Let’s go around the town…

Most of you would know from my previous posts that my friend, Ivan, was in town and since he was staying a bit longer this time around, I was able to take him to places that he had missed on his last visit to Sibu.

Of course, I had to take him to the Bukit Aup Jubilee Park and he loved the place – very nice, very clean and very well-maintained, he said…

A touch of ethnic culture

…and he enjoyed feeding the fish there…

Ivan in the park

Being young and energetic, he went up the hill and when he came down, he showed me the photographs he took while he was up there including his panaromic shots of the bird’s eye view of Sibu town. It seems they have a lot more uphill and one would miss all that unless one walks up the steps all the way to the top. Ah well! I’ve seen the photos so I guess I can give it a  pass. Hehehehehehe!!!!!

After that, we drove to the other side of town to the Lanang Bridge and there, I spotted this restaurant…

ChuangYang Sibu

Everyone has been telling me about it and I have seen lots and lots of photographs that they have shared all this while on Facebook of the food that they ate there.

However, I never bothered to go there as it is out of the way – on the other side of town and for years, they were doing some construction works along the road to this place and at night, it would be dark and very dangerous with all the speeding 4WD’s and SUV’s. Well, the road is completed now – very nice, very smooth and I found out that they open for lunch from 10.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and for dinner at 4.30 p.m. till 11.00 p.m. Hmmm…seeing that they open so early, I guess I can go there anytime for an early dinner before it gets too late and too dark to venture in that direction.

They have lots of photographs on the wall of celebrities who had visited the restaurant. I do not really know who they all are but I know this lady – Lai Meng, I think her name is…

Celebrities @ ChuangYang 1

…and I hear the guy on the right in the photograph below is a well-known foodie with a string of food shows on tv to his name…

Celebrities @ ChuangYang

…but I simply MUST share the aforementioned photograph as in it, you can see the celebrated, though infamously expensive, freshwater fish from upriver in Kapit or beyond – the empurau. Believe you me, it is worth its weight in gold and the huge one in the photograph must have cost a fortune.

They have live fish here…

Fish alive

…so I guess that would be an indication that what ends up on your table would be very fresh.

This is what I thought was the tapah…

Tapah

…which is very nice and more affordable (though not exactly cheap) than the empurau and in most restaurants here, this is what you will get if you order steamed fish for your dinner. I hear there are two types – the freshwater river one which is a whole lot superior to the ones they catch in the sea. However, somebody commented and said that it was the belida which makes very good fish balls. Thanks, Joe, for pointing that out – I’m not so good with fish, names and all…

Well, what did we have for lunch there that day? You will have to come back tomorrow to find out… LOL!!!

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36 thoughts on “Let’s go around the town…

  1. I’m guessing that empurau in the second photo is somewhere around RM 7,000 coz I’ve seen one just like it bought by my ex’s father (the one tattooed on my wrist) who’s a huge fan of the fish. It’s about the same size. Heh.

    Ridiculously priced, I’ve only eaten it during special occasions.

    Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this restaurant too – wanted to go once too. Let’s go next time I’m back, might be sooner than expected. My treat this time. :D

    Bukit Aup, ah…I’ve missed that place. So many memories. ;)

    Sure, sure…can’t wait! If you come back to see my post tomorrow and what I had there, you would definitely be back sooner than expected. I would want to go and eat that again. Hehehehehehe!!!! Hmmmm…I wouldn’t ask what memories you have of the park… LOL!!! :D

    I had the empurau for lunch recently when I was in Kuching. Somebody gave it to my uncle (from Kapit) and he cooked it – it was nice of course, but I would not rate it by the K… Would rather pay less for the other less glamorous local freshwater river fish, really.

  2. These type of fish, better don’t venture and order.. or perhaps ask the price first before ordering… if not, we might end up paying thousands of ringgit for one fish.. hahaha.. just like one time in The Star, the group of men had to fork out RM18K for one dinner!!
    So nice of you to take Ivan all the way.. I am sure he had a good time in Sibu.. scenery and food!!

    He most certainly did and he said he would come again whenever he can. So, when are you coming? So many places that you have been to, so many things you have not eaten yet…Come! Come!

