You’re the one that I want…

The month of Ramadhan is here – in fact, they have been fasting for a week now…and I did drop by the bazaar at Bandong here the other day. This one is smaller than the main one at the town square but I don’t bother to go to that one anymore since that time I went many years ago and bought a few items only to end up throwing them away – they were not even decently edible. I do think it is good to cash in on the occasion and make some money for the forthcoming festival but it certainly does not mean that everybody should set up a stall…especially when they can’t really cook.

Of course there are good ones there too…just that I would not know exactly which those would be and besides, my head would start spinning at the sight of so many stalls and so many people and the current hot weather that we’re experiencing certainly is not helping one bit. Here at Bandong, I would go to my regular ones…

Mak Met's stall @ Bandong

…where I would be familiar with what they sell or they would tell me what is good and worth giving a try.

They have a lot more to offer than what one would be able to buy on their usual days so other than the nasi lemak and mee mamak and stuff, there is also the nasi kerabu

Bandong nasi kerabu

…and Penang laksa or our local version of the rojak – the cross between the Indonesian gado-gado and the Indian pasembur…which we may get at times but not really on a regular basis. What I like is how they make an effort to ensure the cleanliness of what they sell by covering their displays with cling film or put the kuihs (cakes) in plastic…

Bandong kuihs

…so they will not be exposed and the prices of everything are indicated clearly. I saw a friend’s photograph of one of these stalls at a bazaar in Kuching. Yes, they have a lot there too but I was put off by the sight of all the uncovered food. The kuihs are all placed in trays so other than the exposure, you will need to ask how much each would be…and then you would need to wait VERY patiently for them to count (and count again and again) and pick each one gingerly to place in plastic bags to sell to you.

Here at this stall, I saw that they were selling lontong as well and these packets of the Kelantanese laksam

Bandong laksam

…and all these tempeh and kerabus and what not…

Bandong kerabus

Gosh!!! Just here alone, there are so many things you would want to buy that you simply can’t make up your mind which to choose. Never mind! This is going to go on for a month so do keep a check on yourself and buy only a few items at one time…and spread it out over the whole month of Ramadhan.

I was there that day to grab hold of some of the much-coveted Kate’s panggang

Kate's panggang

…which are not easy to come by on normal days. I hear that the old folks are old now and cannot make them themselves so they can only supervise the young ones who, unfortunately, are not all that keen on the business. They’ve shrunk now – by at least 25%…but the price is still the same, RM1.00 which is more expensive than the rest in town but it is worth it as it is absolutely the best! For one thing, I was told that they do not make much each time, less than 100 at times so if they make 50% profit out of each panggang, that means they can only make a profit of RM50.00 each time. I do feel they deserve that little bit for all the hard work…plus the exclusive quality of their panggang.

I dragged my friend, Philip, home from the US, along as I was sure he would love the experience and I was telling him how nice the bread pudding was…

Bandong bread pudding

- the lady boss made this herself and hers was different as it seemed she blended the bread with the batter so you would not see the bits of bread in it. Personally, I quite enjoy that and would buy it once in a while when it is available. Unfortunately, Philip was not all that interested and while we were talking, the next thing I knew, the lady boss had given me one and put it in my bag of purchases…on the house. They’re really so very nice and generous here. In the end, Philip just bought a (small) packet of nasi lemak which he said he enjoyed very much (even though it wasn’t actually the nicer ones that I would very much prefer…and he also bought some satay as well from this stall

Bandong satay 1

It seems that the prices have gone up now from 50 to 60 sen…

Bandong satay 2

…but it was no matter as Philip said that it was really good – much nicer than those at one other place that he liked a lot.

We walked around the bazaar and this was the scene at my regular Malay food stall here…

Bandong Malay food stall

…where I would tapao some food home sometimes when we do not feel like cooking. It is quite easy to tell where the good ones are really – you just look at where the crowd is. There weren’t that many people at the other stalls, it seemed…

Bandong Ramadhan stalls

…even at their stall selling all the barbecued stuff…

Bandong BBQ stuff

Maybe it was because of the heat so most people would prefer to keep their distance but their ayam percik sure looked good…

Bandong ayam percik

I didn’t buy any that day but I’d probably go back again and get some to try…eventually.

