GEORGE TOWN, June 18 — It started with just a few stalls along the main road in Kampung Melayu in Air Itam more than 20 years ago.
There were just a few stalls selling drinks, kuih and rice but over the years, the number of stalls grew.
Today, there are over 100 stalls selling all manner of deliciousness; from rice to kuih to pasembur to multi-coloured drinks.
All the stalls have since been shifted into a covered space away from the main road.
Sarinah Omar, one of the original traders who was selling char koay teow at a makeshift stall, said the local authorities put up the large tent-like roof for the traders at the new space and rearranged all the stalls.
“There were only a few stalls then and now there are over 100 stalls with so many other char koay teow stalls so I have since changed to sell nasi lemak,” the 55-year-old said.
Most of the traders also have stalls elsewhere, in food courts and hawker complexes, but instead of closing for the whole month of Ramadan, they rent stalls at the Kampung Melayu Ramadan Bazaar.
Abdul Rashid Adam Shah is a pasembur seller who operates at the Tenaga Nasional canteen on normal days.
“The canteen is closed for a month so I rent a stall here during Ramadan,” he said.
The 52-year-old has been selling his traditional-style pasembur at the Ramadan Bazaar for the last 17 years.
His pasembur consists of the basic bean curd, hard boiled egg, fritters and shredded cucumber, bean sprouts and jicama.
“My pasembur is stil the traditional basic style without things like crackers, crab and other seafood,” he said.
The pasembur sauce is also a light sweet potato-based concoction that is lightly spiced and goes perfectly with the crunchy fritters and shredded vegetables.
The Ramadan Bazaar caters mostly to residents in the surrounding area.
Other than stalls selling Malay rice and dishes, the bazaar has a number of kuih stalls selling traditional homemade kuih such as kuih kosui, kuih pelita, pulut udang, kuih keria, lepat pisang and seri muka.
There are a couple drinks stalls offering multi-flavoured drinks to quench your thirst. Drinks like watermelon with milk, cincau, asam boi and honey lemon are the most common alongside more modern offerings like fruit smoothies.
The Kampung Melayu Ramadan Bazaar is open every year during the month of Ramadan.
Opening hours: 3pm-7.30pm