|Monday, 30 July 2012 08:00|
KUALA LUMPUR: While Muslims in Malaysia welcome the holy month of Ramadan as part of their faith and practice, Malaysians of other faiths also look forward to it with bated breath, as it is an opportunity to titillate taste buds by touring the food stalls set up in various locations across the country, the Ramadan bazaars.T
he Ramadan bazaars, now evolved into affectionate term ‘pasar Ramadan’ or ‘param’, for short, is an annual gathering of foodstalls offering food for ‘iftar’ or ‘buka puasa’ for fasting Muslims but is open to all.
Naturally, Malaysia being the food haven that offers variety of local cuisine, nothing unites its folk regardless of race, age, and gender other than a parade of scrumptious and mouth-watering delicacies.
Apart from that aroma-filled atmosphere that is common in all the bazaars, one thing that is surely to be expected is that the crowd gets packed and the air crazily heated, and where some stalls are already known to offer delicious food, the queue would normally be a long one, all in the name of good and affordable food.
While numerous bazaars can be found within the Klang Valley itself, Malaysian Digest has selected the Klang Valley’s very own Top 10 Ramadan bazaars, where each one has its very own specialty to crave for.
Shah Alam Stadium
The Shah Alam Stadium bazaar is known to be one of the biggest in Selangor, situated along the empty car lots by the stadium. There you can find usual ‘buka puasa’ food, such as ‘murtabak’, ‘roti John’, chicken rice, to other traditional specialties like the ‘nasi kerabu’ and ‘nasi minyak’. The bazaar is neither short of western and Arab cuisine as well.
This particular bazaar is famous for its ‘Papa John’ stall with a long queue but said to be worth waiting for. The recommended pick is the ‘Papa John Kambing’ which is said to be “a class above the other ‘Roti Johns’”.
Other menus that it is famous for include the ‘ayam golek’, Arabic dish ‘nasi khabsa’, mango “Oshin” juice, and a stall selling ‘kebab cucuk’ and ‘kambing golek’.
SS18, Subang Jaya
Another bazaar in Selangor, among the largest within the Subang Jaya vicinity, is spread along the SS18 residential area. Business usually begins as early as 3pm as people would start arriving early to avoid rush hour traffic as well as to search for parking spots. The SS18 bazaar is also known for its ‘ayam golek’ and ‘kambing golek grill’.
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur
Located smack in the heart of KL, the famous Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman has for many years been a main attraction regardless of time or day, especially when the festivals such as Hari Raya is closing in and this does not exclude the Ramadan bazaar as well.
Known to the locals simply as Jalan TAR, the bazaar along the road is an all-time favorite among various other bazaars sprawled throughput the city it is inclusive of just about any local and foreign delicacy on offer.
While Muslims and non-Muslims alike hunt through the bazaar for their personal favorites, Hari Raya merchandise such as clothing and kuih raya are also on sale.
Among the things to be on the lookout for are stalls selling ‘cendol’ and ‘air mata kucing’ as it is not only quenches a day’s thirst, but is also sold at an affordable price of only RM2.
Kampung Baru is well-known for its delightful ‘bubur lambuk’ (mixed rice porridge).Throughout the fasting month, the Kampung Baru mosque would prepare cauldrons of ‘bubur lambuk’ to give out to an endless queue of people waiting for their own portion to bring back home.
As for the bazaa, it is a large area holding over 150 hawker stalls selling glorious food, which include bubur lambuk, Roti John, putu bamboo, fresh sugar cane juice, and many more.
Situated at the parking space of the Taman Melawati commercial area, the bazaar is known for variety of local cuisine as well, mainly its ‘ikan bakar’ that could reach up to RM26 for the largest catch. The prices offered is generally regarded as more affordable as compared to other bazaars.
‘Roti boom’ is also sold here, as well as other delicacies from stew and dim sum, to coconut juice and variety of kuih.
Celeb-hunters would do well to drop by to purchase Ramadan goodies from local artistes, who make it a point to open their very own foodstalls here for the month.
Located near the Kampung Kerinchi bazaar, the Pantai Dalam bazaar is a great alternative from people near Bangsar as landing a parking spot on Jalan Telawi can be rather difficult, whereas the former is situated at Tapak Pasar Tani Mega, Pantai Dalam.
While it offers variety of delicacies as well, be on the lookout for local cuisines such as freshly cooked ‘roti jala’, ‘kuih cara’, ‘ayam percik’, and yam drink.
About 50 to 60 stalls offering just about every local food are aligned opposite of the mini-Giant hypermarket on Jalan SS6/1, Kelana Jaya.
A few stalls offer beef rendang, lamb curry or chicken curry to go with ‘nasi kukus.’ Other stalls, meanwhile, prepare fresh coconut and sugar cane juice with no additives, ‘nasi goreng’, ‘sotong bakar’ and many others.
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
This particular hotspot sees people from nearby Damansara and Bandar Utama swarming the site as early as afternoon. This is due to the reason that the stalls are opened early not only for the Muslims, but also for those who are on the lookout for lunch and tea and there is no other place that offers good food at low prices other than food stalls such as these.
People would generally line-up for the famous pulut panggang of TTDI, which would be the main attraction here.
The bazaar is located at Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 3, and offers deliciously made must-haves like ‘tepung pelita’, ‘nasi tomato’ with ‘ayam masak merah’, and ‘popiah’.
Located in front of the Bangsar mosque and food court, this bazaar has several highlights, including the Portuguese-style seafood which is offered in fiery red gravy, selling at RM5 per serving.
The famous ‘Raja Murtabak’ is an enticing stall that provides nothing other than murtabaks as you walk along the bazaar, but the taste is touted to be second to none. Towards the end, a ‘rojak’ stall offers assorted fried food that is spread across a long table to be picked from.
Among other stalls featured include a Kelantanese stall selling ‘nasi dagang’ and ‘nasi kerabu’, which constantly features a long queue, ‘ayam percik’ stalls, a number of ‘ikan bakar Portugis outlets’, and rojala, a hybrid of ‘roti jala’ and ‘murtabak’, to name a few.
Bandar Baru Bangi
Though situated a little further out from the KL city centre, the largest Ramadan bazaar in Bandar Baru Bangi is located in Seksyen 16 and offers the usual fare, albeit with a difference. Consisting of more than 70 stalls, one unique feature is the mass of ayam golek stalls, which the bazaar is known for.
Apart from the regular fare such as nasi kerabu, nasi ambang, nasi dagang and nasi lemak kukus, the bazaar has also seen a rise in the number of ‘burger bakar’ stalls, essentially charbroiled burgers which never fail to draw the crowds.