Happy talk…

An ex-student from my English language tuition class last year, presently studying in Concord, Shrewsbury in the UK, is back on his summer vacation and he contacted me and suggested meeting up for dinner. Owing to certain circumstances, we did not manage to do that on his previous trips home.

We went to the Happy Hours Cafe…as I had heard somebody saying that the food is nice and I noticed that they now have an air-conditioned section. I loved the honey pork ribs…

Happy Hours' honey pork ribs

The butter prawns were not that great. I thought that they had over-fried the prawns making them a bit hard and dry…

Happy Hours' butter prawns

The cereal fish fillet (with oats) dish was all right, nothing much to shout about…

Happy Hours' oat cereal fish fillet

…and I’ve had better fried cangkuk manis with egg elsewhere.

Happy Hours' fried cangkuk manis

The mixed vegetable soup was o.k. too…

Happy Hours' mixed veg soup

…so all in all, it was quite a nice dinner but there wasn’t anything that was so very delicious that I would be dying to go back there to eat some more. The food came up to RM40.00 which wasn’t too bad…considering that we had udang galah (freshwater prawns), some RM20-30 a kilo at the market…and the portions were big enough for 4 persons.

In comparison, I think what I had for breakfast at the same place was a lot more satisfying…

Author: suituapui

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

31 thoughts on “Happy talk…”

  1. Wow…very cheap o. So much food just Rm40. πŸ˜€

    You good lor so many students to belanja you.

    Ya…considering the amount of food, cheap. Enough for 4 people…so those going in a party of 4 should ask them to cook for 2 only – more than enough to go round. Ooi…..I belanja them lah! They are still studying, not working yet…cannot ask them to spend their parents’ money or pocket money on me lah! Those who are already working – we take turns – sometimes they pay…and then I will ask them to go out and eat again and I will pay. After all, just starting to work…I don’t think they earn more than me. I remember once, a boy insisted on paying and he said, “But I already asked my mum for money to treat you to dinner!!!” Blush! Blush! I wonder what the mother thought of me…so malu lah like that!

  2. Thank God it’s Saturday. I would have drooled if it’s not Saturday. LOL… Saturday would mean I get to have loads of foodie treats~ LOL…

    ps: The food looks a bit bland and dry… especially the butter prawns. 😦

    They’re all ok…except that I felt the prawns were over-fried – they usually deep fry them first. I still prefer Ruby’s butter scotch prawns anytime… Oh? Who’s sending you goodies? Saturday is Feed Cleffairy Day or what? LOL!!!

    1. ish…this fairy is hinting again la cikgu.

      wokay wokay…tengah steam nasi kunyit. You make sure got enough curry chic ah, Cleff

      Nasi kunyit? Oooooo….I like! *makes mental note what Kucing must cook when meeting up in KL… Hehehehehe!!!!

      1. Ooooo… you wouldn’t wish that, Cikgu… she will feed u til ur stomach meletup. Scary!

        My tummy elastic one – very stretchable….must pakai sarong or pants with rubber waistband. Hahahahahaha!!!!

      2. Cikgu…feed people must feed till kenyang right? haiz…if tak kenyang later people bising hungry pulak. suasah, right?..kekeke..

        Yalor…how can just sample a bit? Must makan puas-puas…until become like paus! Hahahahahaha!!!

  3. ehh the cangkuk manis is what?? is it what they call sayur manis at here?? gosh the honey pork ribs i likey! πŸ˜›

    This is the bigger version. Sayur manis is the stunted variety – the plants, leaves everything are smaller…

  4. I heard the name “Concord” often. Seems like many Sibu’s wealthier parent like to send their children there to do A Level. When in fact, A Level done anywhere in the world are of the same standard and being treated likewise by any universities around the world (when it comes to admission). Nearer to home, you could even do it in Kuching and Miri and I read the one offered by RIAM College has truly excellent passing rate.

    Only for the rich…and yes, you can get the same qualifications elsewhere, even locally. But it is not for us to say how people should spend their money…but if I had the money, I certainly would want to send my children somewhere else to study, overseas if possible – it is the experience that is important – things that cannot be learnt from books. It looks like Daniel shares the same sentiments in his comment.

