Roadtrip to Malacca – Day 1

Heyho! We’ve survived our first roadtrip with an active bub! Hubs received a wedding invite up North and we were thinking about our options: 1) for him to go on his own, 2) for both of us to go or 3) for all 3 of us to go together. Guess we couldn’t bear to leave baby Vera behind and decided to make it a 3D2N family trip in the end with our 14mo :)

Hubs and I love roadtrips as it gives us plenty of flexibility on planning our vacay. The only difference was that our roadtrips were pre-baby days – this is making me miss our honeymoon in the States where we self-drove and enjoyed the breathtaking scenic view. We were a little worried about the traffic since it was over a weekend and also the start of the new year with several neighbouring folks returning to their hometowns, but thankfully, traffic was smooth both ways, we couldn’t ask for more.

With a sleeping baby in my arms, we set off to pick my sister and her bf at around 8.15am (was supposed to pick them at 730am though. Time shifts with a baby. LOL!) and our dear girl decided to wake up when we reached my parents’ place. Just in time to get her a change of diapers and fresh set of clothes to get ready for the drive! Maybe she knows….hmmm..

But first, a wefie!

 

In all sleepiness, hence the typo in date. Took a sharp-eyed friend to point that out. LOL!

We travelled via the Tuas checkpoint and were pleasantly surprised with the clear scene. Took another 20 minutes or so and we took a pitstop for breakfast so hubs could purchase a local data card as well.

Day 1: (Singapore – Johor Bahru – Malacca)
Tea Garden in Johor Bahru – Holiday Inn Melaka – Mengki Restaurant – Hatten Mall/Hatten Square Suites, Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall and Mahkota Parade and Shoppes – Bei Zhan Restaurant

First stop, fueled up our bellies (especially the driver’s) at Tea Garden. Simple breakfast fare. Took the unlikely option of something unexciting ie chicken porridge and well, let’s just say it certainly lived up to my expectations – BORING. Ha!

Brekkie first!

 

They are a retail chain with several outlets in JB and other towns. We were at the one nearest the causeway at Taman Gaya. It’s a corner unit with a huge flask pouring coffee into a cute cup!

Address:
Taman Gaya
No. 2, Jalan Gaya 28, Taman Gaya, 81800 Ulu Tiram, Johor.

Little Vera enjoyed her porridge too, which daddy woke up early to prepare for. Our new Zojirushi flask keeps food warm whenever we’re out. Great buy despite the price tag!

Glad the roads were clear and we reached Holiday Inn Melaka around 1ish in the afternoon. Love the King sized bed – so did baby Vera! The wedding was to be held in the hotel the next day, so it was more convenient to take rooms at the same place.

Pillows are tagged with “soft” and “hard” which is a thoughtful gesture. The only thing was, “hard” wasn’t all that hard… my neck felt awkward the next morning….

Amenities were basic, toiletries were the usual shampoo and all, but noticed that sewing kit (realized this the next day when we were looking for it!) and comb were not provided. After checking in and freshening up, we made our way to Jonker Walk, the main highlight of Malacca town.

Hunger pangs were on high alert! We chanced upon a roasted meat stall, Mengki Restaurant, at the start of Jonker Walk (directly opposite San Shu Gong’s (三叔公) famous durian chendol which we tried during our previous roadtrip with a bunch of friends some 4 years ago!) and proceeded upstairs to get a table. If you’re planning to try this, be very careful when going up the steep, tiny steps especially when you’ve a baby in tow. Strollers, diaper bags and bulky stuff may disrupt your balance so do trod on with care.

The meats were great, especially the roasted pork bellies – crispy and chewy, and not as fat as I imagined. The char siew was oh-sooooooooo-fat; too fat for me but for those who enjoy the softness of lards, go for it! Roasted chicken was succulent and flavourful too. And the disappointment? Those chicken rice balls, took the cake. Uber sad. We have heard folks lamenting the over-ratedness of chicken rice balls in Malacca, to think it’s actually true! Many have confirmed that our own Hainanese chicken rice win hands-down any time.

Mengki Restaurant banner hanging on the wall. Well, don’t be deceived into thinking that it’s a restaurant per se. Food was pretty good, I’d say but by no means the seating environment is that of a restaurant I suppose….

Yup, food comes from this stall and served to customers seated upstairs.

We parked at an open spaced carpark, away from the bustling Jonker Walk, about a stone’s throw. Past by Halia, which looks good!

Spotted a big ship near the carpark our car was at!

Since the weather was rather unforgiving and we were due to return to Jonker Walk for our Mamee Workshop (Yes, Mamee monster!!! Excited max!!) the next day, we decided to head to the malls instead.

This cheeky little one wanted to nurse and hold the bottle at the same time, then decided to pop her head out to see what Yiyi was up to -_- She takes the grey cloth and hands it to me with a smile. If I pretend to ignore her, she pulls my top. Convenience on-the-go, I tell ya! :P

 

There are a few malls that conglomerate at the same area. We parked at Hatten Mall/Hatten Square Suites and Shoppes (where Hatten Hotel is as well), which is interconnected with Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall and Mahkota Parade. Expect the usual names like Mango, Cotton On, Uniqlo as well as Toys’R’Us, Nichii,. Wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, except mad need for a caffeine fix as all 5 of us (okay, no coffee for the little one!) had a late night and woke up earlier than usual.

But alas, my little toes started to hurt from a seasoned pair of shoes (?!) and I had to either get plasters or new footwear. Jelly Bunny appeared in my face and into the shop I streamed. It must have been at least 45minutues in there, as I couldn’t find 2 awesome pairs in my size/my taste/my style/ that were comfy enough. Anyhows, spending RM$150 lets you take 20% off, and RM$200 gives you 25% off, so it wasn’t that difficult actually! But my problematic feet couldn’t fit well in most of the pretty ones, so it was a bid between comfort and looks.

An uber sweet pair I was so tempted to get, but figured i’d probably won’t be wearing much of it cos it’s too girlie-girlie. I’m a tomboy at heart. Heh! This pair was RM$149, I think? Failing memory…

Fortunately, I managed to grab 2 pairs at a steal! The deal was too good to pass. I know SG has Jelly Bunny too, but I’ve only had my Melissas so far. Think of it as the more affordable sister to Melissa ;) Wore a pair right away as it felt like I was walking on sponge! Spot them in Day 2’s photos! Heh!

After shopping, we met up with hub’s ex-colleague and her family to dine together. Bei Zhan Restaurant was recommended by his groom-to-be colleague – he’s a local, who better to trust than a local! Heh! And it was a unanimous acknowledgement of the standard as we dined.

Located just opposite Swan Garden Hotel Melaka!

Stir-fried Potato Leaves with Garlic

Deep Fried Prawns in Salad Sauce.

Omelette with Mushroom and Carrots.

Assam Curry Fish Head – the fish was fresh and meaty!! Thumbs up!!

Braised Homemade Bean Curd with Napoli Tomato Sauce – this was from their Special Recommended menu.

Braised Pork Belly in Brown Sauce (Kurobuta) and Bun – I liked that there was actually MEAT! haha.. and they were not soaked in grease.. if you know what I mean…

Little Vera ate from the meal too – we requested for a bowl of hot water to blanch the food, and offered her rice with veggie, omelette and pork. She was smiley and grinning as she ate!

After a belly satisfied meal, we called it a day and drove back to our hotel, took a quick shower and pensan. Long day it was! So looking forward to the Mamee workshop the next day – stay tuned!