Unusually unusual…

This coffee shop in the next lane, round the corner from my house, is enjoying brisk business. I see a lot of people there every morning and if I am not wrong, it closes around noon and reopens in the evening but I hardly ever venture out once the sun has set and I have not passed by the place at night so I am not really sure.

I’ve been there a number of times and I like the fried stuff from the chu-char (cook & fry) place at the back and the kampua mee from the stall in front is pretty decent too. I was there not too long ago to tapao the Foochow fried noodles but the guy’s wife, a lady of ethnic descent, was doing the cooking. She said that the hubby was unwell and was at that point in time in hospital. Thankfully, when I went there again the other day, he was back in action, looking as fit as a fiddle.

I think the wife is Iban even though she is very fair and has the oriental look of those Kayan or Kenyah maidens. I heard the guy talking to the kids in Iban and Hokkien which I feel is a good thing. Many offsprings of such inter-marriages may end up speaking one language but not the other or worse, none of them, conversant only in Mandarin or English.

I ordered the fried kway teow (flat rice noodles), wet (with sauce/gravy), for a change and when it (RM4.00)…

Ah Kau Cafe fried kway teow 1

…was served, the first thing that crossed my mind was that it looked kind of pale which was unusually unusual, different from elsewhere where it would be a shade darker probably because of the amount of dark soy sauce added.

I tried it and was glad to find that it was very nice. It had that much coveted wok hei fragrance and the guy was very generous with the added ingredients…

Ah Kau Cafe fried kwayteow 2

…unlike elsewhere where you will get bits of meat and green vegetables hardly visible to the naked eye for that same amount of money.

Of course, I would be dropping by time and time again as I do like what they dish out here and it is so very convenient, so near my house.

AH KAU CAFE (2.316346, 111.839861) is located along Jalan Ruby, off Jalan Lim Han Swee, in the same block as Kim Tak Mini Supermarket, to the extreme left.

Coincidentally…

I saw some very nice photographs on Facebook of the pan mee with a choice between beef and pork at one place here, round the corner from my house so early one morning, I went there hoping to give it a try. Unfortunately, it was not open – I did not know whether it was their off day or I was too early, before 8.00 a.m.

In the end, I went here instead, not far away from the aforementioned coffee shop. Coincidentally, an ex-student of mine showed up and coincidentally, he too saw the photographs and wanted to go and try but it was closed and coincidentally, he picked to go to that same coffee shop where I was instead.

I had the mee sua from the second stall before and it was very nice and my missus had something from the first stall, very popular for their own-made bay kar (ikan tenggiri/mackerel) fish balls, and she liked it.

My ex-student had this from the latter (RM8.00)…

Ex-student's order

…not by choice – he said he did not know what to order so he just picked one at random. Well, I did not hear him complain so I guess it was all right.

I did not want anything from those two stalls and I went to the one in front on the right…

Toast stall

…instead. The young boy was selling all kinds of toasts but no, I was not in the mood for those and I picked his scrambled egg set (RM6.90) instead.

The egg…

Scrambled egg

…was perfectly done, creamy enough and not overcooked till it was like some kind of a badly messed-up omelette (like the ones you will get on the breakfast menu at those fast food franchises) but I wouldn’t mind if he had scrambled it a little bit more.

I am not fond of those (cheap) frozen supermarket sausages…

Scrambled egg set

…with or without the squiggle of mayonnaise though. Next time I will bring my own gourmet ones. Of course at the price he was charging for the dish, one can’t jolly well expect any of those or perhaps I will just tell him to leave out the sausages and give me two servings of the egg instead.

I saw the photo of the so-called American breakfast at the stall, RM7.90, but with those same sausages and some slices of those similarly cheap frozen supermarket turkey or chicken ham – I don’t think I will go for that.

YISEN CAFE is located opposite the Lovers’ Bridge along Sungai Merah among the shops to the left of Jalan Teng Chin Hua before its junction with Lorong Sg Merah 2. Unlike at many parts of town these days, there is ample parking here and it is free.

Yellow chair…

He’s one of the most popular guys in town for his kampua mee

He's the man

…at this coffee shop…

Meng Chien Cafe

…more commonly referred to as “yellow chair” because all the chairs in the shop are of that colour.

Well, some friends of mine were talking about him the other day – they said that he opens his shop real early every day at 3.00 a.m. That did not come as a surprise to me as I did notice a lot of cars outside his shop when I drove past after I had dropped my girl at her school at around 6.00 a.m.

That day, I decided to make a u-turn and drive over for breakfast. After all, I last dropped by here, my very first time, in 2013 and I had not gone back since, the reason being the fact that parking around there later in the day is virtually impossible.

This was around 6.00 something in the morning…

Early in the morning

…and most of the parking spaces were occupied – luckily, I did manage to get hold of one on the other side of the road. You can see the numerous customers at the tables arranged outside all along the pavement.

