Malaysia is a food paradise. There are many food centers in all areas of the
cities and in all housing estates. These centers cater to the multiracial
peoples of the country. People have keen and discerning
taste and appetite for good food and the popularity of a stall is spread by word
of mouth. In my housing estate, one stall has received this status.
the food centre was renovated and is now a bright and airy place with quite a
large number of stalls. There is a good variety of food that caters to all
palates such as Chinese noodles, chicken
rice and duck rice, cakes and snacks and Indian food like 'roti canai', saffron
rice with curry as well as Malay food such as 'nasi lemak' (coconut rice) and 'satay'
(meat kebabs). There are also stalls selling hot and cold drinks, desserts and
fruit juices. The food centre is very crowded especially in the mornings and
during lunchtime and also at the weekends. Some people come to buy their
breakfast, lunch or snacks to take into the offices, while others sit at the
tables to eat.
This one particular stall selling snacks is very popular. It is owned by two
women who do a roaring trade selling deep-fried local snacks. They are there
very early in the morning kneading, rolling, cutting and deep frying the shaped
dough sticks, spring rolls, battered yams, red bean cakes, tapioca, bananas and
sweet potatoes. The fried dough stick is very light and moist and the batter in
which the pieces of yams and potatoes are dipped in makes the cakes crispy and
tasty. Two young assistants, a lad and a young girl, assist them to take orders,
bag the food for their customers or serve those at tables. Queues of people wait
eagerly to be served daily.
A framed certificate at the front of the stall states that the stallholder
was recently awarded a certificate of excellence for good food by a food critic.
The stall always looks clean and hygienic. Random checks are made by inspectors
from the Ministry of Health to monitor and ensure that hygiene standards are
One Saturday, Mother and I had our breakfast there. As it was a weekend, the
stall was busy and there was a long queue formed when we arrived. It took the
better part of an hour for our food to arrive at our table. We had ordered some
fried red bean cakes and Mother had spring rolls served with chili sauce. The
food arrived fresh and hot off the pan and was delicious. It cost us RM10 and
was well worth the wait as we both enjoyed our breakfast.
When we were finished and ready to leave, I noticed that the queue up to the
stall was still just as long. I understood why it had received an
accolade for food excellence.
It is an asset and convenience to have food centers easily accessible
catering to everyone's dietary needs as we live such busy lives and may not
always have time to cook our meals. I know that it helps my mother at times when
she is busy or unwell and is unable to prepare a meal for us at home.