I did buy these…

Kelupis 1

…from one of the less crowded stalls though, the only one there that was selling them. They’re called kelupis and they are a variation of the panggang, wrapped in a different kind of leaf and either boiled or steamed, not barbecued over a hot charcoal fire. They did not come cheap though – RM3.00 for one ikat (bundle) of three and I was kind of disappointed that they used nylon strings not the dried grass ones that they use to tie changs (dumplings)…and I positively remember them being a lot “fatter”…

Kelupis 2

…but it was no matter really as I had not had it for a long time and it tasted great and was so very nice dipped in kaya or condensed milk. It’s so hard to get hold of such things these days probably as in the case of the panggang, the old ones have died or are not in the position to make anymore and the young ones are just not interested.

So, have you been to any Ramadhan bazaar in your area? Bought anything that you enjoyed a lot?

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38 thoughts on “You’re the one that I want…

  1. Blush looking at the title of this blog post LOL! Nope, haven’t been to any local bazaar ramadhan yet, not really a fan of those stuff, also, not cheap nowadays :(

    Why blush? That’s a hit song from one of my favourite musicals, “Grease”. Do they jack up the prices there? Here, they are selling at normal everyday prices…or at least at those stalls where I bought things from, dunno elsewhere. Not into these things? You got class one lah, I know… Hehehehehehe!!!!

  2. i like malay kuih ….pulut sambal, ketupat, karipap, pulut inti……haha….

    Ahhhh!!!! Here’s someone who’s my kind of guy. Waiting for you to hop over. Will take you to eat all these and more…but maybe you have nicer ones there – I know the huge curry puffs at a shop at the Village Mall area – awesome! Best I’ve had anywhere…but deep fried, so a bit too oily.

  3. Nope not been to any. Have not been to any for a few years now.

    I don’t usually go. Last year, I think I went once only in the whole month – to this same one, did not go to the big one at the town centre. My missus used to go and tapao home. Too crowded and too hot….but I had to go that day to buy some stuff for a reason – may reveal that sometime soon. ;)

  4. Looks like an array of wonderful foods, all neatly displayed!

    This is a local attraction this time every year – during the Muslim fasting month before the Hari Raya festival.

  5. That display does look rather clean compared to most markets I’ve seen that are open air.

    Indeed. Unlike what I saw some place up north in the peninsula – the flies all lined up along the rim of the food trays like birds on the telephone line. The worst thing was everybody seemed oblivious to it, like it was nothing. No, thank you.

  6. That a good spread of choice to choose from. Believe me or not, I never visit Ramadhan bazaar cos I can’t stand the crowd and seeing the flies puts me off. In Sibu all are nicely covered, that at least gives me an assurance to eat.

    I know. Some will light candles, some will wave plastic bags tied to the end of a stick…all no use. Once I see flies everywhere, bye bye, not for me!

  7. A lot of things to see there! The bazaar I have been even selling belitong (river snails). I never seen this sold before in Ramadhan bazaar. Haha.

    i like panggang especially with sambal inti.

    I think they have that at one stall in the town bazaar – RM1 with sambal, 50 sen kosong – read that in the newspaper. Good or not, dunno lah! I will only want Kate’s panggang…kosong. I think they sell those balitongs at the halal Chinese stall at Bandong too. Seldom go for that – my girl only likes see ham/kerang (cockles), not these.

  8. all the plastic wrappers, all the styrofoams… and i thot sibu had done away with all these… so environmental unfriendly one meh… how cannnn….??? Sibu Mayor should do something about this…

    Plastic, no ban – only on Mondays and Saturdays, they do not give at the supermarts. You so conscious, can always wash clean and reuse. Hehehehehehe!!!!

    Styrofoam, got new type…can’t remember what they said – this type is ok. Better than the Manila card boxes they tried to use once – cannot tahan. While buying, already koyak.

  9. Wow, look at all those kuihs.. If I go to Ramadhan bazaars, I think I will be tempted to buy a little bit of everything, haha.. I like lontong and laksam too.. Especially with extra lemak-ky taste, yummzzz.. Hmm, I don’t fancy barbecued stuff coz like you said, becoz of the heat and all, My hair (and clothes) would stink if I stand there even for a few seconds, haha.. But that ayam percik looks good..