    Ya…I would not even bother to ask…much less order when it comes to this kind of fish, not even the other more affordable types. Will stay safe with fish fillet – usually much cheaper.

  3. Fish….I am not good at them either. If you put me in a room with lots of different fish, I can only identify one : ikan kembong LOL! I should walk around the fish section at the supermarket and learn all the varieties and names. I love to eat fish though especially fried fish.

    Me too! Love fish but not too good at names – I know tenggiri, bawal hitam and putih, keli, terubok…and our freshwater river fish – the buris and even that, there are some similar looking ones so I would have to confirm with the fishmonger everytime. :(

  4. Oh love feeding fishes too. You also young and energetic must not lose out to them mah. Soo lang boh soo ting..hokkien.

    No lah! Must grow old gracefully… Old Ford, no way can compete with the latest models one? Like those old people, exercise…play badminton…think they are still so young – and then they drop dead on the spot! I wouldn’t want that to happen.

  5. I been there few times for dinner,but the food is just so – so…..

    So-so and you went a few times? Gee!!!! I guess it is pretty near where you stay… We thought the food wasn’t bad – not the best in town but good enough. Maybe there were not many people when we went – only 3-4 tables including ours. I hear they get very crowded at night. But I went there especially for one thing – and it was really very very good! Can’t wait to go back there for that again. You’ll have to drop by tomorrow to see what that is… ;)

  6. I also don’t know much about fish. But, just two of you, don’t order such a big fish, medium size one would be sufficient.

    No lah…sometimes, they serve in slices depending on how many people they are. They would not give you the whole fish when there are only a few of you.

  7. huh?? you just leave him to go up the hill and explore himself, so you waiting for him downhill enjoying your bowl of kampua noodles?? tsk tsk tsk.. eih, must exercise more lah, slowly walk up the hill and enjoy the scenery, and that very nice fish pond..

    No, no kampua there… I just relaxed, sat around there enjoying the nice fresh air of the countryside (quite far from town)…and checking my blog & facebook on my mobile…while he went up on his own. He’s more understanding than some people – did not force me to go up with him. Hehehehehe!!! ;)

  8. wow, all the gastronome and celebrities flocking to that restaurant!! did you also take a photo with the boss?? hahaha.. oooh, that empurau fish, heard that it’s very very nice!! i wonder did Ivan get the dish and paid for the bills too?? keke~~ :p

    Oh no…we did not order that empurau. Would have to be very rich to be able to afford that! No, this meal’s cheaper, Chinese chu-char kind of place mah…so I beat him to it. Hehehehehe!!!! ;)

  9. wow.. I certainly do Not want to fall into that pond.. the amount of koi fishes are just amazing!!

    Wah.. so the restaurant has been visited by Lai Meng and Tou Tou (HK Sek Kar)! I guess the empurau is not called ‘Wang Bu Liao’ in chinese for no reason cos you certainly wont forget the fish after you eat it… lol

    can’t wait for the next post… XD

    Yaaaa…I will not forget how many RMK I would have paid for it… LOL!!!! No worries! They’re not piranhas…and you’re not fat and juicy like me. Hehehehehe!!!! :D

  10. Ya…that’s our famous local celebrity Lai Meng yee…, the other old veteren on the right has passed away. The photo below..ya..he’s the popular foodie in HK..my gawd..the way he eats…really scares me..
    Why is that ‘empurau’ so expensive ar?? I will certainly ‘wang bu liau’ bcos of the price then the taste. HAHAHA!

    LOL!!! That explains his round big belly! Hmmm…I wonder if mine is like that too. :(

    The empurau – the meat is so soft, so smooth, so succulent…tastes like heaven (but quite a lot of bones though) and of course, it is in heavy demand – exported to Singapore, KL and dunno where…and so the price shoots up lor! Even the locals will not get to eat as they cannot afford (unless they catch one themselves) and anyone who catches one would not want to eat it and would sell it…to get the money!

    • True oso….if I would to catch 2..I’ll eat 1 (for the sake of experiencing it) and the other one..will sell it. Hahaha!

