as much as i hate the huge crowd, traffic congestions and long lines at my favorite stalls, i just LOVE bazaar ramadhan. it's probably one of the wonders of malaysia, especially so during the fasting month. lots of food, lots of people and lots of festivities.
on the first day of ramadhan, my youngest sister azi and i went to the bazaar ramadhan in taman tun dr. ismail, which is notoriously famous for the huge crowd it attracts.
when in ipoh, it's definitely the bazaar ramadhan at medan gopeng, also popular as one of the bazaars with the longest line of food-only stalls! and while in mr. khairul's kampung lalang, we surely go the big bazaar ramadhan in kuala kangsar.
picture from lebai google
* * *
in dubai, the scale is much smaller, but no less meriah and attractive. i will miss this year's bazaar ramadhan in dubai (since i'm fasting in malaysia!) but last year, i had a blast going to the bazaar ramadhan held inside the compound of the consul general's house.
this was last year's event - the space was much smaller, the stalls much less, but the crowd still filled the bazaar, right! it was still a much-awaited activity amongst the malaysians in dubai, especially since it's held only every friday within the ramadhan month.
bazaar ramadhan 2009
this year, the dubai bazaar ramadhan is called, 'bazaar iftar' and was held at the newly open office of malaysia consulate in al-mankhool. eventhough the place is roofed, but the summer heat still got to the stall owners, and the patrons. panas! peluh! but puas hati!
i got the 'report' as well as this picture below from fida's blog and facebook. thanks fida!
bazaar iftar 2010
* * *
it's interesting to see how these two bazaars differ, or how similar they are!
bazaar ramadhan in malaysia
- as everyone knows, it can get extremely congested with hungry tummies hunting for iftar dishes. there are popular stalls with long lines of people waiting patiently just to get their favorite murtabak, or popiah basah.
- when there's a huge crowd, finding a parking space can be a deadly hunt! this is the time you wish that your perdana is just a kancil!
- it's weird that there would be LONG lines for murtabak ali, for example - when in fact, nobody cares for that same murtabak ali on the other months of the year. weird, isn't it?
- the lines were so long at some stalls, that a new way of getting people's attention is calling out, "sini kak, sini. mari kak. gerai saya tak payah beratur!" - although, hellllooo, there's a reason why nobody lines up to buy food at your stall! hihi.
- the endless choice of food can mesmerize even anthony bourdain, who has probably seen it all! you'll find everything at bazaar ramadhan - from rice dishes, to sweet and savoury kuih - rambang mata!
bazaar ramadhan in dubai
- more personalized, as almost everyone knows everybody else - you can call in advance to book your favorite dish! also, when you buy food, it's not just the monetary transactions, but a chance to tanya khabar and strengthen friendship!
- less people, less crowded - but that means the stall owner also prepared to sell less! if you come late, the food would all be sold out!
- we appreciate the food so much more since it's not easy to get nasi kerabu or kuih tepung pelita in dubai.
- in malaysia, the ramadhan bazaar is held every day till the eve of syawal, but the one in dubai is held only once a week, on friday which is a weekend holiday. you miss one, you've only got 2-3 more chance left to go!
- dubai is all about the rich and mighty - and it shows even in our malaysian dishes sold there. you pay around rm5 to rm8 for a fairly huge ayam percik in malaysia, but you'd have to fork out aed18 for ayam percik in dubai!
my must-have dishes to look for at any bazaar ramadhan is definitely nasi tomato, ayam percik, samosa, and lepat pisang. anything else i can get is a bonus!
now, which bazaar ramadhan should i raid today?
* * *
al-fatihah for the two stall owners who passed away during the heavy storm that hit the bazaar ramadhan in jasin, melaka. click here for full story.