Cuisine in Melaka


Woman finds ancient Portugese artefact in baby shark

The Star/Asia News Network
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

MALACCA – A baby shark being prepared for lunch gave a family here a big surprise – an ancient artefact believed to be dated long before the Portuguese conquest of Malacca.

Housewife Suseela Menon, from Klebang, made the priceless discovery while filleting the fish for lunch.

It is believed to be a medallion worn by the Portuguese soldiers, presumably as a divine protection, during their conquests in this part of the world in the 16th century.

One side of the medallion is a profile of a woman’s head with a crown and encircled by a halo and an inscription that is unclear. The other side is a crucifix with an engraved inscription that read ANTONII.

Checks with a local historian revealed the head engraving could be that of Queen Elizabeth, the consort of King Denis I of Portugal during his reign from 1271 to 1336.

Ms Suseela said she immediately cleaned the medallion and preserved it in a box.

‘I bought two sharks from the wet market and was taken aback upon discovering the object inside the stomach of one of the fishes,’ said the 47-year-old mother-of-two at her home yesterday.

Ms Suseela had wanted to prepare shark curry for her husband.

‘Finally, my husband decided not to eat the fish as the object seems to be a religious item,’ she said.

The medallion is 7.4cm long, 6cm wide and weighs 10g.

‘My husband feels it is a blessing for the family to have the medallion coming to our home from beneath the sea. We will always cherish it,’ said Ms Suseela.

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Tourism Malaysia

History: Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple

In the back room is a sculpture of the deity with the head of an elephant and the body of a man with four hands. There is another altar dedicated to Lord Muraga, the younger brother of Lord Vinayagar.

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Tourism Malaysia

The Dance of Prosperity

Both traditional dances are, however, performed spontaneously to the highly-entertaining beat of cymbals and gongs with the aim of chasing away negative spirits and keeping bad omens at bay.







The dragon’s head alone can weigh up to 15kg!

The dragon is traditionally built of wood, and the interior is assembled with bamboo hoops, covered with a rich fabric. These days though, lighter materials like aluminium and plastics are used, as even the head could weigh up to 15kg! Apparently, the longer the creature, the more blessings it would shower upon the people.

Regarded as bestowing prosperity, luck, wisdom and fertility to people, the dragon has long been a symbol for great power, of royal authority. Even some of the ancient China Emperors regarded themselves as the mythical creature!

Legend has it that the dragon dance was part of the farming and harvesting culture. There are also claims that the dance performance is part of the ritual for healing and preventing illnesses.

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Tourism Malaysia

A Weekend At The Budding Bentong

Snuggled behind the mountainous shadows of Genting Highland and Bukit Tinggi is the small town of Bentong. Although there is not much sightseeing to do in the town itself, there is plenty of adventure waiting for you to embark on, such as the Chamang Waterfall and Dusun Eco’s outdoor activities. Yet, Bentong is still worth a short visit for its ample food choices available in every nook and cranny in town. Whether you are up for some spice-tingling fish head curry, or the sweet kisses of homemade ice cream, Bentong is the place to be.

Duration: Overnight trip

Suitable for: Families

Recommended itinerary:

Day One:



84, Kg Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang.

Take the exit point of Janda Baik to go to Foon Lock.

(Tel.: +6 09 233 0170/+6 012 955 3832; Kampung Bukit Tinggi; RM20-RM30 per pax; Time: 10.30AM-10PM)

What: A sought-after restaurant in quiet Kampung Bukit Tinggi that serves yummy Chinese stir fried dishes to fill the tummy.

Why: Your tummy must be growling by the time you cross the borders into Pahang. Have a hearty meal here before proceeding down the Karak Highway and onto your weekend escapade.

Must-try: Tin kai noodles, steamed chicken with wolfberries, ginger and Chinese wine.



(Tel.: +6 03 2070 8720/+6 03 2070 1110;; Bentong; Time: 9AM-7PM)

What: A training and recreational village with its very own fruit plantation and facilities for exciting outdoor activities.

Why: From rock climbing to abseiling, obstacle courses to paintball shooting, from swimming to jungle trekking –  Dusun Eco has a bunch of outdoor activities to spend away your day. There is even a fruit plantation where you can have a teatime break and munch on freshly plucked fruits.

*Get in touch with Dusun Eco Resort for exhaustive information on activities and pricings.

6PM onwards


53,Jalan Loke Yew, 28700 Bentong, Pahang

Beside the Bentong General Hospital

(Tel. +6 09 223 3551; Jalan Loke Yew; RM40 per 4 pax; Time: 6AM-8PM)

What: One of the famous restaurants in town serving the neighbouring town, Raub’s popular fish head curry. Why: After a day of action at the paintball field, you must be shaking with hunger by the time you reach Bentong town. This restaurant has the perfect dishes cooked up in the kitchen to fill you to the brim so you can have a good night’s rest.

Must-try: Fish head curry.

*Please make bookings at least an hour before visiting to secure seats.

