Standing in the shadows of love…

I had a post sometime ago on the different varieties of fried kway teow (flat rice noodles) that we can get in Sibu and I did mention that it is usually overshadowed by the more popular Foochow fried noodles…

Foochow fried noodles
*recycled pic*

…or the kampua mee.

Well, the other morning, I stopped by this coffee shop for breakfast and decided to have the Foochow fried kway teow there…

Foochow fried kway teow 1

I had the fried noodles before and I thought it was comparatively one of the nicer places that I had been to. This may look like the Cantonese-style fried noodles to some of you but actually the taste is really quite different…

Foochow fried kway teow 2

…and there’s no egg in the gravy, if you noticed. Well, it was quite nice, quite worth having for a change…but I’ve always preferred noodles.

Anyway, tomorrow I will be flying over to Penang to attend my niece’s wedding on Sunday night, arriving at around noon time…so you can expect that the first thing upon landing, I will be making a beeline to the nearest Penang char kway teow stall for the celebrated local delicacy. Care to join me, anyone? LOL!!!

Anyone who has a heart…

The SPM Examination results were released a week ago. Of course, there were reasons to cheer and to celebrate. Personally, I think that it is something like a pass for one to go through and move on to something else and at the end of the day, it is who you are, what you are capable of doing and what you do that will make you stand out in a crowd, not how good everything looks on paper.

Over the years, I have had a class of fifth-formers and last year was no exception. On the day in question, I received an sms from one of them and it went like this:
Sir, I got A+ for my English and A1 for my1119. Thank you very much. May I have your address, please?
I promptly replied to congratulate him and told him, “No, you may not have my address. Just knowing that you have done so well is reward enough for me.”

After my  lesson that evening, as I was leaving the centre, the boy was waiting outside for me. He had dropped by just to give me this…


Needless to say, I was very much flattered by the thoughtful gesture.

Another one whom I would not add to my friends’ list (Get the hint? ROTFL!!!) on Facebook, left this message in my inbox:
Say yo!!! (Oh no! Not Sean Kingston!!! LOL!!!) I got A+ for my English. 1119 is A1.
I replied nonchalantly, “You had a good tuition teacher,” to which he responded:

Knowing the likes of him, a dime a dozen, I asked, “Welcome. Not sending a cake to the centre for me?” This was his reply:
cannot~~blerk =PP must slim down XDDD

Tsk! Tsk! Ah well, at least he had the heart to send a message to say thank you. As they always say, it’s the thought that counts. As far as I know, a number of others got the coveted A grade but unfortunately, I did not hear from the rest… Sigh!

Loving you…

Many people love to eat prawns despite all that have been said about them being not that good for health and there must be a thousand and one ways to cook prawns, for instance the nyonya favourite – the assam prawns or the Chinese-style butter prawns or drunken prawns. However, I remember that my mother used to cook them in soy sauce and every time when we had prawns, it would be a real delightful treat for the family.

I don’t know how much they cost then but today, these udang galah (freshwater prawns) are by no means cheap…

Udang galah

Such big ones are RM32 a kilo but when I bought them that day, the lady gave me a RM2 discount and charged me RM30, not that it made a whole lot of difference. I counted and there were 15 altogether so I guess it worked out to RM2.00 each.

Well, to cook it the way my mum used to, you will need a few slices of ginger, that’s all…

Soy sauce prawns - ingredients

The chillies are optional – we never had that when we were kids as we were not used to spicy stuff at the time.

Heat one tablespoon of sesame oil in the wok and add the ginger. Once they turn a little brown, throw in the chillies and the prawns. Pour in some soy sauce (around three or four tablespoons) and sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the prawns. You may want to add some traditional Foochow red wine, around three tablespoons of that…which I did and add a little bit of water and stir to mix everything thoroughly. Once the prawns have turned red and have curled up, that is an indication that they are cooked…but allow it to simmer for a while till much of the sauce has evaporated so that you will have a richer and thicker gravy.

The dish is ready to be served…

Soy sauce prawns

That day, when I cooked these prawns, I also fried some midin (wild fern) with sambal udang kering (dried prawns), the same way many people would fry kangkong or sweet potato leaves…

Fried midin with sambal hay bee

That certainly was a delightful dinner but at those prices, we would not be having this very often, of that I am pretty certain.

