It is the year of the Tiger, and the eponymous beer company seems to be the major sponsor. We hung out in a place called Geographers Café on Jin Hang Jebat, a corner location with outside seating and icy cold Tiger drafts. The food, the service, everything seems to work at this place. We especially liked the Nasi Lemak here, which is the national dish of Malaysia.
The Karabau Rock bar was our alternative late night bar, very local and friendly place. They have live music on the weekends.
Chinese New Year was packed everywhere, but I thought we would see dragon dancing and firecrackers exploding all over the place, but alas not one… Apparently, the way to celebrate is to eat a giant meal with your extended family. Every restaurant in Melaka was booked by out of town Chinese from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. The young people go out and drink in cafés and bars afterwards. We sat at the Geographers Café and made friends with an Australian couple. Both taught at universities. Her hobby was singing, and she sang with the one-man house band and belted out incredibly good renditions of many, especially Tina Turner.
They have these beer girls, from the different beer companies. They go around to the tables at the cafés and try to get you to order their kind of beer; they keep pouring the beer as fast as you as you can drink it. In Malaysia, they are very discreet, but in Vietnam, they are a nuisance, too pushy. We ate dinner at the new boutique hotel called courtyard@heeren I had earlier in the day checked out their rooms which were fantastic. The suite especially, with an inside/outside bathroom with Balinese shower at 300 MR was a bargain. The restaurant, on the other hand, was a great disappointment. The food was less than mediocre. My chicken was dry and Rangerette had a pasta that was so small it wouldn’t fill a dwarf in a Fellini Film! My advice: Book the room and eat elsewhere until they get it together in the kitchen…
We stayed out until the wee hours, but knew we couldn’t let completely go, because we were taking an early taxi the next day back to Kuala Lumpur, or KL as the natives call it. We were flying to the island of Langkawi on the Northwest coast of Malaysia. Rangerette and I retired, after two New Year parties within 5 weeks. We were ready to move on and start the Year of the Tiger.