Medan Makan Boon Leong Bunga Raya off Jalan Bunga Raya
Operating Hours: 7.30pm - 11pm (except Tuesdays)
Or chien (“fried oyster” in Hokkien) is an omelette of oysters, eggs and starch fried with garlic and garnished with parsley. It’s a dish found mostly in coastal towns such as Melaka, Muar, Batu Pahat and Kuching.
In Melaka the oysters are found on rocks along the beaches of Tengkera and Tanjung Kling, and as far away as Pengkalan Balak. Oyster pickers used small hammers to extract the oysters from their shells on the beach rocks. In the past, many oyster pickers were Heng Hua women from the area of Kampung Lereh. These ladies were variously known as “Enchim Teritip” (“Enchim” is aunty in Baba Malay, “teritip” is oyster, so, “Oyster Aunties”) or “Mak Puki Lalat” (a rather coarser name in Malay) or “Tok-O” in Hokkien (“tok” meaning the small hammers, “O” referring to the oysters).
It’s rare to see these ladies today; raw oysters are easily available in fresh marts and raw seafood retailers. But Melaka or chien remains a top favourite among visitors, and at weekends Singaporean vehicles double-park on Jalan Bunga Raya to “tapau”. The oysters are gathered and sold to the or chien vendor in the day so he can cook and sell them in the evening. So it’s best enjoyed at night, for freshness.
Among Melaka’s many or chien stalls, the Bunga Raya Or Chien is hugely popular. Every night scores of customers queue patiently, taking photos and videos of the dish being cooked. It’s RM9 for a small order, RM12 for large, and it’s takeaways only.