Jien stumbled across Hilir Garden Ice Café in Melaka by accident; when we stayed at an Airbnb accommodation arranged by my friend for guests of his wedding. While exploring the area, Jien noticed the brother of his favourite fried carrot cake guy frying carrot cake outside the coffeeshop.
He tried the carrot cake and it was pretty good, so he ordered a packet for me to try at the accommodation. I disagree slightly with what Jien has to say about the fried carrot cake at Hilir Garden Ice Café – it’s better than the one his brother fries (Jien’s favourite).
The latter has issues with consistency; when it’s good, it’s really good. But when he’s off-form, it can taste pretty disappointing. The brother at Hilir Garden Ice Café however, is more consistent. I’ve eaten his carrot cake (RM5.50 – small, RM6 – large) three times and, on all counts, they have been tasty.
There’s also Melaka-style loh bak – a combination of fishballs and fried fritters dipped in sweet sauce and chilli sauce. While these aren’t as good as the one from Soon Yen (my father in-law buys that for me often), it’s decent enough to satisfy one’s craving. I’d order this again because it makes a good snack.
The duck noodle is nothing like the one served at Soon Yen in Jalan Tengkera. It lacks depth and flavour overall, so your best bet would be to order dry-style noodles so the broth is (somewhat) thicker. I’d say skip this and stick to the fried carrot cake.
There are a few other options available at Hilir Garden Ice Café – curry laksa, soup noodles and fried kuay teow. We tried the fried kuay teow which comes with sweet sauce. Disappointing, really. There wasn’t much flavour in the noodles and the sweet sauce was also flat tasting. For a pretty good version of Melaka style fried kuay teow, you’re better off checking out the stall at Medan Selera Tengkera.
Overall, I feel this place is a good option for those looking to enjoy breakfast staples in Melaka. Expect to pay between RM5 to RM6 per plate — pretty reasonable considering the portion. :)
Food: 6/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Go for the fried carrot cake and Melaka-style loh bak.
Hilir Garden Ice Cafe
360a, Jalan Low Hee Kong,
Business hours: 7am till 5pm