Ain’t what I’m looking for…

I mentioned in my blogpost the other day that I would go back on a weekday to try one of their set lunch promotions which are not available on weekends (Saturdays & Sundays) and I managed to do just that.

I couldn’t wait to go and try their Chefway Santan Nasi Lemak Promo (RM13.90)…

…the instant I saw it on their Facebook page. I guess everybody knows by now that I have been going all over town trying all the nasi lemak here, there and everywhere in search of one rich in santan (coconut milk) and truly deserves the name nasi lemak.

Unfortunately, this…

…did not quite make the grade! It was slightly more lemak than most, if not all, that I have had so far – at least, I could taste a bit of the lemak-ness but it just wasn’t enough and no, it did not sweep me off my feet.

Incidentally, if you are wondering what those red string-like strands of whatever on top of the rice were, we had been trying to guess too. My god-son/ex-student in New Zealand mentioned saffron but no, it definitely wasn’t! That would be way too expensive to use merely for presentation like that. My missus said those were prawn whiskers but no, they were quite edible, though tasteless, and not so hard.

Finally, I got to talk to the chef and I wasted no time at all in asking him what that was. He said it was dried chili. Good grief!!! It must be quite a challenge to cut them into strips this thin! I did try eating a bit but no, I did not feel it was hot and spicy. Anyway, now we know!

Back to the nasi lemak, the sambal

…was not like the standard/regular ones we would get most everywhere. It had its own taste, was very spicy but no, it did not manage to save the day.

I was delighted to see that they went through the chore of removing the heads and insides of the ikan bilis (dried anchovies)…

They deserve a pat on the back for that! So far, I have only come across ONE place where this was done, at the nasi lemak/roti canai stall run by one Indonesian girl. All the rest did not bother to do that!

The fried chicken wing…

…was just so-so and when I ate everything in that plate together, it was quite all right, that much I would say. It sure would not get me running back for more, that’s for sure.

My girl did not want any of the other sets in the promotion – she wanted the Sarawak laksa linguine (RM32.00)…

…from their special Rainforest Cuisine menu that she enjoyed so much the first time we were here. All three of us shared it the other day and loved it so much but this time around, she had to eat it all herself. The serving was too big for her to handle alone and halfway through, she was feeling a bit jelak (cloy) so I told her to just eat what she could manage and leave the rest behind.

I guess we’ll be dropping by here again sometime – there are still a lot of things on their menu that we have yet to try.

CHEFWAY CAFE (2.300560, 111.843429)…

…is located at No. 18 & 20, Ground Floor, Lorong Dr. Wong Soon Kai 4­D.

Here & there…

Over there in the peninsula, way back in 1986 when I spent a year in Kuala Lumpur doing a TESL (Teaching of English as a Second Language) Specialist Certificate course at the Language Institute in Lembah Pantai, I used to frequent this restaurant at Sungai Wang. That was long before they had an outlet at Mid Valley. I did drop by the latter a couple of times but not as frequently, compared to the former. If I am not wrong, the last time I went to that one was in 2010.

Well, it so happened that my good friend, Lim, was in KL recently and he flew back here on the 2nd, my birthday. I sure was surprised to get a call from him and the next thing I knew, he was at my door and he gave me this…

I vaguely remember buying some of these things that they sell at the counter located at the front entrance of their outlet at Mid Valley but I cannot remember what now.

Well, inside the box, there was one curry puff…

…that I thought wasn’t too bad…

…and half a dozen of those Seremban sio pao (baked char siew buns)…

…the favourite of many – everywhere, you would hear people singing its praises but personally, I love the ones from that shop at Kai Joo Lane in Kuching. There are others but no, to this very day, there is none as nice…or to me, at least.

Thank you so much, Lim! Now that you had given me all the sio pao and the curry puff that you bought in KL, did it mean that your missus and children did not get any to enjoy? Poor things! LOL!!!

In the meantime, back here in Sibu, I went to the Chinese pancake or ban chang kuih (慢煎糕)/apam balik stall among the shops in the next lane from my house. I reckoned that since their steamed bak pao (meat bun) is my favourite in town, their chai pao (vegetable pao) should be very good too.

