Come another day…

I heard about a stall here selling Bovril mee so I just had to go there and try. Unfortunately, it was closed so I ordered this roti canai

Roti canai

…and roti telur

Roti telur

…for my girl, my favourite in town but of course, that was a lot and I had to help her with them. There were a number of other customers, Chinese, and most everybody had the roti canai – it sure is popular around here, obviously.

The mum had the char chu (fried and then cooked) mee (RM7.00)…

Char chu mee

…our soup version of the Foochow fried noodles, from the stall next to the one selling the Bovril mee and she loved it! It had intestines in it and that accounted for the higher-than-usual price tag.

I asked for the char kway teow with see ham

See ham

…from that same stall but though it was nice, it did not have that wok hei fragrance so it (RM7.00)…

Char kway teow with see ham

…did not get me all excited and of course, I wasn’t all that pleased with the use of plastic and melamine plates and bowls.

I shall have to go back another day to try the Bovril mee or perhaps I would check out the Malay stall there (also closed – it does not open on Sundays and until 1.00 p.m. only on weekdays). It claims to be selling Kelantanese cuisine and what I saw in the photographs did look very good, just that I did not see any of our favourite East Coast delight, their nasi kerabu. Sigh!!!

TWIN CORNER (2.293179,111.820821) is located at the back at the corner of the block of shops to the left of Paramount Hotel, Jalan Kampung Datu.

Love in a box…

I believe this…

Magnum macadamia & salted caramel

…is new or if it isn’t, it should be quite recent as I had not seen it before.

Actually, this is my second time buying it – I bought a box recently and I loved it a lot that first time around and I regretted not taking any photographs to blog about it. It costs RM13.20 at the supermarket near my house and there are 6 mini-sticks inside so that works out to RM2.20 each.

They are not all of the same flavour inside though. There are 4 of them only plus 2 of the classic…

4 + 2

…which, if I am not wrong, is the favourite of many but personally, I like this one more.

I guess at the price they are selling them, you can’t expect a lot of those macadamia nuts, just a few tiny bits in the chocolate coating…

Outside

…but the ice cream inside was what caught my attention.

Slightly yellowish in colour, probably due to the caramel…

Inside

…there is a hint of the salty taste so on the whole, I thought it was not as sweet as most, if not all, of the rest.

Whatever it is, like I always say, moderation is the key so once in a while is perfectly all right, I guess. I like storing a box in the freezer and I will take one out occasionally to enjoy – somehow, it feels kind of soothing and comforting and is even more so on hot days.

What could be better…

My girl wanted to drop by here…

C & C Gallery

…for dinner that evening as she wanted the beef bacon carbonara (RM15.90)…

Beef bacon carbonara

…that her friend was having the last time she was here.

This place started off as a bakery at the chicken rice place round the corner and it eventually moved here. Soon, they started a section serving coffee to go with their bread, buns and cakes and not long after, I heard they had gone into serving food as well. I’ve been to the bakery a few times and my missus too and we’ve tried some of the things they sell. Some were pretty good but so far, I have not come across anything that would get me rushing back for more.

It was a nice place, not one of those pretentiously classy ones and I liked how it was bright enough for me to take decently good snapshots without having to struggle in the dark. The music was way too loud initially and I did not care for what was on their playlist either. Thankfully, they turned the volume down after a while and at one point, the members of the staff themselves were rather noisy but they too piped down eventually.

We went early and got there at around 5.15 p.m. and they duly informed us that the kitchen would only be open at 5.30. That was all right, we said, we would just wait.

In the meantime, I was rather put off by this…

Takeaway box RM0.30

As far as I know, some coffee shop stalls in town do charge for the takeaway boxes and I heard they cost 50 sen each, those flimsy cardboard ones, but at the high prices that they charge here, surely they can absorb the 30 sen instead of adding insult to injury. I am quite sure nobody would order something from here to take away but some small eaters may not finish what they have ordered and would like the leftovers packed for them to take home. Perhaps they do not encourage that here, I wouldn’t know.

