I love markets, the hustling, the bustling, the noise, even the smells. You never know what you can find here and you are able to bargain! But one thing's for sure, whenever there's a market, there's always food...
Stop a while, grab a bowl of something soupy...
Early morning to afternoon
Plenty of choices and great people watching
Not for the squeamish...
I am a late riser aspiring to be an early bird. For sleepyheads like me nothing is more gut-wrenching then to crawl out of bed (thinking it's early) and only to see the last fishball go to the person in front of me. A lot of great breakfast places run out before the sun's first yawn. Sometimes I figure the only way to be up early enough is to stay up all night.
Markets too are a whole lot more fun at daybreak. By 10, what's a charming morning gambol becomes rather smelly. Wet markets are always more tolerable in the cool dawn hours. Pudu is one such market. A classic wet market with all sorts of food. The earlier you come, the fresher the products. They open extremely early in the morning, around 3 AM, and at 7 AM most of the action is over. This market is very `local` in flavour, it is predominantly Chinese but you can find Malay and Indian traders here as well. It can get noisy as the street vendors fight for the attention of shoppers by shouting out their bargains. Besides food and clothes, you can find the most unusual items: pet fish, scorpions, frogs and terrapins.
The market is long, intense and most people start loosing their appetites at the frog butcher. I know many of you out there enjoy a kermit or two in your diets but for us who rather watch him on the Muppets, the frog butcher here is the apex of squirminess. Especially when you see him skin those croakers while the poor creature is still gasping it's last breath watched by his buddies awaiting the same fate. It's an amphibian Apocalypto. I'm all for knowing where your food comes from, but this is too early and too real even for me.
But I digress, before you even venture into the depths of the market, right at the front are the eating shops. Take a seat, have a sniff. Fresh noodles await. Everything here is pretty good. You order drinks at the kopitiam in front and just grab whatever you wish for breakfast. There's very good prawn noodles here in a spicy, briny broth and a fragrant lam mee.
Just around the corner is a nice chee cheong fun lady who gives you up a heaped bowl of cheong fun- my breakfast of champions. I also dig the fishball noodles here. Some of the noodles here are homemade and so are the fishballs- delicious! One of my other favourites here is the mamak down the road who serves up your usual rotis. What's good here surprisingly is the nasi lemak bungkus. There are heaps of it, still warm and very much like how a nasi lemak bungkus should be. The sambal is just right, good helping of rice and egg. So if you don't fancy Chinese breakie, there's other good stuff for you here.
One of my friends go deep into the market to get a plate of siew yoke and fresh char siew. There are a few sellers here, and he says go for the second person you find. Although I can't vouch for how good this is- he loves it. Roast duck here is also pretty good. So next time you are wondering what to have for breakfast and for some odd reason are running on bird-time try a market. There's plenty of choice, you can watch the bustle of people and pick up some fresh groceries on the way out at a fraction of the price in a supermarket. Win-win all around. Useful Tip : Although some cars are parked haphazardly along the streets, do park your car in proper parking spaces.. One fine Sunday, tummy full of food... my car was towed away by the City Police. Yes, they work weekends, my foodie friends...