Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

Your comments & suggestions to make this blog your reference to all things KL would be very much appreciated.

Search This Blog

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brickfields Revisited - Toddy Shop

When I did my postings on Brickfields earlier, I thought that I had covered a good portion of the area.  As I was not aware of a toddy shop being there, I was surprised at a recent news paper report that the toddy shop is to be demolished to make way for development.  While at Brickfields, I thought I'd check it out.  I did have to ask for directions though.
The toddy shop is a little nondescript place at one end of Jalan Berhala.
I have passed here a number of times on my walk about, but as the place only opens at 10.30 a.m. I didn't notice it before.  The building looks similar to the one in Chow Kit that was around many years ago.
This is a Government Toddy Shop i.e. not just licensed, but owned and operated by the Customs' Department, a relic of our colonial past.
By the way operating hours are between 10.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m., so don't think of trying this place for some late night boozing session.
The furniture consists only of long wooden benches and table.
I suppose if regular chairs were provided, it would be easier to throw them at each other. (I know I'm being judgmental here, but hey, I'm no saint.)
Serving utensils are only plastic mugs.
I recall that in those days in Chow Kit, there used to be some enterprising people who used to rent out enamel mugs of various sizes.  The owners' sign and the rental price (5c, 10c etc) used to be painted prominently on the mugs.  Business was brisk during the evenings and every morning they had to pick up the mugs belonging to them 
There is a little temple attached to this toddy shop.
The sign says that it is the Sree Maha Kaliamman Kovil, Kuala Lumpur.

The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali.

It is interesting to note that some toddy is offered to the guardian deities there before the shop commences for business for the day.

Toddy is made from the sap of that oozes from the coconut inflorescence and is allowed to ferment naturally.  There is no distillation process involved.  Click here and here for some interesting photos.

Toddy is cheap, about RM1 per liter,  cheaper than what plain iced water (ais kosong) costs in some restaurants and definitely much cheaper than bottled water.  Is it any wonder then that it is the poor man's alcoholic drink of choice.

1 comment:

Raziff Lokman... said...

During the NCKL Brickfield's walkabout, we did some shots with 2 elderly here but not knowing it was a toddy shop ..no wonder those uncles seemed to be happy when we shoot on them...hahaha