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PETALING JAYA, Sept 30 — If you have a soft spot for food that tastes home-cooked, you will appreciate Aunty Melon Home Cooking.
Located in a nondescript half shop in PJ’s SS2 area, it’s been drawing a crowd — mostly seniors — since December last year. The pull is their home-style fare like ginger and vinegar pork trotters, steamed salted fish with minced meat, preserved mustard cabbage with pork belly, stewed bittergourd with pork and black fungus with braised pork.
Served in single person sets with rice and vegetables, a meal here will only set you back by RM9 or RM10.
Soups are also available at RM5. These include lotus root, watercress and a very mild tasting pig maw pepper and lettuce soup.
Expect to find Charlie Chan manning this simple set-up that only has 32 seats. He once ran Grumps, an Italian eatery at Kelana Jaya with his family, which they have since sold off.
Instead, the 10-year F&B veteran, prefers a more Asian approach as he noticed not everyone can eat pasta every day. “Now the trend is home cooking. We are still Asian, we still prefer to eat rice.”
It was also more economical to focus on an Asian menu since ingredients are cheaper in comparison with Western fare.
All the food is cooked in Charlie’s aunt’s home... so, yes, it really is home cooked. The talented but camera-shy woman learnt how to make the Hakka dishes from her mother. She is also adept in Western meals.
Till today, people still look for her for roast turkey and roast leg of ham for the festive occasions. So, you’re thinking she’s Aunty Melon right? In actual fact, Chan explains to us, the word “melon” comes from the Mandarin word that means “beauty”, which he claims was randomly selected.
Nevertheless, after tasting her “beautiful” cooking, you’ll be happy to refer to her as Aunty Melon!
Their best seller is the pork trotters, cooked a day ahead to allow the flavours to develop. What makes it exceptional: the soft, supple fatty bits combined with an addictive sauce that is not overly sweet or sourish.
Look also for the ginger pieces that have a nice crunchy texture. There is also a fragrant, mildly spicy rendang pork. Our favourite bits are the fluffy potatoes paired with pork slices with a distinct kaffir lime aroma. Scrumptious!
For bigger groups, opt instead to order a variety of dishes to share. You’ll find yourself being greedy and ordering everything on the menu.
The only gripe most of their customers have is the lack of vegetables since there is no space for a proper kitchen set-up. As the space is also very tiny, you may have to share tables during peak times.
You also have tong sui like red bean soup and etc.. A surprise find is fruit rojak. Chan explained that they added that item as his uncle makes the rojak sauce for distribution to other stalls.
In the mornings, you can score nasi lemak served with serai (lemongrass) pork or chicken curry made by Aunty Pat, who is also Chan’s aunt.
In November, expect another outlet to open its doors in Taman Desa. Chan plans to relocate their kitchen there. The cooking will still be headed by Chan’s aunt but she’ll get people to assist.
He also hopes to introduce noodles, porridge and other items there since it’ll be a bigger space than SS2.
Restoran Aunty Melon Home Cooking
26, Jalan SS2/24
Open: 10.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 9pm
Closed on Sunday
Note: They share the corner shoplot with Alice Hair Styling.