Off the bat, I like the metal bowl and metal spoon used. It always make the cendol concoction feels colder. Love the coarsely textured shaved ice too but the green cendol jellies tasted a little too salty. And it was not because of the santan (coconut milk brew).
I regretted not specifying “Kurang Manis”(less sweet) as some regulars did. Lessening the palm sugar can reduce the sweetness significantly. Not sure if it will do well with the saltiness of the cendol.
The shop sells its own complementary mamak rojak pasembor too. I tried it on a previous trip and it was quite good.
Panasonc Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f7.1, 1/200 sec.
#banting #cendol #dessert #shavedice #drink #ice #localfood #foodphotography #foodreview #smalltown
The traditional ice shaver used by mobile hawkers used to be the planing type made of wood and an embedded blade. I remember when I was a kid, the grab handle for the ice was a wooden ice pick with rows of nails to dig into the ice.
The hawket than slide the ice back and forth on the shaver as seen here.
Nowadays, almost all cendol and ABC sellers use a motorised electric shaver which is modified from the hand cranked circular version.
People used to the soft and finely shaven ice from machines nay not like the course and unevenly textured shaved ice from the manual hand powered process. I like it though. It has more character.
The chief cendol barista at Cendol Ibtahim Banting was still using the old fashoned method, from some 50 years ago, when the stall started, but curiously there is no nail embedded ice pick. He held the block of ice with his bare hand when I was there.
Don’t be shy about going close. This is a famous hawker and he is used to cameras in his face. He is also chatty and friendly.
Panasonc Lumix GM-1, ISO 200, f10, 1/200 sec.
#banting #cendol #dessert #shavedice #dronk #ice #localfood #foodphotography #documentaryphotography #smalltown
Kow Po is that famous family-owned ice-cream parlour in Bentong. I tried their cendol (icy dessert of green jelly in coconut milk, sweetened with palm sugar) this time and was delighted to find a scoop of pandan (screwpine) flavoured ice-cream on it.
While home-made ice cream is their signature product, part of the appeal of the place is the old-school containers and high-back diner-style chairs of the 60’s. The place is also quite dark, perhaps harking back to the dimly-lit coffee-houses that served as courting venues during yesteryears.
There is also a Malay lady selling some killer nasi lemak and rojak for which I didn’t try. On weekends, there are literally busloads of people lining up to get in.
Map and directions to Kow Po in Bentong: http://www.mycen.my/kow-po-ice-cream-bentong/
Warung Ais Krim Kow Po, Bentong Heights, 28700 Bentong, Pahang. Tel: +609 222 1258
Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f4.5, 1/50 sec.
#pandan #cendol #icedessert #kowpo #icecream #bentong #pahang
Known was Air Batu Campur (mixed ice) or ABC locally, the icy dessert is found across Southeast Asia in different variations. Hitz Cafe of Tanjung Malim serves the traditional Malaysian and Singapore version.
It is shaved ice with assorted jellies, beans, nuts, maize, sago seeds, topped up with evaporated milk and rose syrup. Ask for ice cream, if you fancy.
ABC is also Michael Jackson’s monster hit when he was 11. I can’t remember if he sang ‘ABC’ in his 1996 concert in Malaysia but I still wonder if he had ABC during his stay here.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4 1/125 sec.
Iced dessert from Kak Jah’s Cendol stall in front of the post office in Kuala Kubu Bahru. I poured Nescafe Ice into a take-away pack and it tasted pretty cool.
Photography Tip: It is possible to do nice food photography at a roadside hawker stall. It can be done without any additional equipment but it requires a systematic approach.
Survey the ambient light before finding a seat. Note the direction of light, plus the shadows and highlights it will cast. Then, choose a table and seating position in relation to that.
Travel food photography is not about climbing on a chair (blogger-style), taking a overhead shot and tagging it as #foodphotography.
It entails an understanding of light that you cannot control. Harness the existing ambient light and use it to shape the food or to highlight its textures.
What if the light is really bad? Don’t bother, then. Just enjoy the food. There are no laws compelling you to post every meal you had.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/320 sec.