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Wednesday, 30-Aug-2006 01:42 Email | Share | Bookmark

Roti Benggali
Roti Benggali
Roti Benggali
Roti Benggali

(Estd 1928)
No 114, Jalan Transfer

Kalau anda dari Pulau Pinang, pasti anda tahu dimana Jalan Transfer dan apa yang istimewa disana selain dari Nasi Kandar. Pastinya Kilang roti Ismailia yang terletak berhadapan dengan sebuah Madrasah lama.

Ismaila Bakery is a very famous roti joint in Penang. They supply to most of the roti hawkers in Penang. These are people on bicycles with cabinets attached to the back. The mamak roti sight is one that you rarely see in KL anymore. Anyway, at No 114, Jalan Transfer, Ismailia Bakery was established in 1928. They've been there all this while starting from a humble wooden building which was renovated into the brick buliding it now sports in the mid sixties.

Roti Bengali is an old style roti about three inches wide and six inches long with a dome at the exposed top. I don't know why it's called Roti Bengali as the proprietor is neither a Bengali or from Punjab but whatever it is, this roti can rival any french bread anytime. It has a leathery but soft outer crust but once the bread is sliced, you can smell the engaging aroma of freshly baked flour. It's white bread is soft, moist and fresh. Really delicious! I guess that all those years of experience really shows.

You want to see the kitchen? C'mon.. let's go in and find out what makes this bread Ismalia. The flour is mixed in a huge mixer but the to preserve the quality, the buns are kneaded by handlah. The best thing is that all their roti's are baked in deep old fashioned ovens. And you know what?…. They are still using chopped firewood as fuel to bake the hundreds of roti on metallic trays. Wallau! That explains a lot about Ismailia's delicious bread.

One roti is charged at 80 cents. Normally you don't buy one. It comes in sets of two. For two person's normally four roti is just about enough. You can't eat the bread at Ismailia as they are not a cafe so they will 'tah pao' (wrap) it up nicely for you to scurry home. The thing is they've got two sets of wrappers. If you are not local or new to Ismalia, they will wrap your bread in plastic bags. This absolutely spoils the bread as the moisture condenses on the plastic and ruins the crust. Instead, ask them to wrap your roti in paper wrappers which are more tolerant of the moisture. If you like roti manis, their's share equal praise with all the rest of the roti's.

Eating your Roti Bengali. Sometimes in your busy life, you just need to wind down. Have ready some slices of roast chicken and roast beef , salads, butter, cream cheese, sliced sweet Holland onions, mayonnaise and not forgetting a cup of ice cold coffee. Make a roast chicken sandwich, have a munch and a sip of coffee while watching the sunset from Batu Ferringhi. I think Ismalia has earned Malaysia a grand title. We now have the capability of baking Bread with World Class Standards.

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