It’s rising up…

That day, I heard that the price of bread has gone up. One loaf of plain white sandwich bread has gone up by 10% to RM3.30.

Well, the prices of virtually everything have been rising up and up so of course, that came as no surprise at all, like when we went for the sotong kangkong that day

Thomson Corner prices

It was RM9.00, BIG [SIC], in 2017, RM9.50 in 2018 and now it is RM10.00 – no prize for guessing what it will be next year!

I was in the vicinity of Rejang Park…

Rejang Park pigeons

…early that morning to drop by my regular florist there – she opens real early, at 7.00 a.m. unlike the rest that will not open till at least 9 or 10.00 a.m. I placed my orders for the flowers and while she was arranging them, I walked to my favourite kompia shop, a stone’s throw away.

I saw these mang ngee (horse’s hoofs)…

Seng Wan Bakery mang ngee

They are making these now, in a limited number, but the shape did not look quite right so I was not impressed. Just then, an old lady came by to buy some and she was praising them to the skies and I heard a friend saying that they would be sold out if one were to go there a while later. That was why I ended up buying three to try – they were RM1.00 each, not cheap at all but yes, they were very nice and quite like the ones we used to enjoy in the good old days. I did not mind having to pay more for the quality of the texture and the taste and the satisfaction.

There is a bakery in town that makes these too, also around that same price. They will bring them out at around 1.30 p.m. and they will be sold out in no time at all. Theirs are HUGE and taste really nice but I don’t think they are all that authentic – the texture is more like that of a doughnut.

While I was at the kompia shop, I saw this…

2 for RM1.00

Yes, somebody did tell me sometime back that their kompia

Seng Wan Bakery kompia

…is now 50 sen each, 2 for RM1.00. Obviously that has not affected their business one bit as I saw a whole lot of people stopping by to buy even though I do know of other places that are still selling theirs at 3 for RM1.00. Personally, I do think that theirs is extra fragrant and crunchier and maybe  a little bigger and thicker too, plus they are certainly a lot more generous with the sesame seeds on top.

I, for one, do not mind one bit that they are jacking up the prices here, there and everywhere as long as they maintain the quality of what they sell…unlike the nasi lemak I had the other day – I have yet to go back to check if I caught them on a bad day or they are scrimping on the santan (coconut milk) despite having raised the price.

SENG WAN BAKERY (2.307484, 111.836558), the kompia shop, is located at the Rejang Park shops/commercial centre facing the Rejang Park Market, back to back with Quality Cake & Bread Factory.

Another year…

It has been two years now since the day my father passed on from this world – the anniversary was on Friday, the 12th of July. We had prayers at the house the previous night as there was something on in the church on Friday and it was not so convenient to get everybody together on the actual day.

My girl was working in the morning…

Morning

…so we could not go to my parents’ resting place…

Resting place

…to offer flowers…

Flowers

…and prayers till that afternoon on the aforementioned day.

It was almost 4.00 p.m. when we got back into town and we stopped by here for tea before sending my sister back to the house and going back home ourselves. It was a hot day so all of us had the ang tao peng or iced red bean (RM3.50)…

Ang tao peng

…with a special request for extra gula Melaka and it sure was very good. My missus, however, chose to have their cendol instead.

For want of something to eat, I ordered my girl’s favourites, the sotong kangkong, large (RM10.00)…

Sotong kangkong

…which seems to get increasingly expensive each passing year and the salad sotong (RM7.00)…

Salad sotong

…which was only RM5.00 in 2012 but never mind that the prices are escalating by the day, as long as we enjoyed our orders, that was all that mattered and we sure did.

SIBU THOMSON CORNER (2.296517, 111.840710) is located at Pusat Tanahwang, opposite Sacred Heart Secondary School, Oya Road or you can go to their other outlet on the 1st floor of the Medan Mall, Jalan Wong King Huo.

Wait in line…

Believe it or not, I only ate their paos (steamed buns) once in 2013 for the simple reason that they were selling them at night when they would push the steamer to their gate and sell to customers stopping by. For one thing, I would not be so keen to drive into that dark, narrow and somewhat congested road at night so I never went back for more. Well, at least I’ve tried!

The good news is they no longer do that – in fact, they have a shop of their own now…

Hong Cheng Bread House

…if I am not mistaken, ever since 2016 but still, I never dropped by. I heard that they only open at around 12 noon and everything will be sold out by 3.00 p.m. and there will be so many people every day that one will have to stand and wait in line just to buy. I hardly ever venture out at that time of day if I can help it especially when it can get so scorching hot nowadays.

It so happened that my girl had something on the other day so she did not come home for lunch and would only be done by 3.00 p.m. Just nice, I thought, for me to go past 2.00 p.m. and stop by along the way to grab some of those buns. Luckily, there were not so many people, no need to wait in line but there were people coming and going non-stop.

I asked the lady…

steamed paos

…for their bak pao (meat bun) and their char siew pao and when I got home, I tried them to see if they were still as good as before. As a matter of fact, many will tell you they…

Big

…are the best in town!

