Generally…

The first time I went to Singapore was in 1971, if I remember correctly, and they took me to this place at Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, where the Merlion was located, to what they called the Satay Club.

They had so many stalls there, all selling satay, and of course, I was bewildered. How on earth would they be able to make good business if they were all selling the same thing! They did not seem to have a problem with that though and it was business as usual each passing day. Probably they had a lot more people in Singapore or perhaps, a lot of tourists would go there and would drop by so business was always good.

Here, we have satay in the area that we call Bandong. There are two at the MUC (Malay Union Club) hawker centre, this one and this one and among the Bandong shops, there is this one plus a new one that I saw the other day but I have not given it a try yet.

I bought the satay from another one somewhere among the shops, a Chinese man, once and I thought his was pretty good as well but when I mentioned it on Facebook, I was bombarded by virtually everybody. They were all shocked that I did not go to this stall…

…at Bandong Walk and they all insisted that their satay

…was the best in town.

They did forewarn me that I would have to go early as by 4.00 p.m., there would be a long queue there already. I did go over a couple of times and yes, there were long queues or it was not open. Then, disaster struck – the pandemic broke out and I did not bother going over to check out the place in those two years or more.

Well, I felt like having some satay for dinner the other day so I went to have a look. Yes, it was open and YES!!! There was no queue!!! I quickly parked my car by the side of the road and walked over and placed my order right away…

The girl said that they would be open by around 3.30 p.m. every day. They would cook the skewers of marinated meat over the hot charcoal fire and then put them aside – once somebody orders any, they would take them and cook them again to char them nicely this time around before serving…

This way, customers would not have to wait too long.

I bought 10 sticks of chicken and 5 sticks of beef and 10 sticks of lamb…

Why only 5 of the beef, you may wonder? Once, I did not like the beef these Malay stalls used – some people told me it was from India and it was bad enough that it had some kind of an unpleasant smell but it was also so very tough, so tough that even the strongest and sharpest teeth would find it hard to bite and chew.

However, lately, I find the beef ones to be very nice including the ones that I bought that day. In fact, the beef ones were the nicest and personally, I was not too crazy about the chicken. The old lady at the stall gave me the peanut satay sauce…

…one plastic tub of it and I asked if she could give me some more so she gave me another one…

…slightly smaller.

The total for all that I bought came up to RM34.50…

…and because they did not have any ketupat, I went to the shop at the back and bought 3, RM1.00 each…

…from the Bangla guy there. I did not buy any cucumber as we had our own at home and we could eat that together with the satay and the ketupat. So what did I like about this stall?

For one thing, the people were very gentle and soft-spoken, so very nice and they were all very well-dressed. Most of them would just put on some very old discoloured t-shirts, all tattered and torn and looking so shabby it would put off one’s appetite right away.

As for the taste, yes, it was very very nice but the thing is generally, I find all the satay from these Malay shops and stalls very much to my liking – they are all very nice. I bought the ones from the Bangla guy for my niece home from Auckland, New Zealand once and she declared out loud that she had never tasted any satay in the world that was so very nice!!!

The only ones that I no longer like would be these here at the Chinese coffee shop – they were so very nice before but obviously there has not been any quality control so the last time I had some, the taste was off and they have shrunk! The ones here, not far from my house, were very nice too but right now they are at a temporary location while they are renovating the hawker centre (and taking forever to do it). I guess there are others elsewhere like the stalls at Taman Harmoni or those in the other parts of town and chances are generally, they are all not too bad.

LATIFAH CAFE (2.314476, 111.825297) is one of the stalls/kiosks in the middle of Bandong Walk, along Jalan Bandong here, to the right if you are coming from town.