Their chai paos are RM1.50 each and I bought a few and put them in the steamer…

…to heat up prior to eating. Once done, I took them out…

…and sat down to eat.

Yes, it was VERY good! My missus asked me where I bought them because they were so very good. She sang praises of the skin, so soft and so fluffy and yes, she did enjoy them a lot. I would agree with her too, of course!

The filling…

…was very nice as well but no, this was not the authentic old school Sibu chai pao that I am looking for, the ones without any carrot inside.

Moving on from the paos, be it baked or steamed, last Saturday evening, we went to church early as they had resumed the weekly novena, starting at 6.00 p.m. before the sunset service that we would frequent every week, as far as possible, at 7.00 p.m. We had to leave the house a lot earlier now so I suggested going for a very late dinner/supper later when we were through, usually at around 8.00 p.m. Well, we used to do that a lot before and more recently, we only did it a few times when we were feeling a bit hungry on our way home from church.

My missus had their sambal fried kway teow (RM6.50)…

…her favourite here and my girl went for their wat tan hor (RM14.00)…

…which I feel is rather expensive even though they state in no uncertain terms in their menu that the serving is big, enough for two. Yes, the plate is big, VERY big but there is very little kway teow and not much added ingredients drowned in a whole lot of the egg gravy in it, probably the right amount for just one person actually. Anyway, since my girl likes the one here and we do not come here all that often, I don’t mind if she chooses to order it when we drop by this coffee shop.

I went for their chicken chop with mushroom sauce (RM11.90)…

…something that my missus would order a long time ago when I would go for their mixed grill while my girl enjoyed their lamb chop. Now that I am off red meat, no lamb nor beef for me, I decided to go for this instead. It was all right but no, I don’t think I will go for it again. I’d probably go back to their sweet and sour fish with rice that I enjoyed a lot more here.

COLOURFUL CAFE (2.316673, 111.837539)…

…is located in the Renew4U building at the junction of Brooke Drive and Lorong Kwong Ann 8, across the road from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Here we are now…

They were here before but they have moved here…

…now, the fish noodles people…

…because their contract at the former place had expired.

I would say this is a much better location even though it is far from the town centre (round the corner from my house), not so crowded and it was quite impossible to find a table in that coffee shop and a parking space in the vicinity. That was why I never bothered to drop by to give it a try.

There is a very thin lady there taking all the orders…

…and collecting the money. I was amazed by how multi-lingual she was – she was able to converse so very fluently in so many languages, unlike so many others all over Sibu – they are all mono-lingual and could speak Mandarin and nothing else, not even Malay or the local Chinese dialects! For once, we could order what we wanted in English!!!

I had the ikan kerapu (garoupa/grouper) in salted vegetable soup (RM14.90)…

…and yes, it was very nice and went so very well with the cili padi dip…

The soup was so very sweet and the fish fillet was very fresh. They served bihun

…with it and I was wondering if we could opt for something else instead. However, seeing how busy the lady was, I did not have the chance to ask her. Perhaps I can do that the next time I drop by.

My missus had the same, ikan kerapu but in tom yam (RM17.90)…

…and yes, it was very good too! My girl tried a bit and said that she would order it the next time.

My girl had the fried fish with sesame seeds and kway teow (RM9.00)…

…which was just as nice too. The kway teow was different though -they came in big squares instead of long strips. They use white fish (ikan putih) for the fried fish fillet and that, of course, is much cheaper. My girl liked it a lot but it was not available for the other options that morning.

Ikan merah (red snapper) is cheaper than the kerapu too but they did not have it that morning either. Other than the salted vegetables and the tom yam, there are also the peria (bitter gourd), the tomato and the curry. Yes, we sure enjoyed our breakfast but at those prices, you can be sure that you will not catch me there very often and should I go again, I’d probably go for what my girl had – the only thing there that is under RM10.00.

