Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Thursday, September 09, 2004
Yesterday I could not post anything. Even comments did not work as expected. As Beta Blogger put it "Blogger was blogged".
Thus whatever that I wanted to write yesterday went with the wind.
Ideas are not like food. Some food (like pindang ikan patin with tempoyak) gets better when kept overnight. Some if kept overnight like food in certain shops will give you tummy ache. My late father had a simple test for this. He would ask the mamak for yesterday's curry. If the mamak brought it, he would cancel his order and walked out. One shop told my father they did not have yesterday's curry. "Semua sudah campur daa!" (It was already mixed with today's curry).

One place that we were sure of getting hot fresh food was at Pok Kadir.
Pok Kadir was a tall man from Malabar. He had little hair but lots of grey stubbles. He had a stall on the sandy river bank across the road where the old Kuala Terengganu Post Office was. At that time, that part of the river was not reclaimed yet. In our (my classmates and I) opinion, Pok Kadir made the best mee mamak ever. Thick yellow noodles covered with lots of eggs, camboh ( bean sprouts or taugeh), tahu, sotong, prawns and slices of boiled potatoes. Mee Mamak should not be called that without the sliced boiled potatoes. Pok Kadir also served rojak which is still memorable and incomparable. Had he lived today, he would have easily stolen the patrons of that rojak stall in front of the Damansara Specialist Hospital. It is sad that Pok Kadir's culinary secrets weren't exploited by his children. One of his sons instead chose to open a photo shop.

Another favourite place of ours was Sumbu's. He sold air batu kacang or ice kacang on the road in between Kedai Biang (Trengganu's Robinson at one time) and the Chinese Temple in Kampung China. For all my 3 foreign readers , Ice kacang is a bowl of shaved ice sweetened with syrup and milk. Underneath the ice are all kind of goodies. These goodies make or break an ice kacang.

We could not determine how this Chinese gentleman got his name. Sumbu means snout and badak sumbu is a rhinoceros. I guessed we were too captivated by his ice kacang to bother about his nickname. His ice kacang had buah kabung (attap seed), red beans, black belde (jelly or cincau), biji selasih (basil seeds), roasted peanuts and other stuff which I now challenge other classmates to recall. The ice kacang was heavenly. More so in hot Terengganu when fridges were not a common fixture as they are today.

A few yards away was Mok Mek Ceranang's. Read beta-bloggers piece on this. What wasn't written was Mok Mek Ceranang's place was also THE place to bring your girlfriend. At that time, holding hands in Terengganu was a big no-no. It was ok for boys to hold hands though. It was not ok for a boy and a girl to meet anywhere in public places. There were no soda parlours or places like the old Green Grove in KL. So Kedai Mok Mek Ceranang was a perfect place for a rendezvous.

Mok Mek Ceranang's place was at the back of a book shop. I got a lot of my Mickey Spillane, Harold Robbins and smuggled copies of "Playboy" there. Thus it was easy enough to stroll into the bookshop and then slipped inside and wait for your boyfriend/girfriend. And it was cheap. Try having a date for tiga rial (RM 3.00) now.

Naaaah... they didn't cuddle or neck there. Mok Mek would be the first to berate you. She was a firm believer in proper behaviour. It was ok to slurp Mok Mek's "air dara" (air buah bidara - the drink that went well with ceranang) but you keep your hands off the virgins.

| 2:49 PM :: ::
64 CommentsOldStyle:
  • Talking about food in Terengganu one cannot avoid mentioning "nasi minyok ayang kapong" or nasi minyok laok daging" at "keda Deramang" in front of Plaza Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin or Jalan Tanjong. This is the shop where you can have a good breakfast Terengganu style i.e big meal. If you go there after 8 am you might not see anything left - abih licing. The best part is the shop attracts the local non-Malays as well. But pity in Kuala Terengganu like else where in the State the best foods are being offered in shops and stalls which will not quite pass the minimum standards. Look at "Kedai John" in Kolam next to Issac's old house or "Kedai Mokchoh" in Nesang Pat near Osman Ngah's house. These places are not even shops at all like "Keda Deramang" still they are being patronised by many. Perhaps the State Government should do something. It would be nice to eat really good Terengganu cuisines in shops that we can be proud of - good clean and comfortable - that tourists to Terengganu will talk about. The sad thing is they talk about how good is the "Nasi Dagang Chendering" but can we not expect these foods to be offered in shops that are similar in set up to say Burger King? Guana gamok.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 AM  
  • Good god! The Sumbu ice kacang really brings back good memory. I used to patronise this ice kacang place when I was a little boy. My grand mother used to live across the road from where Sumbu had his stall. Heard he is still around town but no more selling ice kacang. I believe he now operates a coffee stall at the Kampung Tiong hawker centre.

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