This dish is named after its the main ingredient, Cendol , short strands of cooked dough made with green pea flour and the green juice of pandan leaves. It is served with shaved ice and plenty of fresh santan (coconut cream) and gula melaka (palm sugar). Cendol can be bought from wandering Indian hawkers who sells the cendol from a giant pot; this was always a welcome treat especially if the weather is very hot.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to buy a decent bowl of Cendol. Good food start with good ingredients, and in the case of Cendol, here's where things can easily go wrong. Most commercially available cendol is made of an agar-like substance rather than green pea flour, they look like cendol but taste of nothing at all and no matter how much you chew, you can never quite get them soft. As for the other two ingredients, tricks abound to compromise their quality. Santan has to be freshly squeezed from freshly grated coconut. Some people do not mind using pre-packed santan. Well, most cendol stalls would go further and dilute the santan with milk or just rice-flour water, villains. The third ingredient, gula melaka, is almost always contaminated with other cheaper sweeteners like white or brown cane sugar. One version at a Best cendol sellers among others are Peranakan restaurant Auntie Lee in Malacca, another at a famous cendol stall at Jonker Street, also in Malacca, and finally an upmarket, higher-priced version at Madam Kwan's in Bangsar.