JIN JIN CAFE, formerly Soon Kien Wang Cafe and Wan Long Cafe (2.312977, 111.847257) is located past Delta Mall, if you are coming from town, at the corner among the shops at the junction of Jalan Gambir and Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, formerly Jalan Pedada.

Weekdays…

We went back to this café…

…last Saturday because I wanted to try one of the dishes in their set lunch promotions. They come out with these sets regularly and some look really good and I finally went to check them out. Unfortunately, they are only available on weekdays – I think they did mention that before but I did not see it in their latest ad.

Their Christmas decorations are up for this year…

I saw a lot of photos on their Facebook page of people having their snapshots taken here. Personally, I thought they are really nice – they must have spent quite a lot on all that they have all over the café and since I was up and about, I went over to the other section and boy, was I impressed?

That looks real classy, truly a perfect setting for fine dining (unlike that one across the road)! All that is missing is the fine table linens, white no less…and probably some fresh flowers as well!!!

The girl who waited at our table was definitely one of the best around! She was so very friendly and helpful and she spoke perfect English with an accent like a Sabahan or a Filipino. I saw that their fish and chips was over RM30 a plate in the menu so I asked her what fish they were using – she went through all that trouble to go and ask the chef in the kitchen. Unfortunately, whatever fish it was, it was not available that day so I had to order something else.

In the end, I picked their seafood aglio olio spaghetti (RM29.00)…

…which was in a class of its own, not quite like the aglio olio elsewhere. I loved how they were very generous with the chili flakes so it was slightly spicy. I gave all the prawns and the mussels to my girl and the mum though just in case I’d end up scratching all night long and they sang praises of the prawns – so fresh, so succulent and so sweet.

My missus had their creamy butter chicken rice (RM18.00)…

…and yes, everybody loved it too! That was nice as well.

The grilled chicken chop (RM20.00)…

…that my girl had was all right, that much I would say but the black pepper sauce that came with it saved the day. It definitely wasn’t those commercially sold ones in the shops and supermarkets that come in bottles…or I would not touch it with a 10-foot pole. That is the reason why I am not fond of those prosperity burgers that are available once a year! All things considered, I think the roasted chicken thigh that I had the previous time we were here would win hands down.

The bill came up to RM99.00, inclusive of the drinks that we had. The school holidays are coming so we would be able to come back for the lunch sets here soon. They open at 11.00 a.m. and stay open all afternoon but the lunch sets are available until 4.00 p.m. only. I will certainly blog about it when we do!

CHEFWAY CAFE (2.300560, 111.843429)…

…is located at No. 18 & 20, Ground Floor, Lorong Dr. Wong Soon Kai 4­D.

London calling…

A few weeks ago, my good friend, Robert, and his wife, Angela, dropped by my house to see how I was doing. That was so very sweet of them and thank you so much, you two, for the box of chicken essence. They stayed for a while to chat – we sure had a lot of catching up in our lives since we had not seen one another for so long and of course, we did talk a bit about what is close to our hearts -food!

They were telling me that I should check out this place in Pulau Li Hua, in the vicinity where they are staying, especially their fish and chips. According to them, they use fresh fish and they would fillet it themselves for the dish. Ooooo…I sure would love that! Most places here will just use those cheap bland/tasteless frozen fish fillet sold in the supermarkets that may be rubbery/jelly-like and at times, even smelly!!!

That was why on my birthday, the 2nd of December, we made our way there even though it is like on the other side of the world – so far away, for dinner. It is quite a big place with the typical British telephone booth and post box outside. Inside, it was simple, no elaborate decor and it was very spacious so you would not be sitting shoulder to shoulder with the folks at the next table. I hate that…especially when they talk like they are delivering speeches to everyone in the whole restaurant.

Unfortunately, we were informed that they did not have any fresh fish that day so we could not have that elusive fish & chips dish that we went all the way to eat. Never mind! There were quite a lot for us to pick and choose in their menu and we had their chicken cordon bleu (RM28.00)…

…and their marinara baked cheese rice with pork chop (RM25.00)…

We also had their beef pepperoni pizza (RM35.00)…

…but we did not order any pasta even though they had seafood aglio oilio because my sister is allergic to those crustaceans, and we are not really into bolognese or any of those rich and creamy ones.

