovelier company. Can't wait to eat there again!

  11. Baby Sumo
    August 24, 2011 | 2:16 pm

    Hahahaha FBB managed to get the semur named after him I see.

    And eeeeeeeee, the baby is so adorable. :)

  12. babe_kl
    August 24, 2011 | 3:18 pm

    Great post! Wud like to visit again!

  13. Cheryl
    August 25, 2011 | 2:54 am

    Hey Lil' monkey, thanks for the post! Ya your name on the table is coming soon…;)

    Just wanted to point out that we do have 'a whole lot of devil curry and spicy baked fish' and the typical Malacca Portuguese dishes that you listed all encompass Malacca-Portuguese food. The main ingredient that's missing is Pork – having that would make our food authentic ingredients -wise. Variations in taste of each dish differs from cook to cook.

    Many confuse Nyonya cuisine with Cristang cuisine, as Nyonya cuisine has almost become synonymous with 'Malacca food'. The Cristang (also sometimes known as 'Serani') people are descendants of the Portuguese and Dutch settlers, the food we serve is unique to this particular breed of people (sadly a dying race). The word Cristang is not widely known, therefore we made the decision to use 'Malacca-Portuguese' instead so that it is more straightforward and easier to understand right off-the-bat.

    My great-grandmother was of Dutch heritage and my great-grandfather of Portuguese heritage. The recipes my mum has have been passed down 4-5 generations from their parents and grandparents. We are so happy to be able to share it with others in an effort to preserve our heritage and to create the awareness that this special and unique cuisine exists in our country.

    Of course the more modern dishes such as Crab stuffing and Mel's omelette are proprietary to Mum and have been added to the menu in order to offer more options to the guest.

    So, to sum up, we do have the Devil Curry (even the extra fiery version that mum whips up on demand) and the spicy baked fish (not the hawker stall type ikan bakar – coz that actually doesnt have any roots in typical Cristang cuisine), and sorry, no assam pedas – that would be Nyonya/Malay.

    To all readers…Rest assure you can come expecting Malacca-Portuguese / Cristang food (minus the pork) because that is exactly what will be on your plate :)

    For more historical info/facts on the Cristang people and our roots, culture and heritage you are most welcome to email me at cherylvictor@hotmail.com.
    This is a topic I hold close to my heart and have spent many years researching and documenting.

  14. qwazymonkey
    August 25, 2011 | 10:44 am

    Paps: yeah, baby M was such excellent company. Speaking of which, keep the Baby away from that Sean. He's gonna eat here. :)

    Babysumo: FBB is so proud of his silver tongue.

    Babe_KL: Yeah, come join me at my table! :)

    Cheryl: It'll be an honour to have my name on the table. Haha. And thanks for clarifying the misconception of Malaccan-Portuguese food. We all have lots to learn and what better way to do that than indulging in some comforting cooking from your Mum's kitchen eh? Will see you soon when we drop by :)

  15. Gal End
    August 29, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    Ha ha Come and Tongue. Who wouldn't like to try his tongue!

    Gal

  16. J2Kfm
    September 2, 2011 | 3:27 pm

    Good read, and Cheryl's elaborate comment cleared everything up. I was skeptical too, from the range of dishes that's neither too Portuguese or Nyonya. Will do lunch one of these days.

  17. CUMI & CIKI
    September 8, 2011 | 2:37 am

    Noms! when we going?! :D

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