KOTA KINABALU: One stall stands out from the rest at the bustling Asia City Ramadan bazaar here, where locals and tourists queue for their choice of local bites for sungkai (breaking of fast).
Customers keep coming back to the stall run by Zanariah Mustari, 30, for its kuih mee maggi ayam and apam Penang.
The two delicacies, she said, are her mother’s creations and have been in demand every Ramadan since 2001.
Zanariah uses 200 packets of instant noodles to make the kuih mee maggi ayam (chicken-flavoured instant noodle in deep fried batter) everyday.
The apam Penang is a steamed dessert filled with groundnuts and sugar.
It resembles a small, green curry puff and Zanariah’s customers have nicknamed it karipap hijau.
“Although we prepare a lot of these snacks, they are sold out everyday,” she said, noting that hungry customers make a beeline to buy the bite-sized snacks.
The stall is also known for selling kuih rangin, a classic Sabahan kuih made of grated coconuts, glutinous rice flour and sugar.
It is difficult to prepare and is not available at other stalls.
“Traditionally, it is cooked with charcoal fire, but we steam it.
“People also come to our stall just for kuih rangin because it’s quite hard to find it at Ramadan bazaars these days,” added Zanariah.
Another crowd puller at the same bazaar is the popular teh tarik Dhaka, a crafty twist to the Bengali milk tea which is typically tea prepared with milk, sugar and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon.
Trader Rosiah @ Aisyah Tullah, 36, said in a local twist, the loose tea leaves are brewed for two hours before condensed and evaporated milk along with cincau (grass jelly) are added.
“It always sells out. We can sell three full containers of the tea, or 300 small cups, daily,” said Rosiah, who also sells air jagung Klebang (Klebang corn drink).
The Asia City Ramadan bazaar is among 20 such bazaars in Kota Kinabalu, where an estimated 1,000 traders sell a variety of food and drinks.
Visitors looking for sungkai food can visit the bazaars in Sembulan, Lintasan Deasoka, Wisma Merdeka, Indah Permai, Kingfisher, Giant Kolombong, City Mall, Manggatal night market, Inanam Point or Sulaman Central, among others.