I’ve been waiting…

…for the chance to come back here and try the mantao with mui choy stewed pork (RM5.00)…

BATARAS FOOD COURT mantao with mui choy stewed pork

…ever since I tried the one with plain stewed pork (RM4.50)

BATARAS FOOD COURT mantao with stewed pork
*Archive photo*

…and liked it a lot. I thought this one was just as good – I did not think there was a world of difference in the taste but it looked like there was not that much meat…

BATARAS FOOD COURT mui choy stewed pork

…while on the other hand, one can get to enjoy the mui choy added.

In the meantime, I spotted this stall…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi ayam gorneg stall

…that looked like the one at the other side of the food court before and I had tried the guy’s nasi daging hitam (black pork rice – RM6.00, chicken is a ringgit cheaper at RM5.00 only)…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi daging hitam

…before and I rather enjoyed it when I had it way back in September 2015 so that morning, I decided to have a go at it again. That old location is now occupied by the Malay stall from the other side so all this time, I thought he had moved elsewhere or called it quits.

It is still that same price as before but looking back, I had a stewed egg (RM1.00) with it then…

BATARAS FOOD COURT nasi babi hitam with stewed egg
*Archive photo*

I did not see any that morning at the stall or maybe, I just wasn’t looking otherwise I would surely have asked for one.

My missus ordered the braised pork fried kway teow (RM6.00) from the chu char (cook & fry) place at the back (to the right of the food court) and even though the bits of meat were barely visible…

BATARAS FOOD COURT braised pork fried kway teow 1

…it was very nice and had that lovely wok hei fragrance…

BATARAS FOOD COURT braised pork fried kway teow

…and she enjoyed it very much. I did try a bit and yes, I would say that I did agree with her on this.

BATARAS FOOD COURT (2.297349, 111.824644) is located among the shops opposite Kin Orient Plaza (where the “old’ Sing Kwong Supermarket is) along Jalan Tun Abg Hj Openg, right after Coffee Code and Gabriel’s Recipe, immediately before Kampung Grandma.

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Same again…

A few days after our first visit, we dropped by here again for lunch. I did say in my previous post that we would be doing that very often as it is round the corner from my mum’s house, a convenient stop for us on our way home.

I had every intention of checking out what they would have on their menu but when we got there, the sight of what they had for their nasi campur (mixed rice) made me change my mind and in the end, I had the same again.

This was what I had…

La'zzaty Cuisine nasi campur

…that day.

The daging masak hitam (black-cooked beef) was, at best, all right. Despite spotting all the spices used in the cooking in the gravy, it came across like soy sauce beef, maybe just a little bit nicer than that but not much, and the beef was not as tender as I would like it to be.

The masak lemak cabbage, bean curd sticks and glass noodles with black fungus and potatoes was good but of course, when my mum used to cook that, with prawns added and sweet potatoes instead of potatoes and a bit of cangkuk manis too, hers was a whole lot nicer.

I prefer the sambal petai with prawns here – their sambal is a whole lot nicer – and  here, it was more like sambal prawns with petai and I had a hard time picking out the stinky beans as there were a whole lot of prawns and not much petai.

As for my fourth pick, I wanted the terung Dayak, not so much the fish, the ikan tenggiri (mackerel) but in the end, I took a slice of that as well…

La'zzaty Cuisine fish with terung Dayak

I don’t know which of my four picks would constitute a vegetable dish, maybe the masak lemak so all in all, I had three meat and one vegetable.

This…

La'zzaty Cuisine pumpkin and cangkuk manis

…came out later otherwise, I would have taken some of it as well. Gee!!! I really must have a bit more self-control at places such as this as everything looked so inviting.

My missus stuck to her usual three and had the sambal prawns with petai too and also the masak lemak and she had another green vegetable. The total for the both of us that day was RM14.50 and my guess was hers was RM4.50 while mine was a whooping RM10.00 but yes, I did think it was worth it as I did enjoy all that I picked.

