I had gone armed with very little information on Malacca, planning simply to wander around and explore when I got there, but the idea of not knowing where or what to eat when I got there simply wouldn’t do!
http://eatingasia.typepad.com/ had been recommended to me by people on Egullet previously and I follow writer Robyn Eckhardt on twitter who was kind enough to link to her posts on eating in Malacca from earlier in the year for me.
Several places were mentioned in her posts (and I am still keen to return to try the kuih’s mentioned in one of the posts) but timing and my sense of direction conspired against me for the best part of my first afternoon in Malacca until I finally stumbled onto to Kampong Pantai and remembered Long Fatt had been mentioned as a great place to enjoy a spot of lunch. It was quite late when I did arrive and many of the items appeared to have sold out.
Walking around Malaccas winding roads in the scorching heat had also diminished my appetite somewhat disappointingly so I opted for a small portion of rice, a sardine like fish cooked in tamarind curry sauce, some braised vegetables and a slice of tofu, all selected form the counter behind which Long Fatt works.
The serving staff were incredibly friendly and seeing how hot I was, offered ice for my Chinese tea (the only drink they serve) The fish was very tasty indeed, being slow cooked in the curry sauce meant it was even more moist than usual, the fine pin bones of the fish barely noticeable (although my delicate way of eating the fish caused some amusement for the elderly gentleman sitting on my left who simply put most of the fish in his mouth, pausing only to spit out any bones or cartilage he found!)
The tofu was a revelation, beautifully cooked , still slightly chewy and just how I like it, with a golden outer casing holding the soft, silken flesh in place. I had read on the Eating Asia post that they do a great braised pumpkin which had sold out by the time I had arrived but they advised me to come back the next day to try it which I had every intention of doing.
The next day I headed back to Long Fatts for lunch as it was nearby and I needed to make my way back to the hotel to collect my bag and make the trip back to Singapore. This time I was glad to see they had the pumpkin that I had read about so I chose some of this, along with more of the tofu, a leafy green vegetable and a char grilled fish.
As a “regular” I was given some of their special pork sauce over my rice (essentially the pork cooking juices) but apart from that the meal was just as good as the one the day before. The pumpkin was earthy and sweet at the same time and a real highlight of my lunch. I really would recommend Long Fatt to anyone visiting Malacca, just as I would Sin Hiap Hin, to me they are the real Malacca and not the crowded, overpriced tourist shops on Jonker walk