We tried the open-air food court at Portuguese Settlement, Malacca for the 1st time. Reaching there was easy as used the Waze navigation system. Trying to find the place without GPS or people who know (to guide you) may cause you a problem. So use the GPS.
I was startled when I alighted the car, there was a middle-aged man standing nearby outside my door and looking at me, and asked 'dinner?'. It became clear soon, that arriving patrons will be swarmed by staffers of the eateries, who will ask you to go to their stalls (referred by numbers, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc) These folks can be very persuasive and will follow you until you decide to sit at a table. So beware and be prepared. We sat at a table under 'number 4'. Anyway, we found out most of the foods are the same, doesnt matter which number you choose. Plenty of seafood fares, and of course the famous Portuegese Baked Fish and the Devil's Curry.
Food-wise, they were ok, not bad but nothing that surprises us (being Malaysians ourselves). We had the baked fish (ok), buttered scallops (average), kangkong belacan (ok) and lemon chicken (ok). Service was just average. They hassled you seat at their tables, but will take their time to deliver the food.
My kids love looking at the nearby lanterns being released to the sky (by a lantern vendor or two). That's quite a nice spectacle.
Beware of the very rude middle-aged man (are you for real, mister?) manning the toilet behind the stairs. As my wife was having her hands full with our baby girl, I took my 4 year old son to follow me to the toilet. It was me who need to use the toilet. Toilet entry was 30 cents (still need to charge despite us being the patrons of the foodcourt?) but he tried to tell me off for wanting to bring my son into the toilet to wait for me. He demanded I pay for 2 persons : I said no, my son is just there to wait for me finish peeing! The man had the gall to suggest I should leave my young son outside the toilet! I was having none of it and pulled my son to follow me into the toilet. He must be oblivious to all the reports about child-abductions or unscrupulous characters looking to take advantage of any situations!
For me, this guy gives the Portuguese Settlement food court a bad name.
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