The following day, we headed back to this place and yes, it was open! I asked the boy if their off day each week would be on Wednesday but he said no – they would take Sundays off every week. I probed further to find out why they were closed ever so often and he mumbled something about waking up late and not feeling too well and what not.

Well, thankfully, their rather erratic irregular opening days did not seem to affect their business very much – there were a whole lot of people that day. I was thinking that their customers might get fed up going all the way there only to find that the place was closed and they might just decide to never come back again. Obviously, I was wrong.

We had the same thing again, their nasi kerabu with ayam percik, drumstick (RM6.50)…

Warong Cafe nasi kerabu ayam percik, drumstick

…that we do like a lot and yes, as always, it was really good. I love the stuffed green chili…

Stuffed green chili

…and I do think that the ayam percik

Ayam percik

…alone would be satisfying enough even if one had it with plain white rice.

I also ordered the Penang laksa (RM5.00)…

Warong Cafe Penang laksa 1

…to try but I thought it was a little mild – I felt that the one here had a stronger and more flavourful broth and a lot more of the fish flakes. Anyway, I ordered that just because I had seen a lot of people eating it and yes, it…

Warong Cafe Penang laksa 2

…did look good but truth be told, I am not really a fan of that Northern Malaysian delight.

LA’ZZATY CUISINE (2.307198, 111.828479) is located along Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg on the left if you are coming from town, right after the SHELL petrol station, at its junction with Jalan Nibong with the Sibu Buddhist Temple on your right on the other side of the road while WARONG CAFE (2.318841, 111.831732) is located among the shops in between Jalan Tapang and Jalan Tapang Timur towards the end of Jalan Kampung Nangka on the left with RTM Sibu right across the road on the right.

Still remember…

One of the most rewarding things about being a teacher is when the students still remember you, even those whom you do not have the opportunity to teach. I feel sad for those whose names their students cannot even remember – that thin one, wore spectacles…or that fierce one with a very loud voice and so on and so forth. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Well, this group of ex-students of mine in Kanowit around 1980…

Ex-SMK Kanowit students
*Ex-student’s photo forwarded via Facebook*

…sure remember me still, praise the Lord. They could even recall that I was their Form Teacher for two years when they were in Form 2 and Form 3. I was not able to attend their 2017 reunion in December that was held in Bintulu and the other day, out of the blue, one of them contacted me and  invited me to join them for dinner here, upstairs…

Sibu Town Cafe

I was quite surprised as I was not expecting it at all – I did hear from one of them that they will hold another reunion in Sibu sometime later this year and this wasn’t it. It sure was great to see all of them again and I felt so very happy that they are doing so well in their lives. I guess nothing makes a teacher happier than seeing ex-students making it good once they have left school.

My photographs did not come out too well except for this plate of the Four Heavenly Kings…

Sibu Town Cafe Four Heavenly Kings with canned pork cubes

…that went so very well with the canned pork cubes it was fried with and this one, a sourish pork leg soup…

Sourish pork leg soup

According to them, they were all their traditional Cantonese Hakka dishes including the sour duck, roast and soy sauce kampung pig pork and there was a plate of kampung chicken too plus the fried sweet potato leaves were very nicely done as well.

One of them went and bought this ikan semah

Steamed ikan semah
*Ex-student’s photo forwarded via Facebook*

…the upriver Kapit fish, second only to the very expensive wang poo liao (cannot forget) or the empurau and this one did not come cheap either – RM180 a kilo and the one we had was 1.4 kilo altogether. He got it from the brother of one of their classmates who was not with us that night and of course, it was very very fresh and very very nice unlike some empuraus that I have had lately, frozen too long and I thought they were kind of bland, quite tasteless and could have been any other fish.

We had a joyful evening filled with lots of smiles and I sure look forward to the next time we can get together like this again. Thank you all for the invitation and thank you especially to Hoi Kian, the host for the evening. May God bless you abundantly and everybody too in this new year and all the years ahead. Cheers!!!

SIBU TOWN CAFE (2.328216, 111.855481) is located at Ulu Sungai Merah 18F, opposite the Wonderful Supermarket and Departmental Store in that area of shops.