Sing along…

LOL!!! Actually, the name of the coffee shop is Sing Long and I’ve been there before here and here

Sing Long Cafe stalls

It’s just that I mentioned yong tofu in my recent post on my fish ball and tung hoon (glass noodles) soup…and so the other day, I decided to go back there and I had this…

Sing Long RM4.50 yong tofu

I did say in that post that we do not have yong tofu in Sibu or at least not that I know of but at this place, they sell it by the sets. This one is the cheapest and they charge RM4.50 for that bowl of 5 or 6 very nice own-made fish balls and 3 fish paste fried wantan plus a whole lot of tung hoon.

For RM8.50, you will get more items including stuffed ladies’ fingers and brinjal…

Sing Long RM8.50 yong tofu
*recycled pic*

I thought the soup had a peculiar taste – quite different from what I cooked the other day, probably because of the bits of seaweed…or perhaps they had other things in their broth…but it was nice and I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the sambal (dip) that they gave and needless to say,  I finished all of that.

I also had the char siew noodles from the stall in front…

Sing Long char siew noodles

…and it is quite obvious that they are different from noodles elsewhere in the town. They use their own handmade noodles and serve them in a way that is similar to those wantan noodles over in the peninsula.

That cost me RM3.50 and looking at all that char siew in it, I am sure everyone would agree that it is not really expensive. Any comments?

Not good enough…

I heard that they are selling very nice nasi lemak every morning at this coffee shop beside the Civic Centre (Dewan Suarah). They will display the packets on a foldable table in the front portion of the shop…and that morning, I just stopped by and grabbed a packet to try…

Wonderful nasi lemak 1

They cost RM1.50 a packet, the same as those that I usually would get from my regular Bandong stall…and as you can see, they do not give very much sambal and there seem to be less fried ikan bilis (anchovies) and kacang (peanuts) too.

The only saving grace is that they give half a hardboiled egg and not the one-eight slice that comes in those packets that I usually buy.

Wonderful nasi lemak 2

As for the taste, it is pretty nice but given a choice, I think I would go back to those that I had before…

A long time ago…

These have been around since a long time ago. During my younger days they used to sell them at a stall at the front of the now-demolished Sibu (wet) market. Today, that same old lady is still selling them at her stall, now at the Sibu Central Market. I understand that her daughter-in-law also has a stall close by but she makes her own and they say that hers are not as nice.

You can have a choice of the vegetable type…

Sibu chai pao 1

…which my cousin, Gerrie, in Kuching loves a lot. Everytime I go to Kuching, whenever possible, she would ask me to bring along a few for her to enjoy.

These vegetable steamed buns are different from others that we may find here, there and everywhere in that they contain finely-chopped long beans and  whatever else…

Sibu chai pao 2

Usually there would be thinly sliced cabbage, carrots and perhaps salted vegetables but not these.

I don’t know how much they cost when I was young – probably 10 sen…but at one time, I think they were 30 or 35 sen each but for RM1.00 you can get four. Now, they are selling for 50 sen each.

I quite like the meat ones too…

Sibu bak pao 1

…but I find that the filling is getting less and less these days…

Sibu bak pao 2

…and I am pretty sure there was a bit of egg inside before but not anymore.

I must say that I was quite shocked the other day when I bought these as they are now RM1.20 for one. At that price, I think I might as well go and buy the char siew pao from the dim sum places in town which, if I’m not mistaken, will not cost more than RM2.00 each. Whatever it is, RM1.20 each is, in my opinion, a bit too steep for those and I do not think it is really worth it.

Should I happen to pass by the stall again, I think I will just stick to the more affordable vegetable paos…

Can the can…

I still have a can of sardine in the pantry…and that one cost over RM5.00, Ayam Brand. It probably has been a few months since I bought it and I really wonder if the price has gone up even higher by now.

I love sardines, even the canned ones but now that they are getting kind of expensive, I might as well go for the fresh ones, nicely grilled like those served at this place

Red Carrot's grilled imported sardine
*recycled pic*

I have not been there for a long while for the simple reason that that cost RM8.50 and just as in the case of the canned ones, I am not sure whether the price has gone up or not.

The ones from my regular Malay food stall at Bandong may vary in price according to the size. This one cost me RM7.00…

Bandong sardin panggang 1

For one thing, they’re cooked over hot burning charcoal so one can be sure there is no oil added and whatever oil that one may see would be the oil of the fish which people say is healthy.

They also give some very nice sambal (chilli dip) to go with the fish but the one I bought that day was not really that great as I found it a little bit dry…

Bandong sardin panggang 2

Maybe they kept it above the charcoal pit for too long.

Still, RM7.00 for one big one – enough for two for one meal should be quite reasonable compared to a can of a few very much smaller ones considering that they’re not fresh plus it’s not that much cheaper too.

What do you all think?