    No wonder people stand far away, don’t want the lingering smell. Yet to buy the ayam percik and try, maybe tomorrow. I’ve had the longtong & laksam before – nice but not something I would be rushing back for more. Their Penang laksa also like that.

  10. oh, Ramadhan Bazaar!! how i love it.. look at all the nice food and all those nice kuih, drooling instantly!! there’s just one about 5 minutes walk from my place, over 100 stalls selling all sorts of food – but i have to try to avoid myself from accidentally going there, ah, don’t want to make myself eat too much!! muahahaha~~

    100??? *faints* When there are too many, my head will start spinning…and I will end up leaving quickly without buying anything. Old people like that, I guess.

    • of course will just buy from the first few stalls and left the place with two bagfuls of stuffs.. i won’t stay long there also.. cos mostly are repeated, no point walking so far, better go home early to savor the makanan~~

      Yes, many stalls are selling more or less the same things – some probably from the same people making them. Much easier if one knows where the good ones are – just head straight for those, grab the stuff and make an exit quickly.

  11. Oh yes, I would not miss this event every year. I love the malay kuih, but I will not buy any drink from these places because for most of the time, the foods are covered, but the ladle that they used to serve the drinks is not. And flies are abundant at the bazaar in my area.

    Oh? I never buy their drinks. Very colourful usually. Eyewwwww!!!! If there are lots of flies, I would just leave.

  12. Gosh all that fantastic food! There used to be a bazaar near my place of work but the authorities have since chased them away. I remember every morning there would be rubbish everywhere and maybe that’s why they have been banned. Anyway, this whole month would be a good time to get really good Malay food like nasi kerabu.

    Surprisingly, the surroundings at this particular one is very clean – you can see that in the photographs. Maybe fasting so everyone buys and takes home to eat – not on the spot so no wrappers to throw on the ground. We can get most of the stuff all year round actually, just a few specials so I would look out for those.

  13. believe it or not, i’ve never been to a pasar ramadhan. lol! 25 years & still haven’t. perhaps one of these days.. it’s just the crazy crowd that’s a bit of a turn-off for me.

    & btw, yeah. i recently got into an accident. it’s not a very serious one but ptsd nonetheless. i don’t know why i’m so prone now. perhaps it’s also the fact that i seem to be very unlucky & relive a lot of traumas in my life repeatedly. lol. time for therapy? i think so!

    The traditional Chinese will tell you to bathe with water in which flower petals of seven colours have been placed – I think can get them at the flower shops beside Hotel Malaya at Jalan Petaling to “buang sial” – get rid of bad luck.

    I loved going to these bazaars before when they were small and everything tasted so good but the main one here has grown too big and I am not sure as to how good the stuff is…and like you, I cannot stand crowds plus the heat so I don’t bother going anymore.

  14. I wanted to go, but don’t have time, was so busy recently, hope I manage to go some before the raya, hehe!! =]

    One week down, three more weeks to go for you to do so.

  15. Very nice! I haven’t been to any Ramadan bazaars yet this year coz the traffic is SO BAD over here.

    It’s crazy, the traffic after work hours. You’ll get stuck in a 2 hour jam easily, and even at my place there can be a 1 hour jam where there usually is none.

    I plan to go to the big Putrajaya one though.

    I remember the Sibu Ramadan bazaar being a favorite when I was a kid! Haha! Loved all the memories back then.

    Never missed it every year but old now, and the main one in town has grown a bit too big. I prefer this one at Bandong – not so overwhelming and I know where the nice stalls are. Not all are good.

    • Oh, I thought this was the main one in town coz I thought I saw some shops from town but on a second look you’re right, the first picture shows it’s Bandung. Haha!

      Yeah, the same holds true here, not all stalls are good, there’s a mini one just around the corner from my new place too but all that’s good is the lemang.

      They’ve lots here now, every street corner…outside individual houses. I don’t bother going to those. The authorities should exercise some kind of control and clamp down on them – make sure if they want, they set up at the designated places…not anywhere they like…and keep a watchful eye on the cleanliness at all times. If somebody comes down with food poisoning, it will be too late.

