You may be familiar with the food court at Astaka Taman Tun Sardon, but wait until you see what the parking lot serves up during Ramadan. Colorful ice-cold drinks are the norm, best complemented by nasi kandar (Penang’s version of nasi padang, steamed rice with assorted dishes) and coconut jelly.
Thanks to the Indian-Muslim community here, you can breakfast with pasembur (sweet salad), roti jala (net bread), murtabak (meat-stuffed pancake), biryani (need we say more?), and a variety of colorful syrupy desserts. Food is a cross-cultural event between Tamil Indian and Arabic cuisine.
Around 60 stalls operate at this Ramadan bazaar, which extends all the way to Jalan Perak. Traditional Malay cuisine like nasi lemak (rice stewed in coconut milk), lemang (glutinous rice cooked in banana leaves and bamboo), ayam rendang(chicken stewed in spices), and satay (skewered meat) are classic finds here.
The sick deserve some sweet, and the bazaar near General Hospital caters to this sentiment perfectly. Bite-sized kuih-muih (traditional Malaysian rice flour cakes) are everywhere, so you’ll have your fill of traditional dessert. Our favorite is the seri muka, glutinous rice topped with sweet pandan custard.
Venture out of George Town and you’ll find this bazaar buzzing with your favorite local dishes. Huge cauldrons of curry are a typical sight here, along with fruit juices, traditional kuihs, and preserved dates. The menu tends to repeat itself among stalls, but it’s not as crowded as other bazaars, which means that you might actually get your choice of food.
This bazaar may be small, but don’t underestimate the Iftar fare here. You’ll find ikan panggang (grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves), popia goreng (fried spring rolls), samosas, curry puffs, murtabak, and the typical assortment of kuih. Your wallet will definitely end up emptier than your stomach.
Possibly the best Ramadan bazaar in town, Bayan Baru features nearly 300 stalls selling every kind of nasi—nasi campur (mixed rice), nasi Arab (Arabic rice) nasi tomato (red tomato rice), nasi kerabu (blue rice with side dishes), and nasi kandar. Finish your meal with some kuih lapis (layered rice-flour cake) and fresh coconut.
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With over 100 vendors, this bazaar doesn’t disappoint when it comes to variety. You can buka puasa (break fast) with every kind of chicken—ayam golek (roast chicken), ayam pandan (chicken cooked with pandan and wrapped in banana leaf), ayam percik (grilled chicken with sauce)—and a smoldering curry or two.
Enjoy grilled fish, cockles, and squid with your nasi kandar, as well as every kuih you can think of, including kuih dadar (sweet coconut-stuffed roll), kuih serai putih (green egg white cake), and kuih bengka (in every color). Fried donuts and spring rolls are also popular here.