The bak pao

Bak pao

…was all right, probably nicer and had a lot more meat than the ones here but that was only RM1.30 each whereas these were going for RM2.20 each. Looking back at my old post, they were only RM1.80 each that one solitary time when I went and bought some to eat.

The filling of the char siew pao, also RM2.20 each…

Char siew pao

…certainly looked nothing like char siew as we know it but it tasted really good. Between the two, I prefer this one a lot more, I must say.

A long long time ago, somebody told me that she felt Ah Pui pao was the best in town and when I asked her where Ah Pui was, she said Lanang Road. I replied that Lanang Road was a very very long road and asked if she could be more specific in giving the location…but she never replied after that. I even went to a coffee shop named Ah Bui but no, there were no paos there.

This time around, when I shared the photograph of the shop on Facebook, somebody commented, “Some said the best…but I personally prefer Lanang Ah Pui one.

You’re not the 1st to tell me that but nobody ever told me exactly WHERE! Lanang Road is a very long road. I went to Ah Bui coffee shop, no pao there,” I replied and his response was: “Ok, just before the Aman Road roundabout… next to tyre shop…best to go around six something evening…the bak chang also nice.

There must be 1001 tyre shops along Lanang Road but I logged into Google Maps and “walked around” and I found a shop – Kung Fung Food Industries, next to a tyre shop near the aforementioned roundabout but it was closed when the Google car was passing by but there was a logo and there was a fat guy in it so I guess that must be it. Now who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and that old people are not internet-savvy?

I definitely will drop by one of these days and grab some of the paos from there to see how good they really are.

HONG CHENG BREAD HOUSE (2.291838, 111.838213) is located among the block of shops to the right of the junction of Jalan Tong San and Lorong Langsat if you are coming via the latter from the roundabout at Jalan Pedada near Rejang Medical Centre.

What you got…

I was here again the other morning and I bought their fried mee and fried kway teow and also their very nice cucur that my girl enjoys so much and not forgetting their bingka labu.

I spotted these bergedil (3 for RM1.00)…

Bergedil

My girl loves them a lot too so of course I had to buy some for her. They’re not difficult to make but at that kind of price, I think it is a lot easier to just go and buy, provided they are available. The ones here are pretty good.

I walked around to see what else they got – perhaps there was something new that I would love to try…and then, I spotted these mini pies (3 for RM1.00)…

Mini pies

The guy told me that there were potatoes and meat in the filling but of course, at that kind of price, I did not get my hopes up too high. I thought it tasted quite nice, the filling was all right but I did not like the crumbly egg tart pastry all that much as it was slightly sweet and I was expecting it to taste completely savoury. I would prefer shortcrust or puff pastry, I think.

I did buy quite a lot that morning for breakfast, lunch, 4 o’ clock tea and dinner and the total came up to RM21.00. I gave the guy a 50-ringgit note and a 1-ringgit note and he gave me two 10-ringgit notes and a 20-ringgit note. I noticed his mistake (normally, I would just grab whatever change and put everything in my pocket without looking, much less counting) and returned that latter to him and he gave me another 10-ringgit note. As they say, honesty is the best policy and after all, it was just 10 ringgit…and as the words of the song goes, “God is watching us…from a distance!

The stall/shop that used to be called MAK MET’s BREAKFAST STATION is located at the shops along Bandong Walk (2.313869, 111.825808) where PENYET BANDONG is in the evening.

Still in the dark…

Long ago, when my missus and I were still working, we had home catering for our meals, RM60 a month per head for one meal but there was enough for us for two meals.

When my missus was on morning shift and both of us were not at home, the delivery guy would come and take the empty tiffin carrier on top of the pillar beside the gate and put the one with the food there. That was not a problem except when it rained and the rain water got into the food and we had to throw everything away.

Usually, we would be given the same menu every week so after a month or two, we would get so sick and tired of the food and we would switch to another caterer.

One of them has a coffee shop…

Not ready yet

…here now, very near my house. I did go to eat there a couple of times but that was ages ago. Seeing that it was open real early, around 6.00 a.m. and it was still pitch dark around here at the time, I stopped by the other morning but no, they were not ready yet – the guy said that the ingredients had not been delivered yet. That does sound good, doesn’t it? They have fresh ingredients sent every day!

In the end, I went to this one round the corner where I saw a table of old men relaxing and chatting away and another table with a parent and a school girl there for a quick bite before going off to school. I had the pan mee from this stall on the left…

Food stalls

…once so I did not want that again. I did not want the kampua mee from the stall in front either nor did I feel like having the mee sua or the pek ting eyok (eight treasures) so I ordered the kolo mee (RM4.50)…

Ming Xuan kolo mee

…and lived to regret it.

It was kampua mee served with the minced meat on top and two fish balls and half of a hardboiled egg, something quite unheard of if you are having kolo mee, the way it should be and some khiew chai (curly vegetable). It did not have that kolo mee taste and there was no char siew plus I was not given the pickled chili in vinegar, just bottled chili sauce.

