THOSE who grew up in the old town of Kajang will know of a food stall operating outside the Shen Sze She Yar Temple gates.
Not only is it common for Kajang natives to have eaten here at least once in their life, but mention “Cendol Tokong” and many will reciprocate with a wide and warm smile.
This stall, in the heart of town, attracts people from all walks of life, especially for its simple fare in this unique location.
Cendol Tokong is known as a popular hangout among locals to catch up and bond over a meal.
Famous for its cendol, ais kacang (ABC), rojak mee and mee goreng, the stall maintains a casual no-frills atmosphere where customers can place their orders at the counter or wait for a server to take their orders.
With big red lanterns as decorations, the 121-year-old temple canopy gives some reprieve to customers while dining under the scorching heat.
When asked about the history of Cendol Tokong, Syed Abu Thahir, 38, explained that the business was started by his late grandfather in the 1980s.
“He pedalled around the Kajang area selling cendol at that time.
“He then took up a temporary spot a few metres away from the temple before the temple committee offered him a space to rent in 1996. That was how our business here started,” said Syed.
After setting up shop, his grandfather then added five new dishes — rojak mee, fried mee hoon, boiled noodles, fried noodles and ABC — to the stall’s offerings.
After his passing, the reigns of the business were passed on to his son and subsequently changed hands when Syed (the grandson) took over.
Syed presently manages the stall with other relatives.
Until today, there are only six dishes on the menu.
While listening to the story of how it all started for this famous Kajang stall, I placed an order for my favourites — rojak and cendol.
The savoury rojak has noodles, fritters, fried tofu, hard boiled egg and vegetables like cucumber and bean sprouts.
With generous lashings of rojak sauce and golden fritters, the meal is worth the price.
All noodle dishes served at this 40-year-old family-run business are tagged at RM5.50.
For a taste of its famous cendol, I opted for the basic version which is priced at RM2.20.
With must-have ingredients of shaved ice, canned cream corn, green beans and grass jelly topped with coconut milk and thick gula melaka, customers also have the option of adding on red beans, peanuts and glutinous rice (RM4).
In contrast with the cendol, the ABC here is certainly Instagram-able.
Consisting of thinly shaved ice topped with rose syrup, evaporated milk and lychee syrup, customers will have to scoop underneath the mount of sweetened ice for more delights such as grass jelly strands, green beans, canned cream corn and peanuts.
All this yummy goodness for RM2.50, which I think is a reasonable price.
Cendol Tokong also has a variety of drinks such as iced tea, iced Milo and iced lemon.
Syed’s relative Tajuddin, 43, who prepares the rojak mee, said the family business was doing well thanks to its loyal customer base.
He also said that the family was very grateful for the support, particularly from Kajang residents all these years.
The family has ensured that the government’s standard operating procedures with regard to physical distancing is observed during the movement control order period.
Cendol Tokong at Jalan Mendaling is a five-minute walk from the Stadium Kajang MRT station.
It opens from 10.30am to 5.30pm daily and is closed two Fridays each month.
For details, call 010-236 6084 (Syed).
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