We went for their Ceasar salad (RM16.00)…

…and their calamari…

…as well.

The highlight of the dinner was this cajun pork belly (RM68.00)…

…that they recommended on their Facebook page as something worth trying while acknowledging that it was kind of expensive. It was indeed very nice and we sure enjoyed it a lot!

We didn’t tell anybody that it was my birthday, nor did we bring along a cake to cut and sing the birthday song while doing that so there was no way they could know about it but much to our surprise, they served this…

…to our table and duly informed us that it was on the house, a slice of the lovely homemade cheesecake made by one of the bosses’ sister-in-law. I am not a fan of those rich and creamy cheesecakes especially the ones that do not need any baking but we did enjoy this one a lot – so very nice and not sweet!

There were 6 of us altogether – my missus invited her brother and his wife and they brought along these…

…for me, as well as a box of very sweet and very nice black grapes.

As far as our orders went, we did feel to some extent that we may be able to get some nicer ones elsewhere but on the whole, generally, they were good and we did enjoy the dinner a lot. The total came up to RM193.00, inclusive of drinks, that night! Service was excellent and very prompt and we certainly would want to come back here again…if only it isn’t so very far away from our part of town.

LONDON CAFE & BISTRO (2.257899, 111.844136)

…is located at No. 36, Lorong Pulau Li Hua 2 among the shops to your right after the bridge just before you reach the security check point.

Two days in a row…

It all started with a photograph from 10 years ago (2012). A friend had taken it from somewhere and used it to make a lovely birthday card for me to post on Facebook. I thought I looked very good in it – very young and healthy so I shared it on my Facebook page even though it was the 1st of December, not my birthday yet. I still had one day to go before I hit the BIG 7-0!

Suddenly, all the birthday wishes started pouring in! Wait, wait, I said! Not yet! But it all fell on deaf ears and the greetings kept on coming! Then I got a message from a dear cousin of mine in Kuching – she had transferred an ang pao (monetary gift) to me via online banking. Gee!!! She even went through all that trouble to get hold of my bank account number!

And that was not all! Another cousin in Bintulu messaged me to look out for the home delivery people. They were sending me this fruit hamper…

…with a box of Brands’ Essence of Chicken with cordyceps from her, her sister in Brisbane and another sister in Melbourne, Australia. Yes, that was so very sweet of them but enough was enough! I quickly put up a post on Facebook, something we may find in some wedding invitation cards here: Gifts in cash or kind are respectfully declined!

Thankfully, after that, I only got a little something from my good friend, Lim (but that will be in another blogpost some other day) plus a bag of goodies from my in-laws and these ang paos from my missus, my girl and also my sister…

My girl did ask the mum to go out and buy me a birthday cake as well…

…orange mango…

…and yes, it was very nice! Of course, I only had a slice since I am on a low/no sugar diet.

We cut the cake on the actual day, the 2nd of December and yes, my missus cooked our traditional Foochow red wine and ginger chicken soup and we had our longevity noodles, the mee sua

…and eggs…

…for lunch since my girl had to leave the house at the break of dawn to go to school to work that day.

That was all that we had as we were saving tummy space to go out for dinner that evening and that, of course, will be in the next post. You’ll stick around, won’t you?

In the meantime, I must say a BIG thank you to all of you who posted your lovely birthday messages and good wishes on my Facebook page or sent them via Messenger or through smses and calls on my handphone…and of course, for the ang pao and gifts. All of you sure made my day, thank you so so so much! May God bless you all!

Standing on my own two feet…

I used to drop by quite frequently when my girl was helping out at the centre, teaching the kids with special needs but we have not been there since their fund-raising food fair in 2015.