    1. “…but if I had the money, I certainly would want to send my children somewhere else to study, overseas if possible – it is the experience that is important – things that cannot be learnt from books.”
      I agree totally with the above comment.

      Even when my daughter went for national service/khidmat negara, I was happy…and she went willingly with an open and positive mind, despite some people being so horrified by the mere thought – that certainly prepared her for Sg Petani…and now in NZ. Always ready to learn and handle things on her own – at home, her mum would always make sure everything was ok for her and even take over from her when she was doing something. That was why she never learnt to cook at home – only now in NZ and she’s enjoying it so much.

  5. Sometimes it’s not about the standard of A levels. It’s about the studying experience, the people you meet, etc.

    I used to think studying locally is no different from studying elsewhere, until I went on an exchange programme and that changed everything.

    I always encourage students to go out of the country…or at least, out of their comfort zone here in Sibu or even in Sarawak. Studying is not just about books and degrees/certificates – it’s about the exposure, the friends you make, the eye-opening experiences, the knowledge, learning to be independent and stand on your own two feet…all those things that make a boy a man.

  6. that’s cheap… πŸ™‚ but yes indeed.. it looks normal.. lol..

    Yeah…nothing special. We can get these same dishes everywhere else…

  7. A Level is merely one of the many pre-university qualification. So you still have plenty of chance to experience overseas tertiary education anyway. So it all boils down to cost and IMO, doing Pre-U overseas is not exactly cost effective because it’s not tertiary education yet. Like I said, it’s more for those wealthier parent.

    That goes without question. In this world, it’s always a matter of no money, no talk. And if it’s just that piece of paper you want, they’re all the same. Otherwise, there may be a difference even between one school and another in the same town – the culture, the way the teachers teach, the way the students learn…and at the end of the day, the quality of the students, not just academically but in all aspects as a well-rounded individual. E.g. in Concord, the students took part in their own production of the musical, “Les Miserables” – we do not hear of any school or college here doing any such thing. That is part of learning too – something many parents do not understand. As long as it is not in the books and as long as it is not in the exams, to them, it is a waste of time. Very sad that their children are indoctrinated with this kind of mentality too…

    1. Sometimes you gotta look at something other than cost effectiveness. Something which is worth the money isn’t always necessary or beneficial. On the contrary, something which is absolutely not worth the money can be beneficial.

      It’s the total exposure that counts. If the parents can afford it, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t let their children have more exposure just because it’s less cost effective.

      It’s not always the money – it’s the whole mentality! They just want that piece of paper, off to work…get married, have children. They simply do not see education as anything beyond that… And when their graduate children cannot find a job, they ask why…and blame everybody but themselves.

  8. Now coming to overseas tertiary education. While I was overseas, I often find Malaysian student sticking with fellow Malaysian student all the time. They stay together, walk to university together, go out have fun together etc. They hardly mix with the other foreigners. So what’s the point of going overseas then?

    On the other hand, there are Malaysian student studying in local private university who are more cosmopolitan in outlook.

    Bottom line is. While studying overseas does give student more exposure to thing foreign, it’s still the student’s own attitude that counts.

    True, true. I had a group of students in one of my earlier schools going to study in Australia, a whole group to Melbourne and one to Adelaide. When they came back after only a year there, I found that the one in Adelaide was speaking English like an Australian while the rest still spoke their same ol’ horrible English – no change whatsoever. That reminds me of what my West Malaysian friends told me many years ago – about their uni-mates from Sarawak being not very social, sticking to their own clique and going around in their exclusive group, how they spoke among themselves in a language they could not understand…and how they seemed to be quarrelling among themselves all the time. You go figure that out. I guess it’s natural that they tend to stay in their comfort zones…so it is up to the individual what he or she wants. I guess going overseas, more often than not…you would be alone. These days, not many can afford that, so like it or not, you will have to mingle around, make new friends and broaden your horizon…or be alone and lonely and miserable the whole time you’re there.

    1. There are still benefits of going overseas even with such a (healthy/unhealthy?) phenomenon.

      I’d say that they are not making the best out of their time spent overseas. Nevertheless, simply being able to survive out there means that they have learned a thing or two.

