Cumi & Ciki love Brickfields for many reasons, the main ones being, Peter’s Pork Mee, the Gulab Jamun Man , the famous Vishal Banana Leaf and finally Mr Chiam’s Pisang Goreng Stall. Oh, and the blind massage.. we must not forget the blind massage, but you get the general idea. We like Brickfields for innumerable things.
Having teh tarik during tea time and snacking on Malaysian freshly made cakes are part and parcel of being Malaysian. One of the snacks I totally kill for, is the famous Kuih Bakul from Mr. Chiam’s Stall in Brickfields. So what exactly is Kuih Bakul? It is a square savory cake made from yam, sweet potato and the sticky, sweet, brown nin ko. Nin ko is the famous sticky rice pudding that every good Chinese person knows and it is a must during the Chinese New Year season. It is offered to the Kitchen God on Chinese New Year’s Eve, so that the sticky and sweet rice cake in his mouth will compel him to report to the God of Heaven, only good things about the household he visited! Anyway, here at Mr Chiam’s Stall, this is done superbly well. The square kuih bakul is laid out and dunked in boiling oil, completely submerged and fried until it is crispy brown. When you eat this kuih you will find the molten nin ko still warm and gooey in the centre of the crispy outer yam/potato shell. It’s like a sugary, aromatic explosion of gooey delight as you bite into the savoury cake.The same goes for the goreng pisang (banana fritter) and the curry puff. The trick is in the heat of the oil – it should be hot as a furnace, and also the amount of time spent frying the snacks. Mr Chiam’s stall has it down to a fine art. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
If you arrive around noon, be prepared to wait.
The orders have already stacked up and it is best to place your own order and go and have a bowl of Peter Pork Noodles (just next to this stall) or cross the street for some ice-kacang/cendol.
The man prepares the batter and coats the snacks.The snacks are then deep fried.
This task is repeated and goes on all day until the snacks run out. He works as fast as he can, but it is not uncommon to hear impatient customers having a go at him saying “Why are you so slow, I’ve been waiting for over an hour!”
Deep frying the curry puffs.
Evenly heated, super hot frying oil.
“Dunk & lift and check that it’s browning evenly… and dunk again..” until the curry puff is golden brown and crispy on the outside.
The magnificent Kuih Bakul.
All the snacks are prepared in a shop lot on the 1st floor. This string you see that hangs from the top floor, down to the ground floor, is probably the most well used string on the block.
That is because, all the snacks for frying at Mr Chiam’s stall are prepared in the shop lot (on the top floor) and passed down to the ground in this basket.
There the young man in the blue t-shirt runs over to retrieve the contents from the basket and brings it over to the stall for frying. Ingenious and efficient, don’t you think?Add: Mr. Chiam’s Goreng Pisang Stall, Facing the YMCA, Brickfields, KL Tel: 012 617 2511