Not just a bazaar, it's a festival


FOR those who crave a taste of Sarawak this Ramadan, the answer might be a visit to a stall dubbed Dapur Sarawak (Sarawak Kitchen) at the Putrajaya Ramadan Festival 2014.

The family business led by Kuching-born Amir Syafiq Saini offers a menu of five specialities from the Land of the Hornbills.

“Our bestsellers are the laksa Sarawak and mi kolok. We can sell up to 500 packets of each dish on weekends,” said the 21-year-old.

Amir Syafiq said key ingredients were brought in from Sarawak to ensure authenticity, such as the noodles for mi kolok and spices for laksa Sarawak.

Mi kolok looks similar to wan tan mee. Dapur Sarawak offers an option of beef, chicken or the special with chicken, beef and prawn for this dish.

Laksa Sarawak is unlike the peninsula’s local laksa as it uses vermicelli (meehoon) for the noodles, while the soup incorporates coriander leaves and coconut milk,” he said.

Other dishes available at Dapur Sarawak are mihun belacan, mee Jawa and bubur pedas as well as a three-layered tea drink which has gula apong (nipah palm sugar).

Prices range between RM5 and RM7 for a packet of noodles, and RM3 for the drink.

“Our food has been well- received by Sarawakians and non-Sarawakians alike for its taste and authenticity. The dishes are prepared on-site to ensure their freshness,” said Amir Syafiq, adding that it was Dapur Sarawak’s second time participating in a Ramadan bazaar.

This year’s event marks the second edition of the Putrajaya Ramadan Festival held in the Federal administrative capital’s Precinct 3.

The bazaar stretches from the Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) Complex to the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, including Kiblat Walk (the walkway from the complex to the mosque).

It is also held on a bigger scale as the Ramadan bazaar previously located in Precinct 2 has been relocated to be a part of the festival.

“There were several reasons for the relocation. We wanted the Ramadan festival to be more cohesive and offer greater variety, plus the site in Precinct 2 had been identified for development projects,” said PPj Commercial and Licensing Division deputy director Shamshul Joehari Zainal Mokhtar, adding that the relocation would be permanent from this year onwards.

The Putrajaya Ramadan Festival 2014 has 100 stalls, 11 of which offer buka puasa fare while the rest sell Raya-related products such as cookies, clothing, headscarves, songkok and decorative items.

The Ramadan bazaar features a greater variety of buka puasa fare from the 250 stalls lined up at the site.

“The festival is a one-stop centre for everything one would need for their Hari Raya preparations,” said Shamshul.

“It will also serve as an alternative location for those living in and around Putrajaya, such as Bangi, Dengkil and Sepang, to do their shopping rather than head to Kuala Lumpur.

“Visitors can purchase their food and break fast at the cafe-style set-up along Kiblat Walk, at the mosque or even bring their own picnic mats for a more relaxed setting at Dataran Putrajaya.

“They can then head to the mosque to pray, and continue with their shopping at the festival,” he added.

Shamshul said there would be ample parking space for visitors, with some 700 bays available at the open-air parking area next to the mosque, beneath Kiblat Walk and at Central Boulevard.

Traffic management in terms of traffic flow and haphazard parking could be a problem, though Shamshul assured that enforcement officers would be present to assist.

PPj has been collaborating with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry and International Trade and Industry Ministry for several activities held as part of the festival.

A direct factory sale ended yesterday at PPj Complex’s conference hall, and an ongoing warehouse sale by The Store will be held throughout Ramadan at PPj Complex’s Cempaka Sari auditorium lobby.

Both events offer clothes, shoes, accessories, soft furnishings, electrical and electronic items, as well as selected household products at marked-down prices.

There is also a display and sale of khat or Islamic calligraphy and artworks by Persatuan Seni Khat Kebangsaan. Visitors can also look forward to religious talks and Islamic-themed performances on weekends.

In addition, there will be free distribution of dates and zam zam water by PPj to the public, free buka puasa meals and moreh sessions at the mosque, as well as a Community Panjut (Oil Lamp) Competition.

The Putrajaya Ramadan Festival 2014 will be held until Sunday.

For a full list of activities, visit www.ppj.gov.my

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