I was of the opinion that his kampua mee was really good and all this while, I would tell people that his would be among the best in town. I ordered a bowl (RM2.80)…

Meng Chien Cafe kampua mee

…and yes, it was good. It came across to me as being a bit firmer than most so if one is more into softer noodles, he or she would probably not like it as much.

I did not order the guy’s pian sip this time around as I remember on my previous visit, I was not as impressed but of course, I noticed the plastic bowl that he used and of course, I wasn’t exactly fond of that and for this reason alone, you will not catch me going back there again all that soon.

Perhaps he chooses to use those as the colour matches the chairs – I guess that’s his prerogative.

MENG CHIEN CAFE (2.285361, 111.832262) is located along Long Bridge Road, the second shop on your left as you turn in from Lanang Road.

Related…

The last time I was here

Hee's Food Corner

…and that happened to be the first time as well, I enjoyed the mee sua (thread/string noodles/Foochow longevity noodles) in the traditional Foochow red wine chicken soup so much that I just had to share a post on it on Facebook to tell everyone about it.

It so happened that a very old friend going back to the late 70’s and early 80’s in Kanowit saw it and commented that the lady was related to her husband, his cousin to be exact (or maybe it was somebody else who saw it and told me that they were related). Gee! Small world!!!

I went back there again that day and now that I knew who she…

Hee's Food Corner mee sua stall

…was, I had a good look at her and yes, she did look like everyone in the family. I asked her and she confirmed the fact and after that, we had a really good chat about everybody and everything Kanowit.

I had the mee sua (RM7.00)…

Hee's Food Corner mee sua

…again and probably it was already lunchtime and she was coming to the bottom of the pot so the soup had traces of the ang chao (lees) residue in the wine. Nonetheless, it was very good, as good as when I had it the first time so if ever I should feel like having mee sua, this will definitely be my first pick.

While I was there, a few others came and they too had the mee sua. Obviously, she is quite popular and has her followers. She does not have much else at her stall though, just toast done in a few different ways or kompia or mantao, not anything that I would fancy.

NEW HEE’S FOOD CORNER (2.311365, 111.846638) is located along Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, the very first one in the block of shops to the left of the Delta Mall, with the Astro Sibu office at the other end of that same block.

Cold as ice…

That night, after our dinner here, we walked to the other end of the two blocks of shops at Wisma Liberty/Wisma Sri Minyak to this recently-opened place…

Ice+ Garden

…at the extreme right for dessert.

It’s a very nice place…

Counter

…serving gelato, popsicles and snow ice desserts. You place your orders with those sweet young things at the counter and pay before taking your seat at a table and they will serve them to you once they are ready. I noticed that there is a mezzanine floor too and one can sit up there as well but I did not go to check where the stairs are that one can use to go up.

I saw that they had some cakes as well and I ordered a slice, their strawberry fromage (RM12.90)…

Strawberry fromage

…which turned out to be quite nice and very much to everyone’s liking. What I did not know then was that fromage is French for cheese so I guess those were layers of cheese cake with strawberry mousse and jam sandwiched in between and the description did mention that there was something yogurt too – probably the layer on the outside. It was served with those edible little gold flakes – nice touch, don’t you think?

My girl ordered this mango milk snow ice (RM18.00)…

Mango milk snow ice 1

…to share and we were given a tiny jug of whatever syrup to pour all over the ice…

Mango milk snow ice 2

…and mix everything together to enjoy. It was so good, not so much mango and a lot more expensive (but  the serving was bigger – that was one huge bowl) than the Mango No. 5 I had not too long ago but very very much nicer.

We enjoyed our orders a lot and one thing’s for sure, we sure will make our way back here again soon.

ICE+ Garden Sibu (2.303365, 111.843198) is located at No. 31, Ground Fl, Wisma Sri Minyak, Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Pedada) 7.

It’s all good…

I had a little windfall the other day and I told my girl that we could go for a nice dinner the following night. She was visually delighted when I told her the venue I had picked – we had not gone there for a long time now and even though she liked the place, she knew I was not too happy with this and that on our previous visits and was not that keen on going back there again.

We ordered the Ceasar salad (RM18.00)…

Caffeine Cafe ceasar's salad

…to share and the moment it was served, my girl remarked that the egg would surely get my nod of approval. Indeed, I was delighted to see the soft, runny yolk. Perfegg!!!

We enjoyed the calamari dish at their sister restaurant – in fact, we had it there twice, here and here so we asked for the one here, their calamari fritti (RM16.00)…

Caffeine Cafe calamari fritti

…and yes, it was just as good here too!

My girl picked their own-made ravioli with bolognese sauce (RM48.00)…

Caffeine Cafe ravioli bolognese

…and it was very much to her liking. I did try one but I can’t say that it swept me off my feet as I am never a fan of the tomato-based sauce. They certainly were very generous with the beef but at that price, I must say that I wasn’t, in the least, surprised.

