Exploring biggest bazaar in Subang


By CY LEE

Crowd starts gathering at the USJ4 Ramadan bazaar as early as 4pm. — Photos: CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

 Ramadan bazaars across Malaysia are the perfect showcase of traditional and innovative foods.

The smell of burning coal for on-site cooking and canopies as far as the eyes can see set the stage for an extensive exploration.

At the USJ4 Ramadan bazaar, the largest in Subang Jaya City Council’s (MBSJ) jurisdiction, a staggering 140 stalls await with many food options.

Despite growing concerns over rising food prices and cost of raw materials, which could impact the affordability and food variety, reasonably priced meals can be found here, including nasi goreng kambing (lamb fried rice) and nasi briyani for RM10 and satay skewers starting from RM1.

Shahril’s Cromboloni and Kek Tapak Kuda have become highly sought after.Shahril’s Cromboloni and Kek Tapak Kuda have become highly sought after.

From Vietnamese coffee and spring rolls to sushi, there is much to look for here, including the famous Murtabak Azmi that can be found at the end of the road with queues up to 30m long during peak hours.

Of course, the usual staples like Roti John, kuih, popiah, ayam percik and home-cooked dishes featuring flavours from the north and south of the peninsula can also be found.

Shahril Omar has been operating at the same bazaar for the past two years.

Ayam bakar nasi Mehndi from D'Arang Cafe Ramadan Bazaar stall in USJ 4. --CHAN TAK KONG/The StarAyam bakar nasi Mehndi from D'Arang Cafe Ramadan Bazaar stall in USJ 4. --CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

This year, he stopped selling laksa Johor and switched to vending the cromboloni – a hybrid of the croissant and bomboloni – and the uniquely shaped kek tapak kuda (horseshoe cake).

“Supplier issues forced me to change my usual offering, so I decided to try my hand at pastry making,” said the 49-year-old who is also a marketing consultant.

The Ramadan Bazaar in USJ 4 was crowded from as early as 4pm. --CHAN TAK KONG/The StarThe Ramadan Bazaar in USJ 4 was crowded from as early as 4pm. --CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

“All these items are made by my wife and me, including the custom sauces which go on the cromboloni.

“The cromboloni and kek tapak kuda are quite popular at the moment,” he highlighted.

On the first day of Ramadan, Shahril said he was prepared for a slower-than-normal stream of customers, as he was introducing something new.

An array of food options are available at the bazaar.An array of food options are available at the bazaar.

“I didn’t expect much the first week since I had to get new customers, given that my laksa Johor customers are a different segment,” he said.

Shahril said he went online to spread word of his stall and ran promotions for the first few days.

The strategy worked and the products became online sensations, he added.

Mango shake being sold at the Ramadan Bazaar.Mango shake being sold at the Ramadan Bazaar.

Meanwhile, newcomers to the USJ4 bazaar, Jeffrey Ilhan Sri Abdullah and his wife, Elsa Ilhan, served Mehndi Rice with freshly chargrilled meats marinated with passed-down recipes, just like at their D’Arang Cafe outlets in Shah Alam.

Jeffrey, 45, who lives in Subang Jaya, said he had waited two years to trade here.

Despite being new at the bazaar, he said customers, even his cafe regulars had been showing support for his stall.

Clearly excited for the opportunity, Jeffrey beamed with pride while describing his offerings.

Vietnamese coffee among the drinks on sale.Vietnamese coffee among the drinks on sale.

“Everything from the sauces to the marinade are made by us,” said the former lecturer.

One of their specialities, char-grilled beef, is inspired by the famous daging bakar Danok from Thailand.

The couple had improved the recipe and the marinade for chicken is made from the same 16 ingredients Jeffrey’s grandmother used.

In line with the Ramadan Bazaar’s sustainability efforts, Jeffrey said they made it a point to avoid plastic packaging and are giving a 50sen discount to customers who bring their own food containers.

The USJ4 Bazar Ramadan organised by MBSJ is located along Jalan USJ4/5 and operates from 4pm to 8pm.

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Ramadan bazaar , USJ 4 , Subang Jaya , Food

   

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