Old habits die hard…

I think most people would be familiar with those siew mai (meat dumplings in Cantonese) at dim sum restaurants but what we call sio bee (Hokkien dialect) here is something quite different. During my younger days, they would serve those at the end of a wedding banquet or any such dinners and I remember how we would look forward to that particular dish to be served. On occasions when the kids were not invited, we would wait anxiously for our parents to come home and hopefully, they would tapao (takeaway) some for us, usually stained pink as they would wrap them in those paper serviettes of the same colour.

We can still get them today at many places in town but like everything else, we would need to know where to go to to get the really nice ones. I got these for 60 sen each at a bakery the other day…

Sibu Foochow sio bee 1

…but even though they looked nicer, I felt they were not as nice as these that cost only 50 sen each at a stall at Rejang Park here…

Sibu Foochow sio bee 2

That just about shows that appearance can sometimes be deceptive, don’t you think?

I also got this from the bakery…

French toast with filling 1

It is some kind of french toast – with a bit of meat filling (chicken)…

French toast with filling 2

…and coated with egg/batter and deep fried. They’re only 50 sen each and my daughter used to love it a lot and would insist on buying some should we  happen to pass by the place.

This chicken pie or tart is from that place as well…

Chicken egg tart

…and costs RM1.50 each. I did not quite like it as it was kind of slightly sweet like egg tart with some chicken or whatever inside.

Considering the prices and also the tastes, I would much sooner go for the Sibu Foochow-style sio bee anytime. As they say, old habits die hard…

Author: suituapui

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

30 thoughts on “Old habits die hard…”

  1. i remember that siew mai used to cost rm1 for 3… wondering how much it cost in ten more years. haha.

    It wasn’t that long ago, I think – around 4-5 years? When sio bee was RM1 for 3…and I actually thought it was expensive then because it was RM1 for 5 before that…and now the cheapest is 50sen each. But it’s ok…as long as it is very nice. Here, the dim sum ones are RM3.50 – RM4.50 for 3. That’s worse!

  2. Oh! How I love that “French toast” thing. My mum made very very nice ones. I used to make too. I must make some one of these days!

    My MIL used to make very nice ones too. Nothing beats own homemade ones! 😉

  3. wow the chicken tart is something new to me! 😀 wanna give it a try!

    Don’t bother… I think it’s not nice – the chicken taste plus the egg custard, it actually tasted funny. I did not like it. 😦

  4. wah i really thought the french toast looked like a piece of fried tofu!

    Ya, some resemblance to that Taiwan semlly tofu. Ewek! If it had been that, I would have run far far away… LOL!!!

  5. Sio bee – the one thing I never acquired the taste for. Don’t like siew mai also. The oily meat taste puts me off. Har Gow is a totally different story – love, love them! Haha.

    I like the dim sum har kau – once, the ones in KK were really to die for – size of a golf ball and all the prawns stuck together inside the thin translucent skin. Not the Fook Hai ones – the skin so thick and falls apart all over the place and the filling is quite tasteless. Eyewwwwww……

  6. They look good to me esp the french toast with chicken meat.. took a mug of oats this morning…. so a piece of that will be very satisfying, really!

    My daughter’s favourite…not mine. I think I’m impartial when it comes to deep fried stuff. Prefer steamed or baked, though there may be a few exceptions…

  7. things have changed – if siew mai is served in a wedding banquet you will know that this is a cheap package…haha..I remembered those days when my grandma will bring a men handkerchief to a wedding b. n we have to fight for the siewmai..usually the younger ones will get them..sob.sob.

    Hahahahahaha!!! Deprived childhood! Emotional abuse…and whose fault was it? Stella!!! See! Your poor sis had no sio bee to eat because of you! ROTFL!!! 😀

    1. Lol! Ya, my mum always bring back the ‘siobee’ with the big hanky for us to eat! No lah, Pollie being the older one always says ‘nei nei’ give to younger ones to eat, haha! Even ‘siobee’ here also not as nice as the foochow ones.

      The dim sum ones? I thought they’re nicer…just a lot more expensive. See! What a good sis you have! Sacrificed for the younger sis to eat… LOL!!!

  8. bakery selling siew mai? 0.0 that’s odd.

    Two sections – one selling the bread and all the baked stuff…and the other selling steamed buns, siew mai and what not. I had a post on their char siew pao sometime ago – ok but not really great. 😦

  9. yeah….food looks good yummy and not necessary tasty one….

    but like the dumpling look….looks very delicious like dat…

    Yalor…like pretty ladies – no necessarily mean that they will amke good wives. LOL!!! 😀

  10. Weeeh! It is good to be back reading your yummy blog my friend. Sorry if I failed to visit you the past days. I have been busy because of overloaded works.

    Welcome back… I guess that’s the life of uni students – sometimes so bogged down with work and studies, hardly any time for anything else. Don’t worry…I’ll always be here. Hop over anytime! 😉

    1. Thanks my good friend. I guess my ordeal at the office is not yet over. Still have more work to do. May the Lord help me.

      No problem, you’re young. Keep going – it will only make you stronger. God bless! 🙂

    1. Ling gave me some mini egg tarts from Cheras the other day. Taste very good. I like the egg tarts which pastry which is layer type…Don’t know how to describe it.

      Yup…love the layer pastry egg tarts too. As long as egg tarts, I like… Wah! So nice, got people give this, give that all the time…

  11. Here in Penang, 3 siew mai about RM2.50, that’s why i hardly go makan dim sum… me,wife,mother, will always have to spend like Rm24 plus plus,,, and also because meaty and oily lah.

