It’s no secret that Malaysians really, really love their food. It’s all about the makan-makan, all day every day! So much so we regularly plan trips just simply to eat!
One of the best destinations in the country for food trips is of course Melaka. So many tasty treats on offer, which ones should be on the list?
Well here’s a new idea aside from the usual nyonya asam laksa and chicken rice balls: how about a piping hot bowl of asam pedas ramen?
Yessir, this is for real. Our unashamed love for food combined with our penchant and ingenuity to concoct fusion dishes (remember nasi lemak burger?) has gone one level up with this new wacky creation. Ladies and gentlemen… meet asam pedas ramen.
But wait… does the combo even work? In the name of scientific research, we went to Melaka to satiate our tummies with this new viral sensation.
Getting on the trail to find the asam pedas ramen was fairly easy as Melaka is not big as compared to Kuala Lumpur. The Asam Pedas Ramen stall is located at Makan Avenue food court on Jalan Kampung Hulu, just a few blocks from Jonker Walk.
This popular dining spot has the real estate gold of being located right by the Melaka River. So not only are you able to enjoy your meal with scenic views of tourist boats passing by, it’s also convenient in case you need to jump into a body of water to subdue the heat from the dish (PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!).
How spicy is the asam pedas ramen really? Native to the southern Malaysian states including Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Melaka, asam pedas is a sour and spicy gravy with heavy use of asam jawa (tamarind paste) combined with copious amounts of dried chilli and other ingredients. It’s typically complemented with fish like mackerel or stingray, but some make them with beef or chicken as well.
Korean ramen, meanwhile, began showing up on our radar about the same time our mothers became glued to the Korean dramas shown on TV, and its popularity escalated a couple of years ago with the viral ‘nuclear fire noodle challenge’ – a challenge that saw millions of people uploading their best efforts in finishing a bowl of the super-hot Korean noodles without dying from the heat.
A little fun fact: the correct Korean term is actually ramyeon (remember this when you plan a trip to Korea, or the locals might look at you differently if you say ramen). What makes Korean ramyeon different from the original Japanese instant noodles is that ramyeon noodles are thicker, and thus do not get soggy as easily. But in Malaysia, ramyeon or ramen are basically the same things.
At Asam Pedas Ramen, each dish is served in a small wok, but make no mistake – the portion is huge for one person. Their best seller is the asam pedas ramen with telur mayong (fish roe), though there are also other seafood options like prawns, squid and mackerel fish roe. Don’t like seafood? Go for the daging tetel (beef). Prices range between MYR17.90 and MYR19.90, depending on your order.
So… what happens when you combine the beloved asam pedas with the tongue-burning delight that is the Korean ramen? Well let’s just say, the spiciness level is 100%. But it is goooood. What’s funny is, the more you struggle to diminish the fire blazing inside your mouth, the more you want to keep on eating. But the universe is fair, so of course, there’s a solution right around the corner.
Best to skip sugary drinks and order a soothing bowl of cendol (shaved ice dessert with palm sugar and coconut milk) from the Cendol Kampung Hulu stall. The fresh coconut milk mixed with crushed ice, rice flour jelly and fresh fruits like mango or durian (they serve the Musang King here!) is the perfect remedy.
If you love asam pedas, a natural foodie, or are simply hungry for some sustenance, the asam pedas ramen is definitely a must if you visit Melaka. Popular local celebrities including local actors Tiara Jacquellina, Fazura and Fattah Amin, as well as national footballer Khairul Fahmi Che Mat have tried, tested, and vouched for it!
Asam Pedas Ramen
- Address: Makan Avenue, No 26, Jalan Kampung Hulu, 75200 Melaka
- Opening hours: 12.30pm – 12am daily
- Price range: MYR17.90 to MYR19.90
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