I wonder how many of you have heard of this song by Crystal Gayle with Gary Morris. It is one of my favourite songs by the country singer and I feel it is just perfect for a cold, quiet night…but anyway, this post is not going to be about the song or some past romantic memory of mine. It’s just that when Stella was in Kuching over the weekend, everybody got together at one place and it made me reminisce of how it was in my younger days.

Way back then, my grandma lived in the kampung with two unmarried aunties and very often, one of them would telephone asking us to go over that Saturday or Sunday afternoon to eat “that thing” as they had managed to get hold of some good “beletak” (raw), usually from Dalat or one of those towns downriver. Very often, these sessions were arranged to coincide with Gerrie’s father’s monthly business trips to Sibu as he really enjoyed them so much and always looked forward to them. So there we would all converge on the stipulated day and time at the kampung house…

Kampung house

What I am talking about here is “linut” but it appeared that they had a pantang or superstition which prohibited them from saying that name. “Linut” is a glue-like thing that you get when you pour boiling water into sago starch (the beletak). By itself, it is quite tasteless but you roll it around the fork and dip it in the special sambal with belacan, asam paya

Asam paya
Photo from

…ginger and wild boar soup. That, of course, meant that somebody would have to go to town to see Kenyap – the man selling wild boar meat at the market and cook it earlier…and there would be the soy sauce variety as well.

The others would not come empty-handed and everyone would prepare something for the gathering. If they could get hold of some unripe buah emplam

Buah emplam

…then there would be this sambal made from the fruit…

Sambal buah emplam

…or perhaps somebody would prepare this sambal timun (cucumber)…

Sambal timun

…or if it was the fruit season, then most likely, there would be buah dabai (black olives) to be eaten with the sauce from buduk aur (fermented fish in a salty dark sauce)…

Buah dabai
Photo from Gundot

Or if somebody had tempuyak (fermented durian), it would be served as a dip for ikan pusu/bilis (dried anchovies)…

Tempuyak and ikan pusu

Somebody might decide to cook terung dayak (Dayak brinjal) with udang galah (freshwater prawns) or ikan buris (freshwater fish) or the latter with daun bandung (tapioca leaves) or paku (wild jungle fern) and baby corn. It did not matter actually as there would be all the ulams, the sagu’ (toasted sago pellets), the salai ikan (smoked dried fish) etc…etc…etc… There would be SO many things to eat that one would be spoilt for choice! But still, each person would bring something probably because it was the tradition or considered rude to go empty-handed.

So everybody would sit on the floor and eat to their hearts’ contents, sharing the latest gossips and chatting away happily…and black coffee would be served. At the end of it all, everyone must eat a little bit of rice; from what I gathered, it was another pantang or superstition for fear that the rice would get offended and henceforth, the family would not have any rice to eat.

Then everyone would adjourn to the living room where my grandma and the daughters would sit on the floor to eat sirih and buah pinang (betel nut) and smoke the self-rolled tobacco in a thin piece of paper that they pulled out of a small pack like tissue paper…and the chatting continued.

I would be horizontal by then, lying on the sofa…which, after all the torture over the years, gave way eventually and called it a day! ROTFLMAO!!! Those were the days…..

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

34 thoughts on “Reminisce…”

  1. I think it is “beletak” pronounce “blur tak”. Stella… kenyap again!!!!! Lucky Hiok gave me some emplam or else sure I drool. Next post the ulam jambu or ulam kedondong session. You no sagu pic to post?

    OK…edited liao! Ya…she told me she sent some to u thru Tom! LOL!!! Got sagu’…but photos taken a bit blur. Don’t wanna post, later get criticised again! Anyway, flickr got many! No linut though! Got 1, but not the same (Bidayuh style) and another an empty bowl with a bit of linut sticking to the sides!!! LOL!!!…I would want to post on the “nangok” sessions…but the streams (Langing’s!) are no longer there. Can’t go and take photos!!! Haiz!!!

