Malaysian Pride: Cold Sweet Cendol

cendol

The clamour for the dessert’s propriety continues.

Cendol the cold saccharine dessert recently was the talk of the town when a certain international publication accredited the delicacy to a neighbouring country instead of Malaysia. Netizens riled up in full force, not only posting their discontent on their Facebook pages but also expressing their unhappiness with the news outlet’s statement.

Nonetheless, no matter what outsiders may think, Malaysians know that we indeed have the best varieties of cendol in almost all parts of the country. We are proud to say we have tried some of the best cendol in the country and we’re letting you in on our culinary adventure right here, city by city.

Penang

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul cendol

Where else would you find droves of locals and tourists alike lining up no matter rain or (intolerable) shine for a bowl of cendol? That’s exactly what fans of the Penang Famous Teochew Chendul do here every day the stall is open. The cendol here is so famous that the dessert has been immortalised via a mural right above the stall.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Jalan Penang,
10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol

Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol

Dating back to the year 1940, Ansari Famous Cendol is one of the pioneers of cendol scene in Taiping, having been operating since before independence, when the railway workers from the nearby Taiping Railway station would visit to quench their thirst after gruelling hours under the sun. It was founded by one Abdul Kader and has been passed on to the third generation cendol-maker in the family.

Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol

So renowned is Ansari that as years went by they officially added the word Famous to their name. They even opened a second branch a stone’s throw away from the original stall to accommodate the high volume of customers, especially during holidays, when locals and out-of-towners come out in full throng in search of cendol.

Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol
Wrapped in banana leaf, the glutinous rice is grilled until its just crispy enough.
Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol
Wrapped in banana leaf, the glutinous rice is grilled until its just crispy enough.
The glutinous rice and kidney beans.

Now, let’s talk about the taste. Although some may say a cendol is a cendol, there are some varieties when it comes to the local dessert depending on the maker. The signature delicacy at Ansari comes with the staple – green worm-like rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. You could also throw in some of usual options such as the kidney beans. However, what makes this cendol stall unique is the addition of grilled glutinous rice that is cooked in banana leaf. The crispiness of the slightly charred pulut perfectly complements the sweetness of the cendol broth, and all is well in the world.

Ansari Famous Cendol
92, Jalan Barrack,
34000 Taiping, Negeri Perak

Cendol ‘Abang Kacak’ (Handsome Brother)

Originally known as Wawasan Cendol, this humble cendol stall is now better known as Cendol ‘Abang Kacak’ since going viral  for the attractiveness of the owner’s son who mans the business. The stall is set-up in front of Thean Chun Restaurant on a three-wheeled motorbike. There are a variety of cendol to choose from, including cendol kacang (red bean), cendol jagung (corn), cendol lengkong (grassjelly), cendol pulutcendol with Nata de Nenas and cendol with Nata de Coco. The price of cendol here ranges from RM3 to RM4.50.

Klang Valley (Honourable Mention)

Gerai Minum Weng Kee

Source: ahlianahbeng

Located in the historical food court Medan Selera Jalan Othman, Gerai Minum Weng Kee was serving cendol for more than 40 years until their recent closure due to the retirement of the husband and wife owners. PJ-ites and Malaysians from other parts of the valley who have tasted the cendol here would rave about its taste and unique presentation. The cendol here comes in a cup, layered with all the decadent ingredients of cendol and topped with an ice ball drenched in gula Melaka. Pure bliss. RIP cendol Weng Kee. It’s legacy lives on here.

Source: Foursquare

Malacca

Min Chong Hygienic Ice Cafe

In Malacca, a place to visit for a decadent bowl of cendol is the peculiarly named Ming Chong Hygienic Ice Café, along Jalan Bunga Raya, a street that was once infamously known as gangster’s paradise. At first glance the café may come across as any other hole-in-the-wall, but within its walls it holds history of more than 70 years.

Here, rough blocks of ice are shaven into wafer-thin flakes for the ais cendol using a cast-iron contraption that has been passed on from the shop’s founder, the father of the current shop owner.

The façade is humble, even retaining the yesteryear signage style. The walls are lined with framed photos of visiting politicians and other local leaders, alongside newspaper cuttings that speak of Min Chong’s icy goodness.

Min Chong Hygienic Ice Cafe
43, Jalan Bunga Raya,
Kampung Jawa, 75100 Melaka

Sarawak

Cendol Mami

Similar to the gula Melaka that Malacca is famous for, Sarawak is renowned for gula apong or palm sugar, a no-so-secret ingredient that is essential to most of the state’s desserts. No surprise but gula apong is also the must-have on the local variety of cendol here. The place to visit is Cendol Mami in Kuching and there opt for the cendol tapai, which comes with fermented rice on top.

Cendol Mami
1, Q309, Taman Melati 2,
93050 Kuching, Sarawak

Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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