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|
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!
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!