Monday, October 20, 2008

Hari Raya Bazaar in the city

I received an invitation email a couple of weeks back to the Hari Raya Bazaar organized by the ladies of PERWAKILAN New York ( Ladies' Association of the Permanent Mission of Malaysia in New York). I was kind of excited about the whole concept, it's pretty much going to be like those regular bazaars that we have back in Malaysia during the ramadhan month. The thought of home cooked Malay food made me decide that we HAVE to go check it out.

We headed to the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the U.N. on East 43rd St at about 2:30pm. The bazaar was supposed to be from 1-5pm. The minute we entered the banquet hall, the familiar smell of spices, curry and everything good about Malaysian food just hit us. For a moment, I totally forgot that we were in New York City, but it felt like walking around the Taman Tun bazaar back in Malaysia. Even Kevin noticed that familiar smell and commented that it smells like Jelutong (a mamak near my parents house in PJ).

There were about 10 different stalls selling various kinds of Malay food and desserts. They had nasi lemak ( with sotong rendam, sambal ikan bilis and chicken rendang), lemang with beef rendang, laksa johor, mee rebus, fried meehoon, nasi dagang, cucur udang, satay as well as yummy desserts like lepat pisang, pulut inti, sago gula melaka, a few different kinds of bubur and a host of other things.

The layout of the banquet hall was set up with stalls all around the sides and long tables right in the middle. In my opinion, the hall was way too small for such a big event and there wasn't really much space for people to move around, let alone get a seat at the table. Below is a photo of the people standing in line at the Nasi Lemak stall, wayyy too many people :P

By the time we arrived ( about 2:30pm), the food was almost gone. The bazaar was supposed to be from 1-5pm! I guess we must be a little bit more 'kiasu' and turn up at 1pm the next time around. Maybe the organizers should look into a bigger venue and more food next year :D

Overall, I think that it was a good effort by the ladies. It's a great way to introduce authentic home cooked Malaysian food to our American friends as well as giving us Malaysians the opportunity to get a lil dose of 'home' when we are so far away, in a foreign land. I will definitely look forward to coming back next year for more!

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