Up the junction…

I grew up in a wooden house a stone’s throw away from Simpang Tiga, literally translated as “three junction” as that was where three roads converged – in fact, I lived there till my late 20’s but today, although the name remains the same, it is now a roundabout and there are four roads instead of just the three previously.

There are many stalls lining the side of the road these days – I know there is one selling fruits and another selling fresh fish from Mukah and also some food stalls that probably only open at night. There is, of course, the popular Feri Kebab stall and the one on the opposite side of the junction that sells my favourite chicken wings in town operated by a guy who resembles M. Nasir and calls himself, Raja Simpang Tiga.

I heard that the pulut panggang at the latter was very nice so that day, I dropped by to grab a few to try. They cost 50 sen each…

ST PP

…but unfortunately, I did not think they were all that great and I certainly would not want to buy any of those ever again. For one thing, they were not lemak (rich, with the santan/coconut milk added) and for another, while some were all right, a few were overcooked and rather hard, nowhere near Kate’s though I am not too sure whether those really awesome ones are still available these days or not.

I remember that at one time, I bought some very plain-looking fried mihun from this particular stall and despite the lack of ingredients, it tasted really very good and for RM1.00, there was enough to feed the whole family. This time around, the mihun cost RM2.00 and it did not look like the one I had before. There was enough, however, for two plates like these…

ST FM

…and I could not resist adding my own egg and cili padi.

I also bought the char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles)…

ST CKT1

- also RM2.00 and equally void of any extra ingredients and I took the liberty of adding my own prawns, thinly-sliced omelette, taugeh (bean sprouts), sliced and pounded chili…

ST CKT2

…and needless to say, both of them tasted really good though I wonder what they actually taste like without all the extras. LOL!!! For one thing, I would say those noodles were very cheap, that I just can’t deny – if you go and eat the Foochow-style fried ones at the shop, you will have to fork out RM3.00 for a plate and there would not be a lot of ingredients either – probably bits of meat and veg that are hardly visible to the naked eye. Tsk! Tsk!

Now, these are definitely NOT cheap – our buah dabai, currently selling at RM30.00 a kilo…

Dabai

I wouldn’t have bought them, not at that price, but my mum mentioned in passing that the fruit had not appeared yet this year so I told her that I would go to the market the next day to check. There was one solitary stall with a little boy selling them and he said that they were good – and he wasn’t lying. They were indeed really very nice, so very lemak and we all enjoyed them tremendously – our first taste of dabai this year!

Incidentally, my girl was home last weekend and a few days before that, together with her colleague at their jungle/rural school, she had managed to bake some bread successfully…so she could not wait to bake some for us to try…

M's bread 1

Oooo…it was truly good – soft on the inside…

M's bread 2

…with a very nice and fragrant outer crust. Everyone loved it and I do hope she would be making some again some time.

From what I saw, it did not look too difficult to bake, not at all, I would say. Well, at least one could be sure that there were no preservatives nor whatever chemicals and stuff added and besides, at RM2.80 for a sandwich loaf, the plain white ones, these days, it certainly makes more sense to bake one’s own.

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23 thoughts on “Up the junction…

  1. So they should change the road’s name to Simpang Empat. There is one town by that name in mainland of Penang.

    So your daughter baked delicious bread! I must bake them too with the rising cost of petrol now. I am crazy over special breads with lots of brans, cereal and nuts inside.

    It’s not the name of the road – just the junction…and I think it is thus called verbally. No name before – we just called it like that – dunno if they have named the roundabout after somebody. Never bothered to take note.

    I wouldn’t say it is cheaper to bake your own bread though…but of course, minus all the preservatives and what not used, it is definitely healthier.

  2. Gotta LOVE bakey/crusty type foods every once and a while!

    Loved it – nice change from the extra-soft and at times, mushy sandwich bread we get at the local bakeries.

  3. With your add on, the mihun and kway teow looks a whole lot better. Bread looks soft and nice. Melissa has got the talent in her.

    They were great…but with the prawns added, I guess the kway teow wasn’t exactly all that cheap after all. LOL!!! :D

    Nope, Melissa’s bread wasn’t soft…or maybe a bit on the inside – hard and crusty on the outside. More like those French baguettes at Giant, not like the buns and sandwich loaves from the bakeries. Really nice – something different for a change and best of all, no preservatives!

  4. Never tasted dabai before… none over here!
    So Arthur, you don’t have to buy bread anymore…learn it up from your girl and take oven fresh bread whenever you feel like it! :)

    Come to Sibu when it is in season – you can have a dabai buffet – go from stall to stall and sample one each…and at the end of it all, full already – no need to buy. LOL!!! :D

    Ya, I did not watch her bake the bread that day…as the mum was fluttering around and you know mums…yak…yak…yak…so I kept my distance. Just waited for the time to eat. Hehehehehehe!!!!!!

  5. I realized even the “economy fried beehoon” are getting more expensive, from less than RM1 to like RM2 here, yours at RM1 is still acceptable to me.. I love fried beehoon..

    Mine’s RM2 too…but cheaper than eating the cook-to-order ones at the shops.