  16. 5 pangangs, 12 sticks of satay, ketupat, and one nasi lemak for dinner, I was stuffed. Actually I ate only one pangang freezed the others. Still one great dinner, especially the satay. The nasi lemak was wonderful, not soggy at all. Thanks for dragging me along.

    After the US, I bet many things here would be so nice – will let you know when I want to drop by again. My cousin in Melbourne just commented on Facebook that she had satay at a place called Killiney’s or something (sounds like a watering hole- an Irish pub) and it was not nice at all. :D

    • Haven’t had any good satay overseas and it’s easy to see why. Most of the time, the same cook who cooks the char kueh tiaw, the chicken rice, the beef rendang, the roti chanai, the kangkong belachan and everything else has to cook the satay also, and sometimes the cook is a Mexican!

      Muahahahahaha!!!! Our Bangla didn’t do too badly. ;)

  17. So much variety there… I didn’t see any satay at the bazaar over here… :(

    None at Geylang Serai? I’m sure they have. My mum loved that place, during Ramadhan – those days when she could still walk and used to go to Singapore.

  18. Bazaar ramadan is the worst, I love and hate it at the same time. So many things I wanna eat, so little stomach space!

    Can’t have it all – gotta pick and choose…and have different ones on different days.

  19. No, this year I have not been to any bazaar as yet… No yearning for the food/snacks cos maybe durian season, I didn’t feel like taking any fried stuff or spicy food.. :) I guess this year they got to miss me.. hahahaa…

    Children not home, nobody to go together, eh? But then again, children also not really into this kind of food. All got class one. Hehehehehe!!!!

  20. It has been a week already and I haven’t been to any pasar Ramadhan yet. Drooling looking at the photos. The nasi kerabu look yummy, the variety of kuih looks good and lontong… Haven’t had any since last Raya! 😋

    Not too crazy about lontong but I wouldn’t mind having that once in a while. Not really on my must-eat list. I would prefer a very good bakso but I guess it’s because I’m more a meat person.

  21. I think your area has more variety to look at, compare to my hometown here….

    Oh? This is a small one. There’s the main one in the town centre – a lot bigger. Strange. There are a whole lot Muslims/Malays over at your side. Sibu is basically a Chinese (Foochow) town, not that many Malays here. Maybe there’s no specific place for them so they are spread all over, no real bazaar like this.

  22. I love ramadan bazaar, so many foods! Maybe I should go and check out this weekend.

    Lesson learn, don’t go to bazaar with empty stomach, you tend to buy all the food back!!

    I should go and check out that famous popiah stall, once a year I buy. Hahahaha

    Ya, haven’t heard you going to buy that for a while now. Wish I could try. I love good popiah!!!

  23. There’s so much kuih! Don’t think I have seen so many at any one time here.

    I guess you don’t venture to places like Geylang Serai around this time of the year…

  24. Arthur, I love the Malay kuih and bread pudding that you shared here. So nice that all the kuih is wrapped so nicely and so neat.I love Malay bazaar during Ramadhan, I seldom visit those in my place. Just don’t know why. May be I should go look-see look-see one of these days.

    Just went again today. Everything looked so good, could not decide what to buy. Will blog about it soon.

  25. Oh. So that’s how people celebrate Ramadhan at your place. I thought that there will be less food since they’re fasting.

    So sad to see the old ones dying (or just too old) and the young ones not interested in inheriting the talents of their parents. Many things were lost just because the younger generation didn’t want to receive the good things that there forebears have. :-(

    Yes, that’s real sad really.

    They fast during the day – this is for when they break their fast at sundown and before they start fasting at dawn but you will see that a lot of the customers are non-Muslims who will look forward to this time of the year to buy all those nice stuff that they can’t cook themselves to enjoy.

  26. I love Ramadan Bazaar and I just love Muslims food, though most of them are sinful ones but I don’t really care that’s why I always buy and eat sinful food.. but then again, I do agree that some food are not edible.. they just sell for the sake of earning money and the food… *shakes head*

    anyways, the one at your side look pretty interesting… i haven’t had the chance to go any of it here in Kuching.. Huhuhu..

    Drove past the one at Haji Taha this afternoon but did not stop by. Don’t think I will go to any in Kuching – the one in Sibu is good enough for me. ;)

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