Day Two:



(; Bentong; Around RM180 per group (2-8pax); Time: Anytime)

What: Also known as ‘Lover’s Falls’, Chamang is hidden deep within Chamang Village, and is a local favourite for picnicking during a short day’s getaway. Why: Start your day with a refreshing dip in Chamang’s cooling waters, and even have a picnic spread on the rocks with the soothing rush of the currents.

*Visit Yen’s website for more rates and itineraries available.



Across the street from the central market building.

Jalan Chui Yin;

What: Located across the street from the central market’s building, they serve one of the best wan tan mee in town. The place is usually packed with locals who have just finished their day’s shopping at the market nearby. Why: After a morning’s worth of fun at Chamang Waterfall, come back to Bentong town for a bowl of slurpy goodness before exiting the small town back to civilisation in KL. Must-try: Wan tan mee.


2 Bentong Heights, 28700 Bentong

The coffeeshop is on the main Jalan Loke Yew and is opposite the Bentong central bus station

(Tel.: +6 09 222 1258; Jalan Loke Yew; RM2 per scoop; Time: 10.30AM-7PM)

What: A local’s favourite dessert spot serving preservative-free ice cream, cendol and ais kacang. Why: What better way to finish off your trip, as well as to cool yourself down during midday with a nice bowl of ice cream?

Must-try: Homemade ice cream, ais kacang drenched in coconut milk and palm sugar.


(Bentong; Adult/Child: Free; Time: Anytime)

What: Another forest reserve, where visitors can set up camp for a night in nature’s bosom, or spend a few hours of peace and quiet among the green trees and running waters. Why: If going through an obstacle course seems too strenuous for your holiday, how about skipping Dusun Eco’s outdoor activities and head to Lentang instead for a peace of mind?


(Jalan Pasar; Time: 7AM-12PM)

What: A Chinese-oriented Sunday Market, selling all the ingredients, such as baby bok choi, mak choi, black-skinned chicken, bean curd and more, to cook up a sumptuous meal. Why: If you must, you can load up the trunk with a week’s worth of food supplies to go home with here. It’s also a good opportunity for photography enthusiasts to snap some portrait and candid shots.

Where to stay:


(Tel.: +6 03 4042 6033;; Bukit Tinggi; RM139nett-RM199nett; 3-star rating)

What: Built on the misty slopes of Bukit Tinggi, the resort is just a 40-minute drive from KL, and a 20-minute drive from Genting Highlands. Equipped with the best facilities, it’s a suitable accommodation to make your weekend getaway all the more comfortable.

Why: It’s still a long journey ahead along the Karak Highway to Bentong, and this resort is a strategic place to rest in before going down the road to your destination.


(Tel.: +6 03 2070 8720/+6 03 2070 1110;; Bentong; RM59 (4 pax per chalet))

What: A training and recreational village with its very own fruit plantation, obstacle course, paintball field, swimming pool and more facilities for any outdoor activities of your choice.

Why: Clean and tidy chalets with a list of outdoor activities for your disposal. Another decent place to overnight in before heading down the road to Bentong.


(Tel.: +6 09 223 2118; Bentong; From RM84nett; 1-star rating)

What: A 47-room hotel located right smacked in the middle of Bentong town with food and beverage amenities just at the doorstep.

Why: If you choose to overnight in Bentong town instead of in the folds of nature, this is your best bet with everything you need to keep your trip fulfilled.



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Tourism Malaysia

Roaming In Raub

One of the oldest towns in Pahang, Raub (translated as ‘scoop’) was once a gold mining town in early 19th century. Today, the quietness of the little town prevails, as locals devour on curry fish head, something Raub is famous for. Nearby, the water runs deep as extremists paddle through the Besu Rapids, while the Zen ones connect with nature at the Jarum Waterfalls.

Duration: Day trip
Suitable for: Families

Recommended itinerary:


Address: 28 Jalan Dato’ Abdullah, Raub
Tel.: +6 09 355 1182
Operating Hours: 8AM-6.30PM
What: An aptly named old-fashioned teahouse that serves the yummiest teatime snacks straight from the oven.
Must-try: Egg tarts, curry puffs, kaya puffs.


Address: Sungai Lipis, Benta
Tel.: Greenleaf Holidays Tours: +6 09 267 2131 / +6 019 313 1240
Operating Hours: Daytime
Cost: From RM180 per pax (min 8 pax)
What: Known as one of the most challenging whitewater rafting areas in Malaysia, Besu Rapids happen along the Lipis River and it’s just a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. The rapids here are graded 3 and above.


Address: 82 Jalan Tun Razak, Raub
Tel.: +6 09 356 1651
Operating Hours: 6.30AM-9.30PM
What: Raub is famous for its fish head curry and most locals would patron this restaurant that serves the little town’s best delicacy.
Must-try: Fish head curry, chicken curry.

Address: Sungai Dong, Kampung Ulu Dong, Dong
Operating Hours: Daytime
Cost: Free
What: Located not too far from the village, Jarum Waterfalls is a picnic spot frequented by locals nearby and tourist from afar. To reach the falls, go down the Raub-Kuala Lipis road, and be prepared for a relaxing day by the cascading waters at the end of the road.


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