First and foremost, may I wish all my Muslim friends Happy Ramadan Al Mubarak.
This is a time I always look forward to every year - as my Muslim friends celebrate the Holy Month, I would join them at Ramadan buffets and bazaars. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes, spirit and atmosphere at Ramadan bazaars always excite me.
Every year I love to go Ramadan bazaar hopping. This year, I am starting again at S'MART PANDAN, one of my favourite Ramadan bazaars in JB. I estimate that there are at least 100 stalls here with a good stall mix, serving all varieties of traditional and modern dishes for breaking fast.
Even though all food sold at Ramadan bazaars are Halal, it is enjoyed by everyone regardless of religion. Many people are like me, who love Ramadan bazaar hopping - going to a different bazaar every evening during the Holy Month.
There are literally hundreds of Ramadan bazaars big and small all over Johor during Ramadan. The bazaars are set up near communities to serve the residents' needs.
One of the things that attract me about Ramadan bazaars is live cooking of all varieties of traditional dishes.
One of the most popular stalls is ayam golek - roasting marinated chicken skewered with a rotating spit over an open pit of red hot charcoal.
I had a real problem taking this shot as it was hard to get a sharp focus through all that hissing white fumes rising from chicken grease dripping onto the bed of red hot charcoal.
There are not one but two ayam golek stalls at S'MART PANDAN at this year's Ramadan bazaar.
Murtabak is a popular choice for breaking fast. Freshly made crispy outside, moist chewy inside fried bread with eggs, minced meat and chopped onion in the fold.
I counted three maybe four murtabak stalls.
There were several BBQ chicken stalls, all with different styles.
The marination at this BBQ chicken stall looked tomato red.
At another BBQ stall, the yellowish chicken looked marinated mainly with turmeric.
This one looked rosy outside.
Ayam percik Kelantan has always been one of my favourite styles of chargrilled chicken.
Deep fried chicken is always a hot favourite.
Ayam masak merah (chicken stewed in fiery looking spicy sauce).
Roast duck anyone?
Fried rice paradise.
Aromatic nasi biryani.
Nasi lemak so rich with coconut milk aroma.
Ayam mandy - Iranian style grilled chicken and spiced rice. One of my favourite ways of eating chicken.
Cencaru bakar - chargrilled cencaru fish stuffed with rempah (ground chili and spices).
Ikan bakar (pan grilled fish slathered with spicy sauce). The most popular fish for this dish is ikan pari or stingray.
Satay - there will always be satay in every Ramadan bazaar.
Roti John - pan grilled beaten eggs with minced meat and chopped onions sandwiched between long soft loaves. Enjoyed with dribbles of chili sauce, ketchup and mayonnaise.
Apam balik, traditional crispy outside, soft moist inside pancake with boiled red bean, corn or peanut and sugar fillings in the fold.
Many kinds of sweet cold drinks including the popular green colour katira juice which is drank only during Ramadan.
Katira juice is made with evaporated milk, rose syrup, gum tragacanth (gum katira), basil seeds and malva nut (胖大海 in Chinese).
Freshly pressed sugar cane juice is always in demand.
While making my rounds, I realised that some of the popular stalls were already sold out. This picture of one of the nasi biryani stalls was taken at 6:30pm today. All three pots, chicken, lamb, beef, all gone 😮
The sun was setting as I was leaving. Car parking is always a challenge at any Ramadan bazaar because of the crowds. Actually, parking is easier, relatively speaking at S'MART Pandan. I found mine quite quickly about 3 minutes walk away from the bazaar. Being slightly early (around 5pm) also helped.
My dinner tonight, ayam penyet (Indonesia style fried chicken with rice). A simple but tasty, satisfying comforting meal, so that I have the evening free to write this post as I am excited to share this with you 😄
Ramadan Bazar @ S'MART Pandan
Address: Jalan Kota Tinggi, Kawasan Perindustrian Pandan, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1°32'03.6"N 103°47'00.2"E 🌐 1.534324, 103.783388
Hours: 5:00pm to 8:00pm (6 May - 4 Jun 2019)
All food sold are Halal
Date: 6 May 2019