We were given an order sheet to tick or to write after which we had to go to the cashier at the counter to pay. Even at those cheap coffee shops, we would be served all the way and there would not be any need for us to go through all that hassle. What was worse was the fact that they do not accept credit cards and I was so pissed off by that. “At those prices you charge, surely you do not expect people to bring that much cash and walk around with it all the time, do you?” I told the cashier to which she diplomatically replied, “You will have to talk to the boss.” End of story.

My missus had their seafood aglio olio (RM20.90)…

Seafood aglio olio

…which was very good, much nicer than my girl’s carbonara – one can only eat so much of the latter before one gets jelak. It was a bit too rich and creamy and unfortunately, the wild creamy mushroom soup (RM8.90)…

Mushroom soup

…that we also ordered was not in any way what its name claims it to be. It was so diluted, very watery, not rich and creamy at all. That is one thing here we would never want to order again…and I wonder what was so “wild” about the mushrooms used. I could detect the shitake in it, not much else.

The potato salad  (RM8.90)…

Potato salad

…was good except that there wasn’t much of it below all that beef bacon and the sprinkling of bottled parmesan cheese.

My order took a long time coming and those customers around us who came a lot later were getting theirs already so I called one of the girls to ask. She was not conversant in English so she quickly roped in the cashier to come to her rescue and the latter said yes, mine would take a little bit longer so I just sat and waited and finally it came – my grilled New Zealand lamb shoulder (RM24.90)…

Lamb shoulder

…which was all right just that I thought it could be grilled a little bit longer for the lovely charred fragrance plus it was so tough that I gave up wrestling with it using the knife and fork and picked up the pieces with my hands to tear the meat off the bone with my teeth. Thankfully, they were all still intact after all that, my teeth, that is!

I wasn’t all that impressed by the barbecue sauce that came with the dish either. Lamb would go so well with mint sauce or like at one place here, the very nice mint vinaigrette.

All in all, inclusive of our drinks, the total came up to RM102.10 and no, I did not leave a tip, not even the 90 sen change – that will be THREE takeaway boxes, mind you! My girl would probably drop by again to hang out with her friends – as for me, unless they work on it to become much better at what they are doing, I think I would be much happier going elsewhere.

C & C GALLERY is located at Lot 62 at the extreme end of the block of shops to the right of Delta Mall, back entrance.

My little contribution…

My girl’s school had their Canteen Day, the PIGB (Parent-Teacher Association) annual fund-raising event, on Saturday and of course, I dropped by to have a look at what was going on.

Being a food and fun fair, there were stalls like this one…

Food stall

…selling Sarawak/Kuching laksa

Sarawak Kuching laksa

…and one selling curry and what not…

Cuury rice

…with rice, another selling fried popiah (spring rolls) and cucur (fried fritters) and one that seemed very popular…

BBQ stall

…selling all kinds of barbecued stuff…

BBQ

Personally, I thought that for a fund-raising event, everything was way too cheap – the laksa, for instance, was only RM4.00 , 2 coupons, and the BBQ chicken wings were going for 4 for 5 coupons (RM10.00), only RM2.50 each and I also felt that there could have been more food stalls. Next year, if they are holding this again, I shall ask my girl to book a stall for me to sell some of my homecooked specialties as my contribution to the event.

Of course, there were games…

Games

…and lots of lucky draws – there must have been a lot of prizes to be won as I saw a lot of people with prizes in their hands.

They invited these Cosplay characters…

Cosplay characters

…and anyone interested could have their selfies with them and donate a little something towards the fund.

I thought the karaoke was expensive, RM6.00 per song…

Karaoke booth

…but obviously, nobody cared as there was a long line waiting to get on stage and sing…

On stage

…to the crowd…

Crowd

…in the hall.

This looked like a whole lot of fun, all the kids dancing on stage…

Dancing

…led by one of the Cosplay characters.

Despite the fact that there wasn’t a lot to buy, my missus bought some of the food and for my little contribution, I bought this pot of succulents…

Cactus

…for only RM12.00 and took it home.

Party…

The nurses in the ward where my missus was attached to before she retired were having their annual party here on Thursday night and some fellow-retirees asked her to join, open to families as well but of course, it was not free – RM40.00 per head. My girl was keen and she insisted that I joined too so there we were, the three of us at the party.