      There are three types – empurau, semah and tangadak.
      A friend gave me the semah a long time ago:

      http://suituapui.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/precious-and-few/

      and we had the tangadak at a dinner once – my friend’s treat…

      http://suituapui.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/pleasant-surprise/

      All so nice, eating gold! Slurps!!! LOL!!! :D

      • I did not know how rare those fishes are until I graduated overseas and started working in Johor. Mum used to steam one during Chinese New Year and my siblings and I just refused to eat due to too many bones.
        My parents will ready one for us whenever we are back to Sarawak and we only know how to savour them now that we have grown up.

        Ya, the bones are such a pain. I would not go out of my way to eat, much less when I have to pay thousands for it. In the past, we used to have these at Chinese banquet dinners – slices of a huge one, not one whole big fish, of course…but later, they became quite rare…or too expensive. Besides, when “snow/Alaska fish” came to the scene, many would prefer to have this instead.

  11. I love the 2nd photos. The amount of fish is amazing. My boy will love this place. I never had the empurau before, wondering how it taste. It must taste heavenly by the price of the fish.

    It does…but for that amount of money, I honestly think I can live without it… Come, come on over…bring your boy – he’ll love it here!!! ;)

  12. Bukit Aup, my boys love that place too, feeding the fish, and climbing up the stairs..with me chasing behind..tsk tsk tsk..My mum like you, she will sit there and wait for us. ahhahahah..one thing i don’t like there, too many mozzies!!!! My hands and legs kena kissed so many!!

    FINALLY you went there, Chuang Yang!! I think i know what you have?? Their famous dish and it’s a must order? Remember i told you, we order TWO instead of ONE? hahahahhah…

    You so fair mah…skin so smooth, must be very sweet. Muahahahahaha!!!! We went in the morning so it was ok, none around…or none that was interested in this old man’s tough and rough skin. ;) You followed them to the top? Hmmm…thank goodness you are fit and works out at the gym! Hahahahaha!!!!!

    You had TWO? Come tomorrow…and let’s see if we’re talking about the same thing. :)

  13. that’s a lot of fish haha i guess i would also love to feed those

    That is what everyone who comes here would do – buy the fish feed from the stalls there and feed the fish…

  14. Koi fish, that’s alot and so beautiful. We do have that at Friendship park too and I love feeding them. Am not good at fish names but common fish, ok lah.

    I guess most of us are like that. We know it when we see it but we do not bother to learn their names.

  15. If I am not wrong, this is the place where you bring Shereen when she came over to Sibu.

    Yes, and Mandy & Yee Ling & her two daughters too but I think I only shared the photos on Facebook.

  16. STP, that Bukit Aup Jubilee Park, is that the one with a hanging walkway/bridge? If it is, this must be the one I visited too. Nice place, alright, but a lot of walking to do though. Lots of fishes and we could buy packets of fish food at the little shop nearby to feed the fish, which I did.

    Yup, that’s the one! So you went up the hill then. Ivan crossed that bridge, he said… There is now a cultural village opposite the park but it was not open. Only opens 2 p.m. onwards on weekdays and 9 a.m. onwards on weekdays. We were there in the morning on a weekday. When were you in Sibu? Too bad we did not get to meet…

  17. You asked me to come back tomorrow.

    Such a fishy post, cheh~

    Like tv series mah, must have cliffhanger ending so viewers will come back the following week to watch the continuation – this isn’t so bad… You’ll see the ending tomorrow. LOL!!! :D

  18. ooo, i’m pretty sure i’ve never managed to taste empurau before. but i hope to someday! i guess for a special occasion, a very, very special occasion :D

    Come on over. If the restaurant has any, they may be willing to serve in slices – steamed. Very nice also and you will not have to pay so much, compared to having the whole fish. No need to wait for your very very special occasion. ;)

  19. Saw a TV foodie program that a kilo of ‘soon hock’ fish is about RM300. Me not good in names also but now slowly beginning to explore by going to supermarket where they put up names of the fish. The tapah fish looks cool with the hump like 747 plane, both aqua dynamics & aerodynamics haha.

    Not too sure what soon hock is but I have had that before…also very popular here for steamed fish dishes e.g….along with others like tapah. Not too expensive – should be able to afford and enjoy for special occasions.

