Thursday, September 29, 2011

Simply Mel's Food Review at The Sphere

BENG NAKI KUMI! 

Do you know what does the phrase above means? When it is translated into English, ‘Beng Naki Kumi’ simply means ‘Come here and eat!’ I am sure majority of you including myself are not familiar with the phrase but for Mel (short for Melba), she grew up with the 'Kristang' language, and still uses today with her children and grandchildren. Melba is now the head chef for Simply Mel's (a Malacca Portugese cuisine restaurant) and together with her daughter Alison, who runs the family business together. Let's take a look at what Simply Mel's have to offer! :D


As for starter, we had plenty of dishes. The first one is the Crab Stuffing (RM21.90). Waiting time for this dish is 15 minutes. The crab shells stuffed with shredded fresh crabmeat, diced turnip, carrots, prawns and onions. The stuffed crab shells are first fried and then baked and served hot and fresh. It is served with Mel’s homemade chili sauce. The taste of this dish is quite unique because I can taste the crab, prawn and chicken meat in every single bite. Personally this is my favorite! :D


The second starter dish is the "karing-karing" (RM6.90). This crispy ikan bilis doesn't taste too salty and it's really crispy. Indeed this is a good starter and a good replacement for salty peanuts that we normally had in a normal Chinese cuisine restaurant.


The third one is also one of my favorite which is the Belacan Fried Chicken (RM9.90/4pcs).
The chicken wings and drummets are coated in a crispy belacan batter and served with Mel’s homemade chili sauce.


The next one is the Pineapple and Cucumber Salad (RM6.90).
The chunky pineapple and cucumber are tossed with onions and sambal belachan. It taste good and it raises up my appetite to prepare my stomach for the main courses.




Last but not least, there was this Mel’s Malacca Laksa. Price for a bowl of this for lunch is RM10.90 and dinner is RM16.90. The gravy that accompany the rice vermicelli for this laksa is the aromatic coconut broth, fragranced with daun kesom & lemongrass. Served with chicken, prawns, fish balls, bean sprouts, tau pok, shredded omelette, cucumber & spring onion. The santan taste wasn't too strong and it wasn't too spicy at all unlike the typical laksa that we had out there.



Time for the main courses, the starter had actually filled half of our stomach but looking at the following dishes, we just can't receive to have even more. First of, the Mel’s ‘Devil’ Curry
Debal curry with chicken & fried potato wedges, cooked in a fiery gravy of chilli, onions, galangal, lemongrass and mustard seeds. Regular RM12.90    Large RM17.90




Corned Beef Meatball Stew (Regular RM18.90 /Large RM23.90 )
This stew are slow cooked with cured beef meatballs, potatoes, macaroni and vegetables, flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The corned beef meatball are soft, not as hard as those meatball that we normally had. The vegetable flavour from the stew was good after all it's slow cooked.



This is the Keluak Curry (Regular RM18.90/Large RM25.90 /Add Buah Keluak – RM2.00/pc)
Tender chicken slow cooked in a sourish, nutty curry with ‘buah Keluak’ from Indonesia. Many of us might have not tried this before but this is one dish from the main course list that we must try.

It's a very popular dish among Eurasians and often cooked at home. The keluak nuts are hard to come by so Mel’s sources them from a supplier in Malacca, who gets his high quality Keluak from Indonesia.

The Keluak nuts are cooked in a sourish curry with chicken. Many people are not aware that you have to dig out the contents (with chopstick) of the fruit to enjoy it to its fullest. The outer shell is hard while the inner contents are soft, almost like a velvety paste with a hint of nuttiness. It is an acquired taste - you may or may not like it. Mel's style of eating Keluak is to dig out all the paste from the nuts, mix it in her rice with a generous ladle curry, and mix it up and enjoy it!





We managed the break the buah keluak apart to reveal the content of the fruit...



The next main course is the Soy Limang Terung (Regular RM10.90 / Large RM15.90).
This pan-fried aubergines is cooked with dark soya sauce gravy and onion and best to eat with white rice.