The mum had the yakitori chicken (RM24.00)…

Caffefine Cafe yakitori chicken

…which was good too even though despite the name, it was not skewered.

I had the pork chop and sausage (RM28.00)…

Caffefine Cafe pork chop and sausage

…which was all right. I had had nicer own-made sausages elsewhere before and the pork was not exactly tender but I was able to handle it quite well with the few teeth that I have left. For reasons unknown, my pork was different from what the ladies at the next table were sharing – they were having the same and theirs looked more like what a pork chop should look like.

Service was very good, very efficient and prompt, our orders came soon enough and I was glad that there were no chipped plates this time around – something here that put me off more than once before. Yes, the waiting staff were all Mandarin-speaking but the skinny young boy who took our orders was conversant in English.

We did not order any drinks and just had the complimentary water and we didn’t have any dessert either as we were planning to adjourn elsewhere for that.

The total came up to RM134.00 (no SST, no service charge) which was perfectly all right – easy come, easy go and most importantly, we did enjoy our dinner and it was all good that evening, even with regard to the use of my credit card to pay the bill. I was quite pissed off the last time when they used PAYWAVE (for bills below RM200.00) without asking me or informing me first. This time, I had to key in my PIN number and that got me wondering as to whether they had read my blogpost and that got them to change this policy of theirs or there were complaints from other customers regarding this as well.

Unlike the previous occasions when we were here, this time, I was rather pleased with everything and seeing how my girl was so happy with the dinner, I left a generous tip for them in the basket at the counter! Don’t thank me, thank TOTO! Hehehehehe!!!!

CAFFEINE CAFE (2.302620, 111.842988) is located on the ground floor of Wisma Liberty, Block 3, Lorong Dr Wong Soon Kai 7, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai (formerly Jalan Pedada) – on your left, past the Jalan Ulu Oya Road (Sacred Heart School) traffic lights if you are coming from town.

Burnt…

That day, my missus had something up so I told her not to cook and I could drive her to do what she had to do after which we would go and pick our girl at her school when she was done for the day and we would go for lunch together.

As always, nobody had any idea what they wanted to eat and after a few twists and turns to avoid being caught in the lunch hour cum after-school jam here and there, we ended up here eventually. There were a lot of people but it was not really that crowded (and noisy) – I’ve seen worse and that probably was because it was already 1 something, about time to head back to the office.

There was this one guy with his lady companion at the next table and he was speaking to her the whole time like he was speaking to everybody in the room but that wasn’t half as bad as the music they were playing plus I did not quite care for the songs on their playlist either.

I did not go and have a good look but it seemed to be from a laptop or something on the counter and we were sitting right beside it. I remember they had a proper sound system – probably that had broken down or something in which case, they might as well not play anything at all. For the prices they are charging, I certainly would expect a more pleasant dining environment.

Anyway, back to our lunch, my girl had the lor mee while the mum had the beef noodles, both of which I had had before and no, I did not think I would want to order those again. Unfortunately, my well-intended advice fell on deaf ears but don’t get me wrong – they do have a lot of nice things on their menu like their kueh chap which we all love, for instance, their mee sua is pretty good, even their nasi lemak isn’t too bad and the list goes on and on and on…just that these two do not fall into that same category.

My missus was able to finish everything, helping herself to a whole lot of their very nice chili dip that they gave in a bottle but my girl could barely manage half of hers. Luckily, she also ordered these teriyaki wings (RM13.80)…

Noodle House teriyaki wings

…which she thought were all right but she could only manage two so we had the third one packed for us to take home.

I went for the sizzling nasi biryani with beef rendang (RM15.90)…

Noodle House biryani rendang

…except that it was not sizzling when it was served but I really enjoyed it…a lot!

The beef rendang was very nice and I loved the fragrance of the daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaves) in it even though when it comes to rendang, one would usually find daun kunyit (turmeric leaves) instead of the aforementioned. The rice was great too just that it was not entirely like the Indian version with all the herbs and spices – I would say it was more like those at the Malay stalls. All things considered, I did think it was good and I sure would not mind ordering that again the next time we drop by here.

While we were there, I saw something under the glass table promoting something that I had not seen here before – their basque burnt cheesecake. This goondu has seen that in friends’ blogs and has always wondered what that is and why anyone would want to eat anything burnt so of course, I ordered a slice (RM8.80)…

Noodle House basque burnt cheesecake

…to try. It turned out to be something like the Japanese baked cotton cheese cake that I do like a lot except that the top was kind of cracked and kind of burnt in a way but that was intentional…and yes, I would say it was nice. Period.

Our lunch, inclusive of drinking water, 50 sen per glass, and the 6% SST came up to RM59.80.

NOODLE HOUSE (2.291406,111.829162) is located somewhere in the area immediately behind the Sibu Central Police Station at No. 2B, Ground Floor, Lorong Laichee 1, accessible either from Hua Kiew Road or Laichee Lane.