Every day I love you less and less…

Some of you may recall how I used to sing praises of the Sarawak laksa at e-Cafe at the Delta Commercial Centre in Pedada here in Sibu. Well, my daughter loves the laksa there too, so when she was home last week, we dropped by the place for some…

e-Cafe Sarawak laksa special 1

This was their special at RM5.00 for a giant bowl and lots of little prawns/shrimps. It was still nice but somehow I felt that the quality had dropped. The gravy looked kind of pale and was not as fragrant as before…

e-Cafe Sarawak laksa special 2

Maybe it was because of the sambal that they used, I wouldn’t know. But when I was at Thomson Corner (@Pusat Tanahwang, opposite Sacred Heart Secondary School) a day or two later with my daughter, I saw the posters advertising their Kuching laksa special at RM7.00 a bowl. I used to like their laksa best at one time until I discovered the one at e-Cafe. So, on Sunday after the morning church service, I decided to go back there to give it a try…

Thomson Corner Kuching laksa special 1

Wow! It certainly looked good…with its THREE huge udang galah (freshwater prawns)…

Thomson Corner Kuching laksa special 2

You have to pay RM20 for a bowl of prawn noodles at Ming Kong…and it isn’t much cheaper either at Glory Cafe in Sarikei. Tastewise, it was as nice as it used to be…so now, as far as Sarawak/Kuching laksa in Sibu is concerned, this one is my No. 1!

My missus had their seafood kampua noodles (RM3.50) which is also one of my favourites at that eatery…

Thomson Corner seafood kampua

It was good enough already before…but it seemed they had improved on it by adding some fried stuff to it. I did not sample it but my missus said that the noodles were still as nice as before.

All in all, the laksa and kampua noodles plus two glasses of kopi-o-peng came up to only RM13.10. Cheap, don’t you think?

Tie a yellow ribbon…

My daughter loves Japanese food, so everytime she comes home, this is one place that we will definitely have to go to…

Sushi Tie 1

…except that it is not pronounced “tie” as in “necktie” but actually, it rhymes with “dear” being the Chinese surname of the proprietor of the place. Others have tried but if I’m not mistaken, all have failed and have closed down. This is the only Japanese restaurant that is thriving pretty well, it seems, here in Sibu with its original restaurant at the Fortune Commercial Centre (opposite Uncle Dom, behind the Rejang Medical Centre) and a branch at Wisma Sanyan, plus an outlet at the Sing Kwong Commercial Complex in Salim.

That day, when we went, there were some yellow ribbons and green ones too and ketupat shells – the decorations for the Hari Raya festival…

Sushi Tie 2

This guy is the sushi chef at the place…and there’s no way of telling whether he’s Foochow or Japanese. LOL!!!

Sushi Tie 3

My daughter had the unagi don (RM11.50) – braised eel with rice, that is…

Sushi Tie's tempura udon

…and the maki set (RM16.20)…

Sushi Tie's maki set 1

…which comprised a couple of these…

Sushi Tie's maki set 2

…and these…

Sushi Tie's maki set 3

…and these…

Sushi Tie's maki set 4

…and these…

Sushi Tie's maki set 5

I ordered the tempura udon (RM12.60) and got these noodles…

Sushi Tie's tempura udon 1

…and two prawn fritters or tempura prawns as they are called…

Sushi Tie's tempura prawns

Together with two small cups of green tie (@RM1.30 each), the total came up to RM42.90. Pretty expensive, don’t you think? Well, we do not have a choice as that’s the only one in town…unless you go to those sushi stalls that we can find here in some of the shopping malls in town. Well, since my daughter loves it and we do not go very often, it’s no big deal really.