We went earlier lest we could not find a place to park the car and had to walk a long way to the venue but I sure did not have a problem – lots of vacant spaces all around but obviously, most did not feel the need to do the same and a lot of them showed up rather late.

In the meantime, somebody brought this pulut kuning (yellow glutinous rice)…

Pulut kuning

…to share and this cheese cake with chocolate, fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit on top…

Cheese cake

…so we were not all that hungry and did not mind the wait.

When most everybody had arrived, the food was served and we had this…

The Five Seasons

…something like what we call “the dome” at Malay banquets where all the food would be served at one go.

I was thinking to myself that if that was all we were going to get, I would have to go across the road to the burger stall opposite for something more filling. Fortunately, that was supposed to be The Four Seasons, the first dish at Chinese banquets, except that there were five and it was served in a compartmentalised plate, not a flat one.

Rice was served by the side and we had a very nice soup around that same time, something like sharks’ fins minus the offensive stuff and no, I did not spot any sea cucumber nor fish lips in  it either.

This sweet and sour fish…

Sweet & sour fish

…came next and yes, I loved it – it was very nicely done, I must say but the steamed chicken…

Steamed chicken

…was just steamed chicken, no ginseng or any of those so I thought it could have been better.

The mixed vegetable dish…

Mixed vegetables

…followed and these lovely creamy prawns…

Prawns

…came last before the pudding and watermelon…

Dessert

…were served for dessert.

I had not had a sit-down dinner here for a long while – usually, we had their buffet so I asked the waitress, my ex-Kanowit student, who has been working here for as long as I can remember. Working here must be very good as I’ve noticed that the staff members here stick around till like…forever! I was quite surprised when she told me that the cost per table that night was RM371.00 only. I told her that at most hotels and restaurants, for around RM800-1K, more often than not, the food is quite disappointing or at best, quite ordinary…and she told me to just wait and see.

Needless to say, I was VERY impressed – that was so very good for less than RM400 and of course, if you would like to handpick the dishes that you like, you may need to fork out a bit more. I wouldn’t want to miss their daging masak hitam, for instance, that many feel is the best in town.

Everyone sure had a lot of fun that night, partying away with all the singing and dancing – those ladies sure deserved the break from their daily routine at the hospital. Personally, I feel that when you’re working with sick and depressed people all the time, it can’t possibly be something one would enjoy.

LI HUA HOTEL RESTAURANT (2.284477, 111.8316940) is located on the 1st floor of the hotel at the T-junction of Lorong Lanang 2 and Jalan Maju.

Nameless…

In my growing up years, our favourites when it came to our Foochow fried noodles were this guy named Ah Kow at the chu char (cook & fry) place at the back of Ban Chuan Coffee Shop, beside the now-closed-down Cathay Cinema and also, someone my dad called Tong Merah (red bin) at the hawker centre above the original Sibu market before it moved to its present location. I do not know why he was known by that name and if I am not mistaken, he had a son who was a singer and a recording artiste, Yu Ping, I think his name was. He released a single or EP black vinyl record of Chinese/Mandarin songs those days long before there were cartridges or cassette tapes, much less compact discs.

These days, we have Foochow fried noodles everywhere, some very nice ones, some so so and some not quite what I would want to go for a second time but though the good ones may be really good, I would not say that they were exactly like what I had when I was a kid. If it is the original authentic Foochow fried noodles taste that you are looking for, I suggest you drop by here…

No name coffee shop

…for that.

This coffee shop has no name but it has been around for as long as I can remember, very popular for their gu tor (beef tripe) mee. When I went into the kitchen to place my order, I saw a basin full of gu tor and bags and bags of noodles. Obviously, if they can sell all that in a day, their business must be very good.

They’ve repainted the place white now…

No name coffee shop, inside

…even the floor, so it looked bright and clean and initially, I thought that the place was run by a few old ladies until a younger guy came along a bit later, with more bags of noodles! There were only a few customers when I got there around 6.15 a.m. that morning but while I was eating, the customers started trickling in and by the time I was done, it was already quite full.

