No luck…

I said I would go back to this place to try the popiah (spring roll)…

Popiah

…but when I finally got down to it, the place was closed. I had no choice but to go back the following day and yes, it was open. According to the guy there, they only close once a month…and I just had to choose that day the drop by – that was the day before! No, that was not all! Despite the fact that it was business as usual in that coffee shop, the popiah stall was closed and the guy told me that the lady had some personal matters to attend to. Sighhhh!!!! It certainly looked like I was not destined to get to sample her spring rolls, after all.

Well, since I was there already, I thought I would try their kolo mee (RM3.80)…

Kolo mee 1

…with a special request not to add the char siew oil so that it would not be red – Rose‘s daughter had that the previous time I was here and looking at the comments,  a lot of people did not seem too comfortable with the colour.

This cost RM1.00 more than a plate of kampua noodles in most places but instead of the few paper-thin slices of red-dyed meat, this one had a lot more…

Kolo mee 3

- two pieces of meat and two fish balls and a whole lot of minced meat plus some green vegetables. But this time around, the chopped spring onions and fried shallots were not served separately in a saucer – maybe they only do that for children as some are not all that fond of those garnishings. My girl, for one, did not want any fried shallots when she was younger and even today, I don’t think she is all that fond of those.

I liked the complimentary soup that came with the noodles – at most places, all you would get would be something quite bland, just plain water with a bit of msg added. I did wish, however, that the guy had added some fried shallots and chopped spring onions to it though as they certainly would help enhance the taste and bring it to a whole new level. I also liked the chili in vinegar dip…

Pickled chili dip

…which you would get when eating the authentic kolo mee in Kuching. At many places here where they sell kampua noodles disguised to look like kolo mee, they would just give you the usual bottled chili sauce.

All in all, I enjoyed what I had…

Kolo mee 3

…but the next time I drop by here again, it will have to be the elusive popiah…or nothing. Tsk! Tsk!!!

Sweet tooth…

I love Julie’s cheese crackers and I particularly enjoy the ones with the peanut butter filling in between…and I’ve heard of Hershey’s chocolates, especially their kisses. I may have tried them but unfortunately, they did not leave much of a lasting impression.

I saw these…

J & H cookies 1

…at a supermarket the other day going for RM7.70 a box and later, I spotted  them again at a mini-supermarket near my house, priced a little less at RM7.30.

I do not know why this product is thus named – maybe it is the collaboration between the two (and if I’m not mistaken, there is also that soy milk and chocolate drink in those tetra-paks from the two, available at most supermarkets) and since I am not really into anything sweet, I did not bother to buy the first time but the second time around, I relented and grabbed these two boxes to try…and also for my girl to bring back to her school to enjoy there – she likes chocolate chip cookies, this much I know for sure.

These are made in Malacca…

J & H cookies 2

…and inside, you will find eight individual packs…

J & H cookies 3

…with two cookies in each…

J & H cookies 4

I would say they are very nice with their very rich and fragrant chocolate taste and the vanilla cream in between…

J & H cookies 5

…but no, I would not think I would want more of those as I thought they are rather sweet and not something I should indulge in.

Besides, they do not come cheap – almost as much as some of those imported stuff that we can get quite easily here. Furthermore, if you do a bit of calculation, you will find that it works out to over 45 sen a piece, a little less than 50 sen, depending on where you buy yours and for that kind of money, I think I would rather go for those savoury local kuihs (cakes)…

Rejang Park chai koi

…that I certainly would enjoy more, minus the sugar overload.

I bought these chai kuih (called soon kuih in Singapore, I’ve been told) at 50 sen each at a stall at Rejang Park here, one or two doors away from the Chinese medical store (open in the afternoon only) and even though they were kind of deflated, unlike the nice ones in Kuching, they tasted great and the skin was very well done. I would state in no uncertain terms that I do derive a lot more enjoyment eating these rather than those over-priced cookies.

While I was at the mini-supermarket, I also spotted this (RM8.90)…

Ice cream 1

Now, the tub is not the same as the usual ones from this brand that I am more familiar with…or maybe I was confused with all the other brands available. A closer look revealed that this type is made in Thailand…

Ice cream 2

For one thing, I was told by the boss of this cafe that he uses another brand but he makes sure he would only buy the ones made in Thailand.

I bought the vanilla with chocolate chips to try…

Ice cream 3

…and I thought it wasn’t too bad- not as rich and creamy as what I am more used to but the best part was that I found it was not all that sweet. I can’t say I am all that fond of those tiny bits of chocolate chips in it though – it felt like eating something with bits of whatever inside…like coffee grounds when drinking coffee without sieving it with a strainer first. Other than that, I am not too sure whether it was because I tried it on a very hot day or what but it did seem to melt a little bit more easily, faster than the usual.