  2. STP! U memang lah!Putting up all those photos! Knowing my trip back so short, yes, I missed out on eating the ‘linut’,kenyap’s pumba, tempuyak, oh well, next trip i hope. So sweet memories we had isnt’t it n so sad to learn that the kampung house may not be live in anymore since Ah Hiok is building her own house. I was joking with Gundot the other nite that maybe Tom Selleck can move in to be the penjaga of the house and at last JFV can have a Gundot again, n Tom can be Salleh!LOL! Then STP u can get to see more of Gundot lah!LOL!!N Gundot don’t remind me of the sagu too!!!

    Hahahahahaha!!!! That’s the whole idea! Next trip, make it a longer one! Cheap airline flying Melbourne starting November so can come every few months!…Yalor! Tom can move in…and Gundot good at house repairs and carpentry! LOL!!!

  3. OMG!!! asam paya, tempoyak, linut, buduk aur, sambla emplam…
    why lah?
    I’ve lost my voice and can’t eat all those nice2 food..argh! meliur dah ku…

    Still no voice? Try “Ibu dan anak”…or maybe you need a prescription of antibiotics!!! Get well soon!

  4. Hmm…. havent been back to No32 for a long time. Anyways, i never did appreciate “that thing”. Tasted like glue to me…haha. No wonder my dad had to go to Sibu every month… to eat. Hahah. Well, he would normally bring back a box of food to Kuching. It would be filled with kompia, longor, dabai and whichever fruit is in season. hahaha. the good old days. The December box would be more interesting as it would be filled with christmas presents from the aunts/uncles and STP. Haha.

    It’s tasteless. Only nice with the sambal, and I’d go for the other stuff like poomba soup!!! Droooooollll!!!!!! Ya, luckily you did not tell people not to giftwrap all the presents…as in the case of the angpaos! LOL!!!!

  5. Ooh I remember those, although I only remember a couple of “linut” sessions. As you said, these sessions were timed to coincide with my dad’s business trips to Sibu. I do remember however, going with my dad to “linut” sessions at the Istana, when Uncle Louis served his first term as Governor. Dad would normally play a round of golf with Uncle Louis and a couple others, while I hung out with the cousins, and explored the grounds. The eating starts after golf, but I guess no more pumba to savour then, it was a Halal linut session. Nothing beats the linut feast or any other feasts at grandma’s!

    Yes, the get-togethers were so meaningful and served to bond the family together. Unfortunately, people today are too busy and caught up with their own affairs…living separate lives.

  6. And I never heard of HALF of the food you mentioned. Damn!

    Those are Melanau ethnic delicacies…so not surprised that you do not know most of them!

  7. Am not one for linut myself. I prefer the local kueh and the local coffee by the pot. Aunt Lucy made very nice kuih bingka. If I remember correctly, stp could eat half a tray of it!

    But the bingka bandung from that shop opposite Grand Con also very nice! Slurpssss!!!!!

  8. yeah… and he could eat 50 dabais too! hahah

    No lah! 10-20 would be quite manageable!!!…But that day, so few seeds for so many people, where got enough??? LOL!!!

  9. have not tasted any of those….yet im drooling. you’ve gotto come down to kuantan and make me those. *on knees* pplllssssss!!!!!

    LOL!!! Come to Sibu! Book those 90 sen flights on that cheap airline. I can host a gathering of bloggers and serve only Melanau and kampung/ethnic delicacies for everyone to savour!!!! Drool!!!

  10. how come i never hear of them all? 😯

    U’re in Bintulu! Not originally from there? From Sibu, are you? Sure they have such stuff in Bintulu or Sibu e.g. at the Malay food stalls in coffee shops (maybe not linut lah, but some of the other stuff)…or you’re 100% Chinese like Clare?…I had a giant helping of the sambal buah emplam for lunch in KK and lost my voice! LOL!!!!!

  11. da-kat..da-kat..i hv to say all over again when I see your food n we have been saying those words in Kuching n very amused.
    TQ STP for the delicious food at old man was surprised about the price cos we have prawns n fish. Enjoyed Kuching to meet up with all the cousins n everybody is so happy eating away. should have more reunions.

    Call me when u’re in town. We’ll go mam-mam again!!! Lots more things to try at Ruby and elsewhere! U’re probably coming for All Souls’ weekend…???

