Going bananas!

Pn Kamisah Ali frying bananas at Mawar Cafe

At Mawar Cafe, what you see is what you get!  Those fresh, plump bunches of bananas that you see hanging from pillars and beams around the stall will go into the pan for you.  That’s why customers keep coming back to enjoy an afternoon cuppa with a bite of their favourite piping hot pisang goreng or fried bananas. 

Pn Kamisah Ali serves only superior quality, whole, ripe and unblemished bananas from banana species like pisang tandok, pisang nipah, pisang nangka and the preferred top-of-the-range, pisang rajah.  The king of bananas, fried pisang rajah, is the choice of discerning customers who enjoy its ripe natural sweetness and fragrance.  Even though the batter recipe may be a common one, Pn Kamisah said that her secret is in the technique of mixing the batter.

Johor-style of eating fried bananas dipped in spicy sauce!
Fried bananas at Mawar Cafe are served in a distinctly Johor style, with a spicy black sauce dip.  So when in Johor, do as the Johoreans do.  Just sink your teeth into freshly fried bananas lightly dipped in spicy sauce for a taste of perfect crisp that gives way to sweet and tender fruit with a hint of chilly.

‘Pulled’ tea and coffee or teh-tarik and kopi-tarik and even teh-halia or ginger tea, all go very well with a snack of fried bananas and sweet potatoes, tahu sumbat, nasi lemak, nasi ambang and a range of local kuih.  

At peak hours, it’s quite a challenge to get a seat in the little stall because regular customers come from as far as Singapore, Mersing and Kluang.  Sometimes the crowd can be quite overwhelming but your patience is worth every bite.

Located opposite the Sri Gelam football field along Jalan Sungai Chat, close to Dataran Johor, Mawar Cafe is open daily from 12.00noon to 6.30pm except Public Holidays. 

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets in December 2008

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