Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sungai Petani ice-blended – Hipster ice-blended stalls

Riverside food court next to the Sungai Petani taxi terminal

Yes, hipsters. Because they’ve been doing ice-blended before ice-blended became cool.

Lady Fartsalot just pointed out that technically, ice-blended is always cool. But you’re not going to be a smartass like her, right? Thank you.

Moving on.

There are a total of three stalls at the food court: two facing the river, one facing away from it.

They’ve been doing ice-blended since the ‘70s, long before most Malaysians have even heard of Coffee Bean or Starbucks and their ice-blended-latte-mocha-frappu-whatsits.

Every time we are in Lady Fartsalot’s home town of Sungai Petani, this is one of the places we will visit as many times as possible. Partly because it helps make the typically torturous hot weather in Sungai Petani a little more bearable.

Of the three stalls, our favourite is the one facing away from the river. Their drinks are significantly better, and taste like they have real ingredients in them. Some of the drinks at the other two stalls seem to have been artificially sweetened – so much so that it’s sometimes difficult to tell two different drinks apart.

Just to make sure you don't somehow go to the wrong stall, here's a picture of the one we recommend.

You can get ice-blended drinks made out of pretty much anything they have available: fruits, groundnuts, red beans… even Milo and Horlicks. Here are some of our favourites (with the Hokkien names in parentheses in case you want to order like a local).

Corn (Jagung Kar): Lady Fartsalot’s top choice, which I have dubbed the Cornado. Got Milo sprinkled on top as well. Nice!

Coconut (Iya Kar): My favourite to combat the heat. It’s got bits of coconut in it. Refreshing!

Red Bean (Ang Tau Kar): this, corn and groundnut are the top 3 favourites among customers, but neither of us like red bean so we never ordered this. This particular red bean ice-blended was ordered by Lady Fartsalot's cousin.

Horlicks (Hollick [yep, that's how my Hokkien grandmother would pronounce it] Kar): nice and creamy, like having Horlicks-flavoured soft-serve ice-cream. 

Groundnut (Thor Tau Kar): like ice-blended peanut butter… only better, because it tastes like the nuts have been roasted to perfection before blending.

(See Sua Kar): I offer you 3 translations for this Hokkien name. 

Direct from English: carelessly blended.

Manglish: Simply blended.

Most accurate translation I can think of: Blended with a grand total of precisely zero f*cks given.

Basically, they throw a random selection of fruits in there so it tastes different every time. I love ordering this just for the surprise factor when I take my first sip.

Another one we really like (that we don't have a picture of) is Milo. It's got Milo powder sprinkled on top and is probably the original Milo Dinosaur. It's also tastes extremely close to the Milo you get from the Milo truck.

Our favourite stall also has pretty decent char koay teow (for Sungai Petani). And don’t worry about missing out on the river view, because Sungai Petani (the river) is a nasty, polluted, foul-smelling body of water with a colour that ranges from black to brown to a diseased-looking green.

Don't let this image put you off the delicious, refreshing ice-blended drinks nearby! :D

But seriously, the river aside, these ice-blended drinks are one of Sungai Petani’s signature attractions. It’s a must-have if you ever visit this part of the country… if not for the experience, then at least to combat the scorching heat.

Snack-sized review
Some of the first people to make ice-blended drinks in the country. Can ice-blend anything from fruits to groundnuts to Milo. One of Sungai Petani’s signature attractions. Delicious, refreshing and pretty darn cheap.

Hours: Open during daytime. Go around lunchtime or teatime and you should be good.
Price: Average of RM2 per serving. Some items cost less, some a little more.

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