  12. STP, im not Sarawakian…im form Melaka but studying in Bint-ulu 😐

    and And AND
    im 100% Chinese!!! 👿
    i look like bumi mer 😦

    I see…so you’re from Melaka. Well, good chance for you to try the local Sarawak delicacies while you are here – the ethnic umai, ayam pansuh and so on. You like kampua? I’m sure you can get that in Bintulu?

  13. wow..untold memories of this house…a heritage building as far as I’m concerned.Anybody knows how old is this house??? ..including the time before re location from the then Queensway Road…. looks very lonely on the photo,,unlike the jungleLY look when aunt Lucy was the Boss.

    It was around already 50 years ago…Dunno exactly when it was built. Yes, it is very very very lonely now…as nobody ever comes to visit anymore! Hint! Hint!!!

  14. … and I came to this world in this house..

    OK! OK!…In its original location. And I’m sure it’s not going to be there much longer once the present occupants move to their own house and there’s nobody to take care of it!

  15. Stp..can we get some recipe from the Melaka gal…they cook good nyonya food..esp the pork.. I know ma..hahaha.hahaha someone got snip..snip..snip..too.

    Ooi!!!….U stop harassing my readers!!! Chesh! This old man!!! Clever2 come and spam my comment box while I’m sleeping!….Want good Melaka nyonya food, go Melaka and eat lah! Mako Restaurant, the best!!!! Didn’t have any pork there though…just ayam ponteh!!!

  16. was reading gerrie’s smoke dunhill???
    check with gundot.. I think the sofas are alive and kicking leh..

    Already responded in gerrie’s blog. The rattan set is still ok, the wooden chairs as well…but the sofa, I think they nailed a piece of plywood underneath in an attempt to repair it…and the plywood gave way. Dunno if it’s still there.

  17. heh…you remember you brought one can of sagu for me a while ago?? my friends nearly died when I told them the samui contained lard…. That was my one ever samui in KK

    I never like samui!…In the first place, not so much into durian…only durian cake (Secret Recipe!) or the Thai pulut durian dessert or the unripe ones – rebus or tempuyak masak udang!!! Drooooollll!!!!!!

  18. Wow, good healthy kampung food. Missed some good wild boar curry and the kampung life.

    Eeee…..another one cooking curry with wild boar meat!!! Not unless it’s too young and not “wangi”!!! Yunno how to cook kampung food?…Hey, Calvin! You can get pete to go over and cook for you! He’s much nearer! LOL!!!!!

  19. is that salak?

    As Lingam would say, it looks like salak, smells like salak but it isn’t salak! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! Salak’s a fruit that you eat after peeling off the skin. This is asam paya’ lah! Very very sour! Used for cooking to make the dish or sauce sour like assam jawa.

  20. Ah Kim told me I nearly burnt down grandma old house at Queensway-I slept in Gek-ee room n the pillow fell on top of the mosquito coil..Gundot dad woke up n see the whole house in smoke n they managed to put off the fire-there was a burnt hole on the wooden floor..I cant really recalled this incident I was maybe 10yrs old.

    That must be when it was in the old location. I vaguely remember…I think that left a hole in the floor! Maybe gundot knows the details!

  21. stp, i’ve tried umai and most of da Sarawak delicacies…
    kempua is too oily for my liking…no offense ar…

    kpenyu2000,i donno how to cook…

    You’ll have to know where the good ones are! Too bad, kpenyu, she can’t cook ur nyonya pork whatever for you… LOL!!

  22. Speaking of linut, the aunties in my office were making linut in the pantry a few weeks ago (before puasa of course). But of course no poomba soup. Haha.

    Tak pass lah like dat! We usually keep adding poomba soup to the sambal sauce, once it dried up!

  23. Actually, the only thing I really eat during the linut session is sagu dunked in poomba soup… in the world man!!!

    I’m not into sagu’….I always got the big bone to gnaw and chew!! Yummy!!!!! LOL!!!

  24. Lindy 1 just on the phone with me…she blames you for making her “rindu” grandma’s house and the whole package that comes with it.

    So come more often then! Hari Raya hols coming soon! And All Souls’ on a weekend. Btw, her dad’s 40th anniversary is this year or next year? Gundot, you should know? Kpenyu, you’re coming or not?

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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