  6. the other day I bought a packet, just a stall with a table outside the station and was charged RM5!! holy jesus!! though huge portion enough for two, and she insisted to add on some bland veggie and spring roll, I will never go back again, expensive and not nice at all!!!

    Now, THAT’s expensive. Here, it’s RM3.00 at the Chinese stalls…but more expensive at the Malay stalls, maybe RM3.50 or more…but not up to RM5.00…just yet. :(

  7. Oh. you’re making me homesick. T.T
    My mom told me nowadays people making pulut panggang using oil and less santan. that’s why it looks so oily and taste less of lemak. You remember char koi Pak Jack? It was popular at that kampung also.

    Nope. Not into Malay yew char koi…but there was a very popular stall at Bandong, frying on the spot…and I saw Chinese people buying bags and bags of them – I suspect they buy cheap and take somewhere to sell for a profit.

  8. wow RM1 mihun and even now if it’s RM2, it’s still affordable. Tell that to the Europeans and they will stare at you in surprise.

    Indeed!!! That’s dirt cheap to them…and RM1 was a long long time ago when my maternal grandma and aunties in the kampung were still around. Would be absurd to expect to get that price anymore.

  9. Pulut panggAng ask WK mom make la.sure a lot of inti. Sui sui tua tua pui pui ones :)

    We don’t go for the ones with inti here – what we look for is…must be very lemak and cooked to perfection – not overcooked, the outer part hard…and yet, must be cooked well enough so that it will have the panggang punya wangi. That’s why when I buy I would usually take and smell first…which would put my missus off. She thinks I’m so disgusting.

  10. What’s a buah dabai ? How does it taste? @.@” Looks like century egg to me LOL

    In Hokkien, they are called, “or kana” (black olives) so they’re our local version of the olive – very lemak, good source of olive oil which, of course, costs a bomb – the imported bottled ones. Some say the flesh tastes like avocado… Just one of the many things we have here that are not found in the mainland…and many mainlanders do not know anything about.

  11. Back then, there was a mak cik selling this pulut panggang nearby my school. Didn’t even bother to buy it…don’t like the smoky taste..ehhehe

    That’s the attraction…like the wok hei in fried kway teow and stuff.

  12. i liked reading your first paragraph … a little glimpse into your early years. it’s nice to learn these little pieces of where someone came from :)

    I sure have a lot of pleasant memories, growing up in the vicinity.

  13. Oh, you add ingredients to the noodles you bought! My grandparents used to do that when they bought the Malay style rojak. They will ask for more more gravy and add cucumbers, hard boiled egg etc. So, will you be baking bread then?

    Must learn from my girl first… ;)

  14. Dabai fruit indeed expensive these days. And its seasonal. But I tak pandai makan :-p
    That bread must be very nice when it was freshly out from oven. Spread some butter + a cuppa coffee!!

    Yes, also nice if we put back in the oven to reheat/toast a bit. Crunchy crust.

  15. I prefer to bake on my own. With the breadmaker…its a bit easier but there are some weekends that the whole works of kneading etc is quite fun and worth the effort when one enjoys freshly made, low sugar and preservative free bread!

    Not really into bread though many in the family have their own breadmakers – never felt like buying my own but looking at how easy it was when my daughter made it, I don’t think one would need a breadmaker really. I would agree that it would take away all the fun – like how I would stick to my old lesung batu and simply would not use a blender. It’s therapeutic!

  16. Where is this Simpang Tiga? Kampung Nangka?

    Never mind the pulut panggang or mee hoon, give me dabai anytime. slurp slurp!!

    Yup…the beginning of Kpg Nangka, if we consider the end to be at Sg Antu, RTM there. Let’s see if I can get hold of come nice ones – send by poslaju evening time, arrive next day…maybe still ok, no?

    • No no no..please don’t. I don’t think by the time i receive it will be good. Need airy, stuffy will make it worst. Better don’t waste the money, i will have my way to get it. hahahaha. Thanks!

      Ok. Not really in season yet. Hope I will strike TOTO…and I can just fly over to send to you personally. Pray hard, ya! Hehehehehe!!!!

  17. Hi STP! When I read your “our first taste of dabai this year!”, it made me smile. For two reasons. One, dabai being one of my fav things to eat, the other being I too had my very first taste of durian in months. I was told it’s still early for full-blown dabai season but you are lucky that you have them there and we don’t. :( But at that price, it’s probably a treat?

    You had dabai? Where? In KL? Wowwwwww!!!! You sure are lucky to be able to get hold of some there…

  18. Never had a fresh dabai or chinese olive before, but the preserved ones is preety creamy too….
    it’s a gift from my fellow friend on Sarawak

    Ya, can only get them in Sarawak. You like the preserved ones? Gee! That’s an acquired taste – not for me but they use it to fry rice and that seems very popular.

  19. I was also previously scared to make bread but now not any more. Its just a matter of knead it and letting it rest, ingredients are cheap but it takes time and effort… anyway, home bake bread always taste the best… the smell when it comes out of the oven is superb!!

    Yes, it certainly looks like that is all there is to it – quite easy, really.

  20. Pingback: We belong together… | ...Still crazy after all these years!

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