Musings on Food
It's that time of the year again when puasa month has Muslims fasting and focusing on religious matters and non-Muslims are packing on the pounds as they eagerly look forward to scouring the many Pasar Ramadan or Bazaars for delicious treats that are often not commonly available during the rest of the year.
So I sent out the troops at the Ipoh Echo office and urged them to suss out their favourite stalls and best eats from the various Ramadan Bazaars and this column today is a compilation of their picks and their comments.
Rosli Mansor at Medan Gopeng
Kuih Akok Panas is a traditional kuih originating from the Malays of Pantai Timur. The stall that sells this kuih is always crowded with people especially from 5pm until 7pm in the evening. Kuih Akok is made of flour and looks like a pancake. It is grilled in a specially-made brass mold for about 3 minutes. Kuih Akok has a sweet and rich taste and only 1000 pieces are sold out each day so come early – RM0.50 per piece.
Nasi Ambeng Miraqil is another of my favourites. The cuisine was originally a Javanese traditional dish that was later brought in to Malaysia during the 1800s through trading. What’s unique about this dish is that it is also eaten together with fried noodles, coconut sambal, ayam masak kicap or with fried chicken. It can be found at stall number 13 and costs RM6 per box.
S.H. Ong at Angsana Mall and Stadium
Every year my wife and I look forward to the puasa month, because of the mouth-watering spread of food and kuih muih available which we do not get on a daily basis. This is also the time of year when my wife goes on ‘strike’, meaning she will not cook for the entire period. Our two favourite locations are the Perak Stadium which has about 160 stalls and the one next to the Angsana Mall in Greentown, with 130 stalls. My personal favourites are: BBQ skewered chicken in satay sauce @ RM4/stick; ikan bakar cincaru @ RM6-8/pc (depending on size); kebab ayam/daging @ RM3/pc and various kuih muih @ RM2 for 5 pieces.
Yng Chin Yean at Angsana Mall
Stall 31: Nasi Ayam Panggang – whole chicken RM17; half chicken RM9; Nasi Ayam RM4.50. 40 to 50 chickens are sold per day. Yummy & juicy.
Susan Ho at the Stadium
Puasa season is a time I look forward to. The moment the bazaars start everywhere, I would ask my mother to accompany me to search for some good food which I only eat once a year.
There’s the Ayam Percik, which costs RM5 each and tastes yummy. The Lamb Kebab is a must as the combination of flavours make it perfect, RM5. What surprised me most was this year’s new addition, the Durian Crepe. Encased within a mock durian skin, is an oozy cream with pieces of durian. It is creamy, light to eat for a dessert and not too sweet – RM10 for 6 pcs.
Deanna Lim and Yvette
at ibis Styles Ipoh Ramadan Buffet: RM45++
Chicken Rendang and Milk Pudding (Deana);
Tomato Rice and Lala Masak Lemak (Yvette)
Georgie Hendricks at Medan Tasek
Murtabak Damanhuri – in business at the Ramadan stalls for 24 years. Price of murtabak in 1990 was RM1.50 – now selling at RM5 with brisk business daily Packet nasi lemak at RM1.30 – very good but little omelette piece and sambal ikan bilis. Good sambal.
Puan Norreha rice stall (variety) – In business at the Ramadan stalls for 15 years. Tomato rainbow rice is very nice at RM1.50 for plain rice or with chicken at RM3.50. Also sells laksa – good at RM3 and nasi lemak at RM2.50. She has chicken pieces that is covered in what I would call fluff and it is good.
Nasi Bryani Tayub – Bryani comes with acar and he also sells beef rendang and mutton with thick gravy. Price per container with 1 piece of chicken at RM6. Sells out by 6.30pm.
SeeFoon and Veronica at Silibin
Murtabak Daging/Ayam – RM3.50; Roti Jala with curry, the roti jala beautifully lacy and meltingly soft but the curry lacked oomph – RM2; Rempah Udang – buy from the stall with the longer and fatter portions; Rendang Tok 100gms with 5 pcs of ketupat @ RM5 and Serunding both meat and chicken @ RM7 with 5 pcs ketupat.
Luqman at Bercham Jaya
Hot ‘Otak-Otak’. ‘Otak-otak’ is an oblong-like fish snack wrapped in nipah leaves that has its origins from Johor. It is made of minced fish meat mixed with spices, chili and pepper. The otak-otak sold at the Ramadan bazaar in Bercham is considered the best in town. It costs RM0.70 a piece. The stall makes about 500 pieces a day so come early to avoid disappointment.
Kak Yuniza’s Snow Cheese Cake is an appetizing dessert that is rich in cheese and is pleasantly sweet. As the name suggests, the cake is made from cheese with a liberal dose of sugar. Kak Yuniza’s Snow Cheese Cake is sold at the Bercham Ramadan bazaar at Stall No.6. The cheese cake is priced at RM5 a piece.
Yvette at Ipoh Jaya:
For a foodie like me, Ramadan is a month I look forward to indulging in my favourite passion – eating! Ipoh Jaya’s Pasar Ramadan may not be as large or as famous as the one in Medan Gopeng or Bercham, but it certainly provides a handful of delicacies to die for!
One of my must haves is the Lekor, a finger food of fish cakes shaped into long odd sizes and then deep fried – RM1 per pack of 5 pieces. Another favourite is the Roti John, a type of sandwich made with two long pieces of bread covered in an egg mixture and then fried on a pan to perfection. There are 2 choices to choose from, either stuffed with chicken or beef. It costs about RM3 for one and is very filling.
The IE group at Symphony Suites Ramadan Buffet: RM50 nett
Rosli – Mee Bandung; SeeFoon and Veronica – Ulam with budu (fish sauce fermentation), sambal belacan and cincalok; Deanna – Daging Rendang Tok; Yvette – Ikan Keli Bakar; and Luqman – Ayam Percik.