      Had they stayed in Malaysia, it’d be the same. They’ll be mixing with Malaysians and will be totally (think 100%) missing the overseas experience.

      I went to France for an exchange programme. I only made 1 French friend and a few other european friends. I studied too. I could’ve done all these in Singapore too. No difference.

      But on top of those things, I learned about the ways of Parisians, why they appear snobbish when you speak english with them, the places they often go to shop. I also learned a lot about Paris itself. I can basically go around paris without a map now.

      Had I stayed in Singapore i would’ve learned none of those. As worthless as these minute exposures sound, they actually open up your eyes a lot.

      Anyway my point is, given the chance, given the financial ability, send your kids out and do instil in them the right mindset. While the standard of education may not be worth it, the exposure is.

      Never mind whether it is overseas or not. Even studying in West Malaysia or Sabah…or Singapore…or even in another town in Sarawak, they may learn a lot – provided they do not stick to their own kind all the time. A lot of eye-opening experiences to be experienced. When my daughter first arrived at Sg Petani, I could tell she was not too comfortable – so many Malays, so many Indians…so many problems, so VERY different from Sibu – but she survived 2 and half years there…and if you ask her, she’ll tell you there’s no place like home…and she said herself that she did not look at home that way before she left. That, in itself, is a lesson to cherish!

      1. Good for your daughter! Well, going to West Malaysia changes your views about Sibu. Going to Singapore changes your views about Malaysia. Going to Europe changed my view of Asia.

        I should go into space someday.

        Ya…just have to get out of one’s comfort zone to see how different things are out there – not necessarily better – sometimes it can be worse…but at the end of the day, one can be more open-minded about things and not get stuck in the rut and not having a mind of one’s own.

  9. Happy Hours Cafe… Reminds me of my own happy hour there not so long ago. Food looks very good, esp. the changkok manis, my personal favorite.

    LOL!!! So where are you now, Philip? Back in the US? Missing the food here already? πŸ˜€

  10. Wahhh…how come you always have students coming back to look for you.. STP must be a very famous and a NICE SIR to all..
    about the food, the price is very reasonable considering there were prawns and pork ribs..

    It certainly is nice to be appreciated and remembered. Not all of them will do that – many do not even bother to keep in touch. Ya, the price is o.k…just that the food wasn’t that great.

  11. I only eat the butter now everytime i order butter prawns XD

    Healthy eating eh? Sticking to olive oil margarine? I’m not particular…but some margarine has a peculiar smell which I do not quite like. Would prefer those that taste similar to butter.

  12. If you now how to look around, there is a college in KL whereby the student are encourage to do drama play production, compulsory community service at some blind or mentally challenge people center, some character camps etc. Offering A Level at a far far cheaper price than Concord. It’s called Methodist College KL that is still wholly owned by the Methodist church. Heck, their old building looks just like our very own Sibu Methodist school. I would say they uses the same blue print when building those school all over Malaysia.

    If you must know, I do know that one. My Literature students did his A Levels there, now in England on a Bank Negara scholarship. Another one whom I taught English and Literature turned down a JPA scholarship to do medicine in Poland, studied there too…and is now in the UK as well. Yet another one from my English class last year went…but I think he’s quitting as he got a JPA scholarship to do medicine – Penang Medical twinning with UKM. The thing is I never heard them saying anything about the place…so no comment. There are others in KTJ (Kolej Tunku Jaafar) who seem to have that special attachment to the place and with one another, kind of proud they studied there together.

    All in all, not many go to these places as I suppose when they go to a private college and university locally, they would be doing the A Levels or Foundation or whatever there itself…so they do not need to go elsewhere.

    Ah yes! Another ex-student of mine under a scholarship for excellent students is doing his A Levels at some college in Shah Alam prior to going off to England, and I do know they joined some Toastmasters activities…and he emerged 1st runner-up in a public speaking competition recently. πŸ™‚

  13. In the old days, our schools like the Sacred Heart and Methodist are not all about academic. There are lots of sport, different “houses” to encourage competition and all these contribute toward character development of a student. I heard at Three Rivers in Mukah of past, they even encourage ballroom dancing.