Point at you…

I walked by this coffee shop…

Happy Points Cafe, signboard

…sometime ago when I had the roast chicken and pork rice next door and I saw a group of sweet young things sharing a plate of Foochow fried noodles and it looked very good so all this while, I had been waiting for the chance to go back there and give it a try.

It’s just a regular coffee shop…

Happy Points Cafe, inside

…nothing fancy and in line with the regulations laid down by the local council, once you’re seated, they will give you a glass of hot water and you can pick your chopsticks and spoon from the basket holder and dip them in to sort of sterilise them before use…

Good practice

The coffee was good and the Foochow fried noodles (RM4.00)…

Foochow fried noodles 1

…was to my liking too, tasty and with the much coveted wok hei fragrance. No, I would not say it was my favourite in town but yes, it was nice enough and I sure will not mind going for it again if I happen to be in the vicinity.

I particularly liked how generous they were with the green vegetables…

Foochow fried noodles 2

…or at least, they were visible unlike at many places around here where the minute bits of meat and greens would hardly be visible to the naked eye.

It seems that they have nasi lemak for only RM3.00 and a whole lot of selections on their “menu” on the wall and they have mee sua (the Foochow longevity noodles) on weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I probably would try those or something else that they have to offer the next time I stop by here.

HAPPY POINTS CAFE (2.310958, 111.831458) is located along Jalan Dewan Suarah, on your right as you are entering from Jalan Melur, two doors away from the Aroma Bakery so that makes it the fourth shoplot in the block.

Put it together…

If you see these red lanterns here, there and everywhere around town…

CNY lanterns 1

…you will know right away that Chinese New Year is drawing very near…

CNY lanterns 2

…but of course, when it comes to the one and only Payung Café here, you can expect to see something unique, something very different from the rest every year.

This was what they had last year, 2017…

Payung CNY decor 2017

…and some people wanted that same thing for the Chinese New Year decoration at their premises this year.

It so happened that I dropped by that afternoon and Peter and his boys were very busy working on it. He had all the things…

Putting it together 1

…ready…

Putting it together 2

…and all they had to do was to put everything together…

Putting it together 3

…step by step…

Putting it together 4

…piece by piece…

Putting it together 5

…till it was done…

Putting it together 6

Peter never planned ahead – I had expected a rough sketch or something that he could work on but no, he just followed his instincts so of course, it would not be an identical replica of the old one. I have yet to see it on display with the lights and everything on but for one thing, the one this year is vertical as opposed to last year’s which was horizontal – probably that has something to do with the wall at the place, the space available.

While I was there, I had the opportunity to sample their durian cake…

Payung durian cake

This was their 3rd attempt at making that. The first time was very successful – I thought it was really nice but the second attempt failed to meet the mark – too much flour and not enough fresh durian cream so it was back to the drawing board and the third time around, I thought it was really very good, very fine and smooth – something like a cross between cake and bingka, not really like dodol, and like their banana cake…

Payung banana cake with ice cream

…it went so very well with a bit of ice cream…

Payung durian cake with ice cream

I don’t know if it is on their menu now or not – I have not dropped by since. Do give it a try if it is and see if you like it!

PAYUNG CAFÉ (2.284049, 111.833014) 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.

On the sunny side of the street…

It looks like this place takes Wednesdays off every week – we went there on a Wednesday but it was closed. There was a notice on the door saying that they were taking the day off and business would resume the following day, Thursday.

I was not keen on venturing some place else so we just dropped by this shop

Sunny Cafe

…a couple of doors to the left at the end of that same block of shops.

I think the last time I was here was in October, 2016 and I loved the mee jawa from this stall…

Sunny Cafe stall

…there and I would always ask for the special – for 50 sen more, one would get a few of their lovely prawn fritters. Their halal kampua mee is good too and yes, if you go for the special, you will get the prawn fritters as well.

My missus had the kampua mee (RM3.00)…

Sunny Cafe kampua mee

…that day but no, she did not want the special so it came without the prawn fritters.