All in all, I would say it was all right. I can’t say it got me jumping up and down with delight like these did…

Alone again naturally…

Rose and her children will be moving back to Kuching this weekend, if I’m not mistaken, so that means I will be losing a makan kaki (eating companion) here to go out on breakfast dates and to share any information about nice makan places in town and give whatever nice stuff that we may have to try. In fact, she went home last weekend to attend a wedding and if you have read her post here, you would know already that she bought one big box of those Hong Kong paos…

Hong Kong paos from Kuching

…and no prize for guessing who they were for. Hehehehehehe!!!!

She bought these for me before – that first time when we met and I do think they are very nice, much nicer than the other type, the Rubber Road baked buns, that she got for me the second time. I love the flaky pastry and the char siew (barbecued meat) filling is really good too…

Hong Kong pao, inside

- just like what you would find in those steamed paos at the dim sum places. Thank you so much for them, Rose. What a coincidence indeed – the same buns the very first time we met and the last time! All the best to you and your family in Kuching – do take care there and God bless always. I certainly will let you know if ever I will be in the city.

Unfortunately, we were not able to go some place for a bite that morning when she passed me these. She was not free earlier and later, I had to send my car to the car wash as it got so very dirty due to the patches of rain we encountered on our way to Selangau and back while sending my girl back to her school on Sunday. It wouldn’t be so bad if it had rained really heavily – it is the little bit of rain here and there that I do not like as it really makes a terrible mess all over the car. When I got to the place, I found that the coffee shop opposite has called it day. The chap fan stall that I blogged about did not even last one or two months and now, the whole place has closed down. I can’t say I was all that fond of what they had there but at least, that would be one place to go for a drink and something to eat while one’s car was being washed.

After having got that done, I dropped by the mall next door and while browsing around the supermarket there, I saw this…

Chivers raspberry jam

Hey! That was THE jam that I used to eat during my growing-up years, this exact brand, made in England no less! No, I’m not really into jam these days unless it is with some rich and buttery scones and clotted cream – I would love that…a lot but unfortunately, we can’t get any of those nice scones here and I don’t think there is any clotted cream in the shops either! Nonetheless, I could not resist grabbing a bottle for my girl to try – she likes jam with her toast and what not and I think she prefers raspberry…and I could tell her that this was what we had way back then during those colonial days.

I also wanted to stop by there as I saw on Facebook that the lady making these khong therng/kacang tumbuk (rolled crushed peanut cake) …

Khong therng

…had got back into action again and they are now available once more at the stall at the foyer of the mall selling all the local Foochow delights.

When my cousins came to town that day, they went to buy those from the sole-survivor in Sungai Merah, the only shop making these in the whole town and when I dropped by the hotel to see them, they gave me one to try. Theirs were sweet,  not much peanut fragrance and in every pack, there was one miserably small and thin bit and the one I had was not a rectangular whole even. I would never bother getting any from there, that’s for sure.

These are a completely different story – exactly like those that we used to love and enjoy so much in our younger days…but no, I do not usually eat them like that, not anymore, much as I love them a lot as at my age, I need to make sure I do not over-indulge – everything in moderation! Usually, I would need those when I make my salad dressing…or my rojak sauce…or for my own homemade popiah - this would save me the trouble of having to fry my own peanuts (and remove the skin) and pounding them for use…and these are a whole lot nicer than the factory-made ones available at the supermarkets (which I had no choice but to use during those desperate times) as well.

Now that the lady is making them again, I do hope she’ll stick around much longer…and will not disappear into thin air after a while, like the last time. Tsk! Tsk!

Move over…

This used to be here…

Tasty Taste Cafe 1

…but they closed shop to concentrate on the selling-like-hot-cakes instant kampua enterprise. Then, somebody took over but that one was rather short-lived and as I was driving past that day, I saw that some new people were running a coffee shop at this location now.

I noted that there were a few stalls at the place including this kampua stall…

Tasty Taste Cafe, kampua stall

…and the Taiwan fried chicken rice one next to it and the food stall right at the back against the wall sells roti canai and other halal selections…

Tasty Taste Cafe 2

To the right of the latter, I saw a stall selling mee sua, pek ting eyok, dianpianngu and so on but I was not in the mood for those that day.

I saw somebody eating a plate of tomato kway teow and it looked pretty good but I did not think I would want that either. Anyway, I went straight ahead through that door to the chu-char (cook & fry) place right at the back of the shop and ordered their Foochow-style fried noodles (RM3.50)…

Tasty Taste Cafe, Foochow fried noodles

I am not sure what those Chinese characters in red on the sign said – perhaps somebody can help to translate that. As for the noodles, I would say that they did it pretty well – very nicely done and I would not mind having that again the next time I drop by this place but of course, I would want to try the rest of the stuff that they have here as well. Sigh!!! So many things to eat, so little time. LOL!!!

