Ramadan is the holy Muslim month of fasting, where practitioners of the faith abstain from food and water from dawn until sunset. Malaysia has a sizable Malay population and the best part about Pasar Ramadan (Ramadan Bazaar) is the sheer amount of food available. The Pasar Ramadan is a setup consisting of independent stalls selling food, and most of the consumables are excellent.
I always make it a point to visit the Pasar Ramadan every year. It’s held annually during the puasa (fasting) month and a lot of good eats can be found concentrated in the bazaar. All cities and towns in Malaysia have a Pasar Ramadan setup a month before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is the most important celebration on the Muslim calendar.
I went to the Pasar Ramadan with a couple of buddies yesterday evening to check out the place. Pasar Ramadan is only open for several hours in the evening and I figured I should go this week since Hari Raya Puasa falls on next Wednesday. Thus, it’s just about a week left before the annual Pasar Ramadan shuts down for the year.
The people manning the stalls are generally a friendly lot and being the quintessential blogger that I am, camwhoring is a must on the To Do List. I can’t help it – I’ve been blogging for six years! 😉
The Pasar Ramadan sells food and drinks of all sorts. I have noticed a trend this year where the local shaved ice drinks like ABC Special, Chendol, etc are all sold in huge packs. It’s at least 1.5 liters of fluid in there! I guess it’ll look appealing after not drinking the entire day, but still, that’s a lot of liquid!
The sheer variety of food at the stalls is amazing. There is everything from otak-otak…
…to keropok lekor, a fish cracker originating from Terengganu.
There are also more conventional fare like fried noodles and nasi campur cooked on the spot.
One other trend I spotted this year is that the cakes sold at the Pasar Ramadan has been given the Premium Treatment (TM). Gone were the days of kueh lapis (layered cakes) and other delicious but aesthetically lacking cakes. The cakes sold are now topped with cheese or encapsulated in pudding.
I also managed to find a Roti John stall. I haven’t seen Roti John in Sibu ever! It’s RM 2.50 each and comes with either a chicken or beef filling. The etymology of Roti John is quite interesting – it was created for Caucasian tastes during the British Colonial rule and the name came about from the colloquialism for Westerners at that time.
Caucasians were referred to as “John”, a very common English name and thus Roti John was born. It’s literally translated as John’s Bread. 🙂
I love Roti John and have only seen it in KL, so it’s nice to eat it again. It’s basically a sandwich with a minced meat patty inside. Sarawak has a version of Roti John, which we call kebab. It was fun to walk through the Pasar Ramadan again, since I missed it last year. It’s just so chill and relaxed, and I like the throng of crowds buying food during the two or three hours it’s open.
You Don’t Mess with the Koran, er…I mean, Zohan. 😉