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"The Sarawak Laksa is worth the journey"
One day, after a long while of not having a bowl of Sarawak Laksa, I travelled with a group of friends to the outer reaches of the city. Alas, the stall was missing! What follows now is a tale of perseverance, adventure, and some pretty darn good laksa.
The restaurant staff gave us a name, the stall moved to a place called Diamond Square in Gombak. “Gombak?!” I internally screech. Nevermind. 'Di mana ada kemahuan, di situ ada jalan'. And I really wanted that bowl of Sarawak laksa. We pile back into the car and head towards Gombak, frantically googling directions on our smartphones. “No, not Gombak! Diamond Square is in Jalan Gombak!” someone announces from the backseat, pointing at their phone. “Just tell me how to get there already,” the driver barks. We go around the proverbial mulberry bush of Jalan Pahang and Jalan Genting Kelang for a good hour. Tempers are running high, stomachs are grumbling, the sun is setting. Finally, we see it. Dapur Sarawak. Collective sighs are heard as we park the car and scramble out in hunger.
A banner with actor Mahmud Ali Basha's face hangs in the restaurant, asking us to “jom berambeh makan”, which translates to “come over and eat”. Owned by said actor, the restaurant is decorated like a typical Malay nasi campur shop, and the smell of laksa wafts out of the window between the kitchen and the dining area. We place our orders. Silence has taken over the table, save for impatient tapping on the table and bouncing of feet. We discovered they also sell mixed rice during the day (I hear there's umai!) and one can also order kuih lapis Sarawak from them.
The bowls arrive. Sarawak laksa – thin laksa noodles in an earthy, almost nutty broth topped with omelette slices. Mee kolok – noodles with sliced beef and chicken, clear broth on the side. And something extra this time for me to take away, nasi aruk dabai – fried rice, but with a bluish tint.
The Pasar Ramadhan tradition here in Kuala Lumpur is something I've found to be similar to the ones back home, in Jakarta. It's a time where people can have various types of kuih, drinks and of course traditional lauk and enjoy the festivities.
This year, my content editor asked me to cover pasar ramadhans in KL in the form of a photo essay. To start the hunt, we went to TTDI market on the third day of Ramadhan, expecting the food to be a great treat for iftar. Sadly, it was disappointing. It wasn't as happening as last year.
Our hunt then continued to other markets in Kota Damansara, Pelangi Damansara and Puchong Perdana. And of course, the faithful hunt brought us to better markets where we were able to fulfill our craving for some delicious dishes.
Seksyen 6 Kota Damansara - I came here without high expectations. But this market has lots to try, from ayam golek to sup tulang to apam balik and even samosas!
Kampung Sg. Penchala - This market is probably the most decent one, there are no complaints about the food(and the distance from our office)! It has a lot of interesting buys, like the old-skool soda drinks sitting side by side with traditional… Continue reading »
I have been fasting regularly now for 20 odd years. And let me tell you I have made all the mistakes. Ate so much at buffets, they have to wheel me out on a gurney. Suffered nights of indigestion. During uni days with limited funds and a need to look like a waif, I only ate one meal. By the time the 10th day of fasting came, I clear passed out during an economics lecture.
There's more. But the stories are dodgy so let's just put it that though I've always fasted sincerely, there have been times when I've completely missed the point of it all.
That fasting is time to reflect and be thankful for something as simple as knowing where your next meal is coming from. It's also a time of moderation. And I suppose with the siren call of buffets and Pasar Ramadhans galore, it's hard to keep centred.
Here's some stuff I came up with through the years to not go nutts during Ramadhan. For some odd reason, people go CRAZY over ayam percik golek during Ramadhan Focus:
Pasar Ramadhans are a great time waster. And it's a real treat to see what exciting things might be on offer this year. But when you go, to stop that itch of buying everything that looks greasy and delicious FOCUS. Plan ahead on what you might like to eat. Ogle all you like but keep strong. Don't be tempted to get into a line just because there are loads… Continue reading »
"A Pasar Ramadhan worth visiting"
This year's bazaars have been more than disappointing. My usual favourites of Taman Tun and Bangsar have garnered poor reviews. I haven't yet been to the ones in Section 14 and Section 17 of Petaling Jaya because I'm scared they'll let me down, messing up yet another cherished childhood memory.
Then we hear whispers, whispers of good bazaar. The good stalls have moved back to Kampung Sungai Penchala! A decent bazaar less than ten minutes away from the office? We leave at 4pm to check it out; we are so excited. Parking is still relatively decent here, but now that the word is out, we might have to walk there in the future.
But what of the offerings? I go through my usual MO and circle the bazaar like a hawk. The first stall already looks promising. Gulai kawah, ikan masin & nenas masak lemak, tempoyak ikan patin. I move along and spot not one, but two putu piring stalls (be still, my heart). A stall towards the end of the lot catches my eye: glass bottles full of sodas carted from Kelantan. “Orange Crush” and “American Ice Cream Soda” are among the choices; the collector in me grabs one of each.
I turn the corner. Several roti john stalls, but none that look sprightly enough. Fried breaded hot dog rolls here, chicken chop there - served with potato salad, no less. A fruit stall, where I grab some langsat for my dad. And right back where we started, a beriyani stall claiming to be from Batu Pahat, Johor (they were actually from Yong Peng).
“Good haul,” I think to myself as I make my way back home. Now I just have to wait 2 hours before I can eat anything. Nap? I think so.
Congratulations on your acceptance to the Friedchillies University!
We at FCU realize that food is more essential to your well-being than any book or lecture can ever be. You now face the challenge of selecting which food items that are important to you, whether they be essential ingredients or snacktime treats that are unavailable in countries… More »
The bubbly and energetic Nigel has been baking since childhood, working side by side with his mother to prepare lovely treats. His favourite was to make the special family sugee fruit cake which took days to prepare from scratch. He went to school for Hotel Management and in 2000 he met Allan Yap an experienced home baker and decided to go into business… More »