I did read about their more recent developments and yes, that included a very big and impressive building in addition to the old/original one that has been around since a long time ago. If I am not wrong, this was made possible by our own local philanthropists, and I vaguely remember that our Sarawak government did chip in to help as well. Perhaps that is why there is this dedication in that building, a tribute to the late Adenan Satem, the Chief Minister of Sarawak before the present one…

To the right hand side of the building, Block B…

…on the ground floor is the café/servery…

From what I gathered, they train those special individuals here…

…so they can learn some skills like cooking and making drinks, for instance, that may enable them to stand on their own two feet.

The coffee is VERY nice, so I’ve been told and yes, I did see a glass being served to one of the tables…

It was BLACK and the froth on top was so very thick. Unfortunately I am off coffee these days so I did not order a glass to try. The rojak looked very good too.

I was looking at some leaflets on the counter to see what would be available here – there did not seem to be a lot. I just saw things like half boiled eggs and toast, a chicken burger and some drinks. The lady gave me a list of suggestions in Mandarin and I just picked the char chu mee

…the Foochow-style noodle soup, not that I am particularly fond of it but I thought I would just order something to help them out a bit.

Somehow or other, I missed the sign…

…that they had hanging there or I would probably order the mee mamak or nasi lemak from their special menu.

The noodles I ordered were only RM5.00 a bowl and yes, I quite liked the taste even though it wasn’t exactly like the old school authentic ones around town. There was no meat though, just tofu puffs, carrot and green vegetables (sawi) plus one poached egg…

Service was good – everyone was so cordial and polite and I do feel that it is a great place to hang out for people like those retirees who are always at one food court in town, once a week and they would sit there for hours chit-chatting and catching up with one another’s lives. Parking is not a problem here and it is free and I am pretty sure they can sit here as long as they like. Opening hours are from 7.00 a.m. until 4.00 p.m. excluding weekends – yes, unfortunately, they do not open on Saturdays and Sundays.

As I was walking around, I saw these Christmas trees made from empty cough syrup bottles…

I think there are lights in some, if not all of the bottles…

– I bet that would look really nice when they turn them on at night.

I saw a lot of those special individuals all over the place doing odd jobs such as cleaning the windows, sweeping and so on and there was a HUGE crowd at the children’s clinic that morning. It made me feel sad somewhat as it dawned on me there and then that there are so many less fortunate people in the world.

As I was leaving, I spotted these fried wantons…

…on the counter, RM4.00 for a bag of 5. I grabbed a few to take home for our lunch and dinner and yes, they were VERY nice. Perhaps they should put it on their menu whereby they will fry a few at a time when there are orders – served piping hot from the wok, they would be even nicer, I’m sure.

Honestly, we have so much to be thankful for and we should do our bit, however small, to help those in need. In the case of these special individuals, I am sure they would appreciate it very much if we could, at least, try to drop by here for a bite to eat once in a while.

AGAPE CENTRE (2.272976, 111.851193)…

…is located at No. 16, Jalan Alan, a short distance from its junction with Jalan Stadium where the Bukit Lima swimming pool is.

Try, try, try…

Among those who will be coming to Sibu later this month is my cousin who was here not too long ago with the son and daughter-in-law. When she was here that day, she went around on her own a lot and ate all the things that she grew up eating and loved so well and of course, she was delighted that some of those are still available here in Sibu, unlike in Kuching.

However, she was so disgusted with the chai pao (steamed vegetable bun) that she bought somewhere in Sg. Merah that without a second thought, she simply threw it away. Nothing like what she used to enjoy in her younger days when she was living in Sibu, she said.

Of course, when the time comes, she can go to the Sibu Central Market to buy those from our growing up years. I have not been to the market for a long time but I am quite sure the old lady is still there. In the meantime, I’ve been going around looking for alternatives just in case she has called it a day but no, the ones I tried the other day (RM1.00) did not make the grade – they had carrots inside. It was the same with the ones I bought from my neighbourhood fruit and vegetable sundry shop (RM1.50) in the next lane.

