How we met…

This is Mak Met…

Mak Met

…the very enterprising lady behind Mak Met’s Breakfast Station. From its humble beginning as a little stall with a couple of long tables under a big colourful umbrella at the corner of the shops at Bandong here, it grew and grew and grew, offering a whole lot of things to pick and choose including the very nice Sarawak kek lapis (layer cake). There will always be a lot that one would want to buy here especially during the fasting month of Ramadhan…

Mak Met, Ramadhan
*Archive photo*

…and now, it is a shop…

Mak Met's shop

…in its own right.

You can still buy all those kuihs…

Mak Met kuih

…that have been around all this while and it is best to go earlier in the morning or they may be sold out and you will just have to grab those leftovers or go away disappointed.

You may buy some things that you want here instead of having to make your way to a shop elsewhere just to grab that one item that you are looking for…

Mak Met's shop, inside

…and there are noodles too, fried…

Mat Met mee goreng

…or kampua (halal) and though that looks rather small, there is actually quite a lot in one packet plus it is only RM1.00 each!

I love the Sarawak laksa (RM3.00)…

Mak Met Sarawak laksa

…here and my girl and the mum enjoy it too so I would drop by sometimes to grab a few packets home. That is enough for fill one big (Chinese soup) bowl, more or less the same as what you will get at the Sarawak laksa stalls at the coffee shops outside but of course, for RM3.00, you are not getting any prawns, that’s for sure…and anyway, most of the time, all you would usually get, despite having to pay more, would be around three miserable small ones that may be quite bland and not all that fresh. No worries, they are quite generous with the shredded chicken, the thinly sliced omelette and the taugeh so we do not miss those prawns one bit, not at all, and the sambal is very nice too.

Another thing I would buy from here too would be the nasi kerabu

Mak Met nasi kerabu

Of course, you may not get the whole works like at our favourite place in town but that one is around RM6.00, the last time we had that and it is available only on Saturday mornings…and this is only RM4.50. I certainly would give them the double thumbs up for not using those banned-in-Sibu polystyrene containers otherwise I would just walk away and never buy anything from them ever again!

For one thing, they are always venturing into some new things time and time again and right now, there is this handsome young boy there…

Mak Met takoyaki stall

…making those Japanese takoyaki

Mak Met takoyaki

…for sale. I am not into those things so I have never bought any to try – perhaps one of these days, I may just give it a go…

Loud and clear…

I was born a British subject by virtue of the fact that Sarawak was at the time a British colony and during that time, we used to get imported stuff from the UK. I remember how I enjoyed those Nice biscuits from Huntley & Palmers but unfortunately, we do not get anything from them anymore these days. It had been quite a while since I last had any Nice biscuits and the other day, my girl spotted these at a supermarket here (RM7.90)…

Arnotts Nice biscuits

No, they’re from Australia, the other side of the world and yes, I do recall the sugar coating…

Arnotts Nice biscuit

…but somehow or other, I was not really impressed by this one. I don’t know but maybe we were so deprived in those days that it seemed so very nice or perhaps, things today are not longer like what they used to be.

One thing I particularly like about these imported products is how they tell you exactly what they contain…

Imported products ingredients

…and they highlight the offensive ingredients in bold for the benefit of those who may be allergic to them.

You can see another example here on a carton of the imported Australian milk…

Devondale milk gluten free

…that I am drinking right now…and here, it states in no uncertain terms that it contains full cream milk…

Devondale full cream milk

…and nothing else.

On the other hand, let’s look at this packet of noodles (RM9.90)…

Penang-made millet noodles

…made in Bukit Mertajam, Penang that I bought at another supermarket here that day. I do know for a fact that millet is ok for those who are gluten sensitive/intolerant and the name of the product is the only clue as to what they are made of. Now, the question is…what else? We haven’t the slightest idea as nothing is mentioned in that little label. I thought there is a ruling that the ingredients must be specified in all manufactured food products? I even logged into their website to see what I could find there – nothing! Seeing that we are not entirely sure whether it is safe for my girl or not, in the end, we decided that it would be best for her not to consume it.