    Those were the days, my friend…those were the days… 😦

  14. wa uncle, must belanja me makan also xD

    No problem at all. When are you coming over? Or maybe when we meet up in Penang – 2013! LOL!!! πŸ˜€

    1. or maybe ur cooking is much better πŸ˜‰

      Wah! You trying to tripod…angkat-angkat or what? Come, come to Sibu and I’ll cook for you. Some of my daughter’s coursemates (your friends too) were here once and I invited them to my house for a Sarawak laksa party!!! πŸ˜‰

  15. stp is cikgu contoh.. everybody loves you πŸ˜€

    btw, there’s a hotel near the ikano/ikea/curve area called Royale Bintang. Havent been there so can’t tell you if it’s good or not πŸ˜›

    Hopefully… Yes, I’ve heard of that one. Will drop by the website and check it out.

  16. oh mai goodness!! 4/5 of the dishes ME LIKE!!! The cereal fish fillets, vege soup, butter prawn (man how long i didn’t touch this dish ady :/ and “mani chai with egg!” in other other “lakiang chai” lol X) bad TIMING, I view this post at 12am T.T and my tummy is crying now

    Brunei so near…I’m sure you can get to eat more or less the same things there, no?

  17. Wah, got udang galah only RM40….in KL probably around RM100 lorr!

    Cheap kah? Here, if you ask for the seawater “pek hay” (white prawns), those would be much cheaper. Udang galah…also expensive here but may be cheaper by KL standards.

  18. When students wanted to do A Level, they automatically chose to go to Taylor or Sunway. Those are the ‘fashionable’ places.

    Now if so many of your ex-student went to Methodist College KL and ended up with scholarship and doing medicine, don’t you think there is something unusual about that college that many people never heard of? Food for thought?

    Many of them follow their friends – I know of a father who let his son go to one because “his friends are there” even though he could get a full scholarship for him if he had sent his son to another. Well, in the first place, those students are all excellent straight A students…and secondly, I do not know why many have not heard of it. Maybe they do not advertise or promote themselves as aggressively as those money-spinning entities?

  19. Now from a student point of views. Who would like a college that still impose some form of discipline on them and calls made to their parent if they wasn’t concentration on their studies? Where got freedom? If I am a playful student, I wouldn’t like it either.

    But from a parent point of views, what do you think?

    I know APITT used to do that, I dunno if they still do…and both parents and students that I knew then thought that was good. I guess that depends on the parents and the students – parents who do not care will just throw the report aside, not bothered to give it a second glance…and students whose main objective is not too study, couldn’t care less either. It’s all about the attitude of both parents and students – how one brings up one children and what kind of positive values one instils in them…

  20. i’ve never tried a cereal fish fillet and i want some now!! so hungry….

    No? It’s very common here – available everywhere…but I prefer Nestum to oats -more fragrant and sweeter, not so bland…

  21. In the past, religious organization like the Catholic and Methodist don’t go into education to make money so they do not normally advertise. On the other hand, college like Taylor and Sunway are in it to make money so obviously advertise and we all know the effect of advertisement. IMO, that’s the main reason why people hardly heard of Methodist college.

    Now are college/school run by religious order any good? Well, that is like asking whether our Sibu Sacred Heart and Methodist school any good. Of course the answer is “likely to be good” but not 100%.

    But AFAIK, recently Methodist College KL underwent some extensive expansion & advertise so I don’t know how’s their standard nowadays.

    Yup. It all depends on who’s in charge, what kind of teachers and students they have… Sacred Heart was known to be a “gangster school” not too long ago and thankfully, there had been a 360-degree turnaround…or shouldn’t that be 180? If 360, you end up at the same place? Don’t laugh! I almost failed Maths in Form 5 (Cambridge)…but if you ask me to sit for the paper now, I’d definitely get a credit….if not a distinction. Just about gives you an idea of the standard these days…

  22. wah….another student meet up. U r definately their dream teacher. haha….

    More coming up… They’re back on their summer holidays right now – those in the northern hemisphere.

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 sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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