Ramadan marks a month of fasting before Hari Raya Aidilfitri, but it's also an exciting month of festive food bazaars and special buffets set up for the grand and hunger-busting occasion of breaking fast. In an indecisive daze of hunger trying to decide what to eat and where to go? We're here to help.
1) Bukit Bintang bazaar, Kuala Lumpur
Bukit Bintang in the capital city is legendary and more than validates its status as a culinary hot spot during Ramadan. Try the chicken biryani (saffron chicken rice), tender cuts of lamb roasted over charcoal flames at the bazaar stalls, or head to Alor Food Corner for a hot bowl of tom yum soup and steamed chilli lime fish
that are worth the visit alone.
Jalan Raja Alang, Chow Kit, 50300, Kuala Lumpur
2) Bangsar Ramadan bazaar, Kuala Lumpur
Bangsar bazaar is for the grilled food lovers. Ikan bakar (grilled fish) is a firm favourite, but so are the ayam bakar (flame-grilled chicken) and sotong bakar (barbecued squid) offerings. Definitely save some room for desserts like the putu piring, a caramelised sugar rice cake.
Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100, Kuala Lumpur
3) Jalan Makloom bazaar, Georgetown, Penang
Moving away from the country's capital, there are also Ramadan bazaars to be explored in other Malaysian cities. Going further north to what many hail as the culinary capital of Malaysia, Penang's Jalan Makloom bazaar is a constant favorite every Ramadan. Snack on lemang (sticky rice roasted in bamboo) and apam balik (peanut pancakes) while enjoying the nightly festivities.
Jalan Makloom, George Town, 10150, Penang
4) Little India bazaar, Georgetown, Penang
The Little India bazaar located at Georgetown's Queen Street is for the Indian Muslim food lovers. Well-known Indian dishes like roti canai (fried flatbread) and samosas aren't to be missed, along with teh tarik (traditional pulled milk tea) and an array of Indian sweets like muntri cake (mixed nut cake), soan papdi (ghee milk cube) and badam peda (almond fudge).
Lebuh Queen, Georgetown, 10200, Penang
5) Bazaar Ramadan Mega Melaka, Malacca
Break fast in the historical port of Malacca with the town's signature Hainanese chicken rice balls, as well as ayam penyet (flattened fried chicken) and kuih lopes (sticky rice with grated coconut and palm sugar).
17, Jalan Solok Pantai Peringgit, 75400, Melaka
6) Perak Stadium Ramadan Bazaar, Perak, Ipoh
It's really quite impossible to miss the massive crowds flocking to the Ramadan bazaar located just outside the town's stadium for its karipap (fried potato or sardine puffs), ikan bakar sambal (spicy grilled fish) and refreshing packets of cendol (pandan jelly coconut milk drink).
Jalan Kompleks Sukan, Kompleks Sukan Ipoh, 31400, Ipoh
7) Stadium Shah Alam bazaar, Selangor
There's unlikely to be a location as busy as the giant Ramadan bazaar taking place opposite the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam once the daylight fades. Brave the crowds and find well-loved Malay eats like nasi kukus (fried chicken and curry rice), mee goreng (fried noodles) and beef rendang (dry beef curry). But that's definitely not all. Not to be left out are the other national multi-cultural dishes like Penang laksa, popiah (vegetable and meat rolls), pau ayam panggang (steamed chicken buns), and chilled air soya (soy bean milk).
Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor
8) Meru Ramadan bazaar, Klang, Selangor
The Meru Ramadan bazaar in Klang boasts a simple - but famous - treat in the form of a murtabak maggi (instant noodle omelette), with some obsessive fans ordering up to 20 packets at one go! Must be something to it.
Meru Town, 41050, Klang, Selangor
9) Jalan SS13 bazaar, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Enter SS13 bazaar with an empty stomach and it is impossible to leave before completely stuffing yourself. That's easy when the selections include the likes of nasi kerabu (blue herb rice with fried chicken) and a jazzed up version of goring pisang (fried banana fritters), which comes with cheese on it. We're ready. Let's go. Right now.
Persiaran Kewajipan, Ss 15, 47500, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Don't like crowds? Try Ramadan iftar buffets
OK, so Ramadan bazaar crowds aren't your thing. No problem. Ramadan iftar buffets are also a great option whether you're a local or just visiting.
Hotel Stripes' The Snug restaurant in Kuala Lumpur offers up traditional Malay food from the hotel's neighbouring dining establishments, which is fantastic for those after sampling the local food but without the time needed to run around to multiple restaurants.
5, Jalan Kamunting, Chow Kit, 50300, Kuala Lumpur
The Grand Hyatt's JP Teres also offers a Citarasa Malaysia buffet with culinary specialties from all over the country, with live satay grills and wok stations that keep things hot.
12, Jalan Pinang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur
Further south in Malacca, Novotel Hotels & Resorts is offering a 20% discount off its Selera Warisan Ramadan buffet at The Square restaurant, where the traditional dishes like kambing golek (roast lamb) and asam pedas (sour and spicy fish) are a particular highlight, which you can enjoy along with a ghazal (Arabic musical poetry) performance.
Jalan Melaka Raya 2, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000, Melaka
In Georgetown, the Olive Tree Hotel Penang's Selera Nusantara buffet serves up Malay dishes like ayam percik (spiced grilled chicken), Chinese delights like crabmeat char koay teow (wokfried noodles) and Middle Eastern specialities such as sharwama (grilled meat skewers).
76, Jalan Mahsuri, Bandar Sunway Tunas, 11950, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
There's no lack of buka puasa choices all across Malaysia no matter where you live or visit. While cash is primarily used at the bazaars, check out the special Ramadan dining offers you can enjoy using your HSBC credit and debit cards with the Smart Privileges discount programme.
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