Fortunate…

How fortunate I was last Thursday to be invited out for breakfast by my friend, Rose! Actually, she has already blogged about it here.

Well, she said she was feeling like having something fried and I remember seeing a photograph that a friend of mine shared on Facebook of a plate of yee mee (noodles) in tomato sauce gravy and it did seem really nice. I sent her the photo to have a look and she agreed that we could drop by to see if it was as good as it looked.

I got there first and I searched high and low…

The road

…but could not find the coffee shop that my friend was talking about. He gave me the location and I do know the place – the same block of shops where this place used to be but in the middle. Well, if it’s the one in the middle, then it would have to be this one…

Full Fortune Cafe

- the other one in the previous photo (Daisy Cafe), to the extreme right of the block, was not open.

In a couple of minutes, Rose arrived with her little girl – she was having the day off owing to the UPSR resit and needless to say, she was overjoyed by the fact that she had an extra two days off as a result of the leakage…but of course, many others were not at all happy over that most disgraceful and humiliating fiasco. Anyway, back to our breakfast, we decided that since we were already there, we might as well give this place a try…

Full Fortune Cafe - front

Rose had the Foochow-style fried noodles…

Full Fortune Cafe Foochow fried noodles

…and I ordered the tomato kway teow…

Full Fortune Cafe tomato kway teow

…from the stall at the back. We both liked what we were served just that I thought they could perhaps give a little prawn or two and/or sotong (squid) plus a couple of fish cake slices instead of only those few bits of meat. Actually, I would not mind if they charge a little bit more or perhaps, they could give customers the option to choose between the normal (what we had above) or the special and pay a little bit extra for the added ingredients. I’m not too sure how much they were that morning but Rose paid RM8.30 for both and I guess it might be RM3.80 for hers (which is the standard price these days here for Foochow-style fried noodles) and RM4.50 for mine…which made me wonder what would account for the 70 sen extra for what I had. The tomato sauce used?

Incidentally, something happened that I would like to give special mention to here. I placed the order before we took our seats at the table of our choice and the kway teow was served first – TWO plates of it when I had ordered only one. I said I had ordered one plate of kway teow and one plate of mee and the lady said that the mee was in the process of being cooked and would be coming out soon. She did not seem too keen on taking the extra plate of kway teow back so I said if that was the case, she could just tapao it for us to take away. Ok, we’ll stop here for a short break and I’ll get back to the story later. Hehehehehe!!!!

Rose’s daughter had the kolo mee

Full Fortune Cafe kolo mee

…from the stall in front and she said it was very nice, nicer than what she had here (and they went back for more the following weekend as they thought it was so very good!!!).

It came with the usual sliced chili in vinegar dip and they even gave the chopped spring onions and fried shallots…

Kolo mee chili dip & garnishings

…separately, something I had not seen done elsewhere before. This way, you need not add them to your noodles if you are not so fond of the garnishes.

This was the guy selling the kolo mee plus a whole list of things that you may fancy…

Full Fortune kolo mee stall

…but I’m afraid you can’t see it in the photograph. I noticed that the stall further in sold popiah (spring roll) but it was not open when we were there. We were told that she would cook her stuff at home and bring over so she would open a bit later, say, after 9.00 a.m. She did show up later but we were too full already and decided that we would give it a miss this time around and come back again another day to try.

Back to the aforementioned kway teow, we waited for the lady to bring it out again but it never came so we called her to find out…and she told us that it was all right – they would just take the plate of kway teow back and would not charge us for it. Wasn’t that nice? Nobody else was having that so they could not just serve that to them. I guess they would just have to eat it themselves but I must say that such gestures are definitely a feather in their cap – it is these little things that will keep customers coming back.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested, she told us that they also serve tom yam noodles with the giant freshwater prawns but I did not ask how much they are selling that for…and I’m not really into this, tom yam style. Perhaps the next  time I drop by, I will ask them if they do it any other way. For those of you who cannot make out the exact location from the first photograph above, that is the Everwin Supermarket in the distance, the one beside the Sibu Bus Terminal. Yes, the roads in this area are atrocious  owing to the sinking swampy land but if you drive straight ahead from the traffic lights at Jalan Pahlawan and turn left at Yum Yum Cafe, this coffee shop is in that lane in the middle of the block of shops on your right. They seemed to have resurfaced the roads around there so for the time being, you should not have any problem getting there.