Going back to the milk, these days, I will usually buy this one from New Zealand…

Meadow Fresh New Zealand milk
*Archive photo*

…at RM5 something a carton. It certainly makes a lot more sense buying this instead of the Malaysian-made UHT milk that may set you back by some RM7 or RM8 a carton. Just the other day, I noticed that the New Zealand one was on offer – RM4.90 only a carton but I had already bought a box of the Australian one…

Devondale new packaging

…at another supermarket, also selling at RM4.90 a carton.

A long long time ago when this brand first hit the shelves here, it was only RM1.00 a carton…and people would cart boxes and boxes home including those from Kuching. Not only was it cheap, they said but it was much nicer and creamier than our local ones.

After sometime, they changed their packaging and it looked like this…

Devondale old packaging
*Archive photo*

…and now, they have changed the packaging again…with a new easier-to-open cap…

Devondale new cap

…than the ring that they had before and also the thin aluminium foil that we find in other brands, so thin that it is quite a chore to get the loose end out.

No, as you can see from the expiry date, they are not going cheap because it is almost due, and probably it is a lot cheaper than in Australia itself, after conversion. You can’t blame me for not supporting our own Malaysian industries, can you?

Go the distance…

That day, when I shared on Facebook the link to my post on the kampua mee place at Pandan Jaya, I did get a lot of responses from friends far and wide – those who have tried it before and they all gave it their nod of approval, one going as far as rating it a 9 out of 10!

I don’t know exactly where it is located but some said it is far from where they stay. I guess that prompted a friend to share this link to this blogpost on a  place in Brickfields but when I clicked to go and have a look, it sure seemed very delicious but despite the name, it did not appear to be anything like kampua mee as we know it, more like Kuching kolo mee. Those of my Facebook friends who have gone to try were quick in agreeing with my opinion with regards to the appearance…and also the taste. The blogger also featured the Sarawak laksa at this place – what? Sarawak laksa with fish balls and fish cake and sliced meat. True blue Sarawak laksa connoisseurs would certainly frown at the mere sight of it. He even said this one tasted nicer than the celebrated Auntie Christina’s in Bangsar. Well, at least, hers looks like what Sarawak laksa should look like. “The soup had what I think is a perfect balance of sambal belacan and tamarind so it’s not overly sour,” he said. Tamarind? Sour? I rest my case. Period.

Anyway, back to the discussion on kampua mee, my friend, Annie (who’s originally from Sibu, born and raised here) commented that she would have to drive all the way to this coffee shop in Puchong to appease her craving for the noodles. Now, THAT is far…from her place in Bangsar. My friend who shared the above link also mentioned this same one and shared a photograph of the stall…

Sibu Kampua Mee stall at Double D, Puchong

…and what he ate there…

Double D Puchong kampua mee, pian sip

He said that a lady and a girl from Sibu run the stall and he said the kampua mee is good, pretty authentic…and a few others also came and said that they have tried this one and gave their thumbs up. Good grief!!! Don’t those people do anything else other than going round all over to eat the kampua noodles?

In the meantime, Annie sent me the photographs of the kampua mee

Double D Puchong kampua mee

…and the pian sip

Double D Puchong pian sip

…that she had here…and if she too says it is good, I would take her word for it.

Well, if anyone is interested in dropping by to check this one out, here’s the address:
Restoran Double D
15, Jalan Puteri 2/5 (Bandar Puteri Puchong)
47100 Puchong Batu Dua Belas, Selangor

In the meantime, my blogger-friend, Sharon somewhere in Singapore has gone to try the kampua noodles in the island republic that I also blogged about recently. Do click this link and hop over to her blog to see her post on it – she did not actually say whether she liked it or not but I guess that photograph of her empty bowl says it all.

Too fast…

I mentioned in my post the other day that my girl wanted the mutton bryani here…

The Cafe Ind, Sibu

…but it was closed that day, Monday, so the following day, we made our way there but we were way too early. Officially, they open at 12 noon but usually, by 11-ish, they would be on the roll already. However, that day, they were still doing the cleaning and mopping at the outside section so we had to sit inside which of course, was darker and that would mean that the photos in this post would not be so nice.

