On the 5th of May 2012, I was fortunate to be witnessing one of the biggest processions in Melaka town. It is said to be held only once every 10 years. More than 50 vehicles were decorated with flowers and lights, and statues of Buddha, as well as Buddhism and Chinese cultural iconic decorations. It is said Buddhist throughout the nation marked the Wesak Day by offering their prayers. Temples were flooded with disciples and people participating in this celebration and most people are vegetarian on this day.
In Melaka, one vegetarian restaurant called the Yang Sheng Vegetarian Restaurant serves a unique noodle dish that is rather rare to be found elsewhere. When ordering Fried Mee Suah, it is normally fried dry with no gravy in it. Here, when order fried Mee Suah you will be astonished with the amount of gravy in the noodle. Somewhat similar to Cantonese fried noodle, this one has got gravy so much you would think it looks more like Mee Suah soup, except the soup would be starchy thick soup.
The so called soup was gorgeously delectable and because it starchy, it eventually dilutes when stirred and becomes like real soup after some time towards the end of the meal. Apart from that, the ingredients were delicious as well. There is lots of shitake mushrooms, green vegetables, carrots, button mushrooms, vegetarian fishcake slices, and vegetarian Char Siew slices as well.
Apart from that, Spare Rib in Sweet and sour sauce is to die for. The tangy flavor from the gravy compliments so well the crunchy texture of the spare rib. Stirred with sweet pineapple pieces and some red chili, this dish is appetizingly tasty.
Other than noodles, the restaurant mainly serves vegetarian meals and most went for their dishes and white rice. So I tried some common dish to go with white rice. The Soy Sauce Fish slice even tasted somewhat a little fishy to me. It has got texture just like the fish. Blindfold me and I would tell you it is fish.
Vegetarians do not consume garlic so all dishes were cooked without garlic in their ingredients. That makes the Stir fried vegetable tasting a little weird for me. Ginger is used to replace garlic and I really dislike ginger.
After this amazing dinner, my sister and I head to town to participate in the procession that is really happening. I was startled to see the amount of crowd waiting along the road. Some even equip themselves with stools and food and bottle drinks.
From being impressed by the majestic statue of Buddha and decorated vehicles, I was overwhelmed to see the amount of people gathering to watch. I was even more excited to see the amount of people participating in the procession. The colourful float were impressive and I see beautiful costumes as well.
On this Holy day, people participate in the parade and associations and schools send their representatives in the parade. There are ceremonies including the chanting of verses, blessing and sprinkling of holy water by monks on the parading vehicles.
As I was enjoying myself and capturing photos, spotted my favourite lion dance and dragons! There were lots and lots of lions and dragons in the procession.
Apart from that, it is in the Buddhist culture and tradition that celebrating Wesak also means making special effort to bring happiness and joy to the unfortunate. Buddhist practice gift distributions in forms of donations to charitable homes throughout the country. During the procession, rice was distributed in small packs.
Yang Sheng Vegetarian Restaurant SDN. BHD. is located at :
No. 313, Jalan Gajah Berang,
Tel : 06-2844400
Opens Daily (except Thursday) 10.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm – 8.30pm.
It was a memorable experience and the meal was excellent and affordable. It cost MYR 38 for 4 person and I love the Mee suah very much. I have yet to find one like this anywhere else.