Having said that, despite the initial disappointment, I thought it tasted very good. It looked like the lady also ran the kampua mee stall in front, RM3.00 a bowl, and if that is what it tastes like, I sure would not mind going back there for it sometime. There was a guy there once and his noodles came with some very delightful dong quai soup like the one here (and that one was not ready for business either that morning) but when we went again, maybe it was a different person running the stall, it was not as nice as what we had before.

The people at the other stall in the above photograph had just arrived when I was about to leave and I went over to have a look at what they were selling. Unfortunately, it was all in Mandarin but from what I could make out, it seemed to be a vegetarian stall. I’ve been wanting to try some of these vegetarian places for a long time now but I’ve not got down to it. Maybe I will do that one of these days…

MING XUAN CORNER (2.312754, 111.846595) is located in the second block of shops on your right if you are turning in from Jalan Pedada at the junction after Delta Mall, heading towards Lorong Taman Seduan 8, somewhere opposite the Bread Sense Bakery outlet there, a little to the left.

Sunday best…

Like what I said in my post the other day, we shall go out somewhere every Sunday for a very nice lunch and last Sunday, we decided to drop by here.

The authentic North Indian chef had gone on leave and had gone back to his country for the whole of last month. We thought he would be back already and that was why we picked the place – my girl would have the mutton biryani from the Indian menu, nothing else. Unfortunately, he would only be back on the 18th of this month but there were a few things that he had taught the Indonesian chef to cook. Last year, I tried her fish curry biryani and though it was very nice, it just wasn’t the same, not like when the guy cooked it himself.

Nonetheless, that day, I threw caution to the wind and went ahead and ordered the mutton biryani (RM21.00)…

Mutton curry

The curry was absolutely perfect, exactly like how the Indian guy would cook it. I heard that he had got ready the paste and herbs and everything before he left and all the Indonesian lady had to do was to cook.

The rice looked like it was a darker shade of orange…

Biryani rice

…but it was nicely done as well and I enjoyed it very much.

My missus stuck to her usual kalio ayam (RM14.50)…

Kalio ayam

…as always with the rice and the mixed vegetables…

Mixed vegetables

…by the side and I was quite relieved that this time around, she could finish all of it. Otherwise, she would force me to finish off one chunk of the chicken and when I had just finished my own order, I would end up feeling way too full and it somehow seemed to spoil my enjoyment of what would have been a delightful lunch.

My girl asked for  the mee nyemek goreng (RM13.50)…

Mee nyemek goreng

…from the Indonesian menu and yes, it was very nice and she loved it.

The total, inclusive of drinks, came up to RM57.00 and the boss collected RM55.00 from me only. We sure would be back again soon…when the Indian chef had come back, I guess.

CAFE IND (2.290813, 111.829294) is located along Laichee Lane, right behind one block of shops facing the main road (Jalan Kampung Nyabor) where the Bank Simpanan Nasional, Sibu branch (2.290561, 111.829071), is

What I had in mind…

I went out early on Saturday morning and headed to the temporary site of the Jungle Produce Market at the Sibu Rejang Esplanade thinking that I could kill two birds with one stone – walk around to see what they had in store and at the same time, stop some place for breakfast. Unfortunately, I could not find a parking space even though it was so early in the morning so I headed to another part of town instead.

I managed to park my car and walked all the way here as it was too early and the place I had intended to go to was not open yet. We did not get to eat the curry lamb shank here that day so I thought I could buy two for our lunch and dinner that day.

Unfortunately, the place was closed and there were notices stuck everywhere but I did not bother to walk all the way to have a closer look. What I’ve heard is the place has closed down but some other people have taken over the place and will open an Indian eatery, with three chefs from India, in the not too distant future. I sure am looking forward to that.

On the way back to where I came from, I decided to stop by this place…

Wang Seng Food Centre

…instead. This was one of the earliest places where we could get some decently-good kolo mee, like the ones in Kuching. I remember I went there once with my girl when she was little and I had to park quite far away plus the place was very crowded and even though I liked what I had, I never went back again until quite recently when I tried the special there (RM5.00) and quite enjoyed it.

Gosh!!! It was just as crowded and as busy as before, years ago. Well, this time around, I just asked for the regular (RM4.00)…

Kolo mee 1

…and no, it did not taste like kampua mee disguised to look like kolo mee. I would say it was good and I certainly was glad that it came with the chili soaked in vinegar dip like what one would get when going for the noodles in Kuching.

Having said that, no, they will never give you a small bowl of complimentary soup there – there are places where you can order the very nice soup with the minced meat, fish balls and all the innards and what not like here or here but no, you will not get anything free there. Other than that, if you were to get any blanched green vegetables in your bowl of kolo mee there, it would be a sprig of sawi, not the khiew chai (curly vegetable)…

Kolo mee 2

…that I got that morning.

After having had my fill, I went on my way, did what I had to do…and headed home.

WANG SENG FOOD CENTRE (2.290256, 111.828019) is located along Jalan Wong Nai Siong right behind the Sibu Central Post Office.