Petai Sambal with Prawn (Regular RM21.90 / Large RM26.90)
 Crunchy stink bean or also known as petai are cooked together with prawn sautéed, onions and cucumber with Mel’s sambal. My friend who had this actually love it, same goes to me! :D






Baked Fish (wait time 20 mins) Ray Fish RM29.90
Seasonal fish marinated in a lemongrass and turmeric sambal, baked in banana leaf. The fish was really fresh and the amount of turmeric sambal is just nice. I requested for an extra bowl of rice when I was eating this...





Last but not least, it's the Black Sotong Sambal. My first time trying this and you must not let the color frighten you! It’s really quite delicious! Mel remembers her grandparents, Rosa and Vincent, cooking this squid dish regularly. The recipe was passed down to her mother Mercy, and finally, to Mel. The squid is slow cooked in a spicy sambal, with the black inkbag untouched. As it simmers over a low fire, the inkbags gently burst because of the heat, and colors the sambal black. It gives the sambal an intense savory flavor.

Desserts are always the best part especially for some of the girl foodie out there. Desserts that are offered in Simply Mel's starts from RM5.90 onward...


Pulut Hitam - The pulut hitam is superbly sweet since it comes with longan. The santan must be poured to balance the taste so it is not too sweet.



Sago Biji Gula Melaka - The sago was really chewy and it's nicely blended in with the brown sugar.



Pulut & Homemade Kaya - Simply Mel's produced their own kaya and it's for sale. The pulut taste good along with the homemade kaya and it's not too sweet.



Durian Santan - The Fresh durian are dipped in santan. I assume that most of you normally have durian without any gravy but this one was amazingly good. It's only available during weekend so you need to make sure that you are visiting them on the right day in order to have this dessert! :D


They also serve the Last Polka, Feel Good Ice Cream. Flavors available are Salted Gula Melaka, Horlicks, Teh Tarik, Nutella, Strawberry Cream Cheese and Durian (Seasonal Special until mid-October).

Some of the drinks that we had through out the food review...

Barley & Laici

Asam Boi Limau

Sirap & Jelly


Coffee Tarik


All I can say is the interior gaves me a homey-feel plus I was quite impressed of the huge drawing on the wall. Want to know what it's all about? You gotta visit Simply Mel's yourself to find out! :D

How did Mel learn to cook such delicious food?
Mel takes after her mother Mama Mercy, and her grandmother Mama Rosa, who both had a passion for food. Even her grandfather Papa Vincent was a mean machine in the kitchen! Mel has been cooking and baking not just for her family but for friends and charities as well.



As a young girl growing up in Malacca, she would spend her days helping her mother cook, bake and serve food at their humble home. Her very first cooking experience was baking a Ginger Cake. She picked up a book called "Sally's Recipes” and has never looked back!

Mel, showing us the 'Patui' card game.

The’ Patui’ Card Game
Simply Mel’s uses a ‘Patui Card’ as its logo. ‘Patui was a game played by the Malacca Portuguese community, and Mel’s mother Mercy would organize Patui Card games and practically the whole town would attend, more for the delicious food than anything else!



Last but not least, a group photo with Mel, Alison and the rest of the bloggers.

For more information, please contact: 
Alison Victor
Mobile: 013 4309500
Email: alisonjvictor@gmail.com




SIMPLY MEL’S, Malacca Portuguese Cuisine
Unit 1-1A, Ist Floor, The Sphere, 
No. 1, Avenue 1, Bangsar South, 
No. 8, Jalan Kerinchi,
59200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
T: 03 2241 4525
E: inquiries@simplymels.com

Open daily from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm.
Breakfast served from 10.00am – 11.30am.
Lunch served from 11.30am – 3.00pm.
A la carte menu available all day after 11.30am.
Reservations, group bookings and private functions welcomed!
(PORK FREE) 



Simply Mel's are nominated for the Blogger's Choice Award! If you think they have what it takes to win the Blogger's Choice Award, vote for them at the link below:

The above review was made possible by allMalaysia.info (http://allmalaysia.info/), the Star Online's travel and information portal. For more reviews, please visit allMalaysia.info's Restaurant Review section (http://allmalaysia.info/category/reviews/restaurants/).


.: Peace Out :.