The streets and roads of Indonesia are often teemed with anything from batik fabrics, gorengan (deep-fried fritters), and mass-produced souvenir keychains. Fruits are also commonly on sale; from sweet, crimson strawberries in the higher altitude regions en route to Tangkuban Perahu, to sinfully decadent mangoes on the streets of Jakarta.
My family and I came across this interesting-looking fruit while travelling from Puncak to Bandung in West Java, Indonesia not too long ago. Hanging in bunches on roadside stalls, it was hard not to notice the eye-catching shades of green, yellow, and tangerine sheen of these fruits.
Our ever-friendly guide Mr Toto (above), informed us that this fruit is, in Bahasa Indonesia, called sawo belanda (pouteria campechiana). Despite its mango-like shape and appearance, it was rather rich and tasted similar to that of the orange variety of boiled sweet potatoes, and had a considerably waxy and slightly fibrous texture. That being said, it became unfortunately cloying and rich, and had us reaching for our bottles of water after a few bites.
Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable fruit-snacking experience by the side of the heavily plied roads.
Sawo Mentega (in Bahasa Indonesia)
Satay/sate (spiced meat skewers) from street vendors in Taman Perling, Johor, Malaysia – May/June 2014.
A street food vendor selling a variety of gorengan (deep fried snacks) and ice-cold beverages at Masjid Tanah, Malacca, Malaysia – May/June 2014.
A recent day trip to the southern Malaysian state of Johor yielded yet another round of good food; paired with the great company of fellow food-loving family members.
A variety of piping hot gorengan on sale within the Kip Mart market complex
No trip across the Causeway would be complete without a proper dinner – especially when they have so many eateries scattered all over the state.
Below: Dinner at 6 Corner Senibong Seafood Restaurant
An innovative – but sinister-looking – contraption used for cracking the shells and claws of the crabs
I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve visited Malaysia; be it for a short trip or for a stretch of 4 to 5 nights. The warm hospitality, friendly town folk, and current exchange rate (at the time of this post, it stands at SGD 1 : MYR 2.55) favours our wallets as well as our hearts and tummies. To add to that, the mountainous greenery and farms along the highways are a sight to behold; as compared to the ubiquitous urban and concrete metropolis where I come from.
The country also boasts a huge number of roadside stalls and street food stalls; selling everything from gorengan to denim jeans and durians to kids’ toys. Being a sucker for unpretentious food, I think more trips to Johor as well as other Malaysian states will be in the pipeline for many years to come.
The final stop before heading home was along Gold Coast. My family and I were armed with a rented people-carrier, making it easier for us to travel – and of course, finding good food in and around the area.
Tweed City Shopping Centre Food Court
Menniti Seafoods, Tweed Heads
Seafood Platter + Chips
Never-ending pile of Chips
In and around Gold Coast
Sam’s Homemade Seafood Pasta
Hot Chocolate – Robina
Weekend Barbecue – Point Danger
Movie World Buffet Restaurant