It turned out that my ex-student’s family was running the coffee shop and the kampua stall and I spotted these flowers…

Tasty Taste Cafe, flowers

…given to him by another ex-student, his classmate, I guess, on the occasion of the opening of the shop.

While I was there, I saw Eric’s mum and sister having their breakfast and Eric himself and the rest joined them later. Eric’s the guy who started the original instant kampua venture which has been spreading like wild fire. It seems that since then, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon including some bakeries in town, I noticed. Anyway, his mum ordered me this glass of coffee to try…

Eric's coffee

I understand that Eric is trying out these sachets with the coffee from Ipoh.  Well, I am not really a fan of kopi susu (coffee with milk) as the milk makes me sleepy but I thought it  was pretty good though not as nice as the very much stronger one here but my favourite would still be the blended kopi-o-peng (iced coffee) here with the ground coffee powder from the very nice butter/margarine roasted coffee beans from our very own Mui Hock.

It certainly was nice bumping into my ex-student and also Eric and his family that morning. Sure is a small world, isn’t it?

Kingdom…

I heard about this place and the RM8.50 chicken chop on their banner…

Claypot Kingdom

…but I had no idea as to whether they sold anything else until I saw Rose’s post about it in her blog.

Or chien? Our Sarawak pizza…or the Kuching style oyster pancake/omelette??? Ooooo…that’s my girl’s favourite so of course, we simply had to drop by to check it out…

Claypot Kingdom or chien

This was RM15.00 but it was HUGE, the size of the wok that it was cooked in! Besides, it was very nicely done and we all enjoyed it to the max. We certainly would not mind going back there again for this but the seating area is located in Jalan Kai Peng (and don’t mistake it for Jalan Kia Peng in KL – there is a difference in the order of the vowels), the alley between the bank and the block of shops…

The alley

…and when we were there, there were some mosquitoes/insects fluttering around though thankfully, none of us complained of any bites from those. There was a big TV showing some dance movie or something but I wished they had put up one or two or more of those big stand fans instead. Luckily, it had rained earlier that evening so it was not hot and uncomfortable.

My girl also tried the chicken chop (RM8.50)…

Claypot Kingdom chciken chop

…and it was good. She loved the “original brown sauce” as they called it and they certainly were very generous with the meat which was good as well…though she wished they had given a bit more fries. Ah well! What can one expect from RM8.50?

My missus and I shared the bak kut teh, dry (RM15.00)…

Claypot Kingdom bak kut teh, dry

…for two, with two plates of rice and yes, it was good though it came across as a drier version of the usual bak kut teh with a thicker sauce. Other than the pieces of meat on the bone, they also had pork belly slices and intestines and stuff inside. We enjoyed that very much but I do think the one we had here was very much nicer as far as the taste goes – the dry version, that is.

I also ordered their fried mushroom (RM6.00)…

Claypot Kingdom fried mushroom

…which was very nicely done and I would say that I liked it a lot more than what I had had elsewhere but the cendol (RM3.00)…

Claypot Kingdom, cendol

…that we had was a disappointment. It looked very impressive when served but the excitement was short-lived. They probably used canned coconut cream or the (powdered) one that comes in packets so it had that unpleasant smell of coconut milk that has been cooked for too long…and besides, I did not quite fancy the rose syrup in it. My favourite in town would still be the ones here.

It seems that one can order dishes to go with rice as in all those chu-char (cook-fry) places and I did see some people eating the very familiar fried midin and fried cangkuk manis. The lady was telling me about some kind of promotion going on right now and if I understood her correctly, I think the claypot dishes were all going for RM15.00 and she was raving on and on about her assam fish and fish curry, using Fook Kui fish or whatever. But if you are looking for some halal food, there is this satay stall here too…

Claypot Kingdom satay stall

…by the side and the satay did look very nice though we did not get to try them as we already had way too much for three persons. That, and everything else, would just have to wait till the next time we drop by here…

Can’t get enough…

Ever since she sampled her mum’s order that day when we were at this coffee shop, my girl kept saying that she would want to go back for that but since we did not get the chance to drop by the previous weekend, I tapao-ed it for her to bring back to her school to heat up and enjoy during the course of the week. Well, she enjoyed it so very much that when she was home last weekend, she said that she would like to go back for more. Gee! It certainly seemed that she loved it so much and simply could not get enough of it.

So there we were at that coffee shop again and of course, she had her much-coveted beef noodles (RM6.00)…

Yummy Kafe beef noodles, soup

…which delighted her as much as ever.