Oopsss!!!! I almost forgot! Thank you so much, Rose, for the delightful breakfast treat. Would love to do it again sometime…before you and your family move back to Kuching.

P.S.:
For your general information, those of you who have not managed to get hold of a copy of the book…

Book
*Archive photo*

…can now browse through or download the e-book copy of it here:
http://online.3dpageflip.com/ptrm/jxir/

However, if you’re a local and you would like the hard copy for keeps, you can go to the Sibu Resident’s Office, 5th Floor of the new Islamic Complex (opposite St Mary’s Church) to ask for it – they will give you one but if you can tell them some nice stories like you would like  more to send to your overseas siblings or relatives or friends, you may get a few more.

Things go wrong…

There have been times when I tried cooking something and the end result did not turn out right. Yes, sometimes, things did go wrong and what I dished out was not all that great or not quite I had expected or would want it to be…like when I tried my hand at cooking my own baked cheese rice the other day.

I wanted to use butter but there wasn’t any in the fridge nor in the house. We only had a tub of olive oil margarine and I’ve read all those stuff about not using olive oil to cook at high heat as it would cause it to turn toxic and I was afraid the same would apply too if I used the margarine. There was a bottle of grapeseed oil lying around so I used that instead along with these other ingredients…

Ingredients

- some chopped garlic, one of the sausages that I bought the other day and some chopped spring onions.

I grilled the sausage till nice and brown before adding the garlic…

Frying the sausage & garlic

…and after having fried it well, I put in the rice.

I had a bottle of Lea & Perrins’ Worcestershire sauce in the fridge but it was nowhere to be found. Probably it had been around too long and my missus saw it fit to throw it away…or maybe she used all of it for something that she cooked, I wouldn’t know. In the end, I added some smoked honey & mustard barbecue sauce and an egg plus a sprinkling of salt and pepper before I threw in the chopped spring onions…

All in...

Then, I put the rice in a foil baking container…

Rice in...

…and topped it with cheese…

Cheese in...

…and finally, I put it in the oven to bake till the cheese had melted.

So what exactly was wrong with it? The rice…

One serving...

…was very nice though I thought it would be nicer if I had used garlic butter instead of the grapeseed oil. That, however, wasn’t really a big deal – it was the cheese! I only had smoked cheddar slices in the fridge and I just used that. It melted all right but when cooled, it became hard again like in its original state. My girl said that I should not have used that…and it would not turn out in such a manner if I had used mozzarella.

Ah well, you win some, you lose some…and one thing’s for sure – should I try to cook something like this again, I would definitely not make that same mistake again. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hehehehehehe!!!!

One more round…

I mentioned in an earlier post that my brother-in-law from Bintulu was home for the long weekend and he brought us a lot of stuff from there, mainly fresh fish…but we had not got round to cooking those yet when my other brother-in-law, the one in Sibu, called to ask us out for dinner…again. It seemed that he had given him one big one too and like the last time, he went and asked a restaurant in town to cook it…and this time, he chose this one that we go to quite a lot.

So there we were that night, 10 of us altogether, to feast on the fish…

Fish, sweet and sour

…done in my brother-in-law’s favourite style, sweet and sour. Needless to say, it was very fresh and very nicely done but in my honest opinion, they did it better at that other place. They charged a bit more there though, RM25.00, to cook the fish whereas here, they did it for RM20.00 only.

My niece, the one currently based in Singapore, wanted the Foochow-style tofu soup so we had that and knowing that this would be Melissa’s favourite, I ordered it too…

Ming Mei Shi creamy butter prawns

This had always been everyone’s favourite without fail every time we had it and it sure was a hit again that night – their deep fried pumpkin in salted egg batter…

Ming Mei Shi salted egg pumpkin

I only had a bit of it though as I was way too busy feasting on the awesome fish – the head! It certainly was finger-licking good! Hehehehehe!!!!

I can’t remember whether I had any of the vegetable dish…

Ming Mei Shi Fried cangkuk manis with egg

…though – maybe I did have a spoonful or two…and I also had a piece or two of the lemon chicken…

Ming Mei Shi lemon chicken

…which I must say, came nowhere near what we had here.

The bill that night came up to a whooping RM168.00 but minus the drinks and the rice and the RM20 for cooking the fish, I estimated that the total for the five dishes that we ordered would be around RM120.00. For one thing, the pumpkin (RM20.00) and chicken (RM32.00) dishes were extremely big – they could have just served around half of each and charged less…as in the case of the prawns (RM30.00).

