YummY! Jotaro's Food Review
FRESH ONDE-ONDE @ AKU & DIA
Malacca City, Malacca, Malaysia - April, 2014
On our second day of cycling in Malacca, Chris our local Malaccan friend took us to this small but warm and authentic Baba-Nyonya place that sells freshly made Onde-onde.
Onde-onde, a type of rice cake, are small balls made from rice dough with a core of Gula Melaka. Natural dyes from the Pandan leaves gives it that unique green colour and distinct aroma. The size varies from place to place. These ones from Malacca were about an inch in diameter, whilst those from Penang are smaller at about half an inch in diameter.
The thing that makes this place unique is that it's run by a friendly Nyonya lady, one who is full of smiles. Clad in her orange Nyonya Kebaya, she makes the Onde-onde from natural ingredients - self grinded rice flour, Pandan leaves cut and pounded to extract the juice and the faboulous Gula Melaka from Malacca itself.
The cheerful Nyonya lady used to be a beauty queen, this old advertisement hung on the shop's wall shows her modelling for a Raliegh bicycle advertisement.
No wonder she has that dainty air about her.
She is a bit short-handed though, having to do most of the work herself - kneading the dough, plucking them into small bits, inserting Gula Melaka and then rolling them into balls.
The one man helping her was not too adept at Nyonya Kueh making, he could not even boil the Onde-onde well. Me, from a Baba-Nyonya lineage would have done a better job.
Her work table with dough for rolling at left, stand-by dough at top, Gula Melaka at bottom right and finished balls at centre.
The raw Onde-onde is then cooked in boiling water. While others just use plain water, this lady added Pandan leaves into the water so as to enhance the pandan smell in the Onde-onde.
This is where the assistant fumbled, and the lady had to keep on telling him "When cooked the Onde-onde will float up to the surface. Don't scoop up those at the bottom!"
The Onde-onde is then scooped up and put into a tray of grated coconut (which had been slightly salted) and rolled around for a while. The coconut sticks to the surface of the soft mollasy surface.
An end product well worth waiting for. The skin was soft and chewy, the heat from the skin had melted the Gula Melaka to a thick syrup. A bite into the Onde-onde and this syrup squirted out washing the mouth with a sweet flavour that is countered by the creaminess & slight saltiness of the grated coconut. Boiling the Onde-onde in Pandan water had done the trick, the aroma of pandan was still strong and had not been washed away during boiling. Overall a good balance of texture, bite and flavour.
Sometimes, I like eating Onde-onde chilled, i.e. putting them into the fridge for an hour or so before eating.
The cendol noodles lacked that springiness and Pandan scent. But this was made up for by the fresh creamy santan and the good, thick Gula Melaka which had a stong aroma.
A poster profess that Asam Pedas and Rendang Ayam are sold here too. But for today they were not available (probably because her more capable helper is not around).
In the shop are sold Cincaluk, those wonderful condiment made from small shrimps salted and seasoned so that they have that strong tangy underlying taste.
And coconut biscuits. These are very different from those Western ones and are in fact made just from coconut, no wheat dough etc to lessen the coconut flavour. Made from grated coconut flesh which have been pan fried until they turn brown, the biscuits exude a burnt coconut flavour and aroma as one munch in; really, these can be addictive!
KEDAI AKU & DIA
23, Jalan Hang KasturI, 75100 Melaka, Malaysia
GPS : 2.196164, 102.248227
View Kedai Aku & Dia, Malacca in a larger map
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