I heard about ‘Satay Celup’ many years back yet no luck to try until our recent family trip to Melaka. ‘Satay‘ is an authentic Malay food of grilled marinated meats (commonly are chicken or beef) served on bamboo skewers, usually come with spicy peanut sauce for dipping. While ‘Celup’ in Malay language means dip. That’s was the story of ‘Satay’ but ‘Satay Celup’ or also known as Steamboat Satay is slightly different and offers an unforgettable dining experience!
I learnt that ‘Satay Celup’ was originally innovated by the first generation of Capitol Satay Celup Restaurant operator in Melaka – The Historic City more than 60 years ago. This dish consists of an assorted raw food ranging from chicken, cockles, abalones, mushrooms, vegetables, quail’s eggs, shrimps, bean curds, some fried bean curd/tofu by-products, fried flour dough or locally called ‘yu-char-kuey’, white breads and cubed cucumber. Displayed and served in a refrigerated counter, I guess there are easily more than 50 odds of type to pick from.
Choose your favorite and it is indeed an amazing dining experience in Melaka. These raw materials are placed on bamboo skewers and then dunk in spicy boiling peanut sauce to cook. The semi-fried or bread can be eaten directly by dipping them in the thick and aromatic peanut sauce.
When we arrived at 7:30pm, the queue was about 2 shop houses in length. It took us about an hour to get a table. While waiting for our turn, I spoke to a local tourist from Johore. He had been here more than a couple of times and he knew there are a few other restaurants operating nearby. Somehow, he and his friends did not mind queuing and standing by the road side to get the chance to dine at Capitol. Capitol Satay Celup Restaurant only operates after 5:00pm until the last the customer leaves the shop.
The secret of ‘Satay Celup’ lies in the peanut sauce served. It is a thick and full of crunchy ground peanuts. Comprising of 22 ingredients and spices (as reported by The Star Street Food guide) including peanuts, dried chilli, onion, garlic, lemon grass, brown sugar, turmeric, galangal and sesame seeds, they are cooked together to perfection. As we got seated, a stainless steel pot with peanut sauce was placed in the middle of our table right into the round hole.
Underneath was a gas cooker to continuously warm and boil the peanut sauce. As the sauce started to boil, a waiter came and added in more freshly crunched peanuts and brown sugar. He also kept stirring till the bottom to avoid any sedimentation of the peanut chunks in the pot.
Our feast then began. They were really good as the raw materials were fresh. Yummy!
Don’t leave Melaka without trying ‘Satay Celup’. This dish is considered a signature dish in Melaka so complete your trip with this dining experience! If time and queuing are not your forte, you may alternatively pick other ‘Satay Celup’ operators in town like Ban Lee Siang. KY and some of my friends tried before and provided reasonably good feedback. The choice is yours! Bon appetite!
Capitol Satay Celup Restaurant
41 Lorong Bukit Cina,
Tel: +60-6-2835508, +60-12-2295505
Third generation owner: Low Yong Cheng
Operating hours: Daily from 5:00 pm (Closed on Monday)
Cost $: Each stick costs RM0.70 and various plate types indicate different charges
Location: Courtesy by Google Map, please click and zoom in: Capitol Satay Celup.