WHILE most Ramadan bazaars are traffic-congested with visitors struggling to find a parking spot, the Ramadan bazaars in Precinct 2 and 9, Putrajaya, are totally different.
With ample parking provided near the Precinct 2 bazaar and a smaller crowd at the Precinct 9 one, parking is a breeze.
A total of 228 traders are taking part in the Pasar Ramadan Putrajaya organised by the Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) this year and customers will be spoilt for choice.
“This time around, priority was given to single mothers and the disabled when choosing traders for the bazaar.
“As our promise is to deliver the best service to customers, our health unit will conduct checks daily. The traders will also be given Typhim (Typhoid) shots and attend a course in food-handling,” PPj city services director Datuk Abdul Ghani Ahmad said.
Even with the blistering heat, the crowd thronging the bazaar did not mind queuing up for popular items such as Unan Roti John, Pak Tam Murtabak, Rojak Singapore and Ayam Golek Bermadu.
Other choices include Bubur Lambuk Kg Baru, Gulai itik Kawah, Gulai Kawah Umbut Pisang, Ayam Madu Istanbul, Nasi Dagang, Nasi Kerabu and a variety of kuih and drinks.
According to stall owner Mohamad Faisal, 24, who operates the Unan Roti John stall with nine other friends, they could sell up to 900 pieces a day.
“This is the fifth year we are taking part in the bazaar. What differentiates our Roti John from the others is the quality and our special recipe,” he said.
This is the first time that Zainol Arifin, who sells New Zealand Roast Lamb, is trading at the bazaar and he sells around 60 packs a day.
“The lamb is imported from New Zealand and is paired with mint sauce,” he said.
A trader who sells beverages at the bazaar, however, lamented that business was tough as there were other stalls selling drinks as well.
At the Seri Teja food court in Precinct 9 near the health clinic, a handful of traders sell their wares.
There are a few first-timers at the food court, such as a trader who only wanted to be known as Audrey, who sold chicken chop, Cucur Ketam, Seafood wantan, and popiah.
Audrey, a runner-up in the Ideal Celebrity Chef contest, is also fond of experimenting so there are different snacks available daily aside from the aforementioned staples.
“The chicken is marinated with herbs. I was listening to Black Eye Peas’ Boom Boom Pow and I decided to name the chicken chop ‘Boom Boom Power’ chicken.
“Customers can choose from 10 sauces to enjoy it with including Fuyoh Mayo, Cili Padi and Mushroom Sauce,” she said of the stall’s best-selling item that was usually sold out by 5.30pm.
After selling Roti John for quite some time, Zulkifli Mahmud decided to try out some thing new and created the Roti Albab.
He named the burger after a Syrian city after watching a P.Ramlee movie about it.
“We make the patty ourselves using herbs and minced meat,” he added.
While the choices here are less than those in Precinct 2, customers can browse the stalls or buka puasa in the food court away from the blazing sun.
The Putrajaya Pasar Ramadan operates from 4,40pm to 7.30pm daily during Ramadan and there will be zakat counters and basic amenities such as solat tents and toilets.
For more information, visit www.ppj.gov.my.