I asked for their nasi lemak special (RM5.50) and got one fried egg…

Sunny Cafe nasi lemak & fried egg

…and one fried chicken wing…

Fried chicken wing

I could tell that they used the same batter that they would use to fry the prawns for the fritters but no, I did not get any of the latter.

Sadly, the rice was not lemak – I could detect a very faint hint of the santan (coconut milk) in it, barely noticeable, I must say and I don’t think any pandan (screwpine leaves) was used in the cooking.

However, on the whole, it was all right as I could eat the rice with the sambal and everything else that came with it and to my delight, they gave two of this salted fish…

Sunny Cafe nasi lemak, sambal & salted fish

Normally, elsewhere, I would get one only.

I do think the one I had here was nicer, RM6.50 with a special request for their ayam percik and I did enjoy their nasi ayam a lot more, same price – RM5.50 too so I probably would not go back here for the same…

Sunny Cafe nasi lemak

…again unless that other place is closed like that day, Wednesday.

SUNNY CAFE (2.318936, 111.831762) is located to the extreme left of the block of shops among those in between Jalan Tapang and Jalan Tapang Timur towards the end of Jalan Kampung Nangka, on the left – RTM Sibu is located right across the road on the right.

Someone to take your place…

We dropped by here the other day – we don’t do that very often as the place is always crowded and there is difficulty in finding a place to park the car. There are so many cars all around the building,  spilling onto the roads around the place that it makes me wonder if it is a-car-a-person kind of thing so if there are 20 cars, then there are only 20 people inside.

It was fine that day as we went at around 11.30 a.m. and there wasn’t any crowd there and parking was a breeze. I spotted them selling this homemade popiah (RM2.50)…

Happiness Cafe popiah 1

– spicy and non-spicy, both going for the same price so of course, I picked the former to try.

Yes, it was very nice…

Happiness Cafe popiah 2

…and had a slight hint of crushed peanut and fresh ground chili in it. I sure would not mind having another go at it should I happen to drop by here again and they are available.

The kopi-o-peng (iced black coffee) here (RM1.70)…

Happiness Cafe kopi-o-peng

…is very nice and that morning, we decided to check out what this stall there…

Happiness Cafe stall

…had to offer.

At one time, the people there were selling dishes with their own-made fish balls, bay ka/ikan tenggiri (mackerel) no less and yes, we did try some of them and yes, they did have some very good stuff. The coffee shop owner said that they were their crowd-puller but soon after that, they were gone! I don’t know if they had decided to call it quits or they had moved elsewhere. Well, someone has taken over the place and it seemed to be an extension of the Sarawak laksa stall right next to it but I am not particularly sure as I did not bother to ask.

I ordered the lor mee (RM5.00)…

Happiness Cafe lor mee 1

…and the broth turned out to be something like that of stewed soy sauce pork and a very watery one at that, not thick and nice. They certainly were very generous with the meat…

Happiness Cafe lor mee 2

…though and at best, I would say it was all right, something one might consider having when there but not anything to get me rushing back for more or for that matter, to go back there with the sole intention of eating this.

My missus had the tom yam hung ngang with the big freshwater prawns (RM12.00)…

Happiness Cafe tom yam prawn hung ngang 1

…which was quite nice too though it was kind of mild and lacked the strong taste of the usual ingredients one would expect in tom yam, the serai (lemon grass), the daun limau perut (kaffir lime leaves) and what not so it wasn’t all that fragrant.

For one thing, I must say it was very cheap as they gave TWO prawns…

Happiness Cafe tom yam prawn hung ngang 2

I’ve had fried noodles, Foochow style, with these prawns added and got only one cut into halves to make it look like two and for that, I had to fork out some RM15.00 or more!

I don’t know when we will be back here again and if and when we do, perhaps we would give some of the other options a try.

HAPPINESS CAFE, (2.306608, 111.827179) formerly KONG MA MA, is located along Lorong Delta 4, off Jalan Delta. The left turn into Lorong Delta 9 will lead you straight to the Delta Public Swimming Pool.