There was a young and handsome Indian man, very well-dressed, already there. At first, I thought he was the true blue North Indian chef working here and I was wondering why he was dressed up to the nines when he would have to sweat it out in the kitchen. It turned out that he was a customer, there to enjoy the authentic Indian cuisine – I think he had naan and a few other things from the menu as well and I must say that this would just about show how original and how good the Indian food here is for someone from India to want to come here and eat.

Of course, my girl had what she wanted…

Cafe Ind, Sibu mutton bryani

Like I said earlier, the photos are not going to be very nice but you can click here to see a more flattering snapshot of what she had. They were very generous with both the meat and the rice so towards the end, I had to help her a bit with it.

My missus stuck faithfully to her kalio ayam

Cafe Ind kalio ayam 1

…from the Indonesian menu. There were two huge chunks of chicken in the banana boat and she could just handle one – yes, I had to help her finish off the other one…

Cafe Ind kalio ayam 2

…and it was very very nice, the curry. I would say it was different from the regular Malay curry and definitely not the same as the Indian one as well. It had a taste of its own, something a bit more towards asam curry and yes, I loved it…a lot! Those who frequent the nasi padang places in Singapore and elsewhere would probably know what I mean, not the same as what we are more familiar with and very nice.

I ordered the tandoori chicken…

Cafe Ind tandoori chicken 1

…without the rice as I knew my girl would not be able to finish hers – she’s not a very big eater – and I would have to help her with it. I don’t know what sauce/gravy that was in the stainless steel bowl in the middle but it was really very nice and I enjoyed it a lot.

It took quite a while to come out of the kitchen but that was to be expected as the usual waiting time would be around 20 minutes for the chef to get the chicken done to perfection – very tender, succulent and moist…

Cafe Ind tandoori chciken 2

…and of course, it was great!

We were halfway through when Iggy, an ex-student of mine, dropped by for lunch with somebody, probably a client of his. He was the same one who picked up the tab when I was here, having dinner with my cousin and her hubby home from Brisbane, Australia. I quickly finished eating so I could give him a return treat (one of their orders had just been served then) but when I went to pay our bills, I was told that he had settled everything already – his and all of ours. Oh me oh my!!! That was fast, too fast!!! Thank you so much, Iggy, for the second round – next time, do slow down a bit and let me have the chance to reciprocate.

That, of course, was a really delightful lunch and as they say, the best things in life are free. Hehehehehe!!!!

When I’m sixty-four…

FINALLY, the day has come when I can sing this song…

…and it is the truth, literally!

However, talking about the truth, there is a lot more of it in this very amusing parody of the aforementioned song…

– all the ailments that come with old age…but thankfully, not even half of it is true in my case, praise the Lord!

Well, it has been 64 years since the time when this photograph was taken…

Baby STP

…and thankfully, the years have been kind – there have been good days and not so good ones. Needless to say, I do not expect to live through another 64 – that, of course, is humanly impossible, I think – but I do hope to stick around for a while yet. Let’s all drink to that, shall we?

Cheers

Cheers!!!

Wondering…

I am not really all that religiously-inclined but when we dropped by a mall in town that day, I was appalled by the decor…

Star Mega Mall Christmas decor

…they had put up for Christmas this year.

I was not crazy about the theme here, I think that was last year, and also at one supposedly classy restaurant in town, Frozen, but at least there was snow…and snowmen and I think there was a reindeer too, things that have long been associated with Christmas like Santa Claus, Christmas trees and presents but this got me wondering as I just cannot for the dear life of me figure out the connection between Christmas and Pikachu. Yes, it is the current craze or at least, it was not too long ago when lots of people went round catching those Pokemons or the short form for the Japanese name, Pocket Monsters. I guess those business people are trying to cash in on its popularity but somehow, it just doesn’t give me the feel or the spirit of Christmas.

