Yes, it's that time of year again when Malaysia seems to quieten down and pause for a slow and restful month. When those who fast take a deep breath to internally reflect during the holy month of Ramadan. It's also the time when Malaysians and foreigners alike can sample an amazing ensemble of local delicacies, specially prepared for the breaking of fast!
Batik&Bubbles decided to explore the ramadan market of Kampung Baru, a neighborhood which happens to be a stone's throw away from KLCC.
Walking through the streets of this busy enclave in the late afternoon, it really is quite a striking contrast to view the majestic and modern twin towers in the background, dotted with the minaret of Kampung Baru mosque and traditional malay wooden houses.
A long stretch of food stalls on Jalan Raja Alang beckons the hungry crowd with its heady promises and aromas of local delights. Fortunately, the road has been closed for pedestrians this month, so customers can safely saunter along to their heart's content without a vehicle in sight!
There are numerous ramadan bazaars around town however, we decided to visit this particular one for its local flavour and history. Established in 1900 by British colonials, Kampung Baru (meaning "new village") is a Malay village which spans around 1400 acres in size. Despite its enviable location in the centre of town and considerable worth (the land is estimated to be worth USD 1.4 billion), Kampung Baru has managed so far not to be swayed by the promises of hungry developers who are desperate to make a profitable sale. It has managed to retain its true Malay identity and culture.
Walking around, we reveled in the great atmosphere and spirit of the stalls. Malaysians are pretty crazy about food and it was quite a joy to be able to feast my eyes on some local delicacies, which can only be seen at this special time of the year.
There was my personal favourite, Ayam Percik, which is roasted/ grilled spiced chicken on skewers that is basted with a coconut sauce. This delicious and spicy dish originates from Kelantan, a state that lies on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia. There was also quail rice which consisted of a whole quail to devour. Now how delicious is that?
There was also many stalls offering mixed rice, where you can buy steamed rice together with a variation of dishes such as meat, fish and vegetables.
The Kampung Bahru ramadan bazaar is well known to have many East coast dishes and this was seen with many a nasi kerabu stall with its blue coloured rice and for those who dare, chicken feet! There were also lots of great desserts to tempt any sweet toothed aficionado.
Yiga got her durian fix with the plentiful supply of durians on offer - from fresh durian to durian pulut with sticky rice!
There were also lots of fresh fruit juices to savour such as pineapple, mango and rare treats such as yam and jackfruit juice!
We also got to hear some local Hari Raya music to help us get in the festive mood! Overall, it was a great way to witness and experience the festive feeling, seeing all the pleasant smiling faces all around us and an opportunity to view the community spirit which is truly abundant in this part of Kuala Lumpur.
If you haven't been to a ramadan bazaar yet, hurry this week to sample some local specialities before the fasting month is over! It's a perfect way to experience one of Malaysia's most unique, flavourful and colourful cultural affairs.
Batik&Bubbles takes this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate a Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir Batin!