Noise of haggling and market traders, the hustle and bustle of a wet market has remained unchanged over the years.Your senses will be overwhelmed by the sights and smells but this has been the way the locals in Malaysia shop for food. Meat is sold on big slabs open to the elements Housewives will prod and poke pieces of meat before they get the butcher to cut them the required cuts. No chilled glass counters or meat packed in artificial oxygen filled packs here. Clucking chickens are live in their cages, waiting to be selected, killed and plucked by the machines standing by nearby. Malaysian like to see that their food is fresh. In the most part, provenance of the produce is secondary to freshness.
You can buy everything at the wet markets, from plastic toys from China to strange Korean fashion, fresh fruit and veg to cooked food and stalls selling home made Malaysian snacks and cakes.
Look at the awesome butchers block here!
Today, I’ve just dropped by the market to buy some fruit and to have breakfast. Breakfasting at the wet market is not to everyone’s taste. The environment is not for the pampered as the tables and chairs are rudimentary and not always clean. There is no wait staff. You order your food from the myriad of stalls, bags a seat at a table, sometimes sharing with strangers and wait. Meanwhile the local coffee shop man comes along to take your drinks order.
I’ve ordered the curry laksa with kuay teow, which comes with the standard fried tofu puffs, pig skin and unusually, pork balls too. To drink, a Kopi O in a retro coffee shop cup and saucer. Thick black Malaysian coffee, over sweetened. A taste that conjures up memories.
If you are a grazer, the market is a joy as you meander through the wet and narrow lanes to find the stalls selling freshly made apom balik, nyonya kuih, poh piah and all sorts of other small bites.