Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When in Kota Bharu....

We were in Kota Bharu to attend a wedding last weekend (see previous posting). We were short on time but still wanted to fit in a retail therapy session. The locals told us the best place to go is what they call Pasar (market) Siti Khadijah. It was about 20-minute drive from the airport, no traffic jam but the streets around the market were mostly one-way, while finding parking was quite a challenge. We found the entire experience therapeutic. We're girls, my Mama and I, what do you expect? Enjoy the pictorial ride.

Ground floor: Wet Market (aka kitty haven)

This is the ubiquitous scene of the market. I've seen this on postcards and calendars. One of its kind.
Most of the traders are ladies. The buyers too. Men are usually in the background.
Yummm....fresh chicken...it's cheaper by 50sen per kilo than KL.
This lady sells keropok lekor, a sort of wet fish crackers made from fish and sago flour.
This lady has more veges at her stall....
....and also these offensive items - turtle eggs!!!
We caught another pawpawrazzi in action!

First floor: Dry Goods

Aaarrgh....my favourite....beef, chicken and fish floss. The Malay name is serunding. The meat is boiled, shredded, mixed with chili and spices, cooked until dry. Heavenly with rice or bread.
What have we here? Apparently, sweet banana chips!
Another local delicacy - sema - made of spun sugar and flour. Don't talk while you're eating it, lest you shower someone else with white bits of fluff.
Huh? Gold coins? No....these are chocolates wrapped in gold foil to resemble the currencies dinar and dirham.
More goodies for kids. Must say I like the packaging ideas. So creative.
Aha! Been looking for them for ages. These very colourful stuff is what we call Beleda - a sort of agar, coloured and dried in the sun. Very sweet yet comforting snack.
Second floor: Non-food Items

The roof of the atrium as can be seen from the top floor.
Any girls' heart will go pitter patter here....
There are colourful batik shirts for men too. Formal wear.
Oooh...so much bling bling....at the bottom row are scarves while at the top row are hand painted batik materials with intricate stones and bead work. Stunning.
Angelina's note:We couldn't show you everything because we didn't have enough time to visit every corner of the market. Pray for another visit. Kota Bharu is about nine hours away by car, an hour by aeroplane, a day by train from Kuala Lumpur. It's a loooooong way for a cat to travel. purrr....meow!

26 comments:

CaroScat said...

The scarves are beautiful! Those foodie pics have made me hungry :)

cacamarba said...

i wanna da gold coin..plsss..haha

Mr Puddy said...

My Mom like the fabric one ! She said That's amazing !!!
xoxo

Ezza said...

Dah lama tak ke KB....

Monyet King said...

Cat-o-baru ?

Rosmawati Yusof said...

Cantiknya batik ....

Aida Marie Mohamad said...

Great pix...meow! Add me on FB. I so segan to ask your name the other day at Nawwar's nikah. I was the chubby gal in brown :o)

Aida Marie Mohamad.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Caro,
Could you email us your snail mail address? Don't worry, we know about tough English Customs, we won't send you food. purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Uncle Cacamarba,
Only the gold coins? No problem. purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Mr Puddy,
The fabrics have interesting designs, they are handpainted batik on silk, usually comes in 4metre length to make a suit for ladies. You can't get that in Melbourne. purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Ezza,
Jom kita buat rombongan Cik Kiah ke KB. Kita boleh jadi tourist guide. purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Your Royal Monyetness,
Should have bought the kerepek pisang gulung for you. Would keropok be compensation enough? purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Rosmawati,
Kalau buat baju melayu Abang Madan pun cantik kan? purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Alah...Aunty Aida, kita takde FB, Mama kita tak kasi. purr...meow!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Sema and agar-agar jemur! My favourites! But going to the wet markets in the East Coast has become a depressing affair of late. The traders are still openly selling turtle eggs. This is because they claim that these are the eggs of green turtles/Olive Ridleys from Sabah, which are not protected. There is no way of proving or refuting their claim, so the turtle egg laundering continues unabated. The only way we can manage and mitigate this problem is by enforcing a nationwide outright ban on the sale and consumption of turtle eggs.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

CO78,
My Aunty Ayu who works in turtle conservation is doing a good job in Trengganu but we're not sure if Kelantan is under her jurisdiction. Do you know that it's actually haram to eat them? But many people still do. It's yukky enough to put us off. purr...meow!

Brad said...

Yummy !
The foods & spices look and sound delicious. Do you like hot spices ? I love them, even etra hot.
The clothing and scarves are magnificent, all that by hand !
I enjoyed this great post and would love looking and smelling everything.Did that sound vulgar? Hope not, but I can smell food a mile away.
Brad

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Heya Brad,
Oh boy! We wish you're not thousands of miles away. I wonder when will Blogger introduce "smell" in blogging technology...only nice ones though. purrr....meow!

Oskar said...

It looks like an amazing place to visit! What fun.

Nubbin wiggles,
Oskar

LP said...

Beautiful market filled with so much eye and nose candy!!
The hanging cloth is lovely to look at as are all the colourful packaged sweets. It must have been enjoyable to speak to all the merchants about their goods, too! :)


the critters in The Cottage

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Oskar dear,
You would enjoy this place too. purrr...meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Cottage Felines,
It was a cacophony of sight, smell and sound! Oh, and the locals speak in a dialect that's kinds singsong... purrr...meow!

Kitcaboodles said...

Oh wow that place looks heavenly, I would spend a fortune!!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Kitcaboodles,
We did! It was therapeutic for the senses, not for the purse though. purrr...meow!

somuffins said...

Just last week I had that candy floss, sema namanya kah? Sedap sbb ada manis dan masin 1%.

Before eating it, I make sure I nyah all the flour there is.. Geli aaah makan dgn tepung tu, hehee..

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty CS ni banyak bebenor geli nyer. Tak adventurous gitu. purr meow!