Shortly after I received an invitation via email from Quayside Hotel and Halia Inc. Restaurant and Coffee Bar in Malacca to bring my feet and family there, to sample and review their tasteful but affordable hotel and the contemporary delicious eatery by the river, I began googling some sites in Malacca that we haven’t dined and explored yet, as our first trip there last Easter Sunday was so unplanned and spontaneous.

Since Malacca is one of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I included a few cultural spots and museums in our itinerary. I planned to bring Tina and Gabby to Baba-Nyonya Museum in Heeren Street but personally found out that the Auntie wearing traditional Kebaya at the door was unpleasant and unwelcoming, photography not allowed and admission rates too steep. I also had a mental note to check out Stadthuys Museum at the Dutch Square but eventually learned that it’s closed for renovations. Gabby wanted to visit that big galleon ship -the Maritime Museum which is located a few steps away from our hotel but unbelievably run out of time to do it. What we didn’t miss was to go to a few of Melaka’s charming dining places. First on the list was the visually interesting Mods Cafe at Temple Street.

At Mods Cafe, Temple Street, Malacca, Malaysia. Our family’s second visit to Melaka :  June 21-23, 2013.

Thankful to the strong wind and sea breeze that reduced the haze (due to slash and burn farming of Palm trees in Sumatra) to a tolerable and minimal air pollution index in the afternoon, we strolled our way to Temple Street (Jalan Tokong) still with masks on. We arrived at Mods Cafe and saw its steel door half-closed. Good thing there’s an empty table to accomodate the three of us in this hole-in-the-wall charming coffee shop.

A 1978 VW Kombi Campervan in Hippie floral orange parked inside served as the coffee bar at Mods Cafe.

Visiting Mods Cafe and ordering a few from their menu was a triple treat for us. Tina and I are coffee lovers (read: never a day without caffeine dose!) and of course, we love attractive coffee shops too. As for our kiddo, Gabby, lucky him as he was exposed again to another inspiration that hopefully fuels his very young dream of becoming (ehem, here we go again!) a chef, hotelier, and a restaurateur someday.

Let these photos (which are mostly taken by Tina herself) speak why Tina and I had the urge to visit Mods Cafe and became overly fascinated with it.


We’re born in 1976 and growing up in the 80s exposed us to these VW minivans in the streets back home. Seeing one after a few decades in vibrant floral orange transformed into a coffee bar, complete with cash register and still able to roll on the streets as a mobile coffee shop was so awesome! The 1978 VW Kombi Campervan parked inside Mod Cafe, together with a barber shop, a few bikes and other eye-catching European things of the past really stand out among the other dining places in Malacca.

“Mod (from modernist) is a subculture that originated in London, England, in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid-1960s.” via WikiIt was the owner’s idea, A-bert Khow (the one in salmon-pink shirt on photos below) to introduce Mod subculture to Malaysia almost 3 years ago via Mods Cafe. It was A-bert himself, with his crew, Loi and Joey who made our coffee directly from that cute Kombi. 🙂

Iced Chocolate  for Gabby, Caffe Mocha for me, Expresso Macchiato for Tina.

Our verdict : The prices (Iced Chocolate RM13, Caffe Mocha RM12, Expresso Macchiato RM8)  are competitive with mainstream coffee shops. Blends are also strong and flavorful served with local Nyonya cookie but honestly, it wasn’t the best Mocha I’ve tasted. They have limited menu that goes with the coffee as they only have iced fruit smoothies, cheesecakes, tiramisu, without breads, sandwiches and other dishes common to more commercial coffee shops. As for service, I suggest they should be more customer-friendly; smiles and a little conversations would be appreciated. Nonetheless, it’s the ambiance and the extraordinary theme of Mods Cafe that I think, work best to their advantage.


Have you been to Mods Cafe in Malacca? How was your experience?

Mods Cafe | 14 Jalan Tokong, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia | Tel # +6012 756 4441.

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

This Blog Series about our second visit to Melaka includes :



    1. most coffee shops in malacca (and george town) are that charming.
      wait till you see the other coffee shop that we went to on the next post 🙂

    1. hey thanks for the follow! balik na lang kayo malacca soon to sample mods cafe.
      next post to this will be another quaint coffee shop that we also sampled last weekend so stay tuned 🙂

  1. I’ve seen a VW van conversion with a kitchen, toilet and shower and enough sleeping spaces for 4 people – I wished I had acquired one when my kids were about your son’s age eager to tour the country and camp out.

    1. i like creativity, don’t you?

      next time you travel to singapore, i suggest you make a side trip to malacca via crossing the borders. it’s just 2 hours away from johor bahru. and eat in malacca, walang humpay na food trip! 🙂

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