Well, the other day, I stopped by this coffee shop. My sister loved the bak pao (steamed meat buns) from there and she did buy some for me to try once. She did not know who made them but I had a feeling that they came from this guy they call Ah Bui – his steamed buns are very popular! They will deliver fresh ones around noon every day…

…so if you are interested, you can drop by around that time to buy some to enjoy. I bought two that day and took them home to try – they are now RM1.20 each which sure is a huge jump from only 70 sen in 2019.

That afternoon, I steamed them to heat them up…

…before I sat down to eat.

Yes, it was what my cousin would like, no carrot…

…inside and I thought it tasted all right but I did try the ones from that pao shop round the corner and yes, they did not have carrots in theirs too plus I do recall those being a bit nicer than these. I did not blog about it then so I guess I shall have to go back there and grab a few so as to be able to do that.

The kampua mee stall is still there, still going strong but the other stall in front (on the right) was closed. I don’t know if it was their off day – I did not ask. In the meantime, I noticed two new stalls a little bit further in. One did not have anything that would tickle my fancy but this one…

…caught my attention.

The dishes they had for the nasi campur (mixed rice) were quite ordinary – fried chicken, asam fish, chicken liver rendang, fried paku (wild jungle fern), all of which can easily be found at all the Malay stalls around town. They did have the daun Bandong aka daun ubi or daun empasa too, the only dish that I would consider a bit more Iban than all the rest.

You can bet that you will not catch me rushing back here to give the food a try but I sure would want to come back one of these days to see if this…

…is any good or not. I never had that before but I’ve heard of a few places where they are promoting it and I have been waiting for the chance to try and when I do, I shall blog about it, of course. Stick around!!!

EMAS CORNER CAFE BARU (2.292229, 111.838162)…

…is located to the extreme right of the blocks of shops along Lorong Tong Sang 1B at the junction of Jalan Tong San and Lorong/Jalan Langsat.

Quality time…

Monday was a public holiday here – much to our delight, our new Prime Minister declared it as a day off after his swearing-in that day. I was thinking that this would be a good time to go for a nice dim sum/yam cha breakfast and spend some quality time together and yes, we do have very good dim sum at a restaurant here, as good or even better than the ones that I have had here, there and everywhere…even in KL and in countries abroad.

That was why when my girl got up that morning, we were on our way and boy, when we got to the restaurant, we were so surprised to see so many cars all around the massive building. We were lucky that there was one leaving so we quickly grabbed the parking space. I did have a glance into the restaurant as we drove past the entrance and it was overflowing with people, like somebody was hosting a wedding banquet or something and the place was packed!

My missus went to ask and yes, the dim sum breakfast was on as usual – the crowd was probably due to the unexpected public holiday. Normally, there would just be a few tables, not that many people and all the workers, the waiters and waitresses, would stand in a line by the side like they were in a beauty pageant or something and watch you eat. LOL!!!

We asked for the siew mai (meat dumplings)…

…and yes, they are still having that three-in-a-storey thing. They call the basket lau or storey in Chinese – I guess if you stack them all up, they will look like storeys in a tall cylindrical building.

The siew mai were all very good but I can’t say that I like the idea of putting three together like that. I don’t know if that is a sales gimmick or what because anyone who wants to enjoy all three flavours would have to order three storeys at least so there will be enough to go round.

On the other hand, the har kao (prawn dumplings)…

…were quite disastrous. The skin was thick and dry and badly torn! Thankfully, it was not chewy or rubbery and on the whole, the dumplings tasted great.

They only have this version of the lo mai kai

…the glutinous rice with a bit of meat, wrapped in a lotus leaf…

Personally, I prefer those dark-coloured ones in a bowl with some chicken or pork and bits of shitake mushroom but since they do not have those, these will have to do.

We had another surprise when the Chinese fried carrot/radish cake…

…was served. It was white too – normally, it would be dark in colour owing to the dark soy sauce used in the cooking but this was all right too. It tasted fine and went really well with the lovely sambal chili dip that they gave us to enjoy everything with.

The chee cheong fan

…did not look thin and translucent but thankfully, we did not think there was any problem with the texture and taste. The char siew inside could not be seen from the outside and I did have a glimpse at the bits of meat – it was dark, not red but it did taste like char siew all right. My girl actually liked it more than the ones we get at another place in town, the so-called Ipoh chee cheong fun.

