His Majesty the Sultan’s Bday!

Another belated post.

For those who don’t know, just days prior to his birthday on 15 July, our beloved Sultan, amongst other things, called for the postponement of all celebrations that would involve huge congregations of people to minimize the spread of the Swine Flu.

Nightly stage performances at the padang in all four districts have now been put on hold, together with the dreams of little-town performers who’ve been practicing and waiting for months for their break to global stardom. I suppose they can wait a couple more months.

In Tutong, the plan was to have the foodstalls in the under-utilised multi-million dollar Tutong Pasarneka Complex (the Tutong tamu). I’m sure I’ve mentioned the place before, if not, that’s another post coming. More specifically the the “gerai jualan” have been located below the huge canvas structure that looks like a well-formed meringue. In principle this plan is excellent, making use of a beautiful complex that’s been used twice a week only hitherto, and providing excellent protection from the elements day or night. But the traffic and parking would be a nightmare!

Anyway, a couple of us went there tadi patang to hunt for “padang” staples.

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The famous Sotong Tutok stall

The famous Sotong Tutok stall

This Sotong Tutok stall is manned literally by the men of one big happy family. The dried squid is grilled over hot coal and then beaten to a pulp, and then poured over with spicy chili sauce (a family secret). The body part of the sotong costs you $1, while the more popular janggut (tentacles) $2. [Maurina, this was the one I was telling you about]

Bags of sotong tutok

Bags of sotong tutok

Another staple during perayaan is the Kacang Kuda (steamed/boiled chick peas). As with the Talur Kuda in my earlier post, I’ve never quite understood the association of the humble chick peas with horses. (But why are they called “chick” peas??) But perhaps because ignorance is bliss, or simply because I just couldn’t care less, I buy them anyway.

Kacang Kuda

Kacang Kuda

The perfect Kacang Kuda needs to be soft and should melt in your mouth, with a perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Due to the aforementioned postponement of “acara padang”, there’s a noticeable lacklustre feeling in the “gerai jualan”. What would normally be a collection of over a hundred foodstalls have dwindled this year to 15-20 only. And I’ve been told that crowds aren’t exactly thronging to the stalls during the “festivities” either. I sensed the vendors were only too pleased to see us five this evening – if with an equal amount of fear we might just
walk past them, which we did. I could almost hear groans of disappointment as we did.

Inside the meringue

Inside the meringue

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Permanent foodstalls

Permanent foodstalls

It seems to me that not even opening the permanent foodstalls till late (they normally close around 5pm), although a welcome move, could pull in the crowds.

Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed. In fact, kesian the high-spirited vendors coz I really don’t think they can make money at all. The venue’s great, but the atmosphere and the crowd are missing, unfortunately. At least the complex is getting used more often now.

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13 responses

  1. aaah..sotong tutuk..where does one go to eat sotong tutuk outside July ah?

    inda bah, do you by any chance know the difference between sotong yg warna brown sama yg warna putih? dua2 squid kan? are they different species or just different forms of the same binatang? (awalani i’m eating sambal sotong dpn laptop, so haha, trying to figure out if i can make sotong tutuk karang with the sotong i have left)

      • Fiz. dua2 should be the same. but the ‘putih’ one must be putih because of berandam in the pengambang sotong. All of them are brown when sundried. Jgn buang dulu eh! rasa dulu, if sakit parut, then it’s buruk. As a student I used to just gunting slices of un-kambang sotong into my maggi kuah. gives it some bite and flavour. did the same with lalap karing. coudnt be bothered to kambangkan or goreng.

    • Outside of July, you go to gerai Lily Eng di dapan sungai tutong, a place I call the Waterfront, sentiasa ada sotong tutuk yg famous di tutong tu, courtesy of the famous sotong tutok family featured in this post (yang semua lelaki from the family ikut menutuk).

  2. Though I kesian the food vendors, I get this weird feeling of relief when reading your post. So, I didn’t miss anything this July, did I? 😉

    • Kesian plg usul the paci2 and maci2 atu terkebil2 langap2 menunggu kastama. But yeah, ure not missing anything really. I think everyone’s kekajutan from the titah, so indada mood to celebrate. continue your shoping at fenwick.

  3. i hate reading ur blog tgh2 malam. mcm aku ani lapar ulihnya. and i now have instant craving for soft salted kacang kuda. u know they used to sell them in paper cones kan.mcm nyamannnnnnnn dulu2 atu.

  4. Mau. Ako pon. am doin the tikus mlm thing again and just ate a chocolate creme pudding. and now wishing i hadnt come here because now i want kacang kuda. eh u knw azam, when i was growing up i laughed at the fact that these were called kacang putit. cali wah! oh yes fiz, sutong tutok outside July? i would try pasar mlm di gadong.

    • i have an adversion to all Malay words ending with -IT. They are all rather vulgar and mcm words that are not very good. Go on… think of words in malay ending with -IT.

      Esuk ku makan kacang kuda.

    • Mau, all hunger pangs arousals are non-intentional. Yes you’re right about the paper cones. I actually dont like the plastic bags they use now cos they dont release the steam, jadi mcm over-kambang the kacang.

      Nikki, kacang putit? really?? never heard of it.

      Outside of July, Sotong tutok is available from Lily Eng foodstall di Gerai Selera Tutong (Waterfront).

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