Side of the road…

If you’re driving along Brooke Drive here in Sibu and you see a sign directing you the Rejang Park Shopping Centre, do not imagine that if you go that way you will find a shopping mall or something like that. What you will find instead would be a few blocks of shops, a wet market and a closed-down cinema complex (but there are shops on the ground floor, still very much alive and kicking). You would have seen some of my earlier posts on some of the nice food that we can find there including this one which sells my favourite kompia in town.

A long time ago, there used to be a stall by the pavement/five-foot way of one of the blocks of shops and they would do the frying on the spot – things like chai peah (vegetable fritter) and or koi (yam cake) and at the same time, they would sell all kinds of cakes and delicacies that people would make at home and leave them here to sell. Then, the town council, in an effort to keep the town clean and spruce up its image, put a ban on frying by the roadside so that was it. They still continued their business and have done so to this day but there is no longer any frying done.

I was in the vicinity the other day and I stopped by to see what they had. There were lots of things available and in the end, I decided to buy some steamed chai koi for tea…

Chai koi 1

They’re only 40 sen each and I remember that the ones I bought here a long time ago were really very good. One way to judge whether it would be good or not would be by looking at the skin…

Chai koi 2

If it is translucent and you can see the filling inside, then they should be good. The skin must be thin yet firm but not tough or rubbery. I found the skin a little bit thicker this time around and they were no longer as generous with the filling as before. Still, it tasted pretty good and was well worth 40 sen, I would say. You can check out the ones made by my blogger-friend, smallkucing, here. I bet those would be so very nice, absolutely prefect! Hint! Hint! LOL!!!

Moving on from there, I stopped by another stall a short distance away, also on the pavement along that same block of shops. There, I saw these curry puffs that looked very alluring indeed…

Curry puffs 1

If I remember correctly, I used to buy some very nice curry puffs here but that was a long time time ago. These were not really cheap though – RM1.20 each but the pastry was very nice – baked, not fried and very well-done and the filling was nice too…

Curry puffs - inside

…except that there were mostly all potatoes.

Well, if you are in the area around 3.OO p.m. or so, you can drop by these stalls to see what they have to offer. I would say they do have some very nice stuff that may appeal to you…and lately, there is yet another stall under a canopy where you will find some people frying keropok lekor (fish crackers), banana fritters, spiral potatoes and so on which makes me wonder – has that old ruling that people are not allowed to fry stuff by the roadside lapsed and is no longer applicable?

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36 thoughts on “Side of the road…

  1. arrived medan safely via train at 9pm… long day, departed from estate at 5am with the muddy roads and wat not… managed to sut 1)nasi padang, 2) charsio pau 3) bak pau… yummy

    Mamakucing making steamed chai koi…waiting for you in KL or not? ;)

  2. Ooooh….I love the chai kuih. A friend of mine here knows how to make and I always enjoyed it but sadly she has just moved to Canada…..sob sob. The curry puff looks really nice. I actually don’t mind just all potatoes….nice too.

    Dunno how to make the skin – the filling, no problem…something like our popiah filling. Must try to make my own curry puffs one of these days – I love shortcrust pastry a lot more than puff pastry.

  3. The chai peah is it the same as the chai kueh where we have the mengkuang filling or the ku chai hua filling? My late papa loves the chai kueh with ku chai filling.

    That’s chai kueh/koi, steamed…chai peah would be the deep-fried ones, I think!!! Not a fan of kuchai though…not find of the smell.

    • Oops 7 early 8 early didn’t read chai koi-ly but saw the word chai peah instead. 1001 apologies. Huh kuchai got smell one kah? Oh-uh there goes my nose. Heard they are not good for health in the sense it will re-activate those past sickness in the body. Good for you no lost haha.

      They say it detoxifies – that is why it brings out all the old illnesses and ailments and gets rid of them. Same thing with radish – pek chaithow/white carrot. Both has a smell – will eat, not a big problem.

  4. Back in the old days when office was at Komtar there is this Indian guy who always come around tea time to our office with a basket of curry puffs. His curry puff a bit different for the rest got tambah onion rings. Using a fork he pushes the onion rings right into the curry puffs. Ho Ho Ho Chiak.

    That’s the guy we saw in Penang that time…or another one?

    • Nope. That’s was in the early 80’s each time this Indian man would shout “curry pop curry pop” haha

      80’s…the Indians here would be doctors, teachers…or army officers…and a sprinkling of locals. :)

  5. Laws are made and are meant to be broken haha. Not eating too much fried stuff after seeing the color of the oil. No doubt Bananaz can’t tell the color but it just don’t look.

