Melaka, Malaysia: Satay Celup at Capitol Satay

by gigi on July 5, 2011

For dinner on our last night in Melaka, some of Jenkins’ from Johor Bahru drove up to join us. Satay celup is another Melaka specialty and Ying knew that it was one of the things I wanted to try while I was in Melaka so she suggested that we have dinner at Capitol Satay. It was her family’s favourite satay celup place and since the relatives from Johor always like to have it when they are in Melaka, it seemed like a good choice for dinner. Capitol Satay seemed to be the favourite of many people as you can see by the line-up in the picture below. We ended up waiting for about one hour before we were seated.

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What is satay celup, you may ask? Rather than having regular satay, which is grilled, satay celup is almost like satay hot pot. Uncooked satay skewers are dipped in a bubbling vat of satay sauce at each table so the skewers are cooked in the satay sauce rather than being grilled. I wasn’t too sure what to expect but was looking for to it nonetheless.

First, we were presented with some plates of cucumber and bread. You can eat this on its own or dipped in the satay sauce (to be placed in the hole in the table pictured below).

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Finally, it was time to choose our skewers. I had no idea how this worked so I just followed Jenkins’ relatives. We were each given trays and walked to the open fridge at the back of the restaurant, where there were piles upon piles of uncooked satay skewers with an array of veggies, seafood, and meat. I was told that the best thing about Capitol Satay was that they charged the same price for each skewer regardless of what it was…the cool price of $0.45 CAD per skewer. Smile

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I felt like I hadn’t had veggies in a while so I piled some of that onto my tray along with some fried bean curd, which I was told went really well with the satay sauce.

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I was obviously an amateur compared to Jenkins’ relatives, who piled their trays high with goodies. Smile “Fancier” items like giant prawns, conch, and scallops were not all-you-can-grab from the fridge and were brought to each table by a server.

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While we were getting the skewers, a server came with the vat of satay broth for our table. He added some additional soup base, including some ground peanuts and all we had to do was wait for the broth to boil before we got down to business.

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Once the broth came to a boil, we all started piling our skewers in. This was a messy business so I don’t have any pictures of the finished product. Oops Smile Despite the mess, satay celup is quite the experience. The skewer soaks up all the flavourful and slightly spicy peanut soup. I’m not even sure if it can really be called soup because it was quite thick but it had a great peanut flavour with a slight hint of sweetness. Overall, it is still a savoury soup but the sweetness and spiciness complemented the soup quite nicely. I also liked how there was such a wide variety of items that we could dunk into the soup. Despite this, I think I still prefer the classic grilled satay to satay celup but it was still worth it just to try out.

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To wash down the spicy peanut satay flavour, we each had a fresh young coconut to drink.

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41, Lorong Bukit Cina, Melaka

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