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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Business Hours: 7-days a week, 10am – 1030pm