    You know in my place, withing the radius of less than 4 km, we have about 6 dim sum shops, and they are always packed, dont know why like that one.

    have a great weekend ya

    RM2.50!!! So cheap… Here, at least RM3.50-4.50. Ya, it’s very expensive and what I do not like the most about going for dim sum would be the msg. I would have that lingering taste in the mouth the whole day despite drinking lots and lots of water. Nice at time of eating no doubt…

  12. I like siew mai, if i will to choose i will choose siew mai compare to the other two. 🙂

    Sibu there is one restaurant serve very famous siew mai? “Fu Chu Liew” the restaurant name? That is the best in town right?

    Me too! But siew mai is expensive – RM3.50-4.50 for one storey (“lau”) of 3…but they mix prawns with the meat and blend till “khiew-khiew”. The Hock Cheu Lau ones – RM1.20 each – might as well go for the dim sum siew mai. My cousin bought some the other day and she said just so-so. Golden Happiness ones nice…and I’ve yet to go and try the New Capital ones…

  13. French toast plus chicken must be delish. 😀

    Ok lah… My daughter loves that but given a choice, I would mush rather have something else. Deep-fried – a bit too oily.

    1. Deep fried la nice. LOL! I like… yummy… (den will sore throat, and here comes Mr. Strepsil. LOL)

      Same as my anak! Best when hot! And almost instantly, sore throat!!! 😦

  14. GREAT!!!!! now I hafta get off my lazy ass and go out and buy some sio bee! =((((((

    You’ll be back in Sibu sometime next week, right? Ryan says to wait for you and we’ll go out for mam-mam together… Julia’s busy and he wouldn’t go with me…alone. I wonder why? Hehehehehehe!!!!

    1. yeah! hopefully can go back next week, cause maybe got exams or tutorial classes *fingers crossed* I WANNA GO EAT THE SPANISH CHICKEN THINGY at 3.16! I went in the afternoon the other day but all the stalls closed dy! saddd =(

      They close at 2pm. Oh? So you may not be able to come back? 😦 Humph!!! Now have to look for other kakis to go mam-mam liao…

  15. Ohhhh… gosh… the french toast looks so heavenly. I want, I want. Looks so yummy! All these goreng goreng stuff.. I can never resist!

    Huh??? Aiyor…it doesn’t turn me on! My daughter loves it, but I just cannot figure out why. Many other nicer things that I would rather have. LOL!!!

  16. Hmm..egg tart or coconut is one favourite, but with chicken filling…hmmmm, no thank you..LOL!!!

    I don’t like the coconut ones – don;t like many things with grated coconut…but I love egg tarts. Yup, not with chicken – it’s supposed to be a “sweet”…and not something savoury.

  17. So what IS sio bee actually? Is it also similar to siew mai with some differences? And why is it served at the end of the meal? I thought only desserts should be served at the end of the meal?

    Sio bee (Hokkien) is siew mai (Cantonese). It is like siew mai – meat wrapped in thin skin…but some have chopped sengkuang mixed with the meat for extra sweetness – there are people who think that if it’s all meat, it isn’t nice. Siew mai served at dim sums, I think, is all meat and prawn blended till it is firmer and wrapped in skin. So in essence, they are the same but actually, they are not.

    The dessert was there – canned peaches and longan in iced diluted syrup. As kids, we loved that and waited longingly for the end of the dinner. The sio bee PLUS fried noodles at the end of the dinner – just before the dessert – had to do with the Chinese and the importance of “face”. They had invited you…so they must make sure that you had your fill to the max before you went home. And in the past, relatives would come from very far…walking through jungle paths and taking boats to come to town and if they went back and they said, “Chiak bay pa!” (eat not full)…it would be a disgrace to the host – “losing face”. That was why they always had the sio bee and noodles at the end (other than at least 8-10 other very filling dishes before that)…but most of the time, everyone would be too full to eat, so they would “tapao” in the serviettes or handkerchiefs to take home…..

  18. ohmygod..I loooovveeeee Sio Bee….used to love the ones from Hock Chew Lau. haven’t had them in about 2 years:( on the basis of that alone, i think I should fly back nxt month.lol

    You didn’t have that when you came home. Poor thing! LOL!!! What? Planning another trip home next month? October through to January next year, I would be quite free. Classes closed shop for the year…

  19. Not that I can remember eating siew mai at the end of a wedding banquet maybe Sibu would have own their style those days. Not a great dimsum lover maybe once or most twice in a month. Agree with you it’s not cheap though..nice pixz bro..tQ.

    Probably only in Sibu. The Foochows were always concerned about face. What? Once or twice a month? I only go once in a blue moon but then again, dim sums aren’t that popular or widespread here…

  20. last time, my mummy really crazy to eat siew mai! every day – eat… until i feel want to vomit. now, i miss it as well.

    In Kuching, must be the open air market ones…or those from Fook Hai. Both, not my favourite… Used to like the pao and sio bee at a shop at Kenyalang Park.

  21. sibu’s siew mai is much better than kl’s 😀

    You don’t like the dim sum ones? I know some of the dim sum stalls at coffee shops – their siew mai and other things are all real bad…and expensive. I guess it is the same as with everything else – must know where to go.

  22. Haha….you brought back some fond memories. I remember we waited for our parents to bring back those siu mai from wedding, too 😀 The last trip I went back I didn’t find nice siu mai. I think I must check with you the next trip I go back.

    LOL!!! I’m still looking for the best in town… Guess by the time you come back, I would have found it. LOL!!! 😉

  23. OMG! I wanted to make a sneak peek before i head to bed and plan to just come back again but I totally regret checking your blog tonight…not for any bad reason but the foods you posted are all so good that it made me hungry!
    Only if I can pull out those goodies from the computer =(

    LOL!!! Curiosity kills the cat! Now you have to go to sleep hungry! Poor thing! 😀

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