Saturday August 11, 2012
Chow Kit: Wide range of local and Indonesian fare for Ramadan and Raya
By PRIYA MENON
Photo by NORAFIFI EHSAN
THE hustle and bustle in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, particularly at the Ramadan bazaar in Chow Kit, increases a notch as Hari Raya Aidilfitri draws nearer.
It is a favourite shopping hub among Malaysians and foreigners who want to get the best of Malaysian and Indonesian food and shopping, all in one place.
Walking into the market along Jalan Raja Bot, a delicious aroma wafts out from a murtabak stall called Murtabak Ana, which has been around for over 26 years. The stall is famous for its scrumptious chicken and beef murtabak. It takes 10 men to produce enough murtabak for the fasting month.
During StarMetro’s visit, one of the workers, Ahmad Shahir, 27, was seen setting out the dough, adding in the filling and then wrapping up the murtabak.
“My uncle owns the stall but everyone working here are family members. On normal days we close once a week but during the month of Ramadan we open every day. We can easily sell about 2,000 pieces a day at RM2.50 a piece,” he said.
During the fasting month, they start during lunch and close after buka puasa, while on normal days they start as early as 7am.
Then there is Kak Aton, 50, who sells delectable Malaysian and Indonesian kuih. The stall is a family business that began with her grandfather in the 1950s. Today, Kak Aton and her children run the business.
“We have a steady clientele and because we have been here for years, people know us and look for our food,” she said.
Some of the items she sells are rupis, kaswi, lemang, putu piring, fried cow hide (Keropok Kulit Lembu) and a variety of sweet porridge.
Chow Kit is also the ideal place to shop for cookies and festive snacks. Along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, at the entrance to the market, one can see neat rows of jars filled with colourful cookies.
Nor Rafidah Mohammad, 30, who mans the stall that her uncle set up years ago, said every year new varieties hit the market, giving buyers a wide range of cookies. This year the popular ones are Almond London, Almond Strawberry, Rice Crispies and Cornflakes cookies.
According to her, business has been a little slow but she believes the pace will pick up closer to Hari Raya. Rafidah said her uncle’s regulars come looking for them every year as they had created a name for themselves in the market.
“We used to bake the cookies ourselves but these days the orders have increased and we cannot cope with the demand, so we get our supply from factories. But we do not compromise on the quality,” she said.
Rafidah’s husband Zulhaizan Sofii, 33, said the cookies could be kept for sometime due to their freshness.
He said last year many Indian customers purchased cookies for Deepavali.