I wanted something different so I asked for the dry version (RM6.00)…

Yummy Kafe beef noodles, dry 1

…which came with a bowl of the very thick and really awesome beef broth.

I tossed the bowl of noodles and all the added ingredients in it…

Yummy Kafe beef noodles, dry 2

…with the fried chili flakes provided…

Yummy Kafe beef noodles, dry 3

…before I started to dig in. Unfortunately, I would not say that it got me all excited. Given a choice, I think I would rather go and have the kampua kosong with a serving of beef soup here…but of course, the soup that came with it was really good and I was so tempted to just pour it in with the noodles and eat in the hope that I would enjoy it a lot more but I did not.

I also ordered their pan-fried dumplings (10 for RM6.00)…

Pan-fried dumplings

…which my girl loves very much. Needless to say, she enjoyed them a lot and in her opinion, the ones here were nicer than those that she had at this other place. Personally, I am not really into these things so to me, they are both ok, more or less.

Well, you can drop by and try the beef noodles and everything else that they have to offer at this stall…

Yummy Kafe beef noodles stall

…or you can do what my missus did and order something else from one of the many stalls there.

She had the Ah Tor-style fried kway teow (RM4.00)…

Yummy Kafe, egg fried kway teow 1

…except that I did not think they got it quite right. This was more like omelette-wrapped fried kway teow, a la Pattaya-style whereas the real thing is not supposed to be like that. The way the late Ah Tor did it or how his son would do it now, the kway teow would be fried first and pushed aside and then they would fry the omelette. Before it is completely cooked, they would dump the kway teow on the egg so that when it is served, flipped over, you will find that the kway teow is actually embedded in the egg.

Nonetheless, the fried kway teow that my missus had…

Yummy Kafe egg fried kway teow 2

…was very nice and the serving was really huge. It was quite a struggle for her to finish all of it but she did.

Well, that certainly was a delightful lunch that we had that day and since we do like some of the things available at this coffee shop, we certainly would go back for more…especially the beef noodles, the soup version, of course!

No need…

In my post on salted eggs the other day, contact.ewew mentioned salted egg fried rice and despite all the different varieties of fried rice that I had whipped up, that was something I had not tried! Well, it so happened that my brother-in-law gave us a whole lot of the local-made ones that he bought at the Sunday market here. We ate some and found that they were not really like salted eggs – perhaps, they had not matured sufficiently and since I had those in the fridge, I decided to give it a go.

It turned out pretty well – I thought it was quite nice and when my girl came home over the weekend and we had two left, I decided to fry it again for breakfast…

STP's salted egg and bacon fried rice 1

We did not have much leftover rice so I had to resort to throwing this and that in so there would be enough to go round. There were some bits of bacon left in the freezer and I took those and used, along with some sliced button mushrooms and tomatoes…

Ingredients

…and of course, I had the usual peeled and sliced garlic and shallots and some sliced chili and chopped spring onions.

I fried the garlic and shallots in a bit of oil till golden brown and then I pushed them aside and put in the bacon…

Garlic shallots & bacon

…to fry till nice and crispy.

Next, I added the mushrooms and tomatoes and chili…

Mushrooms tomatoes & chili

Make sure that the sizzling has subsided before proceeding as a lot of that would be indicative of a lot of moisture in the ingredients and if you add the rice then, it may turn out wet and soggy and not all that nice.

After that, I put in the rice…

Rice

I have seen on TV and also in many recipes where they tell you to loosen the rice first so your fried rice will not be lumpy. Don’t bother! There is no need to do that at all. Just use the ladle or spatula or whatever you call it to break the lumps apart and do not worry if it is still lumpy – in the process of frying, the grains will all come apart eventually.

Before I fried this the first time, I also looked at some recipes and for whatever reason, the ones that I saw told me to separate the white and the yolk first and fry them separately. Well, don’t bother…or at least I did not as I do not see the need to. I just broke the egg into the wok…

Salted egg

…and used the ladle/spatula to roll away the yolk and let the white fry on its own first.

Then using the spatula/ladle, I mashed the yolk…

Salted egg yolk

…that I had pushed aside before mixing both with the rice thoroughly. I don’t know if this would be different from doing it in the way suggested but as far as I am concerned, there is no need to go through that extra hassle.

Lastly, I added a dash of pepper and the chopped spring onions…

Pepper & spring onions

…and after I had fried everything together adequately, I dished it out and served…

STP's salted egg & bacon fried rice 2

Yes, it was very nice…especially with the added fragrance of the bacon but I still thought the salted eggs lacked the usual taste or smell that I particularly like about them…

STP's salted egg & bacon fried rice 3

It would be nicer if that had been stronger but this time around, it did not matter so much as the bacon sure saved the day!