I had their Foochow fried noodles, wet/with gravy (RM4.30)…

No name coffee shop, Foochow fried noodles

…and boy, was I impressed? It was exactly like the ones I loved so well in my childhood years and even though it was more expensive than most of the rest by 30 sen, I felt it was worth it plus in comparison, they certainly were more generous with the meat and the green vegetables. (The guy at the next table ordered their kampua mee – the usual with the thin slices of meat, no gu tor soup and I overheard that it was RM3.20, 20 sen more than most.)

I tapao-ed back for my missus to enjoy and I was told by the lady serving that it would be RM5.00 if I wanted to take it home but there would be more noodles. Hmmm…that was my first time encountering something like this. Elsewhere, it would cost the same but you can request for RM5.00 or RM10.00 or more if you would like it thus so as to share with everyone at home…and yes, my missus loved it too – just like what we used to eat at the kang ki pee (riverside) stalls in our younger days, she said.

Considering that they are able to replicate the original authentic taste of days gone by, I certainly would not hesitate to come back here for more.

This coffee shop with no name (2.288662, 111.831366) is located in the block of shops at the junction of Huo Ping Road and Jalan Kpg Nyabor, to the right of Garden Hotel, right next to Ocean Car Accessories, facing Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Jalan Pedada).

Have you…

I bought this lovely tapioca…

Tapioca & gula apong

…from a nice Iban lady at the Pasar Tamu Permai that morning for only RM2.00 a kilo.

I took one root and put it on the weighing machine – it wasn’t quite 1 kg yet and the lady just took another root to add to it saying, “Tak apa! Tak ada orang beli pun!” (Never mind, nobody buying, anyway!) It just slipped my mind at that point in time but I should have paid her more, another ringgit or two perhaps – she would probably need that little extra more than me. I must remember that the next time I drop by there.

The tapioca was really good even though it was white, not yellow – the yellow ones are of a more superior quality. I enjoy eating it boiled just like that with a bit of salt added but I would like to dip it in gula apong (nipah palm sugar).

Since we did not have that in the house, I headed to my regular Malay kueh and everything stall at Bandong to see if they had it or not. I did blog about them opening a small section beside their stall where one could go for a drink and enjoy their nasi lemak, fried mee or kway teow or porridge or one’s purchases from the stall but when I got there…

Kopi Kopi Cafe & Kitchen

…that morning, it looked like they had expanded even more! There was a stall selling kampua mee, kolo mee, mee pok, mee sua and chicken rice and inside, I saw signs advertising their mee jawa and laksa and Thai beef noodles but they said that last one was not available just yet.

To the right, I saw a roti canai stall and the nasi lemak stall beside it…

Roti canai & nasi lemak stalls

…but I could not see the porridge stall anywhere. Perhaps it had been discontinued.

Somebody said that their chicken rice was nice but I did not feel like having that as it was still quite early in the morning. I did not want their mee sua either as I was pretty sure that they would not have the traditional Foochow red wine in the soup.

I placed my order and sat down at one of the vacant tables. The kopi-o (black coffee) that I asked for…

Kopi-o & sugar

…was all right but it was served mian tai (without sugar). Anyway, that was provided at each table so if one would prefer one’s coffee sweet, one could just add according to the level one would desire.

While I was sitting there, everyone walking past asked, “Have you…ordered?” and when “the lady of the house” came by and asked that same question, a girl (one of them) sitting at a table remarked, “You’re the 5th person to ask him!” LOL!!! Somebody asked her who I was to be accorded such attention and she said something in reply – I only heard the word “blogger“. Hmmmm!!!!

This was what I had that morning, their mee pok special (RM6.00)…

Mee pok special, ayam madu

…and it came with one ayam madu (honey chicken) thigh.

Yes, the noodles were great and the chicken was very good too except that it was cold – perhaps they could heat it up lightly in  a non-stick pan or in an oven toaster or over a mini-charcoal grill before serving. I loved the chili dip and the soup was nice too, but very strong on the ginger (I’m not a fan of ginger) so my guess is that if you order mee sua, it will be served in that soup. It should be pretty good, I think, by their standard as while I was eating, some people came and ordered that to take home.

Anyway, back to my tapioca and the gula apong I was looking for, they did not have that there (I have seen them selling that on some days) so I went to this stall in the kampung to get it. I sure enjoyed my tea that day!

KOPI KOPI Café & Kitchen is located at the blocks of shops, at the back facing Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) and the main road.