Prior to stopping by this place that day, we had gone for lunch here. My girl wanted the bryani rice here but it was closed – Monday is their off day every week so we decided to go for more of our own Sarawak ethnic Dayak cuisine and ended up here again. True to their word, they had entirely different dishes in their selection that day except for the tapioca leaves that all three of us picked…

Anak Borneo tapioca leaves

…and they did it really well that day – it was always nice but we thought that day, it was even nicer. I guess it is a good thing to have different dishes on different days especially for the regulars – that way, they would not get bored unlike at some chap fan or nasi campur places here. You will see the exact same dishes day in and day out!

However, I was hoping to go for more of their kacang ma chicken with tuak (the traditional ethnic Dayak rice wine) and their pansoh babi (pork cooked in bamboo) but unfortunately, those were not in the menu for the day so instead both my girl and I picked the fish with the sourish terung Dayak (Dayak brinjal, which to me seems more like something from the tomato family)…

Anak Borneo terung Dayak fish

…and the umai

Anak Borneo umai

– our Melanau version of the Japanese sashimi, which we both enjoyed.

My missus picked the chicken curry…

Anak Borneo chciken curry

…and the two of us also had the pig’s intestines and pig’s blood with pineapples…

Anak Borneo pig's intestines & blood

…which we thought was pretty good as well.

The total for all our individual selections, plus rice, came up to RM19.50 altogether. I wonder when they will be having the kacang ma chicken and the pansoh babi again – I sure wouldn’t mind going back there again for those especially.

There’s no place like home for the holidays…

Well, there’s no place like home, that goes without saying, and my girl, for one, is happy to be back now that the school holidays are here and she would not need to go back to her school in the jungle till next year.

I hear the Christmas decorations are up but I have not gone round much except to the mall near my house and there is this one solitary Christmas tree there…

Delta Mall Christmas tree

…and these snowmen…

Delta Mall snowmen

…for those keen on having their photographs taken. The economy is not in very good shape with all the rising prices of virtually everything and probably for that reason, the decorations are somewhat minimal. I hear these snowmen were from the year before last, recycled.

Other than the aforementioned, there were also these…

Delta Mall Christmas cuties

…and the gingerbread house…

Delta Mall gingerbread house

Something is better than nothing, I guess – at times like this, it is good for us to try and be a bit prudent in our spending. After all, what is most important is the true meaning of Christmas, not the lavish spending and all that extravagant feasting and partying.

Well, our celebration is going to be very low key this year. Other than going to church, I do not foresee much cooking and celebrating now that we suspect my girl is gluten intolerant and would have to avoid wheat and so on…and who would have guessed there is wheat in soy sauce as well!!! This means that when we go out to eat, we would not be ordering any of those noodles and stuff made from wheat flour. Kway teow (flat rice noodles) and bihun (rice vermicelli) would be fine but not fried, as they always add soy sauce in the cooking.

That was why when we were out for brunch last Saturday morning, she opted for the Sarawak laksa

Thomson Corner Sarawak laksa 1

here, still our favourite in town. The current prices are the same as when we were here in April, RM5.50 for the small/regular but the consoling thing is that the serving is very big and small eaters may have a problem eating all of it.

The large (RM7.00)…

Thomson Corner Sarawak laksa 2

…is huge, so huge that even I had to struggle a bit to finish everything.

Of course, everytime I drop by here, I must have their ang tao peng, the red bean ice (RM3.50)…

Thomson Corner ang tao peng

They do it quite well, I feel, quite a lot of the beans underneath all that shaved ice, rich in santan (coconut milk) though I would not mind a bit more gula Melaka (palm sugar).

The following day, Sunday, after the morning church service, we went here for the tom yam bihun (RM6.00)…

Happy Hours tom yam bihun

that she also enjoys though she would prefer Sarawak laksa actually. The mum had the same but with hung ngang (the bigger version of the bihun) while I had the hung ngang too but with clear soup…

Happy Hours hung ngang, clear soup 1

Looking back at my post way back in May, I am glad to note that the things here…

Happy Hours hung ngang, clear soup 2

…are still priced the same despite the way things are going around here.

What about over where you are? Prices shooting up or are they pretty much the same as before?