That was before I discovered this hidden food haven in Melaka; Introducing Ku Cha Be (古早味) which serves unbelievably flavourful organic food that will make you drool for more. The best part is, the food served here is Halal and vegetarian-friendly. Of course, non-vegetarian like me really enjoyed it as well.
Situated near the city centre, Ku Cha Be offers a different take to food preparation and presentation. The moment you arrived at the doorstep of the restaurant, you will instantaneously know that you have come to the right place. Right before your eyes are wooden panels of windows which exudes so much rustic charm to it. The two little rattan stools fit just perfectly amidst the homey setting. It makes me feel like I have returned to my ancestral home.
Welcome to Ku Cha Be
The interior does exude that classic feel to it
I thought the marble table and wooden chairs really complement each other
Nostalgic touches-tiffins, sewing machines, metal biscuit boxes and radio just to name a few.
Inside the restaurant, you will be greeted by their friendly waiters who will usher you and help you with your orders. I really like the interior as it is simple and classical. The presence of those white ethereal marble tables being dotted by the equally traditional timbered chairs make the whole ambiance very cozy. The sight of old sewing machine, pastel tiffins, antique typewriter really breathe life into the whole place-giving it that olden days nostalgia. It feels like you actually travel back in time when you dine in here. Heck! Even the round hickory switches from my grandparents' era are making a cameo here.
More decorations: Even the switches are old school.
Let's order our food: Self-service
The menu looks really beautiful as well.
After we were done mesmerizing the decorations, we started to browse through the menu to look at what we could savour for our lunch. My wife ordered the Hakka Lei Cha while I opted for Hakka Porridge as my throat felt a little parched on that day; Our Jordan boy chose his usual Wan Tan Mee and our flamboyant Jasmine girl preferred something more spicy-Nasi Lemak. Obviously all four of us got to pick our very own comfort food to fill our growling stomachs. Who said we cannot enjoy everything under the same roof? Ouh yeah~we also ordered their Red Bean Soup for our after-meal dessert. :)
What we have ordered. :)
The first dish to land on our table was my Hakka Porridge. I was pleasantly surprised as my food was hidden inside the bamboo steamer that we would usually see in a dim sum restaurant. Once the lid was lifted, the bowl of brown-rice porridge was adorably circled by 7 little dishes ranging from salted bean curd, long bean, soft-succulent black fungus, ground nuts, chopped vegetables, crispy dumpling and another vegetable dish that I could not distinguished. When I mixed everything into the porridge and tried a spoon of it...BAM! Every spoon was bursting of toothsome flavours which made me yearn for more.
My Hakka Porridge
The steaming basket really made the whole dish more exquisite
7 different little dishes to mix with my brown rice porridge
Up next was my wife's Hakka Lei Cha which looked a little bit like yee sang to me. Ha :D Being served on a bamboo tray, the brown rice was the center of the attractions as it was being embraced by a mixture of vegetables, cabbage, groundnuts, sesame seeds, bean curd, puffed rice, spring onions and even carrots. Talk about green food huh! Before we continue: what does Lei Cha means? Literally it translates to "crushed" or "pounded" tea. So the emerald-coloured tea in the teapot next to the aforementioned ingredients is actually made from various ingredients ground to perfection for you to enjoy. After sampling the Lei Cha, I believe the ingredients include organic wulong tea, mint, basil and coriander. The combination of the side dishes and Lei Cha made an amazingly toothsome and nutritious meal. My wife really enjoyed it a lot. Yummy!
Hakka Lei Cha at its best
Wifey really enjoyed her nutrition-packed Lei Cha! :)
Jordan boy's Wan Tan Mee was not a let down as well as he told me that it tasted really titillating. The noodle which was made from unbleached flour, was really springy and well-seasoned. He enjoyed the fried, crispy dumpling as well. I was really impressed to see so many different ingredients being stuffed into the dumpling. He enjoyed his so much that he even reached out for my dumpling. Greedy boy! :p
Organic Wan Tan Mee is served
Time to eat!
The best dish today-Nasi Lemak!
The aromatic brown rice, the lemon grass tempeh and the toothsome chili!
Can daddy eat yours? :)
Both of them enjoyed their food a lot.
Bean curd with the ever delectable parsley!
As for my daughter, she just couldn't stop spooning her soft tasty brown rice with coconut milk into her little mouth. Honestly...the aromatic santan (coconut milk) of the rice was so fragrant that I could not help but to sample a few spoons myself. The spinach was flawlessly cooked so it was tender while the cucumber was so fresh that I had a few myself (usually I don't eat these cucumber slices). Now...I highly recommend the Tempeh Ground Nut which was seasoned with lemon grass! OMG~it was not only crispy but also really, really, really damn gratifying! Wait...I'm not done...even the home-made chili paste totally blew my mind as it had just the right balance of spiciness and herbaceous to it that made me feel so insatiable!
Red Bean Soup
Wifey enjoying the dessert.
Did we enjoy ourselves? You bet. :)
Our dessert appeared last and it was just the perfect final course for us to wind down. The Red Bean Soup ticked all the boxes as it was dainty and light. The combination of red bean, black glutinous rice, pandan, tangerine peel, ginger and gula Melaka really makes for an invigoratingly refreshing tonic (or dessert). The bill came at RM51 which was reasonably cheap for the glorious food and zen setting. So will we return to dine in Ku Cha Be again? You bet. There are so many other dishes that I would try such as their Tomyam Goong, Lime Lime Special and Cincai! If you are in Malacca, do drop by this Halal-certified restaurant which serves organic food that is suitable for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
CINCAI~Seriously? So it means the chef will dish out anything? I really wanna try this. :p
Ku Cha Be Restaurant 古早味
Address: 18, Jalan TKL 3/14, Taman Kota Laksamana Seksyen 3, 75200 Malacca Town
Operating Hours: 10a.m. - 10p.m. Daily (Closes every Tuesday)