  20. LOL…you can have your own TV show also la. Kinda like the foodie

    Oh gosh!!! Am I that fat too? Omigawd!!! Must go on a crash diet now… :(

  21. Empurau value is its weight in gold? Whoa! That is a very expensive fish STP. Maybe I can only afford the Empurau that is smaller than my little finger. :-P

    Tsk…you didn’t climb up the hill. That should be a good exercise for you. :-)

    The smaller ones, the locals will keep and eat themselves – no market value but also very nice. I’ve had that before when I went to a small town very very far upriver. Climb? I don’t even walk…no, thank you. Muahahahahahaha!!!!

  22. The fish jumps up to reach for the fruits…that’s why so freaking expensive.LOL!!

    Is that so? Where did you see that? All I know is the wild boar in the jungle will eat the fruits and with the fruit season right now, this is the best time to eat them – very fat and very nice.

  23. Used to have that fish at home occasionally but I was never a big fan of it. I’m probably the laziest eater so the amount of fragmented bones (thorns?) put me off. Never really a fan of the texture of the flesh as well. Much rather have cod (not halibuts which most restaurants back home are serving and claiming it’s cod). Empurau is definitely not the fish for me, maybe I’m just not posh like that! ;)

    Same here. Any fish with a lot of tiny bones will put me off. I had it the other day and I thought it was very much over-rated. It has its own smell/taste…like salmon which I do not really care for either. Cod is fine…but I’m not posh either, so I would very much prefer any of the cheap local fish or even the relatively cheaper fish fillet at our small restaurant sin towm (Dory, I think).

  24. That HK foodie is only tuapui…definitely not sui at all ;) Wah, like you, he also has good-looking makan buddies :)

    Where? Where? Don’t see any good looking people in the photos there? ;)

  25. Well, Ivan is a lucky guy! Haha, I mean he’s lucky to have you as a friend and tour guide~

    I tried Empurau before, erm honestly, the meat is so so to me only… Wonder why so pricey??

    I too am lucky to have him as my friend – such a very nice guy really but truth be told, anyone who came was accorded the same hospitality…and the same goes to anyone who cares to come as well. Most welcome, anytime! ;)

    Yup…I would not think the fish would be worth thousands either! Way over-rated!

  26. Art, you are certainly a wonderful host!! :)
    Oooo would love to have a meal at the fish-famous restaurant. I’m a huge fan of steamed fish, although i will not wanna spend a fortune on it. To me, a fresh fish of any kind that is steamed or grilled well is good enough. The rm30 (for 700gm) “sek pan” or normal garoupa i had last Saturday nite was so wonderful :)
    +Ant+

    Garoupa? Red garoupa? Not that popular here, I think. The flesh isn’t so fine, rather coarse if compared with other types of fish…especially the bigger ones. Maybe we may get them at grand hotel banquets – shortchanged as these ate usually expensive but not so nice and they will use garoupa instead of the other “more-favoured fish” around here. Still people are willing to pay for the class and prestige of the venue…than the quality of the food. I quite like it deep-fried though and served with sweet and sour or other sauces – much nicer than steamed.

  27. Oh! That’s a huge fish! I think I can finish eating that in one sitting! lol! Just kidding!

    If you have one, you have to finish it in one sitting. Steamed fish is best eaten right away…not so nice if reheated again and again…but this fish, they may cut into slices and steam slice by slice instead of the whole thing at one go.

  28. I’m also afraid to simply order these fish. I’ll usually ask for a rough estimation of the price first. I scared later I won’t be able to go home and will have to stay back wash dishes for the rest of my life :(

    LOL!!! Not worth the trouble…and not for people with kids. Those tiny bones are always a threat!!! I would not mind eating at home when one has all the time in the world to eat very slowly and carefully…and still, it is too much of a hassle. Would rather have something else. Certainly can live without this.

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  30. Hi, thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures. The pond of koi fishes sure amazing.
    The Empurau…. can only dream about it. So expensive and over price, when eat I think can get choke. LOL

    LOL!!! Ya, if you do not get one of the tiny bones stuck in the throat. No doubt, very very delicious but too expensive and too much of a hassle to eat. Ya….Sibu is really a very nice little town.

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