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Hainanese Food Tasting At The Melaka Hainan Association

melaka hainan association malacca
Continuing from where we left off during my invitation to A Date With Bloggers At Melaka 2012, our next destination was to the Melaka Hainan Association.

melaka hainan association
As it was a weekend, the Association was filled with “trading merchants” selling currencies, stamps, paintings etc.

luxury haven at melaka hainan association malacca
However, our purpose to this place was not to shop, but to learn more about the Hainanese food. Pix taken with my travel buddy, Doris.

date with bloggers in melaka hainan association
Over there, bloggers were introduced to Hainanese food, prepared by a group of volunteers who took their time off over the weekend just to cook for us.

malacca hainanese chicken rice balls
Fish Balls?? Nope! These are Malacca's famous Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls.

makings of hainanese chicken rice balls
A demo on the Makings of Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls had been planned for us bloggers.

melaka hainanese chicken rice balls
These group of cheerful folks showed us the steps in making these famous Rice Balls.
making hainanese chicken rice balls
Apparently, there's a special tool for it.

luxury haven making hainanese chicken rice balls
Bloggers got their chances to try making these rice balls too.

tools for hainanese chicken rice balls
After scooping the rice using the tool, we'd to use our hands to mould it into shape while the rice was still hot.

hainanese chicken rice balls, food
Well, I think I did a pretty good job! What do you think?
Laughter thundered across the hall as all the bloggers had a lot of fun "playing" cooks.

mei zhong yuan confectionery
We also had the Master from Mei Zhong Yuan Confectionery to show us the process of making the Melaka's famous Sun Biscuit.

Here's a slideshow on the tedius process of making the Melaka famous Sun Biscuit:

mei zhong yuan confectionery sun cakes
Here's how Sun Cakes look like after baking.

chief minister of malacca datuk seri mohd ali rustam
After hours of fun & laughter, our guest-of-honor, Chief Minister of Malacca Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, arrived to grace the occasion & have lunch with the bloggers & sponsors.

food tasting at date with bloggers in melaka
Our food tasting session:

hainanese chicken and rice balls
Hainanese Chicken & Rice Balls. After much hype, I finally got the try these famous rice balls. Maybe because these were cold by the time they were served, I found the outer layer of the rice a little hard, while the rice was soggy. I'm really fussy about Chicken Rice, I prefer my rice grains separated & not in lumps like these. But it was a good experience.

bua ta art dessert, glutinuous rice, hainanese
Bua Ta Art, made from glutinous rice & coated with seasame seeds & dried coconut flakes cooked in brown sugar. The sweet snack was somewhat chewy; something new for me. Kinda like the taste of coconut.

hainanese sesame glutinous rice balls
These Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls are a common sight in Singapore as well.

hainanese sesame peanuts glutinous rice balls
For those unfamiliar with this snack, it's usually loaded with peanut fillings & coated with sesame seeds. A real tasty treat!

hainanese yi bua dessert
Yi Bua. Tasted like some local snacks I've tried before. It's sticky & chewy.

hainanese yi bua dessert, grated coconut
The Yi Bua is filled with sweet grated coconut.

hainanese ou bua kia dessert
Ou Bua Kia Dessert in spicy ginger "soup". These tasteless rice flour with strong medicinal herbal taste was perhaps the hardest dish to digest. This local dessert didn't take too well with the crowd. But in TCM, bitter stuff are supposed to be good for health. Well, at least that was what my mom used to tell me when I was a kid.

jonker gallery fruit teas
Bloggers got to try out these fun & colourful Fruit Teas in various flavours, sponsored by Jonker Gallery that are only available in Malacca.

jonker gallery fruit teas bottles
The impressive part about this drink is, you don't need a bottle opener at all. Just twist off the cap & pop the drink into your mouth.

luxury haven with restoran anak nyonya
Bloggers were in luck. Only only we got to try Hainanese food, we were introduced to Peranakan/Nonya food too. The elegant lady in the traditional costume is none other than the owner of Restoran Anak Nyonya & LW Nyonya Pineapple Tarts House, Ms Lucy Wee.

peranakan nonya ayam buah keluak
I've heard a lot about Ayam Buah Keluak, so I was really looking forward to try out this dish for myself. Buah keluak is a black nut originating from Indonesia, more famously known for the aroma in Peranakan's most famous dish – the Ayam Buah Keluak; which is Chicken cooked with the black nuts. Well, I kinda liked what I'd tried. The chicken was tender & infused with the flavour of the nuts. A unique taste that I would love to indulge again.