Nonetheless, everyone enjoyed the food and it certainly was a delightful family gathering. The very next day, my brother-in-law and his family went back to Bintulu, my niece flew back to KL and then proceeded back to Singapore while my missus and I drove Melissa back to her school, a day later than usual because of the public holiday.

Everybody’s doing it…

Well, everybody’s doing it and as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them…but no, the truth is my girl said she was thinking of having some sushi so after our late morning Sunday service at the cathedral in town last Sunday, we dropped by here

Zen kimmidolls

We had not been here for a while too as parking is always a problem round these parts but surprisingly, there were a few vacant lots that day.

They were out of this…

Zen menu

…and I did not want the salmon one that we had been having on our previous visits so I ordered the nabeiyaki udon (RM17.90)…

Zen udon

…to share instead.

I also asked for the salmon shio-teriyaki (RM10.90)…

Zen salmon shio-teriyaki

…and seeing that salmon’s my girl’s favourite, I just let her and the mum eat all that and did not have any myself. After all, there was salmon too in the dai dai roll (RM14.90)…

Zen dai dai roll

…that we also had.

The inari kizami (RM6.90) and inari lidako (RM6.90)…

Zen inari

…were very nice too. I love these in the tofu skin pouches or whatever they call them if there is a special name for that…and there was unagi in one, another of Melissa’s favourite.

Another of her favourite is the pumpkin korokke (RM13.90)…

Zen korokke

…so we had that too and also the potato salad (RM7.90)…

Zen potato salad

…that everyone enjoyed to the max. It was different from those that we had had before in the western cafes and restaurants and certainly had an edge over the rest.

My girl wanted to pick up the tab for this very delightful lunch that we had but of course, I would not hear of it. After all, I am still getting my pension and there is enough to go round and to pamper ourselves a bit sometimes…and if anyone’s interested and does not know where this place is, two doors away in the block of shops right across the road from the 7-storey Pagoda, the name and address is as follows:
Zen Japanese Fusion Dining
16, Chew Geok Lin Road, Sibu
Telephone: 084-4328101

We do have one of those franchises here in Sibu and also another local one that specialises in Japanese cuisine but my preference is this one and anytime we feel like going Japanese, this would be the place.

Clearer…

Well, THIS is definitely clearer now than before…

Excluding...

No, you will NOT get any complimentary ice [SIC]/hot lemon tea with your lunch on weekends and public holidays. If you remember, I had a bone to pick over the sign that they had before and had a not-very-pleasant experience when I went and pointed it out. Well, at least, now they have an additional line, underlined some more, so I guess there is no dispute now as to who should get a free drink and when.

I had not dropped by there since…not because I was pissed off by the uncalled-for behaviour but somehow or other, it just happened that we did not go back to the place again. For one thing, parking is always such a pain…be it lunch or dinnertime and that is, at times, a deterrent, the mere idea of going round and round in search of a parking space.

Anyway, my niece, the one who is working in Singapore, was home for the long weekend and she invited us there…

Jack Pork 2

…for dinner last Saturday night. It was her birthday sometime in the middle of last month but she did not manage to come back around that time so this could be considered as a belated birthday treat.

Well, if the lighting at this place is kind of dim around lunchtime, it is even more so…

Jack Pork 3

…at night. That was why I did not take a photo of everything that we ordered that night but I did manage to snap one of their signature pork ribs…

Jack Pork signature pork ribs

…which were very good and as always, I enjoyed that a lot.

I had their classic burger before…

Jack Pork Classic Burger

…and with so many things that we ordered to share that night I did not bother to go through the hassle of eating that.

The pork belly sizzling noodles…

Jack Pork Sizzling pork belly noodles

…were not sizzling when it was served and many of us thought that they were not very nice. I tried a bit and found that the taste of the five spice powder was rather strong but that was fine by me. I would say that I quite liked it…but if you are not into that ngor hiang hoon, then  perhaps you should give this one a miss.

We had quite a few other items from their menu but like I said earlier, it was simply too dark to take any decently-good photographs that would do the food justice, so I just gave up after a while and spent the rest of the evening chatting away with everybody and enjoying the food.

My niece brought us a number of things from Singapore and all the places that she had been too since the last time she was home and my brother-in-law in Bintulu was home too that weekend with a whole lot of goodies in tow for us as well. I guess everybody must be so tired and bored of the photographs that I’ve featured ever so often showing what I got and who they came from…so I did not take any this time around. Still, I guess I should slip in a word of thank you here to the two of them for all that they gave us…and also to my niece for the belated birthday treat.

