Don’t know much…

When I posted on how to cook nasi kunyit the other day, Clare mentioned in her comment that she tried cooking chicken rice but it was a disaster and asked if I knew how to do it. Frankly, I don’t know much about cooking chicken rice but many years ago, I made an attempt and it was not successful, to say the least. I was told (or maybe I read it in some recipe book) to trim the fat from the chicken, melt it in a wok and then fry ginger in the oil before mixing the rice in it and transferring all that into the rice cooker to cook, adding salt and msg according to taste. As far as I can remember, it did not turn out nice at all.

So the other day, I decided to improvise and do it my own way. I placed the piece of chicken on a metal grill over a bowl in the wok and steamed it. Umm…it was actually a metal tripod stand for hot pots and saucepans! I didn’t know where the old lady kept all those darn metal grills; she’s the type who will put away things and nobody will be able to find them…and the type who will turn the whole house upside down in search of one thing that she has forgotten where she has stashed it…and I’ll be the one who will nag, nag and nag! Role reversal, eh? LOL!!! Anyway, back to my chicken rice…

In the meantime, I washed and cleaned the rice in the rice cooker pot, two cups only in case it didn’t turn out nice! Then I poured in the oil and the juices of the chicken that had dripped into the bowl while steaming and added one two-inch chunk of ginger (skin removed), one stalk of lemon grass (serai) and some pandan (screwpine) leaves all knotted together. I saw them using those in the RM2 Singapore show on Asian Food Channel. Lastly, I threw in one cube of chicken stock (in place of salt and msg) and cooked the rice. Presto….. 

STP's chicken rice

…it was VERY nice and we finished it all in one sitting! Now, my daughter does not like steamed chicken so what I did was I rubbed the skin with soy sauce and glazed it with honey before putting it in the oven to roast. This was how it turned out…

STP's honey roast chicken

My daughter loved it, especially the skin! Notice the metal tripod stand that I used? I wasn’t making up stories, I tell you! LOL!!! Anyway, still on the question of food, my daughter and I dropped by at this place for lunch the other day…

Sibu's Kopi O Cafe, Sing Kwong

This is the Kopi-O Cafe, some sort of a food court at the Sing Kwong Complex in the Salim area in Sibu. Kongkay had a post on it sometime ago but I had not had the chance to try out the food there earlier. It was lunchtime when we were there, so the place was pretty crowded (The above photo was taken after we had finished eating and by then, much of the crowd had left)…

Sibu's Kopi O Cafe - lunchtime

In my comment on Kongkay’s post, I mentioned that I had spotted the place once but it was mid-afternoon and the stalls were closed. I noticed one selling claypot rice and I had been waiting all this while for the chance to go back there and sample it…

Claypot pork and salted fish rice

So that was what my daughter and I had that day – claypot pork and salted fish rice for RM9.00 only. It was very nice but I wished they had put a bit more “long” salted fish…and I remember having claypot rice with lap chiang (Chinese sausage) and egg.

Hmmm…maybe I don’t know much about preparing claypot rice too but I’m sure I can cook up something like that or even better. Will give it a try one of these days!

When will I see you again…

Last Sunday, after the evening church service, I thought of going for some ikan bakar (grilled fish) at Fat Mom’s along Lanang Road here but the place was very crowded, so we decided to go some place else. I was positive that somebody told me that the ikan bakar at the hawker centre adjacent to the Sibu Exhibition Centre was very nice but when we got there, most of the stalls were not open, probably gone out of business and there was no ikan bakar anywhere in sight. We decided to try the one selling among other things, some western dishes. I had this plate of mixed grill (RM9.50)…

Sibu Exhibition Centre's mixed grill

…while my daughter had this plate of spaghetti bolognese (RM5.00)…

Sibu Exhibition Centre's spaghetti bolognese

Both tasted pretty good and don’t you think that’s extremely cheap? Of course, if one is willing to pay more, one may get better dining atmosphere and service and perhaps, even something that tastes a bit better like this same dish at The Ark for RM10.50…

The Ark's spaghetti bolognese

…using the crockery and cutlery from IKEA no less! LOL!!!

The Ark's IKEA glass

Well, Gundot and her daughter, Sam, were in town, so I took them to the places that I had featured in my previous posts in my blog and the other day, we went to The Ark for lunch. She was really impressed by the place, to say the least. Sam had that dish of spaghetti bolognese while my daughter tried their pasta al forno, also at RM10.50…

The Ark's pasta al forno

It was very rich and creamy and so delicious, the sauce tasting something like the filling in those yummy meat pies I had in Auckland, New Zealand when I was there a few years back. But I would think that it is best shared as I cannot imagine me finishing all that by myself. Usually when I go for things like that, I can just take so much of it and the enjoyment will start going downhill after a while.

Gundot and I went for the local dishes and we had rice with chicken curry (RM8.00)… 

The Ark's chicken curry

I just thought I’d have chicken for a change as on my previous visits, once with Bongkersz and more recently with Jimmy, I had lamb…but I think the lamb is much nicer. But for the vegetable dish, I stuck steadfastly to the ladies’ fingers with belacan (RM6.00)…

The Ark's ladies fingers with belacan

It is that nice, I tell you. Gundot had this drink of bitter gourd, cucumber and sour plum with sugar syrup (RM3.80)…

The Ark's bitter gourd drink

…and I was quite amused by the use of a slice of bitter gourd for presentation.

So, when will they see me again? Well, the food is nice and the prices are reasonable, the service is good (It has improved a great deal since the first time I went, when the place was still quite new.) and the people are polite and friendly. Considering all that, I guess I’ll be dropping by again pretty soon…