    I’m not crazy about FRIED curry puffs – would go for the BAKED ones only…usually.

    • Soli don’t even know the difference between fried or baked. Only know how to chiak chiak chiak haha

      Fried ones are usually a bit oily. Stand on a kitchen towel for a while and you will see the oil stain… :(

      • RM1.20 is considered cheap. Back in Penang 10 years ago was waiting for my change after paying the lady RM1.00 and she was waiting for me to top up another 20sen, very the paiseh lolz

        Penang city mah!!! Sibu small town only, people not so rich…cannot charge too much! ;)

  6. the chai kuih looks nice but then why you didn’t snap a photo of the inside to show us the stuffings?? i would love those sengkuang, carrot, dried shrimps, black fungus inside..

    That’s what they have inside…maybe minus the black fungus – didn’t see that!

    Btw, there’s a malware warning in your blog, do you realise that? Can’t log in to comment till you get rid of it.

    • aiyah, i like that combination lah.. so nice, and especially if dip with chili sauce (not from the bottles you bought but those homemade chili sauce)..

      In my house, no problem… My missus will always have a jar of that in the fridge and she will make sure it will never run out. No kissing after eating! Garlic! Stinks like hell! Muahahahahaha!!!!

  7. RM1.20 is rather not cheap for those curry puffs, and they don’t look big either.. hmmmm, what do you expect?? lots of chicken pieces in the stuffings?? of course not, nowadays curry puffs are all potatoes (mostly), unless you get yourself curry chicken puffs which are at least RM3.00 a piece then you may see some chicken pieces.. hahaha!!

    They’re big all right…maybe almost palm-size or 75%, at least…and yes, I would love chunks of beef or chicken inside. Ya hor!!!! The cheese curry chicken pies, those heavenly ones at that other place – RM3 each and lots of meat inside. Sigh!!!! Too expensive for the likes of me lah…poor ol’ pensioner! Sobsssss!!!!!

    • actually i’m quite ok without the chicken or beef pieces inside.. in fact when i eat curry chicken i only eat the potatoes and not the chicken, haha!! those RM1 for 3 pieces curry puffs are nice to me already.. yes, still can get RM1 for 3 now just outside the LRT station…

      We have here!!! The Malay ones – RM1 for 3…and you have a choice between potatoes or sweet potatoes orveg and the lady at the stall I frequent will tell me which the nice ones are – more curry fragrance, more spicy etc…but they’re fried! And I want meat…meat…meat!!!!! :(

  8. The curry puffs here are sold at AUD3 each! But they’re quite big and stuffed with chicken and half an egg each. I have to always remind myself not to convert the currency or I will end up not buying anything here! LOL! Btw, I thought keropok lekor is fish crackers instead of prawn? :)

    Oops!!! Did I write prawn? Gee!!! Let me go and check and edit that! Thanks, witch. Ya…when overseas, never convert or you will definitely starve! ;)

  9. I need to revisit chai kuih because when I was a kid, I hated it :( That was because I did not like vegetables back then and of course a kuih with vegetable filling wouldn’t sit well. But I know that I will love it very much now. Ohh…curry puffs, can never resist those. There is a curry puff outlet here called Chan Kee that sell big curry puffs. Supposed to be famous and I tried some a while back. I thought it was just ok. The ones you bought, the skin does not look flaky.

    It’s shortcrust, not puff…and I like shortcrust. Would make it like that myself. Well, if you like popiah…then you will like chai koi, I guess. ;)

  10. 40 sen is still very cheap.. even in a small town in Kampar, they are selling at 50sen.. over here in Ipoh they are sold around 70sen to 1RM.. well, nothing is cheap here in Ipoh anymore! :(

    Same as Penang, Ipoh is a city mah!!! People there, all so rich one… Muahahahaha!!!!! Kampar is small…but I guess it is linked to the cities around – KL, Ipoh, Penang and gets the supplies from there…or somehow or other, prices of things there also get affected a bit. :(

  11. OMG, u making me drooling, by looking at it, i wish i could have a bite of it right now… keke…

    Bet you can get really really nice ones in Singapore – those nyonya stalls perhaps in places like Katong. These will definitely pale in comparison but as they say, beggars can’t be choosers. :(

  12. My late mom loved chai kueh and every other day she would make some variation of it.To me, the chilli sauce that goes with chai kueh is equally important and add that extra oomph.I like baked curry puff with flaky pastry and prefers sweetpotato than potato.However, very seldom you can see me forking out money to buy curry puffs especially if they are over a bucks each.Sayang duit..hehehe.

