AUTHENTIC cendol is not easy to come by, especially in the Klang Valley.
At the Medan Selera Jalan Othman food court in Petaling Jaya, Jessie Lim makes cendol and ais kacang using gula melaka and fresh coconut milk.
This makes her dishes stand out from those that use brown sugar and frozen or packet coconut milk.
“My cendol is just ‘kaw’ (strong),” said Lim to StarMetro.
“My uncle and aunt used to sell cendol from this stall, No 48, for 40 years.
“I took over the business five years ago and I have trained my son to help me too,” said Lim, 55.
The portion is generous, the ice is shaved finely and the cendol is prepared with quality ingredients.
“It costs me more to use gula melaka but I don’t want to prepare poor quality food.
“The rental here is not expensive so I can afford to use quality ingredients.
“It is a pity that the younger generation dine at expensive restaurants but they don’t know what this dessert really tastes like.”
Lim said having repeat customers who are satisfied with her cendol is important.
Lim said after her husband underwent a heart bypass surgery, he could not do heavy cooking so she switched from the Chinese restaurant business to making cendol and ais kacang.
“My aunt and uncle trusted me and taught me the art of making cendol.
“I have since put my own twist to the cendol and both old and new customers enjoy it,” said Lim.
She added that Indian customers usually dislike added ingredients like red bean so she has two versions of the cendol.
“Most cendol makers will add white sugar to the santan, which kills the taste.
“I don’t add any white or brown sugar to these desserts. I make my own condiments and for the ais kacang, I add good quality evaporated milk.
“I don’t use old jelly and cincau for the ais kacang as it would ruin the taste,” she said.
Lim does not add colouring to her ais kacang and keeps it simple with only six toppings: cincau, jelly, peanut, cendol, atachi (plum seed) and corn.
Another highlight at the stall is the honey jelly lime which Lim makes from scratch.
Both her cendol and ais kacang cost RM3.50 each. The ais kacang takeaway costs RM4.50.
Lim added that the only drawback to doing business at the food court was the territorial nature of some of the drink sellers.
“They do not like patrons ordering from stalls which are further away from where they are seated.
“I encourage patrons to sit close to stall No 48 if they want to order my cendol,” she said.
Lim is currently away but Stall No 48 will reopen once she returns on May 25. Opening hours are from 9am to 9pm daily and it is closed on Thursday.
The stall is located at Medan Selera Jalan Othman, Jalan Terus 4/42, Petaling Jaya Old Town.