Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Calanthe Art Cafe, 11 Jalan Hang Kasturi, Melaka, Malaysia


Here’s a funky find in Melaka – Calanthe Art Café.   This is the place to come for coffee - Malaysian-grown and special Malaysian combinations.  Local beans come from Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, and there are also coffee blends from elsewhere in the region.  The unique appeal of this café is that coffee is served in the style of all the different States of Malaysia. 

Melaka Iced Coffee
 I decided to try the Melaka Iced Coffee, a highly satisfying, strong, dark brew with just a hint of sugar in the roasting.  At RM4.95 for a big glass, it’s a steal, and I can understand why many visitors keep returning to try all the varieties. 
Informative Menu

There are plenty of interesting teas, juices, sodas and cold drink choices too.  There are ice-blended options and all the other coffee shop favourites, including Affrogato, along with a few surprises.  How about Aloha Zoey, a coffee, coconut and passion fruit syrup?  Wow!

Calanthe Laksa

 And “wow” again for the Calanthe Laksa.  I chose kuey teow noodles, which came in a rich coconut gravy infused with lemongrass, turmeric and secret spices.  This Laksa is accompanied by a sambal of roasted chillies and dried prawn paste which you can add to your taste.  There are tofu puffs, fried beancurd skin, thin egg strips, fishcake slices, beansprouts and grated cucumber.  I’m not a big fan of fishballs, but Calanthe-style fishballs went down a treat.  And here was another surprise.  In the very centre of the Laksa, there was a big dollop of thick mint sauce.  The sour vinegar blended beautifully with the sweet coconut milk, an inspired combination that ensured I ate every last drop.  The Laksa was priced at a very reasonable RM7.95.
Highly recommended combo!

Didn't I say this place was funky?  Just take a look...


I was so impressed with the café that I went back later that day for dinner.  It’s always hard for a Brit like me to pass over fish and chips, and though I try to limit myself, I do indulge from time to time. 
Fish and Chips

Calanthe’s version didn’t disappoint…perfectly cooked fish, snapper or grouper, I’m not quite sure which…but what I do remember is the little twist to add interest.  There was a sprinkling of mixed herbs in the fine breadcrumbs around the fish, a very simple idea that imparted a novel flavour and lifted the dish from ordinary to extraordinary.  The price was right too, just RM11.95.  I washed it down with a Very Koo, a very kooling fruit juice blend.  

Joseph, one of the owners, and Yen Teh, who gave me excellent service.
Reason to visit:  For the innovative menu, good value for money and to try one of more of the 13 Malaysian State Coffees.


You will find everything that you need to know about the café, including a map showing the  location, at their website:  http://www.letseat.at/calanthe  


You can also find them on Facebook, in fact I just noticed there’s an image of me posted there!  https://www.facebook.com/calanthe.melaka  It seems the café’s continuing its legacy of keeping everyone interested by surprising its guests too!


20 comments:

  1. Great find Polly! The place looks as though it has a nice artsy vibe.

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  2. Yes, it has a really great atmosphere and friendly staff too.

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  3. Gosh.. how did you find all these cute little places in Melaka? =)

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    1. I must admit that I often use Trip Advisor to seek out places that travelers and locals enjoy. Now of course, we can all use The Yum List!

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  4. wow! the laksa looks wonderful~!

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    1. Oh yes, Eunice, it was excellent and not too oily either. The mint sauce in the middle was a really inspired touch!

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    2. I was just looking at the menu on Calanthe's website, and see they have a drink named Eunice! Now you have another reason to visit.

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  5. Interesting place. Would love to give it a try...and I'm a 100% coffee guy!

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    1. You'll be sure to enjoy this place then, Suituapui! You'll be spoiled for choice too. I bet one visit won't be enough!

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  6. I was there last year, the coffee was amazing. I was a bit on the adventurous side and ordered this sago pudding. It was a bit too gelatinous for my liking. Apart from that, the drinks were absolutely fabulous. :)

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    1. I was a good girl and didn't try any desserts. Sorry to hear the sago wasn't so great. I bet that if you had mentioned it to the manager, he would have appreciated the comment. I get the impression that they're going all out to please as many customers as they can.

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    2. the place was full house when i was there, the barista was even a bit nervous due to overwhelming orders. so i didn't mention bout the sago pudding. :)

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    3. Yeah, don't blame you!

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  7. Great review Polly, can't wait to try it out!

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    1. Hey, maybe we can go together! I always love a trip to Melaka.

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  8. pass by this cafe when my last visit to Melaka but didn't go in as I'm not a coffee person :P

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    1. Lots of non-coffee options, Yen. I didn't post the image of my fruity drink, Very Koo, because it wasn't clear, but it was delicious and healthy too. They have milk shakes, teas and ice blended drinks. Here's another combo I'd like to try, the Cendol Ice Blenz: palm sugar and coconut milk blended with ice and topped with red beans and baba cendol. Yum! Cendol in a glass. You'll find most of the drinks menu on their website, http://www.letseat.at/calanthe

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  9. I love the ambience! Nice place to chill!

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    1. I agree. I'll definitely return when I'm next in Melaka.

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  10. This is a great place, yes !!
    And I love watching the aquariumTV there :)))
    Love
    Pierre

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