    Wah!!! No wonder you are so rich hor! Muahahahaha!!!! I’m ok with potatoes or sweet potatoes but I would want some meat inside… :( Lazy to make and once I make, I have to make a lot – not one or two…and missus would eat one at the most, guess who will eat the rest. Maybe will make when in a charitable mood, give to the whole neighbourhood. ;)

  13. 40sen very cheap. Over here 80sen to Rm1.

    Mine not good enough according to the boss. Must go cetak rompak some more recipe from Sonia

    Hahahahaha!!!! Good excuse not to make me any! ;)

  14. Chai kueh! Something I have missed a lot. I haven’t actually eaten it for a long time – it used to be a childhood favorite until I ate too much one time and got sick of it.

    RM 0.40 is really cheap! I’ll add this to things to eat when I come back even if they have it here coz I grew up with the Sibu ones! :)

    Must KIV this! No worries…will buy and send to your house – special delivery when you’re home…and whatever that’s nice as well. ;)

  15. Sigh, you know our rules. It will never stick around for long.

    I would always buy some chai kueh whenever I’m in the pasar malam. It’s lovely, and quite filling. Reading your post is making me missing it. The Ikea (deep fried) currypuff do have some chicken inside and it goes for 6 pieces at 5 bucks.

    Yalor…short term memory. Everything goes off with a bang but fizzles out just as quickly. :(
    There should be some pretty nice ones there, not here – they’ve good ones in Kuching though. I guess it is not really a Foochow thing so can’t expect really fantastic ones here.

  16. Oh, chai kueh!!!…love those with “kiam chai” fillings. I think those are Hakkas chai kueh. Yours 40sen is cheap. Here sell 70 sen. Best to eat with chilli sauce. Yummy!!!…

    I don’t mind a bit of kiam chai…but I’ve eaten some from Kuching – they overdid it – HUGE ones, too much kiam chao, too much hay bee…not nice lah!!! Sometimes it is best to be moderate and stick to the original recipe. No need to go overboard like that. Crazy people! :(

  17. Love chai kueh… I will always buy some at pasar malam here.. I found a good one from an uncle from Penang… his chai kueh has thin translucent skin and its full of fillings with a topping of fried garlic oil….. :)

    Thks for sharing SmallKuching link… am so gonna try to make these…. XD

    Good luck!!! I’ve had many nice thing sin Penang…but these Chinese or nyonya kuihs, I did not come across any decent ones, not at all. Been disappointed all the time…but I guess it is only because I did not know where to go. Bet they have some really good ones there…somewhere. Sighhhhh!!!!!

  18. though i think second one is better tasting than the first i think we can never set aside the fact that it seems yummy as well,
    and yeah i could see its filling inside which means it was surely tasty

    I would say both are good but it depends on the individual. All a matter of personal taste and choice.

  19. oh yeah i remember that pot of small kucing and i think she and her son did a pretty good job back them

    Ya…now she says the hubby said not pass. I’m sure it’s just an excuse to escape from having to make some for me to try. Tsk! Tsk! :(

  20. ooooh love those chai kueh and mom used to make them too for tea. it tasted much better with some homemade chilli sauce too.

    Ooooo…if only my missus knows how to make. :( No really good ones here – this is as close as it gets, so can’t complain – something is better than nothing.

  21. I like curry puffs. But sadly, most that I tried, the filling was sweeteedn with sugar.

    The Malay stalls? Seems they like it sweet…like their kuihs, lots of them a bit too sweet for my liking.

  22. any place that offers both potatoes AND hard-boiled eggs in their curry puffs? those are my favorite! :D

    Unfortunately, no. I would say that curry puffs aren’t all that popular around here, Foochow town. They have very good ones at one place in Kuching – had some just the other day but not much meat anymore either…and no, they have not started the practice of putting eggs in their curry puffs here. First time I had that was in Sg Petani, Kedah – nice…but the puffs were deep fried. Very oily… Double thumbs down!!! :(

  23. chai koi, yum! Not sure is it same as here, i think here the skin more thin, compare to the one that you post. Like i said, i don’t mind my curry puff with potatoes or with chicken. :)

    Flying tomorrow? Have a safe flight and enjoy yourself ok.

    Yes, will be off tomorrow… Don’t think you would want to drive all the way to the airport hotel, would you? Can’t bring anything for you then – next time perhaps? ;)

  24. Chai koi for 40 cents each is it expensive or cheap? Looks really really good… mmmm…

    By today’s standards for a small town like here, it’s ok – not really cheap. I think it used to be 10-20 sen each a long time ago. :(

    P.S. New here, I see. Welcome and do come again. :)

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