But the thing is…the servings aren’t very substantial and it would not have been enough for me if we had not had a late breakfast that morning at Thomson Corner at Pusat Tanahwang, opposite Sacred Heart Secondary School. We had the red bean shake…

Thomson Corner's red bean shake

I’ve always loved the drink ever since those days when the eatery was located at the Catholic Centre (next to the Sacred Heart Cathedral) and I would stop by to have one every time I went to pick my daughter up from school at St Rita’s Primary. We also had the salad sotong (cuttlefish)…

Thomson Corner's salad sotong

…and the shui gao (chicken dumplings)…

Thomson Corner's chicken dumplings

…and upon leaving the place after the delightful breakfast, it just dawned on me that I had locked my car keys in the car! Darn!!! Hahahahaha….

All by myself (2)…

Well, my daughter has gone back to Sungai Petani on Friday but don’t worry! This is not going to be an emo-post about me being alone. Actually, I am going to touch on some of the things that I had cooked…all by myself while my girl was still here, at home.

I spotted this made-in-Thailand kway teow (flat rice noodles) at the mini-supermarket near my house, so I decided to give it a try…

STP's char kway teow 1

These were the ingredients that I used, plus two eggs…

STP's char kway teow 2

…and a little bit of soy sauce and msg. The end result looked quite good…

STP's char kway teow 3

…but the noodles were in no way like those in Penang or elsewhere in West Malaysia. In fact, even our not-very-nice local kway teow would be better…and a lot cheaper too! But despite that, it tasted quite nice…

STP's char kway teow 4

I can’t remember what we were having for lunch that day, so my daughter and I only had a bit of that…but when my missus came home past 2.00 p.m. after the morning shift, I discovered that the whole lot had disappeared. Gee whiz! Either it was so very delicious or she must have been really very hungry! Hahahahahaha!!!!

Actually, I did not cook a lot this time when my daughter came home for the Raya break as we ate out a lot – checking out the new places that she had not gone to and going to eat all the things that she loved. But I did cook a simple dinner one day after successfully dredging out a few things from inside the fridge. I whipped up this clear soup of beancurd sticks, meatballs, quail eggs and mushroom (if I’m not mistaken, they’re called “golden needles”)…

STP's bean curd stick soup

…and I found this slice of pork belly, so I marinated it with salt and pepper and rubbed it with a bit of soy sauce for extra colour and roasted it…

STP's roast pork belly

Together with a plate of fried bayam (edible amaranth), that was the simple dinner that we had that night…and the best thing was that my daughter actually enjoyed it a lot and as long as she’s happy, I’m happy too!

One-way ticket…

Well, it certainly would be a one-way ticket to the blues should you happen to get one…especially when you are not in the wrong.

Yes, we do pay parking fees here in Sibu – 42 sen for 30 minutes/half an hour. They were saying that it is more expensive than in the other towns in the state…but I don’t really know. It does not matter that much to me either as I do not always go out.

We use the scratch system here, so you will have to buy those coupon booklets and keep in your car and everytime you park your vehicle some place, you can just scratch a coupon or more and display on your dashboard. I have no complaint about that – very convenient and you do not need to worry about soggy coupons soaked in the rain, running around trying to hunt a parking attendant down to pay and all those inconveniences.

But the other day, I got a ticket for overparking…

Parking ticket 1

I parked my car in the vicinity of the Dewan Suarah here in Sibu at around 3.50 p.m. and I displayed a 30-minute coupon. I made sure that I scratched the time very clearly on the coupon…

Parking ticket 2

Add 30 minutes to that and it would mean that I could leave my car there until 4.20 p.m. However, when I got back to the car, I found this…

Parking ticket 3

The ticket stated that I was overparked up to 4.04 p.m. What the heck! There would be another 16 minutes before the time expired.

