As most people who visit Malacca tend to stay in the Jonker Walk area, the vegetarian restaurant, which I am reviewing today will undoubtedly represented the closest geographical meat-free eatery people can visit. Although this humble restaurant is the closest, be warned about their awkward opening times. Moreover, as is the case with most small restaurantsoverseas, they are also likely to just close randomly - Even they they're supposed to be open. An additional warning, this restaurant has a lot of mosquitoes hovering around, so prepare to donate blood as well as money, at the end of your meal.
Shui Xian Su Shi Yuan Vegetarian Food
Location: Jalan Hang Lekiu
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 7.30am-2.30pm. Closed Sunday.
What I found intriguing about the menu at this restaurant, is the inclusion of some of the traditional Malacca dishes, which I was itching to try (but inhibited by them always having meat in them). Along with the local specialty dishes, there are also more familiar faces. Price wise, the dishes are dirt cheap, especially after making the conversion back into Singapore currency.
One of those unique and special Malacca dishes is the Chicken Rice Balls. This is an extraordinarily unusual twist on the classic chicken rice dish. The key difference comes in the rice, which instead is made into golf ball sized shapes. The chicken comes separately, on the side, with the other usual accompaniments, such as cucumber. The mock chicken was derived from beancurd sheets. Perhaps I am more of a traditionalist, but the rice balls didn't seem to have enough flavour in them, and most importantly, didn't have the same enjoyment factor, compared to authentic rice. This dish is certainly a nice novelty, but I'd take the classic version instead.
Price: RM3.00. 5/10
Moving on to a more conventional dish, here we have the Wan Tan Mee. Customers can choose between three different sizes for this dish, all varying in price. Dry/fried wan tans are one of the things I love the most - Therefore, I was dismayed to see no actual wan tans in this dish! Instead, they were replaced with just the wan tan skin, without any filling. Obviously this was an immense disappointment. The noodles and other components were solid, but without real wan tan, how can this be wan tan mee?
Price: RM2.80 (S). 5/10
Conclusion - Location wise, this place is very convenient for most tourists, and it is certainly pleasing to see a vegetarian restaurant, which is so easily accessible. Quality wise, however, I found this place was below average. Price wise it was certainly good value, and it did make me happy to get to try chicken rice balls. Perhaps this is the pampered Englishman in me speaking, but having mosquitoes take their meal from me, while I take my meal, was a little off-putting too.
Food - 5/10
Service - 6/10
Value - 8/10