peranakan nonya udang goreng asam prawns
Udang Goreng Asam. A sourish & spicy Prawn dish that suits my palate.

peranakan nonya sotong sambai petai
Sotong Sambal Petai. I love spicy food & I fancy Squids. My kinda food except for Petai, which is known as Stinky Beans. The Malays in S'pore likes to use Petai in their cooking, Since it's called Stinky Beans, I've yet to pick up the courage to try them.

peranakan nonya ayam pongteh chicken
The Ayam Pongteh is one of the few dishes I like here. Cooked with potatoes, the chicken parts were really tasty & goes well with just a plate of rice.

peranakan nonya bendi stim belacan ladies fingers
Bendi Stim Belacan. Simplest dish that turned out to be the highlight of that day. The Ladies Fingers were simply boiled & served with Sambal Belacan, but the chilli was so fragrant & delicious. The dish seemed to be everyone's fave. I just couldn't get enough of it.

peranakan nonya pineapple tarts desserts
Well, the bloggers ended the day with a sweet note. We got to try different versions of Pineapple Tarts.

a date with bloggers at melaka 2012

date with bloggers at melaka 2012
Taken with the amazingly young & wonderful organizers of the event - Steven Tan of Best Melaka Guide & KX Lim of Asia Food Guide. Thank you again, for everything!


  1. the sun cakes look good! now u can cook chicken rice ball for ur family! haha :D

    1. Henry, was surprised by the steps involved! Hahaha! Yap, mould my rice into balls :)

  2. Lots of Hainanese dishes. Chicken rice ball is irresistible :P

    1. Metzelder, I must try again. Hot ones this time :)

  3. MMMm food looks great. not bad wor your rice ball

    1. Kathy, maybe I've too high expectation having heard so much about it...

  4. wow wow wow.. I think all the food are consumable by Aki.. :p.. I tot I try a lot of this, cooked by my auntie, which married with a Chinese guy, and she's very good with their cooking already.. :p.. My favourite auntie of course.. :D..

    1. Aki, lucky u got someone who can cook so well. Great sharing!

  5. the special tool looks like a prayer cup

    1. Hey, that was my first thought too. Hahaha!

  6. I like my rice to look like rice too, so I am not very fascinated with the rice balls either lol! the biscuits look delicious though.

    1. Jeannie, looks like we've more in common. Hope u'll get the chance to try them too :)

  7. aww! the food looks yummy! :D

  8. You squeeze so much fun into your week! So much yummy food to sample :)

    1. Lizzy, too much fun & laughter! You've a good weekend, dear!

  9. yerrrrrrrrrrr, why you no take pic with me ? :'(

    1. Ken, why u no come to me?? Hahaha! Actually I don't have any idea how u look like. Too many bloggers there. LOL!

  10. Those sun cakes are beckoning me to eat them! You sure had a fun and delicious week.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Angie, I've tried these in Taiwan too, they share some similarities. Yap, it was certainly a fun event! Enjoy your weekend too!

  11. Wahh nice! I love those kueh / desserts :)

    1. Stella, u've got sweet tooth, huh?? Hahaha! Have a lovely weekend!

  12. So that's how the rice balls are made!

    1. YumList, interesting, isn't it? I was surprised too :)

  13. Shirley, thanks once again for a tasty and colorful food tour! I'm sorry I haven't been at the computer this week to respond to your other posts... my father-in-law passed away, so we've had a lot to deal with this past week. It made me smile when you called the organizers of this event amazingly young... you fit right in!!! :) Take care, sweet friend.

    1. Kimby, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss! Hope all's well, my dear! Thks so much for taking your time & leaving me your kind words. U take care, Kim!

  14. you tried so many variety of food! Why do they need the special tool for the chicken rice ball? (after all the mould is the hands)

    1. FoodieFC, I guess is to get even sizes.......

  15. yummmmy doubt you had a wonderful time..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  16. yummy! ^^
    beautiful pictures! and great blog :D

    1. Sindy, thks for visiting! Will check out your blog too :)

  17. What beautiful pictures - the desserts are mouthwatering :D


    1. Guru, thks dear! I hope u've the chance to savour these food some day :)

  18. New Experience is A WOW always.. the Tarts look so delish, hope you had my share also.
    Love Ash.

    1. Ash, hahaha! I'd a good time & hope you've enjoyed the tour too :)


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