Walking Around Seremban

Seremban is seldom regarded as a main tourist attraction. It is located between Melaka (70 km south) and Kuala Lumpur (60 km north). Growth took off after the discovery of tin ore in the 1870s like most major towns in Peninsular Malaysia. The discovery of tin in a nearby area called Rasah, saw an influx of Arab, Malay and Chinese immigrants to work on the mines and trade there. Most of the local Malays were farmers. Historically, Negeri Sembilan is influenced by the Minangkabau’s (who are originally from Western Sumatra, now Indonesia) and thus, Seremban is the centre of the Minangkabau culture in Malaysia. Minangkabau, derived from the Malay word menang kerbau, which means “winning buffalo”, are famous for their unique roof architecture which resembles buffalo horns. Many buildings in Seremban adapted this feature, such as the Seremban Municipal Council Hall, the Wisma Negeri and the State Museum. Among the local cuisine is Seremban Siew Pau that is well known throughout the country. It is a flaky pastry bun filled with meat fillings which has been traditionally pork or the halal chicken filling. Seremban is also well known for its Nasi Padang or Minangkabau dishes. It is basically a meal of rice eaten with dishes of recipe which originated from Padang, Sumatra. One of the local dishes is Gulai Masak Lemak Cili Api which is fish or meat cooked in coconut gravy mixed with turmeric and cili padi (bird’s eye chili). Seremban is famous for baked crabs with many establishments situated along Jalan Tuanku Munawir and beef noodles, especially the beef noodles food stalls here which have survived for more than a generation. Nowadays, these beef noodles attract a tourists from outside the state to Seremban with its thick, slick gravy and peppery, sticky sauce sprinkled with peanuts, salted vegetables, spring onions and sesame seeds. The rail connection was first constructed in the late 1890s as a stop on the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore main line, and until today, the Seremban railway station still serves as one of the major stops along the line. The quaint old railway station was built in 1924 and has a terracotta tiled roof and an open air booking area. It is topped with a clock tower with an Islamic style cupola. The historic heart of the town comprises a few blocks of shophouses arranged in a grid pattern together with some grand colonial and modern architecture arranged around a scenic lake garden. There are brochures and signage so you can do a “heritage walk” around the main part of town. The Church of The Visitation is the oldest parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur since 1848. In the mid 1800s, French priests based in Kuala Lumpur would visit their flock in Malacca once every two months to receive confession. The priests used to break the journey, which was by bullock cart, in Seremban where they would perform services in an attap hut. These regular visitations may account for the Church’s name. Later a proper church was built and the current building dates from 1899 with newer additions in 1935. Empayar Seremban Siew Pow https://www.serembansiewpow.com/ sells siew pau – “a crispy buttery pastry bun filled with juicy savoury and sweet roast pork” or chicken or non meat but sweet fillings – for the factory price or at least cheaper than in KL. Yee Kee Beef Noodles being started in the 1930s by a Chinese immigrant from Hainan (albeit there is a chain in Taiwan controlled Kinmen off the coast of Xiamen with similar tasting beef noodles). I had a set (Myr13.9) for lunch on Friday and just noodles with tripe (Myr9) for lunch on Saturday: “It all started in the 1930’s when Mr. Poon Yee from Hainan Island’s Dai Dong Po village in China, set foot in Seremban. He brought with him a unique recipe for preparing beef noodles which incorporates scrumptious ingredients such as tender beef slices, beef jerky, beef tripe, pickle cabbage, sesame, peanuts and green onions and most importantly, its delicious thick beef gravy. He started selling the beef noodles in the old Seremban Market ( which had been demolished ) and the response what phenomenal. The locals liked the taste of the beef noodles and before long, his beef noodles were widely known in Seremban. Mr. Poon Yee named his stall Yee Kee, which roughly translates to “ Yee’s Restaurant “. Seremban residents fondness for beef noodles remains strong and the name “ Yee Kee “ grew synonymous to beef noodles. Yee Kee Beef Noodles became a landmark of Seremban. After the war, the secret to preparing the beef noodles was passed on to his daughter. She opened a restaurant in Temiang over 30 years ago to a warm reception by the locals. Now, Yee Kee is into its 3rd generation.” https://www.yeekeefood.com/our-history A&W still has a location (that looks pretty old!) by the lake gardens/train station in Seremban where I stopped twice as a regular or large root beer float w/ one ice cream scoop is MYR5.30 / MYR5.80.

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