Ah well! Never mind! I guess those attendants are not very highly paid and their job isn’t all that easy – walking around especially on hot days. After all, the compound fine is only RM1.00…but I do hope that it doesn’t happen all the time! I’d better keep the coupon and ticket just in case they may, for some reason or other, decide to make a habit of this and if that happens, Mr. Hu, you will most certainly find me knocking on your door…

Hey! Wait a minute! Good golly Miss Molly!!! I had scratched the wrong date on the coupon! *slaps head!…Silly ol’ me!!! The 22nd was Tuesday – a public holiday and there is no necessity to pay parking fees on public holidays! I should have scratched the 23rd instead!!! Phew! That parking attendant was observant enough to notice that but she was obviously too kind to slam a compound fine on me. Thank God for small mercies! That would have been RM20.00 instead of RM1.00 for not putting a valid parking coupon…and it was a good thing too that I didn’t go to the booth and kick up a fuss over the ticket… That would be so embarrassing, wouldn’t it? LOL!!!

Better than the rest…

The Sheraton has always been one of the better restaurants in town, along with a few others…and I was invited to dinner there last Tuesday night – the annual dinner hosted by the owners of the tuition centre that I am presently attached to. My daughter was back for the Raya break, so when the boss’ wife said that some of the teachers were unable to attend, I jumped on the opportunity and asked if I could bring her along. She, of course, said yes…and as a matter of fact, there were a few more empty places that night.

So there we were at the restaurant, my daughter and I…

Father and daughter

I noticed an improvement at the restaurant that night – they had cloth napkins instead of the usual paper serviettes…

Sheraton dinner 1

…and that certainly gave it a little bit class. Perhaps they should use goblets instead of those glasses…and replace the melamine crockery with fine china next. LOL!!!

They had the usual plate of peanuts on the table…

Sheraton dinner 2

…which I can no longer eat now that I’m toothless. Hahahahaha!!!!

Somehow or other, I could not get a good photograph of the first dish – the hot mixed platter, which was actually something more than the four seasons as there were a lot more choices, so I had to use the flash and this was what came out in the end…

Sheraton dinner 3

Then, as in all Chinese dinners, this followed…

Sheraton dinner 4

There is certainly no cause for alarm as there was hardly anything in the soup – just some bits of crab and egg but it tasted fine. Then came the steamed fish…

Sheraton dinner 5

We had fish head curry last year and I was hoping we would be having that again this year but unfortunately, things did not turn out the way I had hoped. Ah well, the fish was very delicious, so it did not matter that much. Then there was this fusion dish with potato salad on one side and some Thai-style prawns on the other…

Sheraton dinner 6

After that came the duck stuffed with glutinous nice. The waiter had started dissecting it and stopped when everyone at the table exclaimed in horror that I had not taken the photograph yet! LOL!!! That explains the incision in the bird…

Sheraton dinner 7

Then came the abalone…and the deep-fried egg white patties with minced meat and oyster filling…

Sheraton dinner 8

…and I discovered something else that I can no longer eat – abalone! Sigh! Finally came the dessert of or nee (yam paste) and sio bee/siew mai (meat dumplings)…

Sheraton dinner 9

…and fruits…

Sheraton dinner 10

I noticed a lot of leftover sio bee at one table and my thoughts strayed to Stella and how, as a kid, she used to wait longingly for her mum to come back home from wedding dinners with the sio bee wrapped in pink paper serviettes (and more often than not, stained because of the colour of the paper). Those were the days…

Well, on the whole, I thought the dinner last year was better. I did not ask for the cost per table but my guess is it was more or less the same or perhaps just a bit more expensive. With the current economic situation, I would not be surprised that they have been forced to compromise on the quality of the food so as to maintain the prices.

Still, it was a good dinner and my daughter enjoyed herself thoroughly. To me, that’s what matters most…

Tea for two (2)…

After the lunch at Uncle Dom the other day, I asked my daughter whether she would like to buy some local delights for tea and of course, she was keen on the idea, having been deprived of all those goodies every time she went back to you-know-where.

