For those who know us well, know that we are great fans of Cendol.. but what on earth is a Cendol Bakar?
After all, the weather in KL is so hot, so what’s there not to like about white, fluffy ice that looks like snow, shaved into a bowl, until it resembles a mountain of ice, followed by scoops of coconut milk with green strands of pandan-flavoured mung bean and finally a generous drizzle of Gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar syrup) right at the peak of the delectable ice mountain? Oh truly, when the weather is a scorcher, cendol hits the spot.
It was on one of our many excursions out, heading towards Kuala Selangor via the Latar Expressway, the Cumi noticed a little stall on the road that seemed packed with people. It read something about a Cendol Bakar. As we pulled up, we saw this really cute sign that said, “pandu lalu” i.e. “drive through”.
It was such a cute makeshift drive through that we chuckled at the creativity of it. Cars literally just pulled up on a dirt road, and a guy would run out and take the orders. Really cute! As for the order, you could choose from Cendol VIP (RM2.00), Cendol Durian (RM3.00), Cendol Pulut (RM2.50), Cendol Tapai (RM3.00) or even combinations of Cendol Tapai Pulut or Durian Pulut (RM3.50).
Apparently the place is called Cendol Bakar because they flambe the gula melaka over the arang (charcoal) before melting it down. This is supposed to confer a better, stronger (slightly bitter) taste to the palm sugar. To tell you the truth when we tried our Cendol VIP, it tasted good, but we could not really spot the difference in the “bakar” gula melaka. Still, you have to admit that it was a catchy name, Cendol Bakar.
The Cendol VIP had the customary green strands of pandan flavoured mung bean but also, corn, red beans, lemon basil seeds (looks like frog eggs) and coco de nata cubes. All these are pre-made and pre-prepared, ladled into plastic cups, awaiting the addition of shaved ice and coconut milk only.
The verdict. Not bad, but it didn’t exactly make out top 3 list. The flavour of the gula melaka was nice and pungent, but the coconut milk should have been thicker and creamier. It lacked that huge kick that we like, that leaves us in a food coma after eating a hefty bowl of cendol.
I don’t think they added any salt in the santan either – a must, if you are going to bring out the flavours in the dessert. No matter, the experience was still a good one, and we don’t mind stopping here for some Cendol Bakar, when we find ourselves in the Dengkil neighbourhood.
Cendol bakar.. beware the brainfreeze!
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