Next time…

We have not been here for quite a while so that day, we decided to drop by for lunch. Other than the fact that the food is always pretty good and the boss is very nice and friendly, I always love the fact that parking here is a breeze and I would not have to go into the rather congested town centre proper.

Melissa and I had the nasi bryani so we got one of this each…

Sri Pelita nasi bryani

…plus a bowl of the curry of our choice – mutton…

Sri Pelita mutton curry

…and I also ordered a bit of their fried paku (wild jungle fern)…

Sri Pelita paku

…and two of these lovely eggs…

Sri Pelita eggs

…to share.

My missus had their nasi campur (mixed rice) comprising her choices of fried fish, fried paku and fried cangkuk manis with egg…

Sri Pelita nasi campur

…and was full of praises for this fish. Melissa tried a bit and she loved it too. The bill came up to RM30.00 for all that, inclusive of drinks – not too bad, cheaper than going to eat at some fancy cafes and restaurants which may not be necessarily all that nice.

While we were there, I noticed that they had some new stalls in their premises including this one…

Sri Pelita new stall 1

…manned by this very pleasantly-friendly guy from Kelantan…

Sri Pelita - from Kelantan

Taken by surprise, he asked me why I took his photograph and when I told him I would help him promote his business in my blog, he seemed rather pleased with it.

This was his ayam madu (honey chicken)…

Sri Pelita ayam madu

…and he also had one steamed (white) chicken on display. I asked him about his ayam presso aka ayam penyet and he said that for that one, he did not have any pre-prepared as he would cook upon any order and serve.

This stall is also new…

Sri Pelita new stall 2

…but it was closed. I was told that it will be open only in the morning, not for lunch or the rest of the day.

Well, it looks like I will have to go back again to sample these new things available at this shop the next time around and see if they are any good. For the uninitiated, Sri Pelita is the first one in the block of shops to the right of Paramount Hotel, Jalan Kpg. Datu…and if you have not checked out this place yet, go ahead and give it a try – many have gone and their feedback has been rather positive…but do go for breakfast or lunch though as they may not be open still come dinnertime and even if they are, there may not be much of anything left.

Bangers…

Last Friday evening, after dinner, we went out to walk around a hypermart at one of the mega malls here. Normally, my girl would be tired and would just laze around after dinner and then call it a day. It being a long weekend, I suggested that as I thought she could do with a little break from the same old routine…and of course, she was delighted with the idea.

As we went browsing around, I spotted this…

Made in England curry paste

That was the curry powder my mum would use those years when I was still a kid, made in England, no less. I think I have mentioned it before that during those colonial times, everyone had that same mindset that anything made in England would be good and anything made in Japan would spoil very soon…just like those made-in-China stuff that we have these days.

It was good but it was just the powder so one would have to go through all that hassle to prepare all the pounded ingredients and everything. These days, we would just use those packet curry pastes, just add a bit of extra ingredients and the curry would be as great as any other.

Then, we came across this…

Bangers 1

…and we were so tempted to buy.

It sure looked impressive, what with the Union Jack in the bottom left corner and all. At that point in  time, I did not notice that phrase in Malay to the right: “Berat bersih“…plus the prices sure gave the impression that it was imported, probably from the UK or we just jumped into that conclusion without checking properly when in fact, it was made in Malaysia…

Bangers 2

Not suspecting a thing, we decided to grab a pack and this one that we picked was the cheapest – at over RM27.00 for 8 in the box, I thought that at over RM3.00 each for something imported, it was quite all right. Prices may range from over RM30 to RM40, depending on which type/flavour you buy. I also expected it to be as long as depicted in the picture but unfortunately, the bangers inside were not even as long as the width and yes, there were eight of them but some were a bit longer, some shorter.

Ah well, since we had already bought it, we might as well give it a try and the next morning, I grilled some for breakfast to go with some croissants that we bought at that same place…and egg, fried and some sliced tomato…

Banger croissant & egg breakfast

Thankfully, it was VERY nice – anytime better than those cheap local brands with the same texture (and taste) as SPAM or luncheon meat plus the taste was different too, very much nicer and more like those sausages that I had had at some of those classier restaurants and I would say that they can be even tastier than some of those imported ones that we have around here too.

Of course, I enjoyed that breakfast platter that I dished out…but at those prices, I don’t think I would be having that again…or at least, not so soon.