My missus wanted the Foochow fried noodles so we included that in our order but although it looked really good and I did see so many other tables ordering that as well, it did not taste like the real thing. We thought what we had was quite disappointing so if you’re looking for some really nice, really authentic Foochow fried noodles, it would be best to go elsewhere, not here. I did take a photograph of it but somehow, I seemed to have lost it and what I have here is a snapshot taken on one of our earlier visits…

Yes, it was really good, so good that we would order it everytime we stopped by here for dim sum.

Service was excellent, very fast and very prompt and very efficient. You can ask for anything and you will get it instantly. Unfortunately, there was a problem when it came to paying for everything. I think there is just one cashier, one cash register and I saw a VERY long queue in front of the counter. A very nice waitress, an Iban lady, offered to help me with it so she went and joined the queue. After what seemed like an eternity, she came back with the bill, over RM67.00 altogether – I gave her the money and left immediately. I did not want to wait for the receipt as that would take a very long time as well, I’m sure.

On the whole, I was glad that we managed to spend some quality time together and we quite enjoyed the dim sum breakfast that morning but I somehow felt that what we had was not as nice as before. People were talking about the chef from Shanghai working here and that was why the food at this restaurant in general and the dim sum in particular was so very good but that was before the pandemic – I don’t know if he had gone home since. Everything wasn’t too bad, that much I would say…but no, I don’t think I would bring relatives and friends from near or far here for this.

旺喜楼 GOOD HAPPINESS RESTAURANT (2.307262, 111.849011)…

…is located at the corner along Lorong Pahlawan 7A4 at its junction with Jalan Sena, opposite SMK Deshon.

Let’s party…

Gee! It’s December already! What are your plans for Christmas and the New Year and of course, there is also the Chinese New Year a few weeks later in January, 2023? No, we are not going to do much – we’ll probably go out and eat or order our favourite dishes from here and there. I don’t think we have the energy anymore to go through all that we went through, all the cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating and so on in preparation for these festivals.

One year, I hosted our Chinese New Year reunion lunch with my in-laws here and it was a hit! Everyone loved the food and had a great time together unlike when we had to do everything ourselves – we would be too tired to enjoy much of anything! However, even before the festivals arrive, I probably would host a buffet dinner party there for my cousins and spouse and children and also their children’s children from Australia, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. That is what I have in mind when they come to town on a visit and that was why I went to find out the details.

Of course, I cannot hold the party in their function room on the 2nd floor like when we had my family reunion gathering in 2013– I cannot climb the steps to the top and even though having it at Peter’s wooden house sounds appealing, I am not too sure about the parking and also going up the shaky wooden stairs. It sure looks like I shall have to insist on holding it at the café itself on the ground floor.

Well, if you are interested in doing the same, you can drop by the place and ask for the booking form. The buffet package is priced at RM50.00 per person for a minimum of 25 people. In the form, you will have to indicate your choice of the dishes available. For instance, in the chicken category, I would definitely pick their kacangma

…and maybe, their green curry…

Other categories include beef…

…or lamb…

…seafood…

…vegetable…

…and salad…

…and last but not least, the desserts and the drinks.

This is not in the list so I shall have to negotiate with them to get them to serve their jelly pisang…

…in small individual glasses. I am very sure that with the very nice people here, everything is negotiable – just get in touch with them at 0165787614 to discuss.

I don’t think one can have karaoke singing and dancing on the ground floor though but if you are having it in the function room on the top floor (and maybe at the wooden house too), there is ample space for all of you to dance and boogie the night away and you can get them to hire some karaoke specialists (you will have to pay for this, of course) to come with the equipment, deejay and all and you can have a jolly good time!

PAYUNG CAFÉ (2.284049, 111.833014)…

*Photo from Google Maps*

…is located at No.20F, Lanang Road, Sibu, Malaysia, back to back with the multi-storey car park of the Kingwood Hotel which faces the majestic Rejang River.