Well, we did not get any of the celebrated Sibu kompia

Sibu kompia

…as neither one of us is that crazy over it. Being the Hari Raya festive season, hitting the Malay stalls for their kuih-muih (local cakes) was out of the question, so I drove to the coffee shop behind the Sibu Medical Centre. It was already past lunchtime and they did not have much left. I did manage to get some steamed or-koi (yam cake)…

Chinese yam cake

…and some of these as well…

Glutinous rice delight

Then we headed to Rejang Park but to our disappointment, either because we were too early or it was a Hari Raya public holiday that day, my regular stall there was closed. Then I decided to go into town to the coffee shop somewhere between Wisma Sanyan and Star Cineplex. Fortunately, it was open for business and the lady was there frying away. Thus we were able to get what we wanted piping hot from the kuali (wok). I bought some tee-piang (Foochow delicacy made from ground soya beans)…

Sibu Foochow tee-piang

…and a few pieces of these…

Sibu's chai koi

…and sliced sweet potato fritters…

Sweet potato fritter

My daughter must have missed all these local teatime delights a great deal as she thought everything was really yummy and she enjoyed herself thoroughly feasting on all those that day…

Dominique…

Talk about coincidence, but the other day, I wanted to take my daughter to Uncle Dom for lunch and I was whistling away happily. The song was “Dominique”, a one-time hit by The Singing Nun…and when we got into the car, the moment I switched on the radio, presto! The song was being played on the air on RedeFm…by who else but Coma Smith, now TSA for reasons known only to him alone.

I have been to Uncle Dom once before, so this was my second time at that food joint…

Uncle Dom menu

Now that my blogger-friend, Anthea, has found herself a permanent job in Miri and is no longer working there, I was stumped by one non-English speaking waitress. Luckily, she could at least understand the names of the food and drinks and what amazed me most was she could remember the numbers in the menu without looking and jotted everything down on the order slip quite efficiently.

My daughter had the lemon wheat grass with Sprite while I had the Ipoh kopi-o-peng

Uncle Dom's drinks

I remember I had the same drink when I was there the previous time but I do not remember it having so much froth. Maybe the idea of whipping up the coffee in a blender for that extra body has caught on…and though it was very nice, I still think that the one at Ruby is nicer and that probably has got something to do with the coffee powder used.

My daughter had the fish and chips…

Uncle Dom's fish and chips

…and I can actually hear some people gasping right now at the sight of all that mayonnaise. Ah well…what do you expect for RM8.90? Not tartar sauce, that’s for sure! LOL!!! My friend, Ben, had that when he dropped by the place and said that it was nice…and in fact, it WAS nice – if you do not mind all that mayo’, that is.

I had the chicken chop…

Uncle Dom's chicken chop

…with mushroom gravy which did not send me into fits of ecstasy but it was all right, especially at that same price tag – RM8.90.

All in all, it was a nice lunch for the two of us and at such prices, I wouldn’t mind going again once in a while.

Adios Amigo…

We went for the evening service on Sunday as my daughter loves sleeping in and since she’s having a much-needed break, I would let her do that every day while she’s home. After the service, we went looking for dinner and I heard there’s this new place in town…

Amigo 1

…the Amigo Steak & Grill at the Li Hua Commercial Centre in the vicinity of the Sibu Bus Terminal. It is a nice place and they were playing Michael Jackson the whole time we were there, including my favourite, “She’s out of my life” and the classic, “Smile”. My missus had the mixed grill platter (RM18.00 – spelt “patter” on the menu)…

Amigo's mixed grill

…and as you can see from the pic, they were pretty generous with the meat. The gravy was nice; it wasn’t exactly black pepper but I think there was a bit of that in it. My daughter had the grilled lamb chop…

Amigo's grilled lamb chop

…with black pepper sauce (RM17.50), and she thought it was a bit too peppery to her liking. She loved their peppermint milk shake though…

Mel @ Amigo

…and I had their lamb shank (RM18.50)…

Amigo's lamb shank

Wait a minute! Where are the mashed potatoes? I thought they usually serve lamb shanks on a bed of mashed potatoes? Ah well…never mind! The meat was really nice and tender and the gravy was pretty good too (but I still prefer Junk’s).

I do wish someone would tell them about drink coasters though and personally, I feel they should invest in a more impressive looking menu. Well, it’s adios for now but I may be back again and if anybody’s interested in dropping by as well, here’s their business card…

Amigo 2

Bon Appétit!!

Seiring sejalan…

My missus and daughter and I dropped by to visit a cousin of mine during his Hari Raya open house…

Hari Raya visiting 1

…and I met somebody at his place who told me that he reads my blog regularly! Small world! It seemed that he was in transition class when I was in Form 6…but that was some 40 years ago! Gee whiz!

I did not go around and take photographs of the food though. Especially when they’re not bloggers or they do not know that’s what bloggers usually do, they may find that somewhat offensive. There was a lot to eat and we really enjoyed the buffet spread of curry, masak hitam, ketupat, fried noodles, fried mihun and the works…but my cousin kept persuading me to try their bak-so, so my missus got a bowl of that for me…

Bak so 1

…but I wouldn’t say I was crazy over it…

Bak so 2

While we were there, we had a group photograph taken together with his lovely family too…

Hari Raya visiting 2

I know! I know!…I did NOT have a watermelon under my shirt!!! ROTFLMAO!!!

Usually, whatever festival it may be, I do not go out visiting…as I just cannot stand the heat but since it has been raining quite a bit lately, the weather has been dark and cool. That was why I did not mind dressing up and dropping by a house or two this Hari Raya…and other than my cousin’s place, we also went to Siti’s house…

Hari Raya visiting 3

Siti’s a very good friend of mine, the best that anybody could wish for. When my mum was in the medical centre early 2008 and appeals were circulated calling for blood donors, she was the only one who came bringing a friend – a Malay guy and a total stranger to donate his blood and he would not accept any ang pao or gift in return.

So there we were at her house to extend our Raya greetings and we had a great time chatting with her mum about my uncles and aunties and the good old days, and when we were leaving, Siti even tapaoed some cake and curry for us…

Hari Raya kek lapis

Well, that’s Siti for you – always kind and generous and a true friend indeed. It certainly was a pleasant Hari Raya for me this year…

Rub-a-dub-dub…

If you’re wondering about the post title, it is just that there are very few songs with the word “Ruby”, maybe, just two – “Ruby Tuesday” and “Ruby, don’t take your love to town”. Thus, I have to settle with the next best thing – a song title with three of the four words. LOL!!!

Well, a couple of posts ago, I was telling you all that we would be going out for dinner that night on the day my daughter came home to celebrate her birthday…and that was exactly what we did. I was planning on dropping by one of the hotels in town for a posh western dinner as she used to have this preference for western cuisine and found eating rice such a chore. Surprisingly, this time around, she wanted to go for Chinese food WITH rice…and that was how we ended up at the Ruby Restaurant that night and she wanted this dish of sweet and sour pork ribs…

Ruby's sweet and sour pork ribs

…and another one of her favourite, deep-fried breadcrumb-coated prawn balls…

Ruby's breadcrumb-coated prawn balls

…and we also had the sizzling tofu with minced meat and salted fish on a hot plate except that somehow or other, it was not sizzling that night and the cangkuk manis fried with egg…

Ruby's cangkuk manis fried with egg

…and the sea cucumber soup…

Ruby's sea cucumber soup

My daughter enjoyed the meal thoroughly but who wouldn’t? Especially after what she has had to eat over there in Sungai Petani! Tsk! Tsk!!! Believe it or not, she did put on a bit of weight during the week-long food marathon with me in Penang…and it has hardly been three weeks since she went back to the institute and now she’s skin and bone left! Sigh!

Incidentally, if anybody’s interested, I quite like this peanut drink at Ruby…

Ruby's peanut drink

It’s peanuts boiled till very soft and they add sago pearls as well and if I’m not mistaken, milk too as it’s kind of rich and creamy and not too sweet. Very nice! You should give it a try if you happen to drop by the place…and in case you’re curious to know, the bill came up to RM46.00 inclusive of rice and drinks for 3 persons